Development Ideas

Ideas for DG development, good news stories, requests for help etc
Hopper
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Hopper » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:03 pm

Surely even if disc sales were not so good a lot more profit from people actually playing the course ? Will there only be three disc suppliers in the Uk if disc golf does take off as we wish ? I think not ! :o

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ssouth
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by ssouth » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:57 am

You def need some sort of plan to work from and a committee that will work on this plan.
A committee member from each club now, would be a good start, that doesn't mean the work relies on them, it means they are about to deligate work out.

Meetings can be saturday night of competition dates.

Plan ideas so far
- acknowledge you can play at trees /poles
- focus on encouraging adults, who hopefully bring kids
- have school competitions, moulding into county championships
- increase members, encourage to visit website , free membership
- coaching workshops, for individuals on committe and workshops for our audience.
- finance , where can you obtain finance.

Get the committee together this will grow and grow. Needs to be focused on individual local areas no one can grow disc golf on their own looking at Britain as a whole.

On the newsletter lets stick a committee member is needed, for the first tournament, the minutes can go on the newsletter as well.
This can't cause any harm.
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ssouth
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by ssouth » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:59 am

SWOT..
STRENGTHS
Predominately male
Qualified staff
Large? enthusiastic volunteer base
Can be played anywhere any time
Good web magazine
Loyalty from members
Gb team.

WEAKNESSESS
no county team.
Lack of geographical courses
Sustainability of funding

OPPORTUNITIES
development plan regional, county and club plans.
Pe games in schools
Club fund raising
More attraction to females
Full use of IT database
Develop more activities in schools
Develop more clubs in more areas
Involve partnerships
Sponsorship
Increase registrations
Produce mastering and promotional material
Develop junior section
Laise with another sport (football) to transfer pupils across.
Train female coaches
Enhance staffing.

THREATS
??

First thoughts are we are heading in the right direction and not far off, but then realistically we are only STARTING off and so far behind other sports that are minority sports.
Any plan will also needed to include equality, diversity, child protection etc..
As a GB there should be a plan, then each club should also have their own plan, obviously not every club will volunteer to help, but the clubs that are willing should really.
Then disc golf will progress, I like the idea of meeting on Saturday evening after a game.
the comedy legends

mat cutler
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by mat cutler » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:03 pm

Hopper wrote:Surely even if disc sales were not so good a lot more profit from people actually playing the course ? Will there only be three disc suppliers in the Uk if disc golf does take off as we wish ? I think not ! :o
but why do you want this to be done by a company who wouldn't care about the development of the sport and put nothing back into it?

I guess it's why some of shop at tesco and some use their local independent shops.

I would think that a experienced and dedicated disc seller who can actually advise a new player on what discs to buy and help with friendly advice on where local courses are etc it hugely preferable to a stack 'em high sell 'em cheap to drive small local suppliers out of the market store (insert walmart or tesco or similar) served by some spotty 16 year old on the minimum wage.

3 different disc suppliers is probably quite enough and hey 60-70% of all food now passes through four companies; Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Asda so what's the difference?

Most of the profits of small retailers stays in the community they operate, ie the disc golf community, rather than funding the share holders of a large chain store.

This is maybe getting a bit off topic but it does raise some interesting questions as to if sponsorship opportunities arise in our sport who do we want to associate with?

right politics over I'm off to call some people about some new disc golf courses and follow up from last 2 days of training 40 new coaches in disc sports....

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rhatton1
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by rhatton1 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:52 pm

Every golf club has a pro shop, their sales haven't been damaged by the sales of golf clubs in places like JJB, in fact it would have strengthened their individual sales over the last 20 years considerably, as golf suddenly became affordable to more people (pick up a set of clubs from JJB for £50 as opposed to £300 in a pro shop) and therefore became seen as an activity all could do instead of just bored middle aged business men. This led to a much larger and more varied player base (coupled with the EU set aside policies of the 70's and 80's which led to more golf courses being available). Dels Discs would not be hurt by Decathlon selling discs, he would always sell them to people playing at the course, and his selection would always be wider than a big chain could/would handle.

Decathlon or any big chain would only ever sell a very small range of discs (retailers like that could not handle the huge number of different SKU's, weights, colours etc, etc, that a smaller retailer - who doesn't seem to care about profits being tied up in stock :) does!) They would sell just enough discs (e.g. 1 driver, 1 mid 1 putter) to get people interested before the plastic addiction started and they filtered down to the more dedicated disc retailers.

Any partnership that got the idea out there too a larger audience is at this stage a good one.
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rhatton1
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by rhatton1 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:53 pm

mat cutler wrote:
but why do you want this to be done by a company who wouldn't care about the development of the sport and put nothing back into it?

.

