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Thread: British Championships

  1. #41

    Default Cost of BF competitions

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    That's quite the assumption. I am personally getting to the point where I'm wondering if the fee is worth it. Jack it up another £20 and I'd probably call it a day with nationals. As millennials take the place of generation X as the general fencing population you will find we become more and more price sensitive. (We don't have that nice little nest egg in the form of a house we bought for 5k which is now worth half a million)

    In MS certainly we would want to see increased participation. But I think that is more a reflection on the dwindling number of sabruers more generally than anything else. That particular problem HAS to be solved by BF stepping up it's priority on our grass roots fencing rather than chasing an impossible dream of creating successful athletes out of our current stock.
    I understand that people have different disposable incomes. However, competition fees represent only a small proportion of the whole cost of fencing. If you think about the cost of kit and blades, club membership and lessons, then the current BF competition fees are not that high. Just to give you an idea of what happens in the US, the cost of entry to the USFA nationals is $160 - about £112 at today's exchange rate. https://www.usafencing.org/2018-apri...nships-and-nac I'm not suggesting that BF should price anywhere near that high, but that's less than one of Leon Paul's advanced light-weight sabres ( https://www.leonpaul.com/advanced-li...ght-sabre.html ) or a Mag-tech FIE foil ( https://www.leonpaul.com/the-mag-tec-fie-foil-9.html ) - excellent weapons that they are (thanks Leon Paul!).

  2. #42

    Default Sorry about that - seem to have killed the thread

    I seem to have killed the thread, which I thought was developing quite nicely. Seriously interested in how BF can run more, better and more profitable events.

    Or is everyone just enjoying the sunshine?

  3. #43
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    I seem to have killed the thread, which I thought was developing quite nicely. Seriously interested in how BF can run more, better and more profitable events.

    Or is everyone just enjoying the sunshine?
    BF running competitions would require BF to employ more staff to do so. I am pretty sure any profits they made would not cover the costs of that staff member.

    As such will probably not work..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  4. #44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    BF running competitions would require BF to employ more staff to do so. I am pretty sure any profits they made would not cover the costs of that staff member.

    As such will probably not work..
    Looks like that's a 'no' then.

    Good game everyone. Let's all go home.

  5. #45

    Default Economics 101

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    BF running competitions would require BF to employ more staff to do so. I am pretty sure any profits they made would not cover the costs of that staff member.

    As such will probably not work..
    Well I guess that depends on whether there is a straight line relationship between costs and revenues. I'm willing to explore the concept of economies of scale. I agree that if BF puts on more and bigger events and has the same ratio of costs and revenues, it will make a loss... Activity, not productivity. And then it won't work.

  6. #46

    Default

    Cost saving ideas:

    Don't pay expenses for referees. Paying referees to come all the way from the far reaches of the UK is not cost effective, especially seeing as you are paying London hotel prices. If you are hosting in London you have a massive depth of good ex fencers who can comfortably referee up to the finals. Pay these people a day rate, lets say £50-75 per day. This will be cheaper than providing food/accomodation/travel and allows refs to feel they are being valued.

    Move away from LP as a supplier of boxes. Perhaps BF should consider renting from someone else. I know LP like to charge the earth for everything they produce so it's probably no different with the scoring equipment (albeit I know they don't produce all of this). Look for competitive suppliers like SmartBox who are trying to make a dent in the oligopolistic market. Don't dismiss them out of hand just because they aren't recognised. If you do that then you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

    Sabre doesn't need cloth pistes. Neither does foil until the finals. don't pay for things you don't need.

    Value referees above armourers and 'runners'. You shouldn't be funding armourers apart from to fix equipment used by the competition (boxes spools etc). I never understood why having an armourer at a competition is an expected service. Either individuals should pay armourers themselves and the armourers cover costs by charging or people bring several working weapons to ensure that they have contingency if one breaks.

    If it's costing a lot of money then scrap the videos on YouTube. It's a great luxury to have but still a luxury. It's not increasing participation in the sport, it's for ex fencers watching at home.

