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Don Akerlow
09-24-2010, 09:51 AM
I am looking for ideas on how to promote pool tournaments. In the 60's and 70's tournaments were promoted by word of mouth and taking fliers to other locations and posting them on their bulletin board or sending them to other bars/poolhalls in other cities.
Here on AZBilliards, we have a tournament section. There are also pool magazines that list tournaments as well. That's not what I am looking for.
How have you been contacted about a tournament?
I would appreciate any help that you can give.
Thank you in advance.

Tom In Cincy
09-24-2010, 10:03 AM
I usually contact other pool room TDs or owners to make sure I am not scheduling a tournament that will have a conflict with other rooms in the area.

Regional tournaments only.

The national tournaments are usually well advertised and only a small percentage of players leave the region for the national events.

Now, when a national event is in your region, as a room owner trying to fill your room, you'd better know what is happening in your backyard.


Thanks to Cheese and Mary for the monthly "On the Break" magazine for the weekly and monthly tournament schedules they provide.

CocoboloCowboy
09-24-2010, 10:09 AM
Word of mouth is still the "best" advertising, do what you advertise to do, with no surprises. Recall 2 years ago driving cross town for a ADVERTISED 300 ADD TOURNY, on a Saturday. Turn out was poor, I asked the owner 15 minute past the start time if the Tourney was a go, and the 300 was being added. He replied the 300 could not be added because the poor turnout. I was glad I had not paid my 20 Buck Entry, so I left!

i4pool
09-24-2010, 10:18 AM
I am looking for ideas on how to promote pool tournaments. In the 60's and 70's tournaments were promoted by word of mouth and taking fliers to other locations and posting them on their bulletin board or sending them to other bars/poolhalls in other cities.
Here on AZBilliards, we have a tournament section. There are also pool magazines that list tournaments as well. That's not what I am looking for.
How have you been contacted about a tournament?
I would appreciate any help that you can give.
Thank you in advance.

Hi Don!

Here's an idea for you... SMS TEXT MESSAGE ALERT CAMPAIGN

Everyone has a cell phone. Most carry it around everywhere they go.
It's easy access and fast. No need to get on a computer to check email.

Set up an SMS text alert campaign. Poolplayers and fans signed up would get SMS text message(s) announcing tournament details. Maybe you could set it up so that messages could be sent out regarding regional/local tournaments as well as upcoming PRO events.

The big task is getting people to sign-up/subscribe. If it's FREE most, imo, will join. I would!

I hope this helps.


Best Regards,

Marie's husband
09-24-2010, 11:13 AM
I am looking for ideas on how to promote pool tournaments. In the 60's and 70's tournaments were promoted by word of mouth and taking fliers to other locations and posting them on their bulletin board or sending them to other bars/poolhalls in other cities.
Here on AZBilliards, we have a tournament section. There are also pool magazines that list tournaments as well. That's not what I am looking for.
How have you been contacted about a tournament?
I would appreciate any help that you can give.
Thank you in advance.

As for me, the usual way I find out about a tournament is through your internet site, reading your papers.

If a tournament is not in your paper the only way I hear about it is through word of mouth at one of the weekly tournaments that I attend.

There is already a post about using email/texting to inform players of upcoming events and at this day and age, I think that this the direction to go to start the chain of word of mouth for upcoming tournaments. Its free to send emails and it depends on the phone plan for texting but its cheap to do also. The Database for regions would be pretty easy to set up, just talk to the league operators in your area and ask them to send out a request for everyones email address and cell phone numbers and explain the specific reason is for pool tournaments only, no advertising or spam mails.

I was thinking about setting this up for our area just for the weekly tournaments so that it might get more bars involved in having tournaments if I could show that I was putting the information out to over 500 league players within our area. I think it would be a good selling point and may get more players involved with tournaments.

Scott Lee
09-24-2010, 02:23 PM
Wait a minute Bruce...you have said time and time again that you would NEVER pay a $20 (or more) entry fee for a tournament. I think I recall you saying your limit was $5. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Word of mouth is still the "best" advertising, do what you advertise to do, with no surprises. Recall 2 years ago driving cross town for a ADVERTISED 300 ADD TOURNY, on a Saturday. Turn out was poor, I asked the owner 15 minute past the start time if the Tourney was a go, and the 300 was being added. He replied the 300 could not be added because the poor turnout. I was glad I had not paid my 20 Buck Entry, so I left!

