Pool Promotion in the USA

Do you think shopping malls would be an ideal location to promote Pool?


  • Total voters
    49

Eric.

Club a member
Silver Member
This one is for the Pool promoters. You know, anyone that puts on Pool tourneys. The question I have is:

Why hasn't anyone put on tournaments in suburban shopping malls?

Now, I didn't come up with the idea. Actually, I stole it from Asia (turnabout is fair play :eek: ). In the countries, arguably, where Pool is most popular, many actual tournaments (not just exhibitions) are held in popular shopping malls. Why? Obviously, that is a good place to play in front of crowds. Put the game in front of people that normally wouldnt have a chance to view live Pool. Another reason would be that malls are filled with name brand retail outlets. Think about it- those retailers are interested in one thing; foot traffic. It's a numbers game. A certain percentage of shoppers will turn into buyers. The more shoppers that view their product, the more potential sales. I'm willing to bet that there would be lots of co-op advertising opportunities for promoters to draw sponsorship dollars, to add to the tournament.

Now, I know there are details to be ironed out. For example, you would only be able to fit so many tables in a mall. Perhaps 2 or 3. That's fine too. Have the others playing at a local Poolroom. Also, stream the tables with multi cameras. Having some form of broadcast makes the event "bigger".

I'm gonna open the poll to anyone. The question is "Do you think shopping malls would be an ideal location to promote Pool?"
 
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decent dennis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't know about tournaments,but I think exhibitions would get a lot of interest. I believe in the book "The Color Of Money" Fats and Eddie were doing this til Fats died.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
This was done in the US a long time ago. I think an exhibition -- like Dr. Cue -- would probably be the best fit for shoppers who would like to be distracted for a few minutes. I think it's unlikely that you will draw a lot of new people into the mall with an actual tournament.

Maybe two tables, one with an exhibition of trick and fancy shots and one with free, short lessons.
 

cardiac kid

Super Senior Member
Silver Member
Eric,

In the mid nineties, there were a series of tournaments held in one of Rochester's retail malls. Each drew over one hundred players to the events. Eight ball for both the men and women. Promoted by a local rehab group as an event for charity. Some of the mall stores donated prizes. Bar tables were strung out over the length of the main floor of the mall. The finals were in the center in a drained fountain. The local newspaper covered the event for a few years. Still have the newspaper photo of Pat Howey and myself during a semi-final match. Received the winners trophy from Irving Crane in one of his last public appearances. Quite an honor. The event was quite successful for a few years. As business slowed in the mall, the event moved to a local hockey rink and added a WPBA event. The failure of that event to make money doomed the participation of the main sponsor and charity. Incidentally, Mike Massey did a free exhibition for the spectators one year. Could have been a great yearly event. Oh well!!!

Lyn
 

Jude Rosenstock

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The World Summit of Pool (Dragon Promotions) held its event at Grand Central Terminal (New York City's largest train station) one year. The station is used by Metro North which is a commuter rail for counties north of New York City and western Connecticut. The station currently features a steak house owned by Michael Jordan, an Apple Store and a plethora of shops and restaurants (some high-end). The pool tables were visible to commuters but sitting required paid admission.

You can ask Charlie Williams if the event was a success but from what I saw during the very brief times I was there was mild interest. People would walk by, glance, sometimes watch for a minute and be on their way. I do like the idea of having an exhibition in a public place but I remain skeptical on the what the reaction will be. Personally, I think timing is everything and something like this would work in 1975 and 1990. I'm not sure it would work in 2013 but I'd love to be wrong.
 

curlyscues

we're watching
Silver Member
when i was young (late 50s early 60s) harold worst opened one of his first pool rooms on top of a local shopping center. it had a grocery store on one side and a thrifty acres (like a kmart) on the other side.

when people were shopping they would drop the kids off at the pool room so they could shop. it was like a baby sitter for them. also had the added bonus of introducing another generation to the game.

M.C.
 

Eric.

Club a member
Silver Member
I suppose the point I wanted to make was if any promoter has explored fully utilizing co-op advertising money to add into the tournament. Let's face it, all the promoters want to get name brand companies to sponsor Pool tourneys. Since it's unlikely that the sponsors are gonna come out to a Pool event, to advertise, why not go to where the sponsors are i.e. the upscale, suburban retail malls?