    Look for small sponsorship. Do some research into the demographic at fencing comps get some data together you can show to potential sponsors. Just a shot in the dark but I bet you would find more young professionals in a fencing hall than at other comparable events. Probably more people working in the financial services. Think about the kind of firms who would want to target these people.

    Sell merch. Charge LP to be at nationals, not the other way around. Force them to sell the British nationals merchandise like they used to, I appreciate that on this scale it might not be profitable but if people realise that these purchases are going back to grass roots fencing they might be more willing to spend the extra money for a middle of the road t-shirt.

    This leads me on to my final point: The NGB must be seen to be more transparent in its spending on grass roots and community fencing. This must be first priority. If I knew that my £100 fee for nationals was eventually going to be recycled back into boosting participation, making new school clubs, county training days, regional camps, training coaches then I would certainly be more tempted to part with it.

    I know that someone (mentioning no names) will probably go through and tear these suggestions apart with negative glass half empty problems: Please think about solutions before chiming in with how impossible everything is.

  7. #47
    Senior Member scottishsabreur's Avatar
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    Sure... weíll just reinvent the wheel while we are at it...

    You are talking about taking the sport back at least 15 years and frankly in one post youíve managed to offend;

    Referees generally, complete disregard and lack of understanding of what goes in to becoming a competent referee.
    Armourers, they are usually the first in and last out due to set up and strip down of the venue plus all the bits in between.
    Anyone who lives outside the M25, how very dare we...!
    The many BF volunteers and paid staff who have put in years of blood sweat and tears to gain sponsorship.

    But sure, itís just as easy as you say it is.
    Karma is a wonderful thing

  8. #48
    Senior Member Jon Willis's Avatar
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    I think the idea of a forum like this is for people to contribute ideas and fair play for putting your head above the parapet knowing people will shoot at you.

    We can always improve competitions, make them better value for money etc however I think the team in place now for major BF events are pretty good. Many of us work at overseas competitions as referees, armourers or DT because foreign federations are willing and able to pay for our services, I'm sure they wouldn't if we were rubbish.

    I'm afraid you don't have all the facts, which is cool, but this info might help.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Cost saving ideas:

    Don't pay expenses for referees. Paying referees to come all the way from the far reaches of the UK is not cost effective, especially seeing as you are paying London hotel prices. If you are hosting in London you have a massive depth of good ex fencers who can comfortably referee up to the finals. Pay these people a day rate, lets say £50-75 per day. This will be cheaper than providing food/accomodation/travel and allows refs to feel they are being valued.
    We struggle to get enough referees as it is, if you remove the ones that come from outside of London we will be forced to have self refereeing. It would be great to have hundreds of referees all over the UK, but we don't. So until we do referees have to be brought in from all over the country and sometimes from overseas.


    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Move away from LP as a supplier of boxes. Perhaps BF should consider renting from someone else. I know LP like to charge the earth for everything they produce so it's probably no different with the scoring equipment (albeit I know they don't produce all of this). Look for competitive suppliers like SmartBox who are trying to make a dent in the oligopolistic market. Don't dismiss them out of hand just because they aren't recognised. If you do that then you are just shooting yourself in the foot.
    I can't reveal too many company & BF secretes but you can not save any money here. Also, Leon Paul pay my wages when I'm competition planning for BF events. I think about 3 full days per event and that's without the time I personally give up to run the event on the day with my fellow team of volunteers.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Value referees above armourers and 'runners'. You shouldn't be funding armourers apart from to fix equipment used by the competition (boxes spools etc). I never understood why having an armourer at a competition is an expected service. Either individuals should pay armourers themselves and the armourers cover costs by charging or people bring several working weapons to ensure that they have contingency if one breaks.
    It's a team game I'm afraid, you take away the referee, you have no competition. You take away DT, you have no competition. You take away the armourers, you have no competition. You take away the fencers, you have... a much quieter and nicer day