Also Decathlon here in Cov have been in touch with loads of local sports groups to push development of their sports - any larger player base on a sport leads to more sales for them so it's in their interests as a company to help develop grass roots sports they sell equipment for.
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dunc
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by dunc » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:16 pm

I agree with Hatton. There are pros and cons of course but this is all speculation what we need is someone to actually go out and do it
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Del
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Del » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:44 pm

I have no problem with Decathlon selling discs. People who buy from QP will continue to do so, as there will be a far bigger selection, and the discs will be cheaper, and they can discuss and try out etc. Getting discs in stores would increase awareness, and expand the market. Actually the threat to supportive disc golf businesses comes from e-bay and internet operations. Once someone decides to buy on-line they will typically search out the cheapest supplier, and you don't get to be the cheapest by putting back £'s or dollars into the game, or offering the best service or choice.

Anyway, let's get back on topic, and put some plans together!
Derek Robins
Quarry Park Disc Golf

mat cutler
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by mat cutler » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:50 pm

A couple of ideas for raising funds and membership numbers.

Offering a special offer rejoining fee for one year to all expired or past BDGA members (over 3 years) ie not for the lazy toe rags who play on the tour still but don't renew - a shocking amount of people from the membership database!

this is approximately 250 people who fall in this category even £2 could net £300~500 with good buy in? may drag a few out of retirement too!

A first year recreational membership - (£5?) hopefully catch a few associate members to join? or would this stop people joining fully? maybe worth trying for a year?

Would people consider a requirement to be a paid up BDGA member to play tour events? - with a First 3-5 events or PDGA foreign based player exemption. UKUltimate have had this for the last 5/6 years for example, people grumble but they do have a much better funded association as a result also a major part is the cost of insurance.

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Del
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Del » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:35 pm

I don't think it's a good idea to make membership more expensive or taking part in tour events more expensive, in order to raise funds. The number of members and the number of participants in tour events are the 2 most obvious Key Performance Indicators for the BDGA. There will be people who only make 1 or 2 events a year, possibly due to work or family commitments or finances or simply through choice, lets not lose them.

I think there are enough ways to generate money through offering people something extra of value. That could be a fundraising tournament, or a fee to undertake the EDGE skill test, or a raffle or auction of donated discs/accessories etc.
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mat cutler
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by mat cutler » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:24 pm

i would just like to break the link people have with i play 2 tours I get £10 off if I'm a member so it's not worth it being a member of the BDGA this year attitude. I would say as an indicator of our performance only ~70 members of the BDGA is pretty poor. there is so much more your membership of the BDGA means and the funds raised are all going towards the development of the game or paying for costs which we all benefit from such as insurance of bdga sanctioned events.

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Jester
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Jester » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:54 pm

Something that might want to be explored is ways of stopping members lapsing in the first place. It's a lot of effort to get people to join, once they are in we really want to keep hold of them. For example, when poeple join, we could ask them if they wish to be automatically rewned each year, rather than having to go through the hassel of paying fees every 12 months? Yes, renewing is a small barrier that everyone should be able to get over, but history shows they don't. Why not take this out of the equasion altogether?
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LostMeow
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by LostMeow » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:45 pm

I agree with Jester that it would be good to get people automatically renewing - I wonder whether if we broke the BDGA/PDGA costs down then that would make a difference. For example, they'd have a (roughly) £13 per year automatic renewal (via a standing order?) and then could choose to also renew their PDGA membership (approx £17) themselves.

Also, perhaps tournament entry forms could include membership-joining as an option every time - actually on the form? A few tournaments this year have offered a 'rookie' price (very low) - what if they added in BDGA (not PDGA, necessarily) membership? e.g. the tournament costs £15 (instead of £5) and they get BDGA (not PDGA) membership. I know recreational membership was dropped this year (at my suggestion, no less!) but perhaps there is room for it 'unofficially' through tournament entry like this.*

I think it would be worth considering whether such a membership option ought to be mandatory for tournament entry.

Furthermore, and this is just a small change, but would it be worth changing the wording of tournament invites so that instead of offering '£5 off' for BDGA members, it actually says an extra £5 charge for those that aren't members (and at the same time offers them a chance to join!).

The other thing I've been considering is whether non-BDGA members who play tournaments could (through paying £5 extra each time) 'build up' their membership by playing a certain number of tournaments?

The other thing is that once we have the online database 'tuned up' a bit, then the list of email addresses on the Director of Communication's email list can become a lot more thorough, people will continue to hear about BDGA events once their membership lapses and might be more inclined to keep their fees paid - especially if news starts to filter through of the great development projects being done with BDGA funds...

