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ipls3355
05-15-2007, 01:34 PM
I really would like to do more competitions, but between entry fees, food, supplies, and the price of gas, your looking upwards of $500 per competition.

So is everyone independently wealthy? Or are there some creative ways to pay for competition weekends?

DeanC
05-15-2007, 01:44 PM
I really would like to do more competitions, but between entry fees, food, supplies, and the price of gas, your looking upwards of $500 per competition.

So is everyone independently wealthy? Or are there some creative ways to pay for competition weekends?

Overtime. Or you could find a good sponsor, I remember reading several informative threads on luring sponsors.

cmcadams
05-15-2007, 01:44 PM
I knock over convenience stores now and then to help out. :)

Actually, having a teammate helps, and I sell links on my blog or sponsorships for the team. I think we're about to get our first real sponsor at a decent level, which will pay for about 2 competitions.

jtfisher63
05-15-2007, 01:45 PM
I am currently looking into doing some catering on the side for some extra cash. I am in California so getting through the red tape may be hard. Another idea was to just charge friends and family to cook some meats for them personally. I figure that would be a good way to earn some extra moolah without getting in trouble. We are a first year team, and it is adding up. Banners, EZ ups, coolers, pans, utensils, lighting and all sorts of other "little" things add up. Good luck.

Jason

Bigmista
05-15-2007, 02:19 PM
I sell brisket dinners for $10 a pop to make extra cash. I also share expenses with my teammates.

Smokin Gator
05-15-2007, 02:27 PM
I've been buying/selling stuff on Craigslist and eBay to try and get a few things together so I can do some more comps. So far I have sold a bunch of those patio kitchens and some knives. I've covered the cost of my trailer and am working on entry fees.

This summer I hope to make/sell some UDSs. I'm hoping by late summer to have enough to cover 2-3 comps this fall.

Plowboy
05-15-2007, 02:46 PM
I sell rub and sauce... wanna buy some? :wink:

Actually, we have some good sponsors. Alewel's Country Meats provides all of the brisket and chicken. Minimally Invastive Surgical Hospital is giving us $1500 for the Royal. Missouri Pork Association provides a free entry to the World Pork Expo contest. Stein & Stewart Genetics provides $100 cash. County Line Auto Parts give us $200 cash. I have another business that is going to be a cash sponsor. A friend of mine gives us spices at cost for advertising his travel website.

jbrink01
05-15-2007, 02:50 PM
Last one hit me for nearer to $1,000. We sell about $50,000 of bbq on the side every year. Yes we have health dept. permits, vending licenses, insurance, etc. That takes care of the first $2,000 profit. Siphon off another $5,000 for contests and costs, a little for our trouble and so much for th eextra money.

Rub
05-15-2007, 04:52 PM
Cater and vend whenever my day(real) job allows it.

The_Kapn
05-15-2007, 05:02 PM
Cash in part of your 401K.
Sell your RV.

Then, someday when you have used up all your resources, borrow on the house or from the kids.

No need to leave all that stuff to them anyway :lol:

If you want it bad enough, there is a way! :oops:

I do feel your pain. Due to "geography", we normally spend in excess of $750 and it just goes up from there.

But, hey--It's only money!

TIM

Flavor Dave
05-15-2007, 05:03 PM
We have more than a few sponsors and each year at the first cook off (260 teams) we though one hell of a party for them to keep them coming back. Plus at every cook-off after that their names are everywhere.

CajunSmoker
05-15-2007, 05:08 PM
Doing our first comp on the 25 - 26 of this month. I'm already in about 400 bucks and haven't even got the meat bought yet:roll: . Most of the expense is a one time thing though (ez up, chairs, tables etc.)

I'll make a decision after this one as to whether it is going to be cost effective to continue. A lot will depend on the enjoyment factor:-D

Plowboy
05-15-2007, 05:21 PM
A lot will depend on the enjoyment factor:-D

Priceless.

MoKanMeathead
05-15-2007, 05:35 PM
Team mates - there are 5 of us. Plus this year we are even between comp costs and winnings. Last year we won about half of our expenses - but with 4 or 5 of us the expenses aren't so bad.

chad
05-15-2007, 05:36 PM
I cashed in some under performing IRAs to buy the cooker and help us through the first year...kind of what Tim's doing now -- but then he's a retired old fart and can dodge the penalties!!

