Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Competition Shooting Discussion Group (3)

Dave Thomas, USPSA: "This month our membership topped 17,000 current active shooters...over the years, 65,000 shooters have gone through the organization...wasn't always so rosy a view...a few years ago our growth was stagnant, members breaking off to form other organizations and our remaining members were was formed as a testing ground for handguns in self defense...the founders were too successful..the sport became very very competitive, and practical shooting quickly became the home of very specialized firearms and offered very little opportunity for the kind of guns people actually's interesting to know that the 'arms race' that was so harmful to our sport was very beneficial for the firearms industry and the much of what was derided as being 'impractical' is now routinely used in a world that doesn't get any more real, the U.S. military...USPSA serves as R&D for the firearms get us past the equipment barrier, we introduced three new divisions based on the specific types of guns allowed in those divisions...we found out our initial thinking was correct...we couldn't afford traditional marketing, but we can have important relationships...we're attempting replicate the success of the Scholastic Clays and Steel Challenge...we're promoting out sponsors with press release blasts supporting their support of the sport...we're also promoting the sport with hometown hero press releases...we want local people to know about people in their area who are exceling at our sport...we have an email campaign to members whose memberships were about to expire or just expired...the result was a 20% improvement in retention...our goal is 20,000 members by the end of the year...last year USPSA purchased the Steel Challenge and the Steel Challenge Shooting Association...the effect of all we've done has been dazzling..."