As a few have mentioned, this isn't a new idea. What I'm thinking is that the original idea can be improved upon i.e. using co-op advertising. Co-op is a somewhat newer business tool. The malls have a high concentration of retail businesses that might have co-op dollars to spend. While co-op is mostly for small businesses, if you can get 10 small businesses to kick in, that might be enough. For that matter, where are you gonna find a truck load of small business retail outlets in one location?

On the Dragon/Grand Central Terminal tourney...I remember and attended that debacle. I think that GC terminal is a totally different animal and not suited for a Pool tourney. I can see where the promoter got excited, thinking about how many 10's of thousands of ppl go thru there on a daily basis. Thing is, it's a commuter location, first and a retail outlet, second. Commuters are in a hurry (this is NYC) and if you are passing thru GC Station, you really don't have a lot of free time, for the most part.


Eric
 

CreeDo

Fargo Rating 597
Silver Member
Absolutely. I've seen several videos of taiwanese champs playing in the middle of the mall. At first I couldn't fathom how they focus, but the level of pool was awesome and lots of people stopped to watch. It's not ideal for the players but as an idea to help grow the sport... yes, we should be trying some new things.
 

buddha162

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I hate malls, and apparently, malls are dying. This is a good thing.

Having said that, I think if there are cameras and film crews, there'd be action. Put cameras and lights and a crew in any public space, and people linger. If you're lucky, a crowd gathers.

In Taiwan and the PI, scores of people travel to the malls where tournaments are being played to watch the tournaments being played. Way more pool players there than here, and therein lies the problem.

-roger
 

trinacria

in efren we trust
Silver Member
I think pool should stop pretending to be like other sports and embrace what it is. sponsors in pool are a joke, the money isn't enough for the pro's to get paid evenly and make a living off it, so only the top 10 or so can while they are having a couple of good years, so who would pursue it as a living??? Mom and dad won't be proud of their son bc even as a pro you could still be broke, like so many are, and as a hobby or fan the sport is expensive, you wanna play for 8 hrs and get some food in you it'll run you 60-100 bucks, daily, thats insane. plus cue makers are getting ridiculous with cue prices, $1000- $8000 cues, who the **** can afford that at an age young enough to let a kid try to pursue it as a sport. Everything in pool is a direct contradiction to itself, you want to buy a match video? itll be $40 dollars, you crazy????
Pools top prize is money, while in other sports its a ring and a trophy, and players make their money on talent. So unless someone can figure out how to
make pros money while touring, pool will always be what it is.
I can literally write a small book on this subject, pool players get mad at golf because its boring to watch but the money is ridiculous, thats because Fortune 500 companies top office brass play the game and invest in it, fashion, other athletes from different sports, booze companies, charities etc....
pool requires to much skill and talent for the average guy to play and enjoy it, and the seedy reputation it has doesn't help it either.
I wish pool could be as popular as other stuff, and people would love the beauty of it like we do, but I'm afraid its a monumental task for someone to take and try to bring it to the next level.
 

trinacria

in efren we trust
Silver Member
I think pool should stop pretending to be like other sports and embrace what it is. sponsors in pool are a joke, the money isn't enough for the pro's to get paid evenly and make a living off it, so only the top 10 or so can while they are having a couple of good years, so who would pursue it as a living??? Mom and dad won't be proud of their son bc even as a pro you could still be broke, like so many are, and as a hobby or fan the sport is expensive, you wanna play for 8 hrs and get some food in you it'll run you 60-100 bucks, daily, thats insane. plus cue makers are getting ridiculous with cue prices, $1000- $8000 cues, who the **** can afford that at an age young enough to let a kid try to pursue it as a sport. Everything in pool is a direct contradiction to itself, you want to buy a match video? itll be $40 dollars, you crazy????
Pools top prize is money, while in other sports its a ring and a trophy, and players make their money on talent. So unless someone can figure out how to
make pros money while touring, pool will always be what it is.
I can literally write a small book on this subject, pool players get mad at golf because its boring to watch but the money is ridiculous, thats because Fortune 500 companies top office brass play the game and invest in it, fashion, other athletes from different sports, booze companies, charities etc....
pool requires to much skill and talent for the average guy to play and enjoy it, and the seedy reputation it has doesn't help it either.
I wish pool could be as popular as other stuff, and people would love the beauty of it like we do, but I'm afraid its a monumental task for someone to take and try to bring it to the next level.

