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 Post subject: Spreading Go in the United States
Post #1 Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:41 am 
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The AGA has a Marketing and Development Committee. Its first annual report follows:

American Go Association Marketing and Development Committee

First Annual Report: July, 2012

Establishment. The AGA Fund raising committee was formed after a call for volunteers in the EJournal in the winter of 2011.

Membership. Initial members were Andy Okun, Chair, Thomas Hsiang, Joannne Phipps, Paul Celmer, and Peter Freedman. Joanne left the committee for personal reasons. Peter Freedman became the chair. Lisa Scott has recently joined the committee.

Mission. Initally the mission was to raise money. Subsequent discussions lead to a reformulation of the mission to promoting Go in the U.S. The committee changed its name to the Marketing and Development Committee.

Strategy.

1. Identify companies in whose interest it is to associate themselves with Go, as sponsors or in other ways. Such companies include but are not limited to U.S. companies doing business in Asia, Asian companies, gaming companies, hi tech companies, and AI companies.

a. Develop marketing materials.
b. Market sponsorship of major activities to these companies (Congress, pro league, NIMSA)

2. Identify high profile Go players and engage them in helping the committee achieve its mission.

3. Utilize social media to spread awareness of Go.
a. Develop a Go-themed music vidoe.

4. Obtain rights to use Hikaru No Go for non-profit purposes.

5. Engage the American Go community in the committee's efforts.
a. Contact chapter reps. to explain our work.
b. Ask them if they or their members can help.

Significant achievements to date:

1. Development of a mission and strategy.
2. Funding of the first US International Go Symposium by the IGF.
3. Marketing materials for the U.S. Congress
4. Nolan Bushnell as the keynote speaker for the Symposium
5. About 1/3 of the chapters reps have received personal calls.

Other critical developments.

Late last year Myung Won Kim approached the AGA with the idea of starting an American pro certification process. Initial tournaments have been organized and initial funding obtained from Tygem.

Please contact me for more information, if you have ideas to share, or, if you would like to help us. We are particularly looking for a volunteer with m marketing and public relations background...and of course any bright, passionate, Go player:)

Peter Freedman, Chair.

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 Post subject: Re: Spreading Go in the United States
Post #2 Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:18 am 
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I wonder if something can be learned from the growth of badminton in the US. Certainly in the S.F. Bay Area it's taking off. I think it faces some of the same challenges as go:

1. Image in the U.S. needs improvement. Badminton is viewed by many Americans as a sport played by grandmas in the backyard.
2. Most of the serious players are Asian, because it is more popular an Asia.
3. Still struggling to get corporate sponsorship. For badminton, it looks like Yonex is the main sponsor, and that's helped them a lot.
4. USAB membership is over 4,000. It's on the same order of magnitude as the AGA.
5. The U.S. is not typically successful in international events.

I don't know anything about competitive badminton. All I see is a lot of local buzz and some of the similarities listed above. Maybe something can be learned from what is being done to popularize badminton. Is anyone on L19 more familiar with what they do?

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 Post subject: Re: Spreading Go in the United States
Post #3 Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:28 pm 
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snorri wrote:
I wonder if something can be learned from the growth of badminton in the US. Certainly in the S.F. Bay Area it's taking off. I think it faces some of the same challenges as go:

1. Image in the U.S. needs improvement. Badminton is viewed by many Americans as a sport played by grandmas in the backyard.
2. Most of the serious players are Asian, because it is more popular an Asia.
3. Still struggling to get corporate sponsorship. For badminton, it looks like Yonex is the main sponsor, and that's helped them a lot.
4. USAB membership is over 4,000. It's on the same order of magnitude as the AGA.
5. The U.S. is not typically successful in international events.

I don't know anything about competitive badminton. All I see is a lot of local buzz and some of the similarities listed above. Maybe something can be learned from what is being done to popularize badminton. Is anyone on L19 more familiar with what they do?


I can't say I know about badminton specifically.....but many sports in general have a benefit of requiring assorted levels of equipment (for badminton I would imagine it's a couple rackets, nets, shuttlecocks, uniforms, shoes, headbands, etc?). This means you have a lot of people indirectly dumping money into the sport, and more companies able to give back to the community through sponsorship. A growing sport I'm a little more familiar with is ultimate frisbee -- it is similar in that there is a low barrier to entry for the casual player (you need a few friends and $8 between you for a disc), but if you make the jump into more competitive levels there is suddenly a significant amount of money that could be involved: $50 for cleats, $50 for jerseys, $20 for extra discs, $50/year in tournament entry fees....multiplied by 15 people on a team this has become $2500...if your local summer league can field 10 teams, that's $25,000 being pumped back into the sport, just from your local area (and many of these things will need to be purchased every year). It's also worth nothing that is money more or less staying in the sport's "ecosystem" (not travel expenses, hotels, etc) so it is going to people with a vested interest in sponsoring more of these events.

For go, there aren't a whole lot of investment needs for the average player. If you just want to play it's free, but if you start getting involved in your local club, you now move up to a handful of ING sets ($250?) needed for the whole group and will last a decade or more. Perhaps if we made it so that everyone serious about go had to buy three books and a new go set every year we could build the right kind of sponsor base (=


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 Post subject: Re: Spreading Go in the United States
Post #4 Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 am 
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One big thing I notice here in Seattle...

I see parents come and drop their kids off or stick around but don't participate in Go at the Go Center.

I see whole families play badminton together at the Badminton Center.

I don't know if you can really compare a board game to a sport directly, but it is interesting.

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