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September 1, 2019 - Brandon Marx

Pongstars Satellite Package Program

Introduction to the Satellite Package Program

At Pongstars, we feel that innovation is the only way to truly advance the game of beer pong. We attempt to innovate with our tournament structure, hardware, and software, but perhaps our most progressive innovation comes via our fresh look at packages available to Organizers. The purpose of this article is to serve as a reminder to players, organizers, and ourselves how to structure our organizers packages, and how to eliminate a secondary market to devalue bids to our tournaments.

This is meant to be an overarching template for all our tournaments, not a bid structure for any one particular tournament. As tournaments have different prize pools, player caps, and buy-ins, the numbers may change, but the concept will remain constant.

Package Pricing

We strongly believe that regional organizers are essential to the success of a national event. For that reason, regional organizers will get discounted pricing on satellite entries. These discounted prices are only available to organizers, and only with the understanding that the purchased bids will be used to run satellites to get bids in the hands of local talent.

All members of the Pongstars brain trust have extensive experience in running satellite tournaments for various other large events. We understand the plight of the regional organizer. When bids cost the organizer more than players can purchase the bids on the secondary market, then purchasing bids is bad business. For organizers, this is certainly a business first, friends second affair, and we look to make our bid packages the most obvious business decision your beer pong company can make.

We do this in four ways:

First, all bids purchased by regional organizers to our events are discounted. Most of the time, bid packages start at roughly $1,000 and that will buy a set number of bids. If a tournament has team bids for $200, then a package will usually include 6 team bids (one team bid is free). Larger discounts may occur in situations where we have sponsorships dependent on larger turnouts. The exact price will vary based on a given event. That said, the cost, per bid, will always be significantly cheaper than the retail price, and the organizer discount package will be the only way for professional beer pong players to receive the discounted price.

Second, there is no secondary market for bids. Players cannot transfer bids to one another. The only ways for a player to obtain entry into our tournaments are to win a satellite hosted by one of our regional partners, or to buy entry to our tournament at the full retail price. There are zero exceptions to this rule. This prevents our $200 entries from being sold for $100 and devaluing satellites completely. We have seen situations where other tournaments have had bids available via other players for hundreds of dollars less than the price organizers are forced to buy bids. We will not let that happen. We look out for the organizers who help us. Thus, absolutely no transfers.

Third, organizers who buy a bid package are automatically placed into our profit sharing program. This is an open source program in that we share with all regional organizers information regarding our expenses, revenues, and profits for the main event. As a regional organizer you share in the reward of a successful main event, with zero of the risk if the event fails. If an event fails to make a profit, there is not penalty to you. However, if the event makes a profit, all organizers share a portion of that profit just by way of purchasing a package. As of the date of this article, all Pongstars events that have used the profit sharing model have resulted in additional checks to our regional organizers for their share of the profits – usually with amounts of a few hundred dollars.

Essentially this is free money for organizers without having to do anything to assist in actually running the event. We do this as a thank you to the smaller organizers across the country who are ambassadors of the game. We appreciate you, and we want you to know it.

Fourth, as a bonus, we give organizers free entry to the main event. We believe that you should be able to witness the fruits of your labor. We appreciate your assistance in making our events World Class, and we want you to see how it all turns out.

Bid Buybacks

We are aware that organizers are not the only people reading this article. Players are likely perturbed at the thought that they cannot transfer their bids. Don’t worry, we have something better in store for you studs who constantly win multiple bids. The Bid Buyback Program.

Before explaining the program itself, I want to explain the reason behind the program. We consider the price of entry to our tournaments very carefully. We choose a number that we believe is fair for participants and will maximize player turnout, but will also provide us with enough revenue to pay out the prize pool. Additionally, we choose a number that gives us enough of a cushion that we can provide regional organizers with the benefits discussed above.

When people are allowed to transfer their bids, they inevitably do so at an amount less than our pre-set retail amount. That means that all of our bids in essence end up getting sold at the discounted organizer value. Additionally, it means that people can sometimes get stuck with extra bids that they are unable to sell. Finally, it punishes organizers who are likely forced to buy bids at a price more expensive than players can buy from each other.

Rather than the doomsday scenario described in that last paragraph, we have decided to streamline the process. The purpose of satellites are to allow players to win entry into our event without paying full price. The purpose is not to allow players to create a side business selling to each other. However, we do want to encourage players to continue to attend satellites even after they have won one.

Our solution is simple. The first satellite you win must be used by you as entry to the event. You paid for entry to a satellite to try to win free entry to our large event. You should use it.

If you win a satellite, and then win a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. after that, we will buy the bid back from you directly. You do not have to go to the trouble of listing the bid, finding a buyer, emailing us transfer information, and assuring that all goes smoothly for the buyer in the signup process. Instead, just let your organizer know that you have won more than one bid, and we will pay you directly.  (The amount of this payment will vary from tournament to tournament, but it will usually be an amount slightly less than the organizer bid price).

This allows players to essentially win cash tournaments, but still have the bragging rights of winning multiple satellites. In our view, it is a system that is better for us, better for the players, and better for the regional organizers as well.

Conclusion

We believe that we have created the ultimate system for qualifiers to large scale tournaments. We are always looking for additional suggestions, but this has been tried and true for years. Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing bid packages for our upcoming events and we will work things out so long as we have any available.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Keep calm and pong on.

– Nolan

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