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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
CWP Interview 10-Mar-2011 At 9:56:01 AM garbie
On 8/03/2011 hangdog wrote:
>you have to ask what do the sponsors get in return for sponsoring
>him. Realistically most of the sponsors aren't giving much because they
>aren't getting much. In other sports the sponsors get a lot more in return
>for their support of an athlete. If it wasn't for the links on the website
>would you know who his sponsors were? Compare that to most other professional
>sports and you look at a person and you know who is paying or providing
>them with cash or equipment. I understand that most climbers don't want
>to stickered up and have a brolly dolly with logoed umbrella over them
>whilst getting ready to send. ( dont dismiss though it could work:). But
>if you cant tell who is paying them then why would they cough up the cash.
>A lot of the sponsorship in climbing is done for the warm fuzzy feeling
>they get from helping someone out and not for real returns on their investment.
>I am not going to diss on the people running comp climbing in Oz as they
>do a fab job . Years ago i was directly involved in organising climbing
>comps and found it quite a frustrating experience as unlike nearly all
>other amateur sports the winners expected a prize. Not just the satisfaction
>in competing. We spent a lot of time contacting the small pool of sponsors(the
>same people now suffering from o/s online trading) and asking them to help
>out with prizes. They always did and we put up their signs and thanked
>them and appreciated what they were doing for us. Luckily no number crunchers
>were involved as they would have said why are we doing this.
> I was involved in another competitive team sport prior to climbing nobody
>got a prize unless you won the comp at seasons end. The attitude and expectations
>were vastly different to the open comp climbers. I often got the feeling
>that if the prizes weren't good enough then they wouldn't come.
>Realistically the new heroes are global and they are the ones getting
>the investment. and being the best In Oz probably wont equate to dollars
>in his pocket.

Hangdog is spot on. Sponsorship is hard to come by, and organisations like Mountain Equipment that have stuck by the sport for years should be supported.

Re prize money, Chris has been saying this for a long time now. But comps are a small part of a small sport in this country. The economics of comps mean that there is never any excess money that can be put into a prize pool. If you want to make money from comps, try your luck overseas, which Chris has done. As ODH says, taking entry money from the juniors to fund prizes for the opens is questionable. And anyway, offering good prizemoney has been tried. If my memory serves me, it was the Oceania Cup of 2007 at St Peters and the 1st place open prizemoney was $400 - a pretty good amount. We were hoping it would flush out more open competitors, which usually average a dozen for a major comp like this (you can see why comps don't make any money) and it didn't really make much difference, we may have got a couple more than usual.

Re Sport Climbing Australia being focused on juniors and ignoring opens, this has also been trotted out before. The Board of SCA was in its early couple of years mostly mums and dads and a couple of gym owners - because thats who put their hands up to help! Over the years I talked to many open climbers about getting on the Board, mostly without much luck. But now there's a really good balance - see the SCA page:

Open categories were always run at comps, but open climbers were always in the minority. Kids just seem to enjoy them more, possible because they don't get out on rock as much and are more focused on indoor and consequently comps. Thats cool, but for the comp scene to grow, there does need to be a better turnout in open categories.

But all-in-all the comp scene these days is better than ever - regional, state and national level events, State bouldering titles will be held in nearly every State this year, State lead titles coming up in NSW and Queensland, a 7 event social series in NSW (the Tour-de Cord) as well as the boulder series.

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