    Everyone at the British Fencing Championships gave up their time for free, armourers, referees, DT and even the BF employees didn't get paid to be there on the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    If it's costing a lot of money then scrap the videos on YouTube. It's a great luxury to have but still a luxury. It's not increasing participation in the sport, it's for ex fencers watching at home.
    Maybe, maybe not. But if we are to grow the sport I believe live streaming in vital.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Look for small sponsorship. Do some research into the demographic at fencing comps get some data together you can show to potential sponsors. Just a shot in the dark but I bet you would find more young professionals in a fencing hall than at other comparable events. Probably more people working in the financial services. Think about the kind of firms who would want to target these people.
    Yes - I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Sell merch. Charge LP to be at nationals, not the other way around. Force them to sell the British nationals merchandise like they used to, I appreciate that on this scale it might not be profitable but if people realise that these purchases are going back to grass roots fencing they might be more willing to spend the extra money for a middle of the road t-shirt.
    Leon Paul probably lose money running a stand at the nationals by the time you have paid the guys working over the 2 days. Alex Paul, for example, costs a fortune (he gets double time at weekends!) It's providing a service to fencers who need to buy kit on the day rather than a money making project.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    This leads me on to my final point: The NGB must be seen to be more transparent in its spending on grass roots and community fencing. This must be first priority. If I knew that my £100 fee for nationals was eventually going to be recycled back into boosting participation, making new school clubs, county training days, regional camps, training coaches then I would certainly be more tempted to part with it.
    £100 is roughly the cost required to run a competition and be able to pay the referees & staff, pay for the hire kit and break even. It wouldn't leave much, but what is left will be invested in the sport, not a bad thing.

  9. #49

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    Well. It looks like I got it completely wrong and offended a few people in the process.

    Jon. Nationals were run brilliantly.

    Personally I just wish there were more participants and I also don't like the thought that it loses money.

    But meh. Seems like that might be unavoidable.

    I watch with interest to see if anyone else has any ideas.

  10. #50
    Member EdwardHyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post

    Look for small sponsorship. Do some research into the demographic at fencing comps get some data together you can show to potential sponsors. Just a shot in the dark but I bet you would find more young professionals in a fencing hall than at other comparable events. Probably more people working in the financial services. Think about the kind of firms who would want to target these people.

    .
    Don't feel badly FM, if nobody asked questions or made suggestions there would be no movement.

    Sponsorship is a case in point, it appears to us that we have a wonderful combat sport with all the romance of an Errol Flynn movie and centuries of history.

    It has been a thought that in fact it may take a change akin to Kerry Packer's invention of pyjama uniforms for cricket to actually make fencing more attractive to watch through making it more colourful and team orientated. Partly because the faces disappear behind fencing masks (dramatic whipping off of masks will become mandatory if we are ever televised)

    Until it is attractive to watch nobody except an out & out philanthropist (or billionaire total fencing nut) is going to give us a penny.

    The actual hits are also too fast to follow (although improved by slo-mo replay) and some types of fencing require too much explanation for a one-off lay-audience to understand what is going on so it is kind of complicated for Show-Events.

    There have been a couple of possibles since Beazley and there will be more out there however efforts have been hampered by a lot of people all individually approaching a few possibilities which kind of p'd them off.

    Also money is tight everywhere and throwing it at something which has no gain beyond philanthropy & altruism is not in fashion at the moment. Of course if Matchroom could be persuaded to start a weekly team based televised epee (no long explanations required) event then who knows, we could become the next darts

    Solution to this - a sponsorship co-ordinator, a Volunteer with a LOT of time, patience, communication skills and a list and everyone committed to sending details of who has been contacted and by whom. The list is reviewed before a new contact is made and if you don't actually know someone on the Board of a major company well enough to go for a drink with them then do not attempt anything as someone else may have a better link.

    Just thoughts of course, a million isn't much over 5 years to some people but it could make a huge difference to this sport if spent properly (anyone with a title ending in Consultant can leave now) on development of talent and awareness.

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