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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 10-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
Pigs on Fire
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Default Sam's Club Series

The second year of the Sam's Club Series has come and gone. Some teams through the two years have had poor experiences, some have had great and most have had 'normal'.

There is no doubt that what they are doing is good for Competition BBQ. I don't want to get into their provisions for utilities. What's expected in the Southeast seems to be a gold-plated luxury item in the Midwest, so there's no need to delve into that aspect of their contests.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that they laid out roughly $1M for the 2012 year in prize money, operational expenses, salaries, generator rental, etc. There is no other company even on the radar as far as what sort of cash is being fronted by Sam's for this series. Well, they acquired several more sponsors this year than last, so I'm sure Tyson, Reiser's, etc., footed a good bit of that bill, but still, Sam's took the wheel and rolled with it.

I have to wonder how long it is going to take the marketing drones at other national retail chains (we all know who they are, there's not that many of them) to come up with something like this.

It would only be a good thing. The marketing and advertising people (man, I am having a tough time holding my tongue, but I'm making it...mostly) at the large companies will have to wake up and take notice.

So....who is going to be next? And no, it's not a matter of if, but who and when...
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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I would think it would be a store based out of the Midwest, so we can have another unfair advantage when it comes to cooking.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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Im thinking Maytag Blue Cheese... Or Smokey D's BBQ....
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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I'm ready for 2013 Sams Events. Any clue when these dates will be released?
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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Dollar General is rumored to be putting a large purse.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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Rumor has it it will be bigger next year. I was told they were adding a sixth regional in the midwest. Maybe it is so all of the IA teams can battle it out before getting to the final.

I do have to question the money making side of this from Sam's Club. I'm sure they make money on it, because they charge all of the sponsors who are already in way deep with the clubs and Wal-mart stores. But, I really don't think there was much of a draw at any of the events that would satisfy a ROI on $1m if that's what they put out. It's not like it was picked up on ESPN or anything. I really hope it continues and I love the tournament style. Would like to see more like that, even if they were more regional than national to attract more teams unwilling or unable to travel great distances. Just wonder how long the sponsors will continue to make this profitable for Sam's.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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I am a little torn on the Sam's Club thing. On the one hand, more money, more attention, never a bad thing, but the marietta contest is the exact opposite of what I love about bbq competitions.

It's been fun to compete and dream about moving on, but that hasnt happened yet and I am sure I will be signed up for next year.

It's great that they do it and I love that they are spending other people's money in competition bbq.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:23 PM   #8
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They said at the DSM contest that it significantly increased meat sales not just that weekend but all summer. They said it tracked that way at every store they had an event and stores really wanted to be selected to have contests.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
Rumor has it it will be bigger next year. I was told they were adding a sixth regional in the midwest. Maybe it is so all of the IA teams can battle it out before getting to the final.

I do have to question the money making side of this from Sam's Club. I'm sure they make money on it, because they charge all of the sponsors who are already in way deep with the clubs and Wal-mart stores. But, I really don't think there was much of a draw at any of the events that would satisfy a ROI on $1m if that's what they put out. It's not like it was picked up on ESPN or anything. I really hope it continues and I love the tournament style. Would like to see more like that, even if they were more regional than national to attract more teams unwilling or unable to travel great distances. Just wonder how long the sponsors will continue to make this profitable for Sam's.
Dude, it is advertising. A million bucks goes nowhere in a national campaign.

What's the cost of 1 superbowl ad these days?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-B-Q View Post
I do have to question the money making side of this from Sam's Club.
Troy Black was asked this at our local. He said Sam's had two business objectives for the contests. They wanted to increase the number of club memberships, and increase sales at the clubs hosting the contests.

He said the series is meeting both of these objectives. Clubs typically get a 25-30% boost in sales on the weekend of a contest.

Other things we learned:
  • Public draw to the event isn't the point, getting people inside the club and shopping is. Some events don't seem to have a lot of public attention, but if they are going to Sams to have a look, and shop while they are there, mission accomplished.
  • They don't widely advertise the contests. Ads are always local (in the club, local papers and radio) because most clubs can't handle a large number of the general public showing up.
  • Location of the contests is mainly based on the performance of the club. Only high performing clubs participate.
Our experience was that while the general public wandering through and asking questions was lower than at most contests, we seemed to get more thoughtful questions about BBQ. People that did have a look were curious about BBQ and not there for beer or bands (because their aren't any), and the Sam's series has sponsors giving out free samples, so that cut down on the usual requests for food.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
I would think it would be a store based out of the Midwest, so we can have another unfair advantage when it comes to cooking.
How about Staples, Dunkin' Donuts, or EMC?
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:17 AM   #12
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I have said this very thing. It's just a matter of time before some other national company catches on.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:24 AM   #13
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IMHO the Sam's Club series is a very well run event. We did get a good number of people asking when we were giving out samples and had to tell them when the "Sam's Club BBQ Series" event/demonstrations were going to take place. But it was really no big deal. I did like the fact that the demonstrations started an hour before turn-in, perhaps in an attempt to keep folks away from teams getting their meat done.
My humble suggestion for next year is to give teams brochures to hand out to the curious people about what is taking place. I don't mind being a BBQ Ambassador, but it got kind of repetitive .
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:43 AM   #14
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I think an emphasis for 2013 should be integrity and rules compliance. It's been said that at least one team was caught breaking the rules at a local in 2012 and allowed to advance to the regional level.

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Old 10-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmprantz View Post
I think an emphasis for 2013 should be integrity and rules compliance. It's been said that at least one team was caught breaking the rules at a local in 2012 and allowed to advance to the regional level.

dmp
"It's been said"?

Is that innuendo, rumor or something that you know for fact? That's a pretty serious accusation
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