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  #51  
Old 03-22-2019, 04:01 PM
jvphobic jvphobic is online now
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I think that the PDGA is interested in doing live coverage... somewhat. They see the value in the post production cost vs number of views, and that is a very true metric. They do support live for the biggest events of the year and we have always worked very well with the PDGA.

But it is true as well that a lot of their premier events have been going on for a LONG time and never had to think about the environment and whether there is cell coverage. So they are kinda stuck in that manner.
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  #52  
Old 03-22-2019, 04:12 PM
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lyleoross lyleoross is offline
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Originally Posted by Finny View Post
I may do a follow-up piece, but if not, I wish I had phrased it a bit differently. I think the PDGA should "take over" the DGPT, not really "buy." To the extent they need more funding to staff this tour, I'm fine with paying $10 more per year if we get, essentially, a 20-event NT Tour with live video. But as you note, many are not.

The PDGA does not seem interested in live video or 20 events, though. Which is a bummer. Because the main point I wanted to get across is that one unified tour would be much better and more sustainable.
Adding onto what JC has written. IIRC, Steve approached the PDGA about a tour (I don't know if that included live). The PDGA had a set of criteria, some financial I think, that Steve had to meet. BTW, the tour would have been based on NT events, again, IIRC. The two never got to an agreement so Steve went it alone.

Given that, what Steve did with his tour is phenomenal. Beyond it being a ton of work, forget the live thing, the quality of the process with the parts Steve does all by his lonesome seems stellar. Trying to take over the broadcast seems to be the first hiccup, and a big one since video is a cornerstone of the tour.

I love the Jomez, smash, and CCDG stuff, but I'm not gonna criticize Steve. I couldn't do what he's done, few could. I admit, I want my cake and to eat it too. I think Steve is correct, his tour is great entertainment and keeps me engaged. I also want Jomez, smash and CCDG to all make it and have long careers.

I can't see the PDGA taking over, period. As JC said, their owners, that would be us, don't want that. If they were gonna make a tour, oh wait, they have one, with tour points etc. It just isn't as tight as Steve's is. If Steve fails, hope not, I expect they will take some of his lessons and apply them to their own tour, maybe.

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  #53  
Old 03-22-2019, 05:16 PM
Finny Finny is offline
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Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
I disagree that the PDGA isn't interested in live video. I think they're plenty interested in live video, it just so happens that many of their events are in places that makes live difficult to accomplish. I can't say I blame them for not making it a requirement to be live capable (like DGPT has done) if it means most of their current NTs would not be able to fulfill it.
Hadn't thought about that. I wonder how many NTs just have no real signal.
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  #54  
Old 03-22-2019, 07:30 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
Adding onto what JC has written. IIRC, Steve approached the PDGA about a tour (I don't know if that included live). The PDGA had a set of criteria, some financial I think, that Steve had to meet. BTW, the tour would have been based on NT events, again, IIRC. The two never got to an agreement so Steve went it alone.
Not only did Steve approach the PDGA about taking over the NT with his DGPT vision, he had been pushing his vision of a tour for years prior, including when he was on the BOD. I remember he published an article/blog detailing his vision of a sustainable tour back in 2008 or so and what he proposed isn't all that far off from what became the DGPT.

IIRC, he talked about a slate of tournaments (8-10) with minimum $50,000 purses scheduled in a way that made geographical sense, with each event backed by a title sponsor (manufacturers, retailers, whomever), that would be able to support a minimum of 30-40+ full time touring players and more as it grew. Obviously, the purses aren't entirely there yet, but some are. And as has been pointed out, the number of full time touring players has grown every year since the tour started.

Not everything is going to work smoothly from the start, but overall DGPT has done waaaaaaay more good for the professional side of the game than just about anything else in the last five years. I don't think it's going anywhere nor do I think there will be a "take over" by the PDGA or anyone else any time soon.
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  #55  
Old 03-22-2019, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finny View Post
Hadn't thought about that. I wonder how many NTs just have no real signal.
There are other technologies besides cell coverage.

(Here come the "Do you have any idea how much that costs?" responses)
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  #56  
Old 03-22-2019, 11:47 PM
Bgso Bgso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
Not only did Steve approach the PDGA about taking over the NT with his DGPT vision, he had been pushing his vision of a tour for years prior, including when he was on the BOD. I remember he published an article/blog detailing his vision of a sustainable tour back in 2008 or so and what he proposed isn't all that far off from what became the DGPT.

IIRC, he talked about a slate of tournaments (8-10) with minimum $50,000 purses scheduled in a way that made geographical sense, with each event backed by a title sponsor (manufacturers, retailers, whomever), that would be able to support a minimum of 30-40+ full time touring players and more as it grew. Obviously, the purses aren't entirely there yet, but some are. And as has been pointed out, the number of full time touring players has grown every year since the tour started.

Not everything is going to work smoothly from the start, but overall DGPT has done waaaaaaay more good for the professional side of the game than just about anything else in the last five years. I don't think it's going anywhere nor do I think there will be a "take over" by the PDGA or anyone else any time soon.
This is the perspective that I wager 98% of the "Erremhgod you took my Jomez away from me" crowd is missing.

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  #57  
Old 03-23-2019, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finny View Post
I may do a follow-up piece, but if not, I wish I had phrased it a bit differently. I think the PDGA should "take over" the DGPT, not really "buy." To the extent they need more funding to staff this tour, I'm fine with paying $10 more per year if we get, essentially, a 20-event NT Tour with live video. But as you note, many are not.

