Old 06-13-2018, 12:22 PM
DiscFifty DiscFifty is offline
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Default Talent Out Pacing The Money?

Has to be a tough time to be a touring pro. When you look at the recent BSF and you see the top 15 finishers and you realize, probably any of them could have won! (Only about 2.2 strokes per round separated 1st & 15th place)

Paul Ulibarri recently wrote something about the high level of play on Facebook:

"In a sport where winning is almost everything, it’s hard to be content, even while having solid finishes in the top 10 or 15 every weekend. The players in this sport are getting so good, and on top of that, there are more players than ever right now! These days, if you get top 10 at a big event, or even just win a C-tier, that’s a big accomplishment! A great example of this: this last weekend at the BFS, A 1015 average didn’t even cash. Wow. That’s a high level of play!" (He went on to say more, check his facebook page for the entire article.)

Sure we're going to see a few similar names at the top, but it seems there is going to be substantial diversity in 3rd-10th at any event, making it harder and harder for touring pros to make any real consistent money. Guys like Nate Sexton, Nate Doss, Devan Owens, Josh Anthon made $400.00 or less from BSF. Guys like Will Shusterick, Eric Oakley, Jeremy Koling made nada!

The talent pool imop is expanding much quicker than the money pool for the sport. Is this good or bad for the growth of the sport?
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:27 PM
Grippenripp Grippenripp is offline
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Wow! Those are some interesting stats. I had no idea. It's awesome to see the sport grow but I think it's about time the PDGA started reaching out tontryband wrangle some moneybinto disc golf. I dont k ow how and I've only been olayong for a couple years so save all the snippy comments please. But they're our governing body right? IDK but its a two sided thing. Great to see our sport growing and the level of play getting to where its at/ they deserve more.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:37 PM
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ru4por ru4por is offline
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I don't know. At the risk of sounding selfish....I don't really care. If I were in support of any large "grow the sport" concept, the touring pros would not be on my radar. I don't believe there is any scenario where TV or internet interest is large enough to make much of an impact on "grow the sport". I think the concept should be focused on bringing in new players on a local level, both tournament and casual play. I am not even sure I want that, just means more crowds on courses and more work for the old farts around here responsible for tournaments and putting new baskets in the ground. Trying to make a living, playing disc golf is a decision. It does not seem so significantly more difficult than making a living at a lot of other, less fun occupations. *grumblegrumblegripegripe*

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Old 06-13-2018, 12:46 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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The growth of the sport? Irrelevant. Growth of the professional touring side of the sport? Unclear at best.

The "talent" has always outpaced the money in the sport. Always. We've never been at a point where we could say "we have too much money to give away, just look at the hacks making a living by touring around and finishing 50th every week". Yet the pro touring side of the game hasn't been bigger, or paid better than it does now. So obviously growth is happening despite the inequity.

The saving grace for the guys who tour full time but don't cash at an elite event like BSF? The local A and B-tiers they can play in between the elite events. Koling or Oakley missed cash at BSF....bet there's a B-tier they can stop at this weekend en route to Utah where the field's a bit lighter and the money a little easier to get. Obviously it won't pay like a top 5 finish at BSF or Utah will, but it still pays. That's not even getting into the likelihood that they can run 3-4 clinics en route to Utah and make more money than they could winning that random B-tier.

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Old 06-13-2018, 12:58 PM
_MTL_ _MTL_ is offline
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Talent isn't outpacing the money. People's expectations are.

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Old 06-13-2018, 01:00 PM
biscoe biscoe is offline
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Originally Posted by _MTL_ View Post
Talent isn't outpacing the money. People's expectations are.
...and always have...and always will.

One of these days someone will put a stop to the conscription of these innocent young men and ladies into disc golf servitude.

Last edited by biscoe; 06-13-2018 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:05 PM
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No, not really. The pros that know how to hustle for it are making tons of money outside of tournament purses.

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Old 06-13-2018, 01:08 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Very true, Robert and John.

But in a way, the talent is outpacing the money. The growth as a participant sport is robust; as a spectator sport, not so much, or at least starting from a very low bar. So there are more players, and thus more players to rise to the top, skill-wise. But no more outside money and, since tournaments can't hold vastly more players or get vastly higher entry fees, not enough inside money to keep up with the growth at the top of the skill scale.

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Old 06-13-2018, 01:13 PM
Lazerface Lazerface is offline
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We are seeing sponsorship growth though - I think. So although it may be more difficult to get on the podium and payouts don't scale, I THINK (because there is 0 transparency in disc golf sponsorship/compensation), sponsorship levels, including tour signature discs have helped fill the gap. With social media and the growth of disc golf media these players are without a doubt worth more to sponsors than they ever have been. It's becoming semi-realistic in disc golf to get measurable sponsorship based on "personality" over merit/talent. This happens in all major sports. Sure, star players always get the huge endorsement deals, but there is always that pool of players that earn their endorsements for their work off the field. Work = social media presence and various types of fan engagement, and sadly - drama. That is something we have seen guys like Eric Oakley take advantage of. Not to take anything away form Eric. He just keeps getting better - but his personality and media presence is likely what has allowed for him to stay on the road with sponsor support as his game has developed. Many of Eric Oakleys have came and went in previous generations without even considering quitting their day job.

If I'm being realistic the gap between talent and payouts will continue to grow given how little I have seen payouts increase in a decade and how much I've seen the talent pool deepen. The question is how close to a media plateau are we. Maybe we are already there. I can't see the major players doing much more than they already are without a significant infusion of $$$. Patreon support may be the end all be all for these guys given how little of the pie they get from tournament sponsors.

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Old 06-13-2018, 01:15 PM
Lazerface Lazerface is offline
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^ by players I was referring to Jomez/CCDG/SB/Spin in that 2nd part

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