Can we talk about the AG Cup?

Cjwise5

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Have you heard about this match? What are your thoughts on this becoming a regularly occurring style of event? What do you think it will do for the PRS/NRL competition scene?


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You can post FB videos here, go to the video (on FB), and hit advanced and then copy the link. Drop it into the media (video) section.

I spoke to Tom about this for years, it's been at least 6 years in the making, at least 6 years of talk about doing an event like this.

If that is where they want to put their focus and the money, to a chosen few more power to them.

I don't really see it catching on organically but Tom has juice in the industry. He is a success story by himself. It's great for the guys shooting it, however, the question is, will it drive people to step up in order to make the match next time? Not sure how that will fly, it's basically the clique taking care of the clique and keeping it all "in house" so to speak.
 

Cjwise5

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video embedded above.

I personally think it's going to be the same 20 people every single year. I'm not sure how that helps the industry or the sport, but the TV coverage this will get could bring new shooters.

If the industry companies support this financially, will they stop supplying products for the prize tables? (prize tables is a whole other discussion)

I don't know...guess I'm still developing my thoughts on it.
 

TonyTheTiger

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No human-shaped targets will be used, and competitors will not be referred to as 'shooter' - this is being done to present a better image to the public at large and potential sponsors from outside of the shooting world.
This part made me chuckle. I hope they don't think that strategy has never been tried before in other shooting sports.
 

Stag556

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I think it should be held the same weekend as the PRS finale. Make the top shooters choose... points/bragging rights or money. What’s worth more to them? Makes it more interesting and keeps things different at the top for both matches.
 

LawnMM

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I actually started a thread on this in the competition announcement forum a while back. I think Tom's got the right idea. The match isn't about PRS or NRL, but trying to grow the sport and bring more (positive) attention to precision rifle competition.
Maybe that's the idea, not sure how this accomplishes it. Why not take the top 20 from PRS and NRL (40 total) and pit them against each other like a Superbowl? Maybe half the cash goes to new targets, tablets for practiscore, water and lunches, for the winning teams organization next year?

Not sure how giving the same people large ridiculous checks 'grows the sport'

For all the ribbing I give the GAP guys their PRO/am match does way more for growing the sport than probably any other match.

Invite only is certainly his option but then it's not really merit based attendance, is it?

You definitely need a crack camera team because frankly, our sport doesn't look watching it even close to as dynamic and exciting as shooting it.

I agree with earlier comments, this is 'the boys' taking care of the boys. Unlikely to change anything or gather interest beyond those attending. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Hollywood 6mm

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Flori-duh.
Maybe that's the idea, not sure how this accomplishes it. Why not take the top 20 from PRS and NRL (40 total) and pit them against each other like a Superbowl? Maybe half the cash goes to new targets, tablets for practiscore, water and lunches, for the winning teams organization next year?

Not sure how giving the same people large ridiculous checks 'grows the sport'

For all the ribbing I give the GAP guys their PRO/am match does way more for growing the sport than probably any other match.

Invite only is certainly his option but then it's not really merit based attendance, is it?

You definitely need a crack camera team because frankly, our sport doesn't look watching it even close to as dynamic and exciting as shooting it.

I agree with earlier comments, this is 'the boys' taking care of the boys. Unlikely to change anything or gather interest beyond those attending. 🤷🏼‍♂️
The whole thing is going to be televised, and there's already plans in place to help John Q Public understand what is going on, plus there will be video filmed through spotting scopes on every stage.

Not sure how people are just assuming this is "this is 'the boys' taking care of the boys". Tom was pretty open about the criteria used to pick who got invited (Won a major long range match, multiple top finishes across PRS and/or NRL), and just because someone's name isn't on the list doesn't mean they weren't invited. I know of several top shooters that met the criteria but turned down the invite.
 
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LawnMM

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Guess we'll see, televising doesn't automatically mean awareness.

A lot of gun stuff only winds up on outdoor life or a similar channel lots of folks don't get or watch.

I think you almost need first person camera spliced in with other angles to show the excitement.

NRL has great media promotion, but honestly, their YouTube video of guys shooting stages is boring AF.

I'll do my best to watch it and keep an open mind but meh, not seeing how it's going to change anything but the winners bank balance.
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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Guess we'll see, televising doesn't automatically mean awareness.