The PDGA does not seem interested in live video or 20 events, though. Which is a bummer. Because the main point I wanted to get across is that one unified tour would be much better and more sustainable.
I'd be fine with taking the money that goes toward my magazine subscription and applying that to a tour, but I'm not interested in giving out more money just to be funneled to the pros.
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  #58  
Old 04-01-2019, 03:19 AM
Treeplant Treeplant is offline
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I don't personally have too much interest in watching Pro Disc Golf other than casually following results once in a while, but I do find the organizational/marketing/growth aspect very interesting. Some layperson/amateur thoughts, just for fun. My take would be that if the goal is to create a truly "professional" tour that supports a number of pros making a living primarily from disc golf as the game grows in popularity across North America, here's what I think is needed.

1. One Tour with clearly defined Majors and a limited number of "other" tournaments should be the goal. However it's done, the tour should be the #1 marketing and messaging priority of the PDGA alongside grassroots growth. It wasn't until I saw the following image that I really understood how the different event types with the DGPT fit together:

As a lay person, this image tells me which events matter, these are the types of tools the PDGA needs to hammer at people, and if you are stuck with three different types of tour events (not ideal) at least this breaks it out in an intuitive way. Until I saw this image, I only had a bunch of conversations and reading forums to understand which tournaments mattered and how/why.
2. No multiple tours nonsense. The PDGA should control the tour, create consistency across tournaments, build narratives around tournaments with history, cull some tournaments that don't have growth/marketing upside, and go all-in on their superstars and hope they produce (every major individual sport, from boxing to Nascar to tennis to MMA, is built around superstars, and the sport's growth lives and dies with the existence or non-existence of marketable superstars). The PDGA needs to take control of broadcasts to hype the official messaging (without alienating people by trying to sell a narrative that isn't reality). The fact that "PDGATour.com" just goes to the schedule page of the PDGA website shows how little true marketing efforts there are. I know I've been on the PGA tour website about a hundred times in my life, and I've gone the PGA website like twice. I did a quick web visitor estimator, and the pga.com (for the actual PGA organization) gets about 1/10th of the hits pgatour.com does (for all PGA Tour coverage). It wouldn't surprise me to learn that nobody in the PDGA has seriously thought about the fact that the PGATOUR site gets 10x the traffic of their PGA site and that maybe they should learn a lesson from that.

3. The Tour should NOT be run by the players, who have their own set of interests which they will prioritize over what's best for the tour/growth/revenue (can't blame them for this at all). Professional leagues that have had growth and financial success often have mostly-hated commissioners who negotiate as hard as possible for the interests of the league itself, not the players. This is a crappy reality of life, but it's a pretty well-established reality.

4. The Tour will never prosper without a financial base supporting it from sponsors. This is a major challenge, as I can't imagine disc golfers are a desirable demographic in the way that tennis and ball golf fans are (i.e. disc golfers are not elites/rich). I can't think of a good comparable sport in terms of a blueprint for growth, because most individual sports rely on ticket sales to help pay for the costs of major tournaments. It doesn't seem likely that anyone will be paying to spectate PDGA events within the next couple of decades. Streaming for ad revenue maybe has some upside to it, but it doesn't seem like anything beyond supplementary income, and I've never looked at the numbers but I imagine just getting to the point where the ad revenue could pay for the cost of the broadcast itself would be a lofty goal.

5. With the above point said, grassroots growth and participation has to be the key to growing the Professional Tour. I just can't imagine a scenario where the game stays as a fringe sport in the general public's eyes and yet the Pro Tour takes off in popularity. It probably has some room to grow from where it is now simply through an uptick in overall organization/professionalism/broadcasting, but overall I would think its growth has to be tied to the growth of the game overall, and the PDGA needs to find a way to monetize that grassroots growth somehow.

6. On the above note, major tournaments should always have a parallel amateur tournament to feed that grassroots growth and give the average person something to target. Pro fields should be selective, whereas amateur fields should be as big as possible. Some of the amateur money should go to support the Pros if it can be done without creating too much of an outcry. There should, however, be a cut instituted on the amateur level to allow for bigger initial fields and make the tournaments more logistically feasible to manage.

Random thoughts.

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  #59  
Old 04-01-2019, 07:34 AM
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Well done, treeplant. A couple of random comments.

#4 is the crucial issue. The DGPT has pushed very hard to make disc golf a spectator sport. I'm doubtful it will come to much, but that's what they're doing.

Multiple, coordinated tours have filled in the schedule. Until a couple of years ago, the PDGA's National Tour stood alone, just below the majors. It never could grow to enough events to make a real "tour".

The PDGA---and the DGPT---are very dependent on TDs and communities. Neither has the power or resources to place events, in locations or calendar slots, nor to run them. So they balance between pushing on higher standards, and not pushing so hard that nobody wants to host.

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  #60  
Old 04-01-2019, 11:47 AM
JRW III JRW III is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
The PDGA---and the DGPT---are very dependent on TDs and communities. Neither has the power or resources to place events, in locations or calendar slots, nor to run them. So they balance between pushing on higher standards, and not pushing so hard that nobody wants to host.
This!

Disc Golf is not big enough to have a Pro only organization. A Pro only organization won't be feasible until there are enough media and sponsor dollars to cover all of the costs.

Last edited by JRW III; 04-01-2019 at 11:49 AM.
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