How I Reach New Players

April 4, 2017 | 2 min to read

In the last 12 months alone, Guardian Games has introduced more than 700 new players to in-store Magic, enough to place them among the ten most successful stores in that category. With the upcoming Magic Open House aimed at driving new player growth across the WPN, we asked owner Angel May five questions about her plans for the event and her approach to acquisition.

How do you reach out to new players?

We do a lot of outreach and conventions. We partner with local restaurants, museums, schools, after-school clubs, theater groups, summer camps, etc.

It still surprises me how many people have not heard of our store, or realize there is a community out there to join. It's wonderful to see a person's face light up when I get the chance to describe it.

What are your methods for teaching Magic?

My staff and I make sure that everyone who plays with us embraces the idea that we all win when we get more people playing the games we love. This has created an environment where our players enjoy the opportunity to introduce someone new to the game.

Occasionally we incentivize this with some swag in the form of a booster pack, a custom store pin, or a leftover promo card, etc.

Personally, when I teach the game, I like to focus on the "what and why" as a game progresses.

Magic is based on the idea that we are Planeswalkers casting spells. I like to emphasize that. It makes it fun!

What tactics have worked particularly well?

Two-Headed Giant is a great format to encourage people to bring a new friend out for.

If one person knows the game, it makes it much more comfortable and fun for a new person to have a partner to turn to for help and guidance.

What tactics haven’t?

The only paid advertising I've had a decent return on investment with has been a coupon in a local coupon guide. Any other times I've paid to run ads, I just haven't seen my return on investment.

Street-style guerilla marketing is much better than spending money. Get out there and spread the word.

How will you market the upcoming Magic Open House?

We began to spread the word with our customer base in February. We talked to our current customers and suggested they invite their spouses, cousins, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, etc.

We also created an in-store slide show advertising Magic Open House, in order to reach out to our clientele who play other games at our store.

And as we attend other outside events and conventions, we'll share information about the Open House and encourage people to come out as a family and learn to play Magic for the first time.

Give some of Angel May’s ideas a try to promote your own Magic Open House on April 15!

Store Stats: Guardian Games

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, Pop. 600,000
  • WPN Level: Advanced Plus
  • Age: 11 years
  • Size: 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Website: http://www.ggportland.com/

By Angel May, owner, Guardian Games