A lot of gun stuff only winds up on outdoor life or a similar channel lots of folks don't get or watch.

I think you almost need first person camera spliced in with other angles to show the excitement.

NRL has great media promotion, but honestly, their YouTube video of guys shooting stages is boring AF.

I'll do my best to watch it and keep an open mind but meh, not seeing how it's going to change anything but the winners bank balance.
Maybe... maybe not. I don't think it's fair to shit on the concept before it even happen, though. Personally, I am looking forward to being a small part of it.
 

Cjwise5

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I'll attempt to clarify my thoughts on it. I like the concept. I have no problem with the idea of exclusivity. If I have a party at my house and invite certain people, and don't invite some others, that's my prerogative. I think Tom did a good job of setting parameters for who he chose and why.

Giving the top shooters an opportunity to make some money is fine too. They worked hard to get to the top and I would wager, have probably spent more money on their hobby than other competitors. It would be easy to say, "well what about the little guy? Where's his chance to make money?" Couple thoughts on that: 1. Life's not fair, deal with it. 2. Shoot better. Get something off the prize table. (don't immediately go out and sell it though...diff topic for diff time)

I do think the coverage by Shooting USA will help promote precision long range competitions. We're probably never going to see tactical style shooting sports on ESPN or any major television station for that matter, but every little bit helps. The idea is to hopefully bring in some larger sponsors that could support the matches in general. It could be great for the sport if a huge company stepped up to support the series in general. Think Ford Motors, Lucas Oil, Monster Energy, etc.

I understand why some people don't like this idea. Those folks don't like PRS/NRL style competitions for their own reasons. That's fine. We don't all have to be on the same page as long as we're still reading the same book. I would title that book, Long Range Shooting, and inside are a lot of different chapters. Everything from 22LR, F-Class, CMP events, practical field/sniper matches, multi-day adventure style, PRS, NRL, ELR and now the AG Cup.

Bottom line for me right now is, I'll be there. I'm likely helping to sponsor the event in some small way. Even if it's just to take pictures. I just want to be a part of anything that revolves around shooting stuff at far distances.
 
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THEIS

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I do think the coverage by Shooting USA will help promote precision long range competitions. We're probably never going to see tactical style shooting sports on ESPN or any major television station for that matter, but every little bit helps. The idea is to hopefully bring in some larger sponsors that could support the matches in general. It could be great for the sport if a huge company stepped up to support the series in general. Think Ford Motors, Lucas Oil, Monster Energy, etc.
Hi,

Sorry to sidetrack the topic of the actual competition but can the organizer, sponsors, and participants please line out just exactly what and how this event is setup to drive the sport into handling the "Bold" part of above quote?

Is it a "Because it is on TV" thought process?
What are the rating numbers for the highest rated show episode on Shooting USA and what percentage of that is being estimated as viewers for this competition event?

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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Cjwise5

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Hi,

Sorry to sidetrack the topic of the actual competition but can the organizer, sponsors, and participants please line out just exactly what and how this event is setup to drive the sport into handling the "Bold" part of above quote?

Is it a "Because it is on TV" thought process?
What are the rating numbers for the highest rated show episode on Shooting USA and what percentage of that is being estimated as viewers for this competition event?

Sincerely,
Theis

Sir,
Is your question about how the event is setup to attract large sponsors? Or is more about how would "the sport" handle the sponsorship from a large company if it were to happen?
 

THEIS

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Hi,

I am genuinely curious as to how the sport itself is to structure it's foundation in order to accommodate a large "outside of industry" sponsor.

Big sponsors like that typically lean towards the most revenue generating "Organizations" and such.

Does the precision rifle industry have an organization that is at top of list or are we too spread out in terms of this vs that organization?

Do we have an organization that can show on balance sheet their continual growth in the precision rifle competition sector?

IMO this is where way more formal, across the board, less arguing this vs that between organizations need to come in.

Sincerely,
Theis
 

Cjwise5

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Wasn't there already a series on Outdoor Channel or the Sportsman's Channel? I stopped watching because it boring.
To my knowledge there have been a few "blurbs" about precision shooting, but nothing serious.

