Neptune Aquatics is no longer a sponsor

Discussion in 'General Club Business' started by Vhuang168, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I thought it was just a matter that we as a club didn't stick up for him when someone put down their experience at his store. Him leaning into me for not doing anything as a long time member is kind of the reason I stopped caring who our sponsors were or not.
  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Because this is a conversation we need to have as a club.

    I was very surprised to hear it from him and not from my own club.

    How are more volunteers going to help this situation?

    We can have as much manpower as we want but that is not going to resolve any of the concerns governing his decision to remove himself as a sponsor.

    @RandyC if the store is going to donate goods and services to us, is it not fair to expect a certain level of return? What can we do? Promote them and drive business to their store. 2 way street.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't get new sponsors. That is great for the club. I'm expressing Robert's concerns. Maybe we should put some thought into what we want our sponsors do to for us and what we CAN provide for the sponsors?
    scuba71 likes this.
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    It's how I feel too, as great as a store might be the fact is I live in San Francisco, so a trek to the South Bay isn't really a viable option to "browse" ditto with East Bay stores, if it wasn't for where the BAR meetings are, AC would be in that same category, and I still haven't been out to Diablo, not because I have anything against any of those stores but I'm just not in those parts of the bay.
  4. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    @RandyC if the store is going to donate goods and services to us, is it not fair to expect a certain level of return? What can we do? Promote them and drive business to their store. 2 way street.
    That’s exactly what we do
  5. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    As far as how more volunteers would help, it’s pretty tough for one person to stay in contact with all the lfs and swing by routinely. Sounds like you are calling for more contact with the sponsors, who do you propose is going to do that?
  6. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    I think I pretty clearly stated that we do need to create value for what BAR sponsors pay and that that value should be clearly listed. I offered some suggestions as well.

    I just don't think that value should come from BAR members being the watchdogs of their business.
    scuba71 and Coral reefer like this.
  7. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    This post implies we need more manpower to keep up the relationship with sponsors.
    Also, you said new sponsors are good for the club, but here you point out that we have too many? Which is it? Should we adhere to one sponsors wishes that we don’t take on other sponsors, or should we give all deserving lfs a chance to work with us and see what happens?
    scuba71 likes this.
  8. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    All stores should be allowed to be sponsors regardless of location, and all sponsors should be treated and promoted equally from BAR. If you take the tiered sponsorship approach, then each store sponsor should receive what that tier of sponsorship promises them.
    Mozby's Reef likes this.
  9. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Guest

    Just my two sense that this is all about building and maintaining relationships with the sponsors, just like in business. When I was on the BOD, I would devote an entire weekend day every couple months to stop by each sponsors store and pick up any donations for the next event. I'd go to the store in person and talk with the owners and try to get their input/feedback and make sure we were providing value to them. I agree that it is a lot to all fall on one person's shoulders, which is why I ended up leaving the BOD. I was getting my PhD and just did not have the time to be doing way more than just the position of VP. My point is that Neptune and Aquatic Collection are both amazing stores and were always wonderful, generous sponsors. Its is unfortunate that they have reached the point where they don't feel like they have a relationship with BAR.
    scuba71 and Mozby's Reef like this.
  10. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Again, I am expressing Robert's concerns. Do I agree with him? I do share some of his views about the situation.

    I am NOT in the BOD and do not make these decisions. I have no intention at this time of signing up as a BOD. I just do not have the time to invest in a position in the BOD. But I AM a member of this club and would like to see it be successful in the long term so I do have a vested interest in what goes on. And that goes towards my disappointment that I had to learn we lost Neptune as a sponsor from Robert rather than being told here. Especially since it appears the decision was made before the CFM.

    I volunteer when I can. CFM, Frag swaps. I also see some people step up and volunteer. Many do not officially volunteer but do show up and help.

    What I would like to see is a discussion among our members about what direction we want to go. As of right now, as far as I can tell, we are on a 'we will take whoever wants in' attitude towards LFS sponsors. If that is the direction going forward, then I think we will see more sponsors come and go rather than the long term type relationship we had with Robert. Is this a better choice? Should we care?
  11. rygh

    rygh BOD

    What we ask from sponsors is pretty small. $250 in goods per year is pretty cheap.
    As far as I know, all we promise is banner ads on website + personal sponsor forum.
    Small donation for a bit of exposure.
    That seems about equal and fair.

    So I don't really understand the problem. Was something else promised.

    If sponsors do not use their forum for updates on new arrivals/etc, that is their fault, not ours.

    Expecting us to censor negative reviews on a sponsor is inappropriate.

    Do we have a page on what a sponsor gets??? I could not find one.
    Maybe THAT is the problem.