I cater and do parties to build up my cash stash...right now it's LOW. A cheap cookoff for Tim and me is about $300-400 each...we split all costs for the "team" and cover our own travel expenses...

At Sebring (FBA) a few years ago a couple of "winners" spent time "thanking our sponsors" -- other thanked their's too while patting their wallets.

Most teams cover their costs out of their pockets...sponsors can be a double edged sword.

Jaybird
05-15-2007, 05:48 PM
Win!!!

BBQ_Mayor
05-15-2007, 06:11 PM
I do about 6 to 8 contests a year. Most of my money comes from second and thrid jobs. I'm the mayor of a small town, so the pay from that goes directly to my comps. I also install floors on the side and of coase all of the earnings minus expenses go to the team. I'm my own sponsor you could say.
I also have 3 cash sponsors from Milam Concrete and construction($200) and Power Source Electric ($200) and Sills Reators ($150) and I'm working on more. I also do a few caterings from time to time.
All in all, if you want to do this you'll find a way to work you butt off and get it done.

Q Haven
05-15-2007, 09:18 PM
I have a part time bartending job which essentially pays for the costs of competing. It helps to get a few calls though....

Sawdustguy
05-15-2007, 10:04 PM
I really would like to do more competitions, but between entry fees, food, supplies, and the price of gas, your looking upwards of $500 per competition.

So is everyone independently wealthy? Or are there some creative ways to pay for competition weekends?

If you want to do it bad enough you will suck it up and save enough during the winter. You don't have to do 20 contests starting out. One or two contests your first year should be enough to help you decide if you want to continue. The way we do it is we make it a family event. My brother and I share costs so its not so bad.

Jeff_in_KC
05-15-2007, 10:09 PM
I get to drop $2 or $3 grand from my annual bonus (it's shrinking every year though due to real estate sales declining) into my BBQ comp account and I write checks out to most all of the contests I decide upon. Then MOST of those tend to be in towns where we have one of our company's independently owned franchise offices located. I hit them all up for sponsorships. So far this year, counting the 4th contest coming up Memorial Day weekend, I have gotten sponsorships of $250, $150, $250 and $100. These all go into my BBQ fund along with whatever is left from paying entries. Two in June have no sponsorships. In July, I'm hooking up with a two others (don't know if I'm supposed to say yet) and cooking a contest. I have already gotten a $150 sponsorship from our office locally. My step dad is a dentist and he will sponsor us for $150 at Blue Springs, along with my wife's company for another $150. Outside of these, I get mileage reimbursement checks monthly for anywhere from $200 to $500. These go in the BBQ account as well. Good thing too... we're not winning much of anything so far this year. :lol:

Independently wealthy??? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Yeah, right!

Greatgrills
05-15-2007, 10:10 PM
Like someone said if you want it bad enough you will find a way..We have no sponsors...Doing a chit load of contest this year..This coming weekend is our first weekend off from doing 5 in a row. And what are we doing this weekend...practice.....If you really want to do it you will find a way...We cant count on team mates because there is only us...Yeah its hard and expensive but the people that you meet are awesome and you could not meet these kind of people anywhere but at a bbq contest...I guess we need to figure out how to get SPONSORS....:-P

Bentley
05-15-2007, 10:42 PM
It is just a hobbie for us, an yes, about $500 a pop for us by the time you get done. We arn't good enough for sponsers, so I cook meat for friends and some of my sisters law partners, but that don't go to far. We win every once in awhile and that just goes to fund more contests!