*NB - the old Recreational membership did not offer £5 off per tournament, yet Touring did, for only £12 more (which also included PDGA membership at a cost of $20!), making the old Recreational membership a bit of a poor deal. If we offered BDGA-only membership for about £13 at tournaments that still qualified people to have the £5 reduction in tournament fees, would that be a good deal?
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Neil M
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Neil M » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:35 pm

I think at the very least any lapsed membership should automatically become Associate Membership to ensure that we still keep in contact with these people and possibly get them rejoining later.

Surely there is a way to send out an automatic reminder to all BDGA members at the end of the year when membership expires? I didn't renew until mid way through the year this year when I knew I was going to be playing a tournament and wanted to make sure I got my rating.

I definitely agree with Matt that we should try and disassociate BDGA membership from the tour discount in some way. Or at the least sell the other benefits, or create some incentives, for BDGA membership.
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West
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by West » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:05 am

Jester wrote:Something that might want to be explored is ways of stopping members lapsing in the first place. It's a lot of effort to get people to join, once they are in we really want to keep hold of them. For example, when poeple join, we could ask them if they wish to be automatically rewned each year, rather than having to go through the hassel of paying fees every 12 months? Yes, renewing is a small barrier that everyone should be able to get over, but history shows they don't. Why not take this out of the equasion altogether?
Maybe an option on signup give them an option to auto renew, maybe with a discount (nothing major, maybe only 1 or 2 pounds?!?). I think we do need to get online payment sorted. It was originally down to getting online banking setup, is this still the case?
Neil M wrote:I think at the very least any lapsed membership should automatically become Associate Membership to ensure that we still keep in contact with these people and possibly get them rejoining later.
The idea of the lapsed full touring membership automatically becoming an associate membership isn't a bad idea. It's along the same lines which Microsoft use for their xbox membership. To use your xbox you need a silver membership, but to do anything online or extras then you need to upgrade to a gold membership which is paid for but can expire .... similar to this. But we need an easy way for them to upgrade back to the "gold" option.
Neil M wrote:I definitely agree with Matt that we should try and disassociate BDGA membership from the tour discount in some way. Or at the least sell the other benefits, or create some incentives, for BDGA membership.
Agreed. I think the wording needs work. As for the benefits and incentives when I originally joined the main thing about a membership was you get a bag tag (do new signups still get these?) each year with your division, rating on etc. but also we got our Inflight copy included in the membership cost. I know things have changed over the years and we've moved from a physical Inflight once a year to more regular email news letters (which is great) but other than the slight increase in membership to cover PDGA membership I can imagine that from the outside looking in people are being charged more for less. Before people jump up and down I know this isn't the case, but it can appear that way for people who don't know.

On the membership db side of things I agree that it needs looking at however it's another one of those things which works but not as we'd like but was fine at the time of writing but to improve it further requires some sort of investment as it's not a small job. I'd like to do it (have done since I was DoC) but it comes down to a couple of things:

1) requirements of what we as an organisation require
2) scoping the requirements into must haves / nice to haves
3) finding the time to do all of the above and then writing it.

Maybe the membership db discussion needs to move into a different forum or offline with a few key people/users but there's a starter for 10 :)
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bruce
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by bruce » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:04 am

Be warned, I'm gonna do a lot of disagreeing here. Nothing personal, or negative, it's just that you're all wrong ;)
LostMeow wrote:I agree with Jester that it would be good to get people automatically renewing - I wonder whether if we broke the BDGA/PDGA costs down then that would make a difference. For example, they'd have a (roughly) £13 per year automatic renewal (via a standing order?) and then could choose to also renew their PDGA membership (approx £17) themselves.
Ah, for a CRM system... Direct debit guarantees and the like would be fantastic, but are heavily regulated. Paypal does offer a 'recurring payment' option, should we get that up and running. There is nothing preventing a member from setting up a standing order so we could offer that as a membership option and contact them with details of how to set it up, but we'd have no way of regulating it from our side other than remembering to check the bank statement.

I'm not in favour of breaking down the costs (other than by way of an explanation). The evidence of the last 7 years have shown that 95%+ of members want and take the PDGA membership, and we have built the tour around that presumption. The motion to remove the Rec membership the right move IMO. Incidentally, the breakdown is ~£12 for PDGA, the rest is ours to cover insurance and various expenses (see treasurer's report)
Also, perhaps tournament entry forms could include membership-joining as an option every time - actually on the form? A few tournaments this year have offered a 'rookie' price (very low) - what if they added in BDGA (not PDGA, necessarily) membership? e.g. the tournament costs £15 (instead of £5) and they get BDGA (not PDGA) membership. I know recreational membership was dropped this year (at my suggestion, no less!) but perhaps there is room for it 'unofficially' through tournament entry like this.*