    When I go to the LFS, I rarely mention I am from BAR, and nobody asks.
    So there is really no way to track the web banners to store dollars.
    Mozby's Reef and coral4me like this.
  12. Mozby's Reef

    Mozby's Reef Supporting Member

    I know I'm new here, but if I may..... Sponsorship is a marketing expense for the LFS. That said, whatever BAR provides (ads, promotion, events, etc) should translate into some form of ROI for the LFS in order for them to feel like its worth sponsoring. Therefore, its not our job to practice favoritism from one LFS sponsor over another or worry about who we should support. All LFS who want to be sponsors should all get the same marketing-related support.
    coral4me likes this.
  13. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    It seems like you're in the know about what Neptune's concerns and issues are, but I have yet to see them stated (or I just missed them). What is it that they feel they are expecting or missing from BAR so that we're all in the know? Nothing can be done to address the issues if BAR does not understand the problem.
  14. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I tried to touch on that, but not very well. The sentiment I’ve heard from the two stores in question is that “BAR isn’t what it used to be”. Take that Ron mean what you will. I agree, it isn’t the same, like I said, neither am I or the hobby. Things change. These stores are way More established than they were and feel they don’t need us. That is a valid opinion and really not something I worry about. They will still get plenty of business from BAR members as they aren’t still great stores, no worries.
  15. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Yep, things have changed a lot over the years.

    I wonder if a lot of this may be reminiscing on the old BayMac conference / event / trade show.
    Run by an old BAR member (founder?), and highly supported by the club, and a very big deal for sponsors.
    In those days, both sponsors/BAR were very important to each other.
    So there was a very tight relationship.

    Now: Becoming a BAR sponsor is mostly a bit of well targeted local advertising.
    Far better than a google ad, but hardly a superbowl commercial.
    If that works for a company - great.
    If not - oh well. No hard feelings.
    Bruce Spiegelman likes this.
  16. daddio

    daddio Supporting Member

    Perhaps we can begin to move forward by removing advertising banners of companies that are NOT supporting B.A.R. and add advertising for the sponsors that currently support us. That is one way we can support our sponsors.
    Mozby's Reef likes this.
  17. JVU


    So does everyone unanimously agree that we want/need store sponsors?

    I personally don’t really care about BAR having sponsors. I for sure don’t belong to this club because of the sponsors. I would rather have our membership dues increase to cover the costs of running the club/website/events so that the cost/benefit is much more obvious and direct, between members and the club only. If individual stores want to donate something or not, rent a table at an event or not, buy some banner add space or not, fine. Though I’ve never seen our expenses, this club can’t be very expensive to run.

    Then we are free to discuss stores and manufacturers, including online, in an honest way rather than worry about offending someone or not driving enough business in some direction artificially. I don’t shop at one place and shun the next based on whether or not they are a sponsor.

    Also we wouldn’t constantly feel this pressure to volunteer for sponsorship outreach and maintenance, and resent those that don’t. I’d like to see good stores succeed, and bad ones fail, based on their merits of providing livestock, goods, and services to the reefing community, not based on whether or not they give us money/donations.
  18. Apon

    Apon Supporting Member

    Just to add as well, I was BOD sponsorship director for 3 years, and I also visited the stores in person for donations. During my tenure, our requirement that each sponsor gave donations twice a year, but I didn't specify any minimum amount. keep in mind at this time we also had meetings once a month so we wanted lots of sponsors to cover a meeting. I also tried to work with them on figuring out the best way we could help get customers into the shop. Gift Cards or items that require members to pick up seemed the best. The other item was for a short period of time we actually had membership cards (dated) so they could tell who was actually a member of the club for discount. Alot of times they were getting anyone who read online that they gave BAR discount asking for it, when they weren't really a member. Just some history from long ago.
  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well from a matter of the by laws the BOD has sole authority in this decision. It is up to them as to whether they allow any member input, who to approach as a sponsor, who to keep as a sponsor, what to do with sponsors. As it stands sponsorship is not something that is covered in the by laws as a result the BOD has all say in what happens as given by article V section D
  20. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    The need for donations was much greater in the pre trouble with raffles era. I was also in that role back then, and we would have raffles at every meeting. Was a good source of revenue for the club. At some point someone realized we weren’t legally supposed to be havin raffles due to our non profit classification (iirc) so we stopped for several years while it was ironed out.
    We stopped having meetings every month because people seemed to be having event fatigue and several meetings were poorly attended. Also, the entire board quit at one point, so we’ve basically been running on bare minimum mostly same people eve since 2012 ish.
    Even so we have most months with an event this year, before tank tours and other events have been added, so we are still doing a lot. We just don’t need as much from stores routinely since we haven’t been doing raffles at meetings. We have moved to a focus on the regional swap having a big raffle to draw people in as our single large fundraising source besides membership dues.

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