Arachnid and Medalist are shaking in their boots. A giant tsunami is powering its way towards us right now. Brace yourselves and get ready because something big is about to happen.
On November 5, 2011, a very formidable and powerful dart company from Asia will début on our shores. Yes it’s true. Dartslive is coming to America. Some of you may be wondering, who is Dartslive and what does this really mean to all of us?
Dartslive is a company with an excellent and proven soft tip machine that is powered by software from SEGA. Dartslive players have special id cards which identify the player and allow the tracking of their playing statistics on a global Dartslive database. Dartslive machines have been in use for years in the bars and the large soft tip tournaments across Asia. The popularity and widespread use of Dartslive soft tip machines is expanding at a very fast rate. Perhaps you have stumbled across the Dartslive.TV website or various YouTube sites which show recorded tournament matches played on Dartslive boards.
Dartslive is also the featured board in the biggest professional soft tip tournament series ever held to date, The World – Soft Darts World Championships 2011. The World tournament is a series of seven (7) tournaments held in Hong Kong which pays $12,000 for each first place winner and leads up to a world championship final which pays $120,000 to the winner. To see what the tournament is like, I’ve posted a link to the exciting The World – Stage 6 Final, featuring Paul Lim vs Ben Dersch, in my Video section. (Paul throws a perfect game in the opening leg).
Dartslive understands how to connect with the players and give them what they want. Dartslive machines are the featured boards in the successful, hip and cool iDart bars across Asia which are owned and operated by a new and innovative company, iDarts Group. When you see these bars, you can immediately tell that they are not your typical dart bars found in America (and England) today. These new iDart bars attract an affluent, younger crowd with spending power and marketing influence. A demographic profile that many current dart bars and darting companies fail to reach.
Although Dartslive has a great machine, I believe that the real impact will come from their branding, marketing, and promotional expertise. Look for Dartslive on the internet sites and you can tell that they ‘get it’ when it comes to these things. Combine this expertise with deep pockets, a proven product, and the strategic desire to dominate a new market, and you will sense their power to make big things happen.
When I was at the 2011 Bullshooter World Championships in Chicago, I had a discussion with one of the prominent guys at Arachnid. I was talking about new technologies being used by soft tip companies around the world and I mentioned one company in particular from Spain. He dismissed them as not a threat and he said the company that they’re worried about is the one that is partnered with SEGA. I wasn’t sure who that company was then. Now I realize that he was talking about Dartslive.
Without a doubt, Dartslive will make an immediate impact on the American darts scene. Their presence will cause Arachnid and Medalist to make changes to protect their coveted market share and prevent losing players.
How will Arachnid and Medalist react? What changes will they make? Will they make their Regional and World championship tournaments bigger? Will they provide greater incentives to their regional and local vendors to prevent them from becoming Dartslive vendors? Will the local vendors have the power to keep their customers (i.e. bars) from replacing their current machines with Dartslive machines? Will the local players switch to something new and different?
I am excited that Dartslive is coming to America. Dartplayers are tired and fed up with the same old thing. It’s time for a change and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I predict that this will be the beginning of something very big.