CocoboloCowboy
09-24-2010, 02:47 PM
Wait a minute Bruce...you have said time and time again that you would NEVER pay a $20 (or more) entry fee for a tournament. I think I recall you saying your limit was $5. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Normally I would not pay 20 BUCKS, this was a Rated EVENT, (open to "C" Players only) the Entry was 20 Bucks, and their was a change of ME cashing in. The Advertised $300.00 ADD was the DRAW to the Event, when it became not as advertised, I left.

We need not figure out this once in a life time event for me. My point was something was advertised, it was not as advertised, and me and a few others left because of that fact.

Scott I am sure if you booked a lesson, or show, and did not do as advertised, it could haunt you in the future!

Also I have I think been out to play in a $5.00 Event about 3 times in the last 12 months, as it just is not my thing any more! I honestly hate being out at night after the Sun sets!

JoeyA
09-24-2010, 05:49 PM
I have been contacted about a tournament by:

Phone
Text message

Email

Facebook

And for the life of me, I don't see how promoters haven't gone hog wild over text messaging and emailing.

With the ability to send out MASS text messages or MASS emails to an entire contact directory or group, it just beyond my understanding how promoters and tournament directors have failed to effectively utilize today's technology.

I don't actually know what a twitter is but I believe it is another medium that could be effectively used to contact individuals concerning pool tournaments.

The banter on pool forums keeps the excitement rolling along until tournament day.

The tournament directors should have a database of cell phones, email addresses, FB accounts etc. of every person who likes pool or who wants to be kept in the loop.

Good luck.

smoooothstroke
09-24-2010, 06:11 PM
In the PNW I have noticed that fewer weekly tourney are advertising in the 2 main pool publications.This may be because the establishment wishes to keep more of their regular customers playing in the tourney-who may lose interest when to many regular tourney players show up?Also I think some regional tourneys are not getting into OTBN and OTW.

Roger Long
09-25-2010, 09:14 AM
I am looking for ideas on how to promote pool tournaments. In the 60's and 70's tournaments were promoted by word of mouth and taking fliers to other locations and posting them on their bulletin board or sending them to other bars/poolhalls in other cities.
Here on AZBilliards, we have a tournament section. There are also pool magazines that list tournaments as well. That's not what I am looking for.
How have you been contacted about a tournament?
I would appreciate any help that you can give.
Thank you in advance.

Don,

Are you talking about just the advertising side of promotion? There is a lot more to successfully promoting an event than just getting the word out that it is going to happen.

Roger

Don Akerlow
09-25-2010, 12:32 PM
In the PNW I have noticed that fewer weekly tourney are advertising in the 2 main pool publications.This may be because the establishment wishes to keep more of their regular customers playing in the tourney-who may lose interest when to many regular tourney players show up?Also I think some regional tourneys are not getting into OTBN and OTW.

FYI OTW hasn't published since June of 2009 for about 16 months. It is sad to see any pool publication go out of business.
I do agree with your statement but there are some things that will be coming up in 2011 that will make the PNW more prosperous with tournaments. Of course you do have to remember, not everything works out.

Don Akerlow
09-25-2010, 12:38 PM
Don,

Are you talking about just the advertising side of promotion? There is a lot more to successfully promoting an event than just getting the word out that it is going to happen.

Roger

Hi Roger, nice to hear from you. I am talking about all sides of promoting tournaments. I am not looking for advertisers, that is not the reason I started the thread.

I do want to thank everybody that has commented. We do most all of the suggestions to promote tournaments and live streaming. What we haven't used as yet is text messaging. I am not sure but can you send out multiple text messages or do you have to send them out one at a time? Any help understanding that would be greatly appreciated. We have a database for emails that starts back in the early 90's. And have encouraged people to sign up for them as well, free of course.
We are looking for new ways, new ideas and help with any existing means of getting the word out.
Thanks everyone

HudsonSmith
09-25-2010, 06:36 PM
Thanks to Cheese and Mary for the monthly "On the Break" magazine for the weekly and monthly tournament schedules they provide.