I forgot to add, pool doesnt need promoting, everyone and their mother has played pool or knows about it, even in third world countries, so promoting isnt the issue, its changing its image and even the philosophy behind it. The two times in american history when pool was popular was after two movies came out, and it came into pop cultures eye.
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
trinacria...Just a little history lesson for you. Pool was MOST popular at the turn of the 19th century, and again right after WW1. There were literally tens of thousands of pool rooms, even during the Great Depression of the '30's. No argument that both movies spiked another upturn in interest.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com

The two times in american history when pool was popular was after two movies came out, and it came into pop cultures eye.
 

Nostroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the early days of the UPA, CW came out with that idea and put on a tourny in i believe Hampton VA in a Mall. I was there the entire weekend and i swear on anything, the entire weekend FOUR people came in from the mall to watch. Bustamante won the event which was single elimination race to 15!! The UPA promoted that format as the trueist test

After the event talk began to spread that with that format, Bustamante would win 90% of the events and the format was tossed along with any ideas about a Mall.

Im surprised you dont remember that Eric, CW was shouting from the rooftops that he was having an event IN A MALL!! and it was revolutionary etc.

It was not in a common area as usually done in Asia but in an empty unrented store with signs around informing the public of the event.

The Grand Central Even was a hoot. There was an area just outside the gates where if you stood on your tippie toes you could see some of the action. Every bust out player in town was out there craning their necks rather than pay the $10 admission-lol.
 
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JuicyGirl

Scroll Lock- Juicy Style
Silver Member
I don't like malls and I avoid them like the plague. However, the mall closest to my house has a few bars and seems to be a hot spot until late at night. They have some spaces available to rent now and I often find myself dreaming of opening a pool hall there. We have car shows on the weekends, farmers markets, swanky bars and restaurants... oh and a tattoo shop. Yah, I think my mall would be perfect for an exhibition. It's a little cold today 49 degrees out today but it will warm up (I heard it's colder north of Tampa today). Typically the climate here is nice n sunny.

Later
Loren
 

Eric.

Club a member
Silver Member
As others have mentioned, I'm not a fan of malls either. I'm not a big shopper. I usually don't buy anything, except for when it's something I really need. When that happens, I'm usually willing to pay up to double the normal cost. What can I say. Thing is, while I don't care for malls, most suburban, upscale malls are PACKED on the weekends.

Another point I'm hoping to make is that while the mall/tourney thing has been done, I think it's an idea that hasn't been done right, yet. As Nostroke mentioned, the CW/Dragon event, in a vacant side store prolly aint the way to go. It needs to be a bit of a spectacle. Put in in the middle of the mall. If you add in lights and camera's, stream it and perhaps, have an emcee/commentator announcing game scores and a few select shots over a not-too-loud PA/speaker system, maybe it'll draw a crowd.


Eric
 

Nostroke

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For some reason, this tourney slipped by me. I don't even remember hearing about it.

Can you describe the location/venue, with details on how it was set up?


Eric

I dont recall much.

You had to go through a traffic clogged tunnel to get there.

It was the end store in the mall-The windows were uncurtained so you could see the tables from the mall corridor. The races to 15 made it difficult for a civilian to watch but they never came in anyway. The Mall wasnt on its last legs but it wasnt in its heyday for sure.

I think Bob Jewett was in attendance-perhaps he can add more and here is a search page that probably has more info in there somewhere.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pen...rome.0.57j62l2.15392&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
 
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trinacria

in efren we trust
Silver Member
trinacria...Just a little history lesson for you. Pool was MOST popular at the turn of the 19th century, and again right after WW1. There were literally tens of thousands of pool rooms, even during the Great Depression of the '30's. No argument that both movies spiked another upturn in interest.

Scott Lee
http://poolknowledge.com
you are absolutley right, I meant it became popular again, or at least had a major boost from where it was at the time.
 
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