Why would a business want to sponsor a local fighting game tournament?

1st, sorry if this is in the wrong forum. The “Tournaments” forums seemed either for results of a tournament or announcing a tournament and not actually anything to do with the planning and/or logistics of running one.

I’ve been running tournaments for different games for years now. Recently, I started up a SF4 league at a local PC cafe that has a bunch of 360’s. The league is starting to see some really good turnouts (the first 2 tournaments had around 40 players), but the prizes are never more than a cut of the pot money and free time at the PC cafe. At the tournament, to help build hype and get spectators (since the PC cafe is in popular area of the mall), we have the matches projected onto a screen with me on a microphone MC’ing the whole thing and really getting the crowd hyped. This tends to keep the big crowd of players watching, makes everyone in the PC cafe watch, and since a big mob is formed at the PC Cafe (and a bunch of HYPE can be heard) spectators from around the mall tend to come and watch (almost 100 people maybe).

Why would a sponsor want to support a fighting game league/tournament? We could say “exposure for their company,” but even if I do my best, I don’t think I can get more than 120 - 150 people watching the tournament, and the money they use at our event could probably be used in other, better advertising. I also can’t come up with any GOOD reason for them to provide better (hopefully cash) prizes.

I know keeping it underground and just the players is cool and all, but the only way to get a lot (like 100+ in a local tournament) of players is for their to be better prize money.

Maybe I could move to a better venue, but what would be a good reason to convince a bar or restaurant or pool hall to let us hold a tournament at their venue and provide prizes? For example, a Hooters just opened up where I live and that place would be perfect for a tournament. Tons of HDTV’s all over the restaurant, built in food, built in girls, all ages can come yet there’s alcohol, but WHY would they let us have a tournament?

Sorry if it sounds like I’m asking for all the answers but I only ask because I don’t know. I’ve been racking my brain for a couple days now and I don’t know how to convince businesses to help out the local SF4 scene.

I’m just good at running tournaments and playing Street Fighter. That whole business end is beyond me.

You have to convince businesses that it’ll be good for their establishment. Tournaments bring people, out of towners. Who will spend money for items and food. If you could find a food court-ish area, a spacious restaurant, or a lounge area with concessions, I would say try there. Also offer a venue fee. That helps.

Good luck.

P.S. Dont just have SFIV. You throw DDR, Smash, GH/Rockband, and at least one shooter or sports title into the mix, and it increases the turnout dramatically. You do this once, and the company/business should be sold. Then you can start just having fighting game tournaments, with maybe one occasional GH/DDR/Sports/Shooter side tourney just for the fuck of it.

First of all, most tournaments get the big prize money by virtue of the entry fee. The majors have a venue fee plus game fees, and the game fees pay the prizes out while the venue fees help pay for everything else.

Secondly, if you have a sponser who’s connected to gaming, that is the biggest benefit of sponsorship. They can give away prizes and otherwise make a connection with the scene taht drives people associated to shop with them. You can’t expect a random restaurant to be all about sponsoring a fighting game tournament or anything. You have to know who to market to. Gamers are a broad but niche market. and game shops and whatnot (especially independent ones) love dedicated customers who spend with them frequently.

Third, you should be able to sell your events better than you currently are. It’s a pretty big deal, getting groups out that big. You make it sound like you’re not doing shit.

Exactly. Gaming phenomenon isn’t foreign to people nowadays. It’s a pretty damn big deal. Maybe not fighting games to a certain extent, but other genres certainly are. That’s why I suggested including other titles that get huge turnouts on their own when selling your events.

If you can’t get an establishment to go for a room full of Smash Kids and GH freaks, on top of your crowd of fighting gamers, then they’re either ignorant to profit or it isn’t a suitable venue anyway.

Here’s reasons that I found.

  1. Tournament makes excellent reasons for customized sticks; they can sell sticks which if they themselves make(e.g. MAS), you’re looking at 70%+ profit margins.
  2. Tournaments sell the subject game very well.

Hence, the type of sponsor that benefit the most in a fighting game tournament is a video game seller/reseller shop.

There are legitimate reasons for companies to support game tournaments. Most tournaments have a venue fee along with game fees. The venue fee goes to the company while the game fee goes to the prizes. Not only is the company making money off the venue fees but the players there may buy some of their merchandise while in the store. This is especially good if the tournament is hosted in a place with food and drinks. Overall it’s just good business. If you’re trying to get a company to allow you to host a tournament using their location, just tell them about the money and business you can possibly bring their way.