Tom you are right the two of them do a great job in getting the word out as well as printing the stories, results and the photos of the tournaments. But did you know that Cheese and Mary have been doing this from the early 90's. I found an old copy of Pool Tournament Magazine from 1993. I found the copy in an used book store here in Livingston, MT. It had tournaments from S.D. MT. WYO. N.D. ID. Utah, Calif and even Alaska at the Billiard Palace. Who knew?

thanks Guys
Hudson Smith

Scott Lee
09-25-2010, 08:15 PM
Hudson...Cheese started a while before that even. The first Pool Tournament Magazines were printed to show the winners of the local VNEA pool leagues in Bozeman and Helena. Then he did one for the winners of the Montana Coin-op tournament, held every April. From there he spread out to doing magazines covering the areas you mentioned, and now has three mags covering most of the U.S.A. I have one with me on the cover, from the late 80's, for being the only person in the western half of the U.S. to get a "30-Zip" in the VNEA. They have come a long way, and do a great service for the poolplayers.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Tom you are right the two of them do a great job in getting the word out as well as printing the stories, results and the photos of the tournaments. But did you know that Cheese and Mary have been doing this from the early 90's. I found an old copy of Pool Tournament Magazine from 1993. I found the copy in an used book store here in Livingston, MT. It had tournaments from S.D. MT. WYO. N.D. ID. Utah, Calif and even Alaska at the Billiard Palace. Who knew?

thanks Guys
Hudson Smith

Don Akerlow
09-26-2010, 08:00 PM
Hudson...Cheese started a while before that even. The first Pool Tournament Magazines were printed to show the winners of the local VNEA pool leagues in Bozeman and Helena. Then he did one for the winners of the Montana Coin-op tournament, held every April. From there he spread out to doing magazines covering the areas you mentioned, and now has three mags covering most of the U.S.A. I have one with me on the cover, from the late 80's, for being the only person in the western half of the U.S. to get a "30-Zip" in the VNEA. They have come a long way, and do a great service for the poolplayers.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Thanks Scott for the kind words.
Sorry I didn't see this earlier but we have been on deadline this weekend for the mags, we go to print Monday night and ship the next day.
We are starting to put togather something that would help poolplayers find tournaments faster and easier. More to come on that!

i4pool
09-28-2010, 10:02 AM
...

What we haven't used as yet is text messaging. I am not sure but can you send out multiple text messages or do you have to send them out one at a time? Any help understanding that would be greatly appreciated.

...



Hi Don,

I googled "send out multiple text messages" and found this first link:

http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Email_Tools/Mail_Clients/SMS_Create_Pro.html

I'm sure there are more similar ones but this should help you get started.


Below I've pasted the 1st paragraph on that page.

"SMS Create Pro 5.7.1"

"Send text messages to mobile phones from your PC with SMS Create Pro using E-mail service. Discover the new way of sending text messages to mobile phones using E-mail service with this multi-featured tool. You will find this tool very useful when you have to send text messages to multiple mobiles or a group of mobile phones. You can edit mobile operators list and can create your own phone book, the list of mobile operators which already exists will be updated permanently. This application has one more additional feature; a new message received is notified by a pop-up message on the PC and even notifying the mobile phone number about the received message. You could add emotional smiles to your text message from the number of different smiles already present in the application and there is also the possibility of running the E-mail client. Now enjoy sending SMS from your PC. This very simple to use tool will surely prove to be very useful specially when you have to send multiple text messages to a group of mobile phone users. In database more than 130 gateway!!!Were added smiles and possibility of the run the Email client."


Best Regards,

8Ball48043
09-28-2010, 11:44 AM
That SMS thingy from your PC sounds real nice, but ... you've got to have a lot of mobile phone numbers for it to be effective. Which also suggests that the messages/noticifations will go out to your usual "I have their number in my book" set of friends. You're not really reaching out.

Even if you get all of the people on your phone list to send you the numbers of all of their friends, your list would likely still be limited.

