Just for the record, I like paintball not airsoft, I just happen to have an interest in both business markets.
With due respect, wrong on both counts. Airsoft is becoming much more socially acceptable. Sure kids are getting them as Christmas presents these days. Imagine you got a full metal M4 on Christmas morning! I'm too old Airsoft has far more events than paintball. Hands down. They have internationals nearly twice a month, and team events every week. Just have a look at the Airsoft section of Boards.ie, its absolutely full of players and far busier than here (No offense intended, statement of fact) Its a large market that is steadily growing. The reasons have been debated here numerous times, but personally, I think its pure cost and licensing. While kids drive the market, in my experience you have your 14 to 18 year olds, then a large gap to the late 20's, early 30's. There are teams where you have to be over 30 to join. And there are numerous teams in Ireland.
but paintball does have a sporting side to it where as airsoft doesnt and its scocially more acceptable
The drawback to Airsoft is there is just no business market there. Everything is cheap and cheerful, equipment included, and there are no margins for running events. The largest event (3 day overnight dealy) I heard of was about €150 to enter I think. And you could bring everything yourself. So as an organizer, you had no margin what so ever once people arrived.
Nah, I think paintball will always have its market. Obviously the stags and hens as a baseline. Whether it ever becomes a main stream sport, or even close to Airsoft, I'd have my doubts. But as long as people are on here and organizing events, it can only but improve. The problem, in my eyes, is cost. Parents are not going to fork out maybe €500 to get a teenager playing paintball when they can just as easily get a €100 airsoft gun. Add to this the issues of licensing etc. Remember, the bigger the market the quicker someone would be to point out this stuff has to be licensed. The usual 'sure its grand' won't apply with a large scale market. Remember airsoft is totally license free under 1 joule. By a similar token, kids don't have that type of money (and perhaps even the interest) to invest in paintball.
so its safe to assume that the next generation of kids who like these type of games, more than likely will play airsoft(because it more easily accessable) than paintball so the only customers PB will have is staggs and birthday partys and a reletavly small group of regular players?
Airsoft is openly advertised in many local newspapers these days. And there are plenty of shops to boot as well. Its not a shadow environment like paintball marker dealing can be
all in all more reasons to try get to the kids before they play airsoft. paintball can be openly advertised and airsoft cant.
From my perspective, and I think Redzer said this as well on another thread, the ideal paintball market is the college scene. Old enough to play with some money to spare. Get them playing every weekend. 2000 Paintballs, Electro Markers, Decent Masks and all for the same as a cheap night out (€30 all in at absolute most) Forget any notions of college students being 'interested' and that the 'interested people will spend money' Yes, thats a half truth but you need them interested first. You don't go from Inferno to Geo in a weekend You'd easily generate a market in 6 to 12 months in my eyes if you kept the cost down. The problem for the sites would be the margin, I think I'd be right in saying that €30 would barely cover the box of paint.