habenero
05-16-2007, 12:13 AM
Needless to say and hard to figure, but this would be a he!!uva sport if it wasn't for the travel and the gettin on em. Famous quote from famous All Around Rodeo Rider - Bobby Berger.
He was speaking about the thousands of miles travelled per year of getting to the next Rodeo, then finding out when you get there that you have drawn the baddest of the bad and will get him rode, one way, or the other. I used to Rodeo full time myself and competition BBQ is a piece of cake compared to Rough Stock Ridin.
I have a full time job selling for a service company in the Oilfield. I drive 4-500 miles per day hitting the Drilling Rigs in far Western Oklahoma and into the Texas Panhandle 5 days per week. I recieve a monthly salary plus .42 cents per mile, which helps enourmously. I have entered 2 comps this year(my first year) Enid Oklahoma and Norfolk Virginia. I placed 2nd in ribs at Enid and didn't place in Norfolk. I was 20th out of 40 at Norfolk. I used my Jumbo Barell both places and the rain eat my lunch. I haven't cooked a dry comp yet and still love the action. At Norfolk,
Chicken and ribs were the closest to being done, you could have used my butt to pound dents out of cars, it was like rubber and had to slice it. Brisket needed another hour because of the windy rain. Couldn't keep my fire going above 190. Left for Norfolk at 4:30 Thursday afternoon - arrived in Norfolk at 5:30 Friday afternoon- nonstop(1500 miles) just like the old Rodeoing Days. I used my Sponsor for Norfolk. Just cost me my time of gettin there and back home. I know now that I can't depend on those jumbo Barrel's in wet, windy weather. I ordered a Cooker from Steve Bates today because I am going to make a committment of trying to be consistent at this sport. I learned the hard way that light equipment will let you down in inclement weather. It was still the "nuts"just getting down the road again, meeting the best folks in the world, getting to compete, then going home. I don't have time with my job to travel full time. I support my family with my job and cooking is my passion. I cater onsite oifield bbqs for 40-60 hungry oilfield hands throughout the summer. I get from $800-$1000 per catering, depending on how many meats they want.
Just like when I started Rodeoing back in 1972, I left the house with my clothes bag and gear bag and my thumb in the air heading south on 283 to Mesquite Texas. I enjoy this comp cooking so much I would do the same thing to get to competions, if I have to. And someday I might have to.
See you guys down the trail!

homebbq
05-16-2007, 07:54 AM
I really would like to do more competitions, but between entry fees, food, supplies, and the price of gas, your looking upwards of $500 per competition.

So is everyone independently wealthy? Or are there some creative ways to pay for competition weekends?

You have a very valid question here, my friend! I know for me, $700 is a minimum cost these days...

Competition BBQ is quickly becoming a rich man's game. Someone can come out, buy the best equipment, buy the knowledge, buy the comfort, and have the means to fund cooking enough contests to be competitive.

I made a comment in a podcast I did, saying you have to be either rich or stupid anymore to be doing this, and being both helps!

We are starting to see some large prize funds, but many contests are throwing those dollars into the top end, giving the GC a lottery win, and most teams are going home wondering if they can afford to do the next contest.

We need to see more teams going home with prize money, and enough prize money to support this crazy, wonderful habit!

It's been fantastic seeing all the new teams out competing now.. At the last contest I did, I was right next to a team that was competing in their second contest... They looked like they were shell shocked, unsure whether they should be out there doing this anymore because of the butt kicking they took on the first contest they cooked... I introduced myself, and told them I would be happy to help them in any way I could...

They took advantage of this, and had me trying their rubs, sauce, telling me how they were cooking things, etc.. etc... I gave them some rub to use, and some advice, and helped keep them stay on task the whole contest... They pulled out a first place in a category, and finished close to half way in the field overall, they were estatic... That look I saw on their faces the day before was gone, and they were looking forward to the next contest..

I felt fantastic, I believe I saved that new team from becoming one of many that give this a try, and quit.. That was 1 team in 1 contest, I certainly can't do this for all the new teams....

The prize money needs to be distributed to more places in categories, and more places overall. I applaud the contests that are starting to do this, and more need to do this, in order for competition bbq to continue to flourish...

OK, sorry, off my soap box now... You asked a simple question and I gave you a big picture answer...

If your fortunate enough to have a lot of competitions close to you, then local sponsors could be your answer. But as someone I think mentioned, they want something in return... If they don't get it, you will not get anymore money...

If your not competing real heavy, than catering is a great way to pay for this, but of course you need to have the means to do it right, and legal....