I can't help but agree with you that "match coverage" vids are kinda boring. I make very few of that type of video for that reason alone. I think the main reason is, there's no human story element to it. It would be way more interesting to follow one specific shooter around all year long and tell the story of that person's shooting life. Gear purchases, training, struggles, successes, failures, etc.

I think the multi-day adventure and sniper field matches would have a lot more buy-in from large supporters because there's a story to them. There's more going on than just walking up to a barricade, laying down a gamechanger, and smacking steel. People love to watch other people struggle and overcome hard things. That's TV worthy to me.
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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Flori-duh.
My understanding is that the Cup's televised portion will involve shooter interviews (including after a stage), background info, etc. to bring that 'human story' element into it.
 

ballison

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"Not sure how giving the same people large ridiculous checks 'grows the sport' "

"I agree with earlier comments, this is 'the boys' taking care of the boys. Unlikely to change anything or gather interest beyond those attending. "

Really??? Do yourself a favor, take some time and educate yourself on the details of the event before making any more comments. You might save some face that way.

Each competitor is PAYING $1000 to attend the AG Cup with the HOPE of winning at least one stage and just BREAKING EVEN (not including travel expenses). Granted, someone will win the match, and probably a few stages, and that person will walk away with a nice payday. But my guess is about 15 of the 20 shooters will not take home a penny. I love how everyone thinks that shooters are getting rich in this sport. If you are, please fill us in on the secret!
 

The_Count

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If I can't shoot in it, I'm not interested in it.

Arn't these guys competing head to head already? At every match? Arn't many of the finales pretty much invitation only?

I just don't understand the point.

ETA: I have tremendous respect for AG. I like their attitudes and their products.
 
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308pirate

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it's basically the clique taking care of the clique and keeping it all "in house" so to speak.
Pretty much this.

Earning a slot based on defined criteria (like you have to do in USPSA) is a whole lot different than having to be one of the cool kids to get invited.
 

308pirate

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The Sporting Clays world, which is FAR more viewer and PC friendly than long range shooting, has tried multiple angles of this and none have borne any real fruit.

This is going to be an extremely tough row to hoe full of the rocks of previous failures of the same concept.
 

Ironmaker

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With the exception of Jerry Miculek and the late Bob Munden, watching other people shoot is boring and for them it is/was a combination of great shooting and great personalities.
 

LawnMM

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My understanding is that the Cup's televised portion will involve shooter interviews (including after a stage), background info, etc. to bring that 'human story' element into it.
They do interviews after stages now, boooooooring

Really??? Do yourself a favor, take some time and educate yourself on the details of the event before making any more comments. You might save some face that way.
LOL, if you think I'm worried about saving face on the internet it's not me that needs the reality check.

I do agree with CJ that this almost needs to follow or have segments of the show where competitors preparation is showcased, practice, loading ammo, oh shit I'm losing velocity my barrel might be going, etc.

It sort of needs a Top Shot reality TV format to bring enough drama to get regular folks interested.
 
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samb300

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I've shared this idea before and I'll share it again: in order for PRS/NRL shooting to be remotely exciting to watch, each shooter (erm..."competitor") will need a scope cam that transmits wirelessly to cameras and on-site TVs. No amount of target cams or static footage of watching someone cycle the bolt 10 times will ever be engaging to watch. Once viewers can see the exact view of what each shooter is seeing, that will change things.

Derek Duncan has a few videos on his YouTube channel called "Through the Scope with the Pro's" that is really cool. The scope-cam footage of Dave Preston shooting the PRS skills barricade in 43 seconds is exactly the footage that is needed. LINK

Give each one of the 20 AG Cup "competitors" a scope-cam, and say it's non-negotiable to shoot with it for the entirety of the match.

That and bullet flight tracking similar to MLB pitching or PGA golf ball flight. Not sure if that's possible because of how small and how fast the bullets are traveling, but maybe it's possible somehow with mil-spec doppler technology.
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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I've shared this idea before and I'll share it again: in order for PRS/NRL shooting to be remotely exciting to watch, each shooter (erm..."competitor") will need a scope cam that transmits wirelessly to cameras and on-site TVs. No amount of target cams or static footage of watching someone cycle the bolt 10 times will ever be engaging to watch. Once viewers can see the exact view of what each shooter is seeing, that will change things.