So, what you really have to do is WORK at it.

1) Contact every Pool Hall Owner in the area that you think you can draw from. Convince them that this tournament at 'Some Other Pool Hall', will in no way act as a detrement to their business. Maybe throw them some cash, throw them some business, promise to run a tourny at their house. But, you need to entice them to advertise your tournament.

Have some nice posters printed and hang them in every pool hall that you convince to support your tournament. Try to get the posters up at least a month in advance of your tournament.

2) Contact every Pool League operator in the geography. Talk to them. Again, convince them that you are not trying to draw people away from their league, but rather, you are trying to expand, extend and make our sport more fun, and hopefully profitable for all.

Have a nice color flyer printed up and include it in every teams packet. Put it in every teams packet for at least two weeks. Better to do it for four weeks!

3) Certainly if there is a local or regional pool magazine. Put your notice in it.

I think the above are the most effective way to get the word out. Two Points: These approaches target 1) Pool Players only. 2) Pool Players in your area. <--- THAT's the audience you're trying to reach.

IMHO, of course.

LeagueShirts
09-28-2010, 12:53 PM
I've been getting into this more as well. So far, I've helped:

NE 10 Ball Tour (RIP)
Lone Star Billiards Tour
SW 10 Ball Tour
On The Rail TV

For ongoing tours and large tourneys:

Create and build recognition of your brand and its image
Actively updated website
Facebook profile
Email Distribution
Quality business cards
Color banners posted in the tour stops
Twitter Updates

More tips:

I see a lot of post titles in the mags/blogs like " Mike Blah wins in Austin". That doesn't do much to reinforce the brand of the tour/tourney. The brand should be mentioned in the title; or at least, in the first two sentences of the article.

Try not to put out posters and ads that look like they are from 1989. Get some help if needed. If you are creating these items frequently, become familiar with ad layout. Don't cram a bunch of photoshop'd glowing barf randomly all over the page.

Look professional, Be professional.
That will help you get a quality following and then quality sponsors.

Tom In Cincy
09-28-2010, 01:11 PM
Great marketing tips for any promoter.

Another great tip is know your demographics especially the pool players in your area.

Know what would interest them. It might be a GREAT idea to have a Quarterly Handicapped tournament for the league players.

Bar league players might want to check out a pool room if they are familiar with the format and handicap.

Not all pool players, let alone tournament players, visit websites to get their info.

Not all tournament players have cell phones.

Sharing fliers between pool rooms is the normal way to get the information out to the regional players.

Sharing works both ways.




Create and build recognition of your brand and its image
Actively updated website
Facebook profile
Email Distribution
Quality business cards
Color banners posted in the tour stops
Twitter Updates

More tips:

I see a lot of post titles in the mags/blogs like " Mike Blah wins in Austin". That doesn't do much to reinforce the brand of the tour/tourney. The brand should be mentioned in the title; or at least, in the first two sentences of the article.

Try not to put out posters and ads that look like they are from 1989. Get some help if needed. If you are creating these items frequently, become familiar with ad layout. Don't cram a bunch of photoshop'd glowing barf randomly all over the page.

Look professional, Be professional.
That will help you get a quality following and then quality sponsors.

HudsonSmith
09-28-2010, 07:36 PM
Cheese you are getting some good suggestions. I've got one. How about Twitter? I see in The Break on the tournament trail page that you have to follow otbntv on Twitter don't they have a click that can go to their cell phones. That way you wouldn't have to get their cell phone or they wouldn't have to give it to you. It's all about that privacy thing. I don't know that much about Twitter but am looking into it but if someone else has more information they can share it.
Hudson Smith

JoeyA
09-29-2010, 07:35 AM
Cheese,
There is another old, tried and tested but under utilized method for publishers, bloggers and yes, pool promoters to use a system that is available for free using Microsoft's Outlook email program and the folder called RSS:

Outlook Syndicated Content (RSS) Directory
News, blogs and more delivered right in your inbox...
RSS Feeds in Microsoft Outlook
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way for content publishers to make news, blogs, and other content available to subscribers. You can add your favorite RSS Feeds as subscriptions in Microsoft Outlook.

