Originally Posted by bunkerinu
any ideas on how to promote this locally at a low cost?
Before i go into this, know that i have not been to TE Paintball yet. I may sound malicious in my suggestions, but that is only because i want paintball to survive Montana. No offense intended...
The cheaper stuff (probably)
* First off, GET YOUR NAME ON THE WEB. Your out there right now, but after having to search for a bit. Try to make sure that everything points to TE Paintball.
Break out them black berry's, iphone's, androids, and Droids and start downloading those free paintball Field locaters and find out why you are not listed. Its probably as easy as saying we are here, here is our info, and if its an app like (tipmann field locator) telling them you carry their product. And fill out a good field description so people are just looking at a here we are mark.
has a pretty good list of radio stations in Montana with links to there websites and phone numbers. Just a quick add as to who you are, what you offer, your location and maybe some special deals.
Make family friendly poster adds and ask schools, stores, and other business's if you can hang this up in their windows. Schools probably wont let you advertise (though it doesnt hurt to ask) but definetly go after all those business around the high schools for when they are on lunch break. And it cant hurt to hand out business cards or fliers to all of your customers.
Also ask hotels around town if they can include your business in there things to do section of the welcome books in every room.
I know for years it has pretty much been word of mouth on finding a paintball field. Let alone getting to stay on that field (Ulm- kick out by park services, Vaughn- denied access to the Corps of Engineer's bridge/dike that gave us access to the fields, Sims- not sure what happened there...)
Maybe call the local news station on one of your event days and ask them to do a story on your business or that event. Same goes for the local news paper. If they do a story on you, its pretty much free, just be conscious of what you are advertising (your back ground) and how what your saying can be perceived. From my experience, you can do just as much damage as you can do good if your not careful.
Ask some local business if they will sponsor your field. You could probably work out some agreement to get free stuff or at least you both can advertise your business to each others customers. Offer mentioning them in your radio advertisements and posters maybe. Businesses love free advertising and all you'd have to say is "TE Paintball is sponsored by ________" or advertise that TE Paintball shops at Albertsons at your field store....
IF you want to go up from there ($$$):
Buy an actual recurring TV add:
KRTV - http://www.krtv.com/home/
KFBB - http://www.kfbb.com/
Rent Bill Boards
along the interstate or hwy ways leading into great falls.
Put up radio adds in near buy cities
(probably within a 2 hour radius of GF) I would happily drive 2 hours to get to a field (other fields around GF are 3+ hours away...) and this just puts your name further out there, and fresher in peoples minds looking to do something.
Fix your website:
No offense intended, but if your going to advertise your business, a solid website is all ways a good way to go. That way worried parents can check out your field and SOP (standard operation procedures), and those players who are un-sure of where to commit can build confidence on a well developed website.
So long as you Have longevity options to outlast the "spring up paintball companies", you should be fine. The biggest problem i have heard with paintball in Montana (aside from being kicked off land) was not necessarily the amount of players attending, but advertising. So many other paintball business would spring up and they would drown each other out of business. A privet field like what TE Paintball has could be the difference... Just make sure that you can accommodate the woods ball players (which is harder due to nature calling the shots) as well as the speed ball players (who would probably prefer to play on a sup air type field than hay bails and wood shipping palates. Viewing stands; even if only on the side of a grassy hill would be great for the young speed-ballers out there, parents concerns would probably lower being able to watch there child plink some people.
In most cases in Montana, anything is better than nothing, but having a well operated field and store
would probably increase your return players and advertisement via word of mouth
Which is probably the single most important part of this soap box suggestion. Make sure your field lives up to what your advertising, if New and Old paint-ballers leave with a good experience, its almost guaranteed they will return, if not with more friends.
I hope this is more helpful than insulting, the last thing i want to see is paintball die a little bit more in North/Central Montana.