Derek Duncan has a few videos on his YouTube channel called "Through the Scope with the Pro's" that is really cool. The scope-cam footage of Dave Preston shooting the PRS skills barricade in 43 seconds is exactly the footage that is needed. LINK

Give each one of the 20 AG Cup "competitors" a scope-cam, and say it's non-negotiable to shoot with it for the entirety of the match.

That and bullet flight tracking similar to MLB pitching or PGA golf ball flight. Not sure if that's possible because of how small and how fast the bullets are traveling, but maybe it's possible somehow with mil-spec doppler technology.
The issue with through-the-scope views is the systems to do it are bulky, and some cause a loss in clarity through the optic itself. It's a great idea, but not ready for primetime in a match, in my opinion. For training, though, they're *awesome* tools.

Showing the bullet flight can be mocked up pretty easily, and it's something Tom talked about was in the plans for the Cup when he did the video podcast with Ryan Castle. It doesn't have to be perfect for the average joe watching to understand what is happening.
 

samb300

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The issue with through-the-scope views is the systems to do it are bulky, and some cause a loss in clarity through the optic itself. It's a great idea, but not ready for primetime in a match, in my opinion. For training, though, they're *awesome* tools.

Showing the bullet flight can be mocked up pretty easily, and it's something Tom talked about was in the plans for the Cup when he did the video podcast with Ryan Castle. It doesn't have to be perfect for the average joe watching to understand what is happening.
In my opinion, the technology won't be pushed forward if the current versions aren't implemented and iterated on now. I agree that they're bulky and obstruct clarity, which is why no one (aside from Derek Duncan?) uses them in matches. But watching as an "average Joe" that the AG Cup is marketing to, that video footage is AWESOME. If everyone has to use them - hell, maybe for only 5 or 10 of the 20 stages - then everyone will learn to adapt to them. Clearly in that video above Dave Preston has no issues crushing that stage approximately 40 seconds faster than I've ever done it without a scope cam.

Maybe the AG Cup can still implement a scope cam this year. Have each shooter shoot ONE stage of their choosing with it on. Or select a few willing to try it out on a couple stages to give a head-to-head comparison between competitors. Or give any shooter willing to use the scope-cam a bonus 15 second buffer on each stage they use it. I dunno, there are lots of options better than not trying.

So many sports now have such dynamic camera angles, especially the POV cams in auto racing. Why can't the shooting sports adopt something better than what we're currently doing?

And as mentioned by someone above, as good as the NRL marketing is, the match videos aren't exciting. I do really like the "loadout" graphics they use that show the person's name, rifle build, caliber, bags, and impact/miss counter. But I end up fast forwarding through the majority of it because it's just footage of someone pulling the trigger over and over.
 

Hollywood 6mm

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In my opinion, the technology won't be pushed forward if the current versions aren't implemented and iterated on now. I agree that they're bulky and obstruct clarity, which is why no one (aside from Derek Duncan?) uses them in matches. But watching as an "average Joe" that the AG Cup is marketing to, that video footage is AWESOME. If everyone has to use them - hell, maybe for only 5 or 10 of the 20 stages - then everyone will learn to adapt to them. Clearly in that video above Dave Preston has no issues crushing that stage approximately 40 seconds faster than I've ever done it without a scope cam.

Maybe the AG Cup can still implement a scope cam this year. Have each shooter shoot ONE stage of their choosing with it on. Or select a few willing to try it out on a couple stages to give a head-to-head comparison between competitors. Or give any shooter willing to use the scope-cam a bonus 15 second buffer on each stage they use it. I dunno, there are lots of options better than not trying.

So many sports now have such dynamic camera angles, especially the POV cams in auto racing. Why can't the shooting sports adopt something better than what we're currently doing?

And as mentioned by someone above, as good as the NRL marketing is, the match videos aren't exciting. I do really like the "loadout" graphics they use that show the person's name, rifle build, caliber, bags, and impact/miss counter. But I end up fast forwarding through the majority of it because it's just footage of someone pulling the trigger over and over.
It's also something that could be done via editing - get the shooters to allow use of the scope cam for a few shots on a stage or two after the match to simulate their run then edit it goether. It would give the audience the view you're talking about without hindering the competitors during the match.
 