Get started
Using Outlook to subscribe to an RSS Feed is quick and easy and does not involve a registration process or fee. After you subscribe to an RSS Feed, headlines will appear in your RSS folders. RSS items appear similar to mail messages. When you see a headline that interests you, just click or open the item. To learn more about RSS read Subscribe to an RSS Feed

For the unitiated, you may have to suggest to them how this EASY feature works and how it can benefit them and you.

JoeyA

JoeW
09-29-2010, 08:06 AM
One way would be to put up a web site that listed tournaments. Ask readers if they would like to be included on a list of people to be contacted by email when a new tournament is available.

The subscriber could list in different categories such as local, regional, state or national. They could also list how they would like to be contacted

The let word of mouth take over.

I think that a free admission to some tournament for the first x subscribers would get the word out even faster. Once you have a list of subscribers they would probably pass along any future announcements to their buddies especially if the announcement were easily printed from your web site.

There are too many web sites that try to be all things to all people a site dedicated o tournaments only might be attractive.

Most pool halls and leagues have at least one person who is on the net often. That person (or persons) becomes your communicator.

Don Akerlow
09-29-2010, 05:01 PM
Cheese,
There is another old, tried and tested but under utilized method for publishers, bloggers and yes, pool promoters to use a system that is available for free using Microsoft's Outlook email program and the folder called RSS:

Outlook Syndicated Content (RSS) Directory
News, blogs and more delivered right in your inbox...
RSS Feeds in Microsoft Outlook
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way for content publishers to make news, blogs, and other content available to subscribers. You can add your favorite RSS Feeds as subscriptions in Microsoft Outlook.

Get started
Using Outlook to subscribe to an RSS Feed is quick and easy and does not involve a registration process or fee. After you subscribe to an RSS Feed, headlines will appear in your RSS folders. RSS items appear similar to mail messages. When you see a headline that interests you, just click or open the item. To learn more about RSS read Subscribe to an RSS Feed

For the unitiated, you may have to suggest to them how this EASY feature works and how it can benefit them and you.

JoeyA

JoeyA thank you. I had never really known what the RSS stood for and like a decrepid, senile old guy, like in the movie "UP" I never thought to google it. I guess I'm gonna have to do more research on more things. But as one great poet once said, "It matters not when you learn something, it just matters that you do." Appreciate the info. If you have any more I will gladly again look senile if that's what it takes LOL

JoeyA
09-29-2010, 08:08 PM
JoeyA thank you. I had never really known what the RSS stood for and like a decrepid, senile old guy, like in the movie "UP" I never thought to google it. I guess I'm gonna have to do more research on more things. But as one great poet once said, "It matters not when you learn something, it just matters that you do." Appreciate the info. If you have any more I will gladly again look senile if that's what it takes LOL

RSS is probably one of the most underutilized tools available to the Internet crowd. You're not alone in the information age, there's lots of us who are learning too, Don. It's a fascinating world we live in.

JesPiddlin
10-03-2010, 11:21 AM
I have been contacted about a tournament by:

Phone
Text message

Email

Facebook

And for the life of me, I don't see how promoters haven't gone hog wild over text messaging and emailing.

They have. Just get on their mailing list and you'll see. We get a LOT of e-mail notices every week. We have limited texting and anything extra costs us $$ so we don't text all that often and receive texts even less. We get enough notices via e-mail.

We mostly rely on e-mail notices and our monthly Stroke, Rackem and The Break magazines for notices on upcoming tournaments and other events and results on past ones. (Yes, we get all 3.)

JoeyA
10-03-2010, 02:18 PM
They have. Just get on their mailing list and you'll see. We get a LOT of e-mail notices every week. We have limited texting and anything extra costs us $$ so we don't text all that often and receive texts even less. We get enough notices via e-mail.

We mostly rely on e-mail notices and our monthly Stroke, Rackem and The Break magazines for notices on upcoming tournaments and other events and results on past ones. (Yes, we get all 3.)

Yeah,
I guess it makes sense that if you text that you have the plan that covers unlimited texting... I like the texting because it comes on the cell phone and you don't have to interact with it if you choose not to.