As someone else mentioned, prize money is the real answer if your wanting to compete regularly.. It has to be self-sustaining. And right now to do this, you need to do what the others are doing to accomplish this, take classes, judge a few contests, and compete often enough to be competitive...

tonto1117
05-16-2007, 08:33 AM
It's been fantastic seeing all the new teams out competing now.. At the last contest I did, I was right next to a team that was competing in their second contest... They looked like they were shell shocked, unsure whether they should be out there doing this anymore because of the butt kicking they took on the first contest they cooked... I introduced myself, and told them I would be happy to help them in any way I could...

They took advantage of this, and had me trying their rubs, sauce, telling me how they were cooking things, etc.. etc... I gave them some rub to use, and some advice, and helped keep them stay on task the whole contest... They pulled out a first place in a category, and finished close to half way in the field overall, they were estatic... That look I saw on their faces the day before was gone, and they were looking forward to the next contest..

I felt fantastic, I believe I saved that new team from becoming one of many that give this a try, and quit.. That was 1 team in 1 contest, I certainly can't do this for all the new teams....



If your not competing real heavy, than catering is a great way to pay for this, but of course you need to have the means to do it right, and legal....



I defintley plan on doing some catering to offset the cost of competition.....which is turning out to be alot more then we originlly planned for. Going thru the health dep now and getting all the proper permits and such.

homebbq......sure hope I'm lucky enough to be near somone like you our first time out (July).

Theresa.

Dale P
05-16-2007, 09:25 AM
Yep this hobbie can get a hold of your wallet. Our comps are paid entirely by the 2 Brothers, and the Sons part of our team just like the party and "walk" part of it. I love it, but the cost is high for a poor boy like me.

homebbq
05-16-2007, 11:09 AM
I defintley plan on doing some catering to offset the cost of competition.....which is turning out to be alot more then we originlly planned for. Going thru the health dep now and getting all the proper permits and such.

homebbq......sure hope I'm lucky enough to be near somone like you our first time out (July).

Theresa.

Hi Theresa, I hope you do as well... Don't be afraid to ask questions of the veteran teams, most will be more than happy to help you out... Good Luck in your first contest!

Lo' -N- Slo' BBQ
05-16-2007, 11:33 AM
Ours is also a hobbie, "Some people play golf $$$$$$, WE BBQ". :grin:

Mooner
05-16-2007, 11:37 AM
If you have team members everyone should split the cost and then split the prize money (hopefully). Get you 3 more guys and then everyone is just spending about 125 bucks.

Dale P
05-16-2007, 12:53 PM
I have little problems finding new members. Paying members are the problem. My brother and I figure it doesnt matter about that splitting up the money part its the splitting the trophy part that has us confused.

Sir Smoke A Lot
05-16-2007, 01:00 PM
After last year (my first year in real competition) I have come to view this as my hobby. I enjoy it sooo much that the expense and sacrifice is worth it. That said, I am looking to do some vending at a few local festivals this year to off set my costs. I also sell some sauce to coworkers and friends - they can't seem to get enough of it so it is truly a win / win.

smokincracker
05-16-2007, 01:01 PM
Out of respect of what I have read on this thread please consider this my opinion based on my limited experience in competition Q.

I would hope most of us donít consider competition Q a business or a money making adventure. Some people pay big money to gamble, fishing, build show cars, race cars, etc. etc. name a hobby they all cost money and lots just pick your poison.

If you go into competition Qing expecting your winnings to off set your expenses you will be sadly and sorely disappointed. I have been fortunate to win a few contests in the past two years close to home and I have an accounting of my expenses from the beginning of this insane habit including all my large purchases, trailers, cookers, etc. and also my meager winnings. I have won more than most and no way am I even close to covering my expenses. When I decided go into this competition Qing thing so blindly I never expected that something as fun a competition Q would pay and I was right it donít! I do have the bug now like most of you all so I will continue to manage my money poorly and continue to do what I love and hang out with you guys doing it.

ASK ME, What do I get for my money?
I get to meet new people and develop friendships that last a lifetime and most important I get a respectable past time I can include with my family and friends. Not all hobbies have that RAP!

Plowboy
05-16-2007, 01:08 PM
My uncle is a hot air balloon pilot. His modest ballooning rig cost him around $100k. There's travel to rallies, fuel for the balloon, annual inspections 500 miles away, pilots license, insurance, etc. He's not a rich man by any means. He's a hired hand at a horse ranch and she's a credit union manager. He always says, "Hobbies cost money. Some people fish. Some Hunt. Some go boating. Some RVing. It all costs money."