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Precision Underground

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With me being the grumpy purist that I am I am curious what non-match shooters reaction will be if guys are carrying a campsite to the line and then tripod grabbing with a zero recoil 6mm. As other have said it is pretty boring to watch someone loaf up to a barricade and plop a GC around while barely fingering a 5oz trigger. No one would watch professional baseball if the players set the ball on a tee and used an aluminum bat to jack home runs every time.

I think they should, and very well may, up the stakes and put in some more athletic requirements along with tight time constraints to force some drama and action. I haven’t shot a ton of matches but the ones I have shot would be pretty boring to watch. Fun to shoot, boring to watch.

Make them move fast, make them go over and under obstacles between targets, and force some action/drama. It’s interesting to watch someone be athletic and drive the hell out of a rifle. It’s not interesting to watch someone balance a small caliber with a 5oz trigger. More power to those that do and win matches. The game is what it is and they are winning. But it’s still not fun to watch and won’t drive up interest from people watching.
 

Hollywood 6mm

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With me being the grumpy purist that I am I am curious what non-match shooters reaction will be if guys are carrying a campsite to the line and then tripod grabbing with a zero recoil 6mm. As other have said it is pretty boring to watch someone loaf up to a barricade and plop a GC around while barely fingering a 5oz trigger. No one would watch professional baseball if the players set the ball on a tee and used an aluminum bat to jack home runs every time.

I think they should, and very well may, up the stakes and put in some more athletic requirements along with tight time constraints to force some drama and action. I haven’t shot a ton of matches but the ones I have shot would be pretty boring to watch. Fun to shoot, boring to watch.

Make them move fast, make them go over and under obstacles between targets, and force some action/drama. It’s interesting to watch someone be athletic and drive the hell out of a rifle. It’s not interesting to watch someone balance a small caliber with a 5oz trigger. More power to those that do and win matches. The game is what it is and they are winning. But it’s still not fun to watch and won’t drive up interest from people watching.
I have no idea what Tom has planned for stages, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see some things like what you describe.
 

Precision Underground

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It's also something that could be done via editing - get the shooters to allow use of the scope cam for a few shots on a stage or two after the match to simulate their run then edit it goether. It would give the audience the view you're talking about without hindering the competitors during the match.
I use a side-shot and could easily shoot with it on. it really does not hinder much at all if it’s set up correctly. I will probably shoot the next match I have time for with it on purely for the feedback and coolness that the video would provide. As long as none of the obstacles required the rifle to be put deep into a port hole or something where the actual mount would get in the way I don’t think it would affect me at all.
 

samb300

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Fun to shoot, boring to watch.
This is exactly it. The question that needs to be answered is - how do "we" (i.e. creators of the AG Cup or NRL media or whatever) make precision rifle fun to watch? It's crazy because so many people, like myself, love this sport but find pretty much all footage of it boring to watch. Can't say the same about weekend duffers watching pro golf or former high school athletes watching basically any pro sport...they watch it because it's exciting to watch!
 

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I think the main positive effect that the AG cup will have is to introduce existing "gun guys" to the sport. I know probably 100 people that love target shooting and guns, but haven't the foggiest idea what goes on at a PRS match. Their ignorance of the sport keeps them from jumping in, but they have no way to learn about it without coming to a match. If just 2 out of every hundred people that watch the show end up getting into long range shooting in the slightest way, then I am all for it.

Also, I'm happy for the guys that got invited. I hear a distinct tone of jealousy from those that are making negative comments. How in the world does the AG cup affect anyone negatively? It's Tom's match. He can invite anyone he wants. Can you imagine how much work Tom is doing to get this all to come together?

I'm looking forward to watching 20 great shooters show off just how awesome our part of the shooting world is. I imagine with modern filming equipment the trace of the bullets and the impacts on steel will be awesome. I'm getting the urge to go shoot just thinking about it.
 

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I like the idea of the scope cams mentioned above. I want to see what a Pro sees, and also see the difference between what they see through the scope and what i see through mine. It is also far more interesting from a wind hold perspective as well. I think that would really be the biggest takeaway, to see how the best shooters manage wind.
 
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