I think it would be worth considering whether such a membership option ought to be mandatory for tournament entry.
I know Nige wanted to do a tournament registration system through the site, and we could then make that link to the membership. I would certainly support mandatory associate membership so we can capture details and encourage further participation, but forcing anyone to pay membership fees to play seems counter-productive. We had 114 unique players last year and 72 members, many of those players may well join in 2013 as a result of being able to play this year. 2011-2012 we had 20 new members, similar take up would see us capture half of those players, which is pretty good conversion.
Furthermore, and this is just a small change, but would it be worth changing the wording of tournament invites so that instead of offering '£5 off' for BDGA members, it actually says an extra £5 charge for those that aren't members (and at the same time offers them a chance to join!).
This is the approach the PDGA have taken historically, and been panned for it so much that they are now pushing TDs to call it a discount.
The other thing I've been considering is whether non-BDGA members who play tournaments could (through paying £5 extra each time) 'build up' their membership by playing a certain number of tournaments?
Would be tricky to manage with the PDGA but intriguing idea.
i would just like to break the link people have with i play 2 tours I get £10 off if I'm a member so it's not worth it being a member of the BDGA this year attitude.
Would people consider a requirement to be a paid up BDGA member to play tour events? - with a First 3-5 events or PDGA foreign based player exemption. UKUltimate have had this for the last 5/6 years for example, people grumble but they do have a much better funded association as a result also a major part is the cost of insurance.
I definitely agree with Matt that we should try and disassociate BDGA membership from the tour discount in some way. Or at the least sell the other benefits, or create some incentives, for BDGA membership.
Ultimately we are a service provider, and the service we provide is the Tour. Our membership reflects the size of the Tour, 76 players played 2 or more events last year, 56 played 3+, 43 played 4+ etc. Full breakdown and chart here. I strongly disagree with the need to disassociate the tour discount from the membership and the idea of mandatory memberships to play, it's all wrong for our model. You buy a membership to play disc golf, simple as that. Our membership rewards those who do so with discounts and ratings and the pay-off on our side is that we gather enough money to cover our insurance and sundry expenses, plus now we are skimming a little more to begin funding development. Those who are dipping a toe into the water should be allowed to do so, likewise for those who attend 1 or 2 a year but don't join up. Making membership mandatory will simply disenfranchise them and they'll not tour at all.

The UKUA model is completely different, the scale of their competitions means that you have little choice but to sign up if you want to play competitive Ultimate. If we get to the point where we are routinely filling tournaments then there will be a case for making membership mandatory.
[Standard post disclaimer] My posts are never intended to undermine the work of the Board or individuals putting in effort to grow the sport, they are my honest thoughts on the best ways to grow the game

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Neil M
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Neil M » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:14 am

I think disassociate is probably the wrong word to use but I think it would be beneficial to incentivise membership in some way other than just the tour discount and ratings system.
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bruce
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by bruce » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:36 am

Neil M wrote:I think disassociate is probably the wrong word to use but I think it would be beneficial to incentivise membership in some way other than just the tour discount and ratings system.
Ok, but taking as a given that we'll rewrite the benefits of membership page to reflect where your money goes and include the development fund concept, how else do we do that? I can only see 2 options:

1. Add more member services - increased cost/overhead/volunteer time
2. Remove services from non-members - Tour and comms are the only services we offer them, removing either of them harms us IMO
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Neil M
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Neil M » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:59 am

bruce wrote: Ok, but taking as a given that we'll rewrite the benefits of membership page to reflect where your money goes and include the development fund concept, how else do we do that? I can only see 2 options:

1. Add more member services - increased cost/overhead/volunteer time
2. Remove services from non-members - Tour and comms are the only services we offer them, removing either of them harms us IMO
I agree that it is difficult and I don't really have an answer. i suppose it is about, as you say, rewriting the benefits of membership and really selling the development of the sport side. Whether or not this would translate into more membership I don't know. Perhaps for people trying to secure a permanent course in their area, the guaranteed prioritised support/advice of the BDGA in achieving tihs might be an incentive?
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Del
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Re: Development Ideas

Post by Del » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:05 pm

Membership fees should primarily be for membership services. If we tax our members to fund development, we risk losing/detering some members and having demoralising squabbles about money and where it is spent.

I discussed with Bruce the idea of having something akin to the PDGA Ace Club, Birdie Club, Eagle Club for people who are prepared to put in funds for the development of the sport. He mentioned it at the AGM. I would suggest lower amounts and wouldn't do the merchandise. http://www.pdga.com/join
Development Supporter £20/year extra
Champion Supporter £50/year extra
The only benefit would be a listing on a BDGA web-page, and of course the knowledge that you are putting something extra back into the sport. Although there may be some way to give these kind souls a slightly greatly involvement in how funds are used.
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