Personally, I think hobbies are a great thing. All work and no play...

Now balloonists have it pretty good, however. At rallies, they get their LP, hotel, meals, and mileage paid for. The events understand that the balloons bring the crowd. The Great American BBQ contest has a balloon rally and balloon glow for this reason. However, the GAB doesn't give their balloonists anything. I was hoping that he'd bring his balloon to the contest this year.

Dale P
05-16-2007, 02:23 PM
Well said Jimmy. We enter for the fun of it and anything good that happens is a bonus. My problem is I have too many hobbies. I am playing the best golf of my life and eating the best Q of my life. Life is good!

Bigmista
05-16-2007, 07:20 PM
Who's the guy doing the half-gay half-macho pose between the Belly Bros?

smokincracker
05-16-2007, 10:27 PM
Who's the guy doing the half-gay half-macho pose between the Belly Bros?

That is Jay's Brother Steve (funny guy)
Steve is Team Qs Chicken man

smokincracker
05-17-2007, 08:01 AM
These good people on the back of my trailer help me.
These are mostly local BBQ enthusiasts.

When I find an event close to home I invite one of my sponsors to visit me at the contest on Friday afternoon for some rib tips and chicken wings. I then ask them to return after 2:00 PM on Saturday to help with the consumption of the left overs that donít make it in the turn-in box. I also make regular trips to these fine folks homes on Sunday after a contest to divide up the left overs from the contest. When they ask me what they owe me I just say check out my web site and a donation via Pay-Pal would help support my habit. I always get a chuckle and usually I find a fine donation via Pay-Pal a day later.

These are some ideas that might help some of you keep on Qin

I take donations via Pay-Pal if anyone is interested brodman@strato.net

swamprb
05-17-2007, 12:13 PM
I'm not competing just yet, but I've been collecting as much stuff as I can on the cheap, either by building the drums myself, trolling craigslist for the trailer, Webers, canopy, knives etc. Just starting out I think I've done a fairly decent job, but awhile back I asked about how much you all spent on average doing a local comp, and I got a lot of responses that really opened my eyes to the sport/hobby side of BBQ. So I took a couple cooking classes, KCBS Judging class, and lent a hand to the Reps at a recent comp, hung out and met a few cooks, Judged and tried to gain as much info as I can to help me keep it in perspective. The last few years my hobbies seem to have been supporting my kids sports activities, whether coaching or cheering and the more competitve they get the more it costs-just like BBQ'n from what I'm learning! So I work a lot of overtime. Gotta do what you gotta do!

Brian

ole'e
05-17-2007, 03:53 PM
I own a street pharmacy that helps.
Eric

chinesebob
05-18-2007, 10:27 PM
This is my first year of starting off trying to really make money. I actually broke down and pulled some money out of my retirement accounts to fund my addiction. What I've done so far to help fuel the funds are

1: Catered a couple small gigs for friends/local places to get the word out. It's worked. I'm now booked for all OSU games this year at 3 different bars. It's almost 300/lbs of meat a week for 3 months.
2: Started the paperwork to become legal caterer in my area. Not fun and not cheap but it lets me do festivals in the area as well. Some of the festivals will let you get a temporary permit for the duration but beware - they will shut you down if you don't comply. Nothing to be afraid of just to be aware of.
3: Created some marketing material for distribution to companies/restaurants etc.
4: Signed up with some local organizations to do fundraisers where the profits go to the charity. It's a great way to get your name out.

I am a project manager by heart so I come at things with a plan. I really want to go to shows and compete but most of them are either in NY somewhere or further West. So travel and all that is included is a must.

I love cooking. I love smoking meat and the alchemy of running a pitt. For me this is the starting point to get me to the point of owning my joint and not working for the man.

cmcadams
05-18-2007, 11:35 PM
Bob, I do need to come up and see your spicewine when you get it... I'm a PM, too...

And I may ask for some tips on getting some things going, too... But I'm not in too much of a hurry.

Jimmy, I don't know that people think of this as a money making venture (competing)... but are just trying to help with the costs of competing somehow.