Get the Balance Right!

Get the Balance Right!

October 16, 2014 | 1 min to read

It's a time-tested formula: for competitive play, focus prizes at the top of the standings. For friendly play, spread the prizes around.

But how can you encourage friendly play in a competitive environment? And how can you encourage competition while maintaining a friendly atmosphere?

These two stores have it figured out. Here's how they're doing it:

Battlezone's Innovative Raffle Program

The Battlezone has built a flourishing Magic community in a small Florida town. In eight months, they've introduced over 50 new players—nearly 60% of their player base.

Organizer Kyle Halvusen says they owe much of that success to their innovative raffle program, which helps them connect to new players while staying in touch with their regulars.

Here's how it works:

Issue players 1 raffle ticket per game loss (2-1 victory = 1 ticket; 1-2 defeat = 2 tickets). At the end of the night, raffle off playmats, deck boxes, and sleeves, plus the usual prizes for placing and sportsmanship.

Kyle says it gives a "feel-good" moment to players having an off night, and it gives him a chance to connect to first timers—especially younger ones:

"How tall are you?" he'll ask, and hand out one ticket per inch.

"Once that connection's made," says Kyle, "they come back, and they come back, and they come back."

"Opened Pick" at Ace Comics

During Friday Night Magic at Ace Comics in Brisbane Australia, each player is guaranteed at least one pack. The catch is, the pack is open.

Here's how it works:

Say an FNM draws 12 players (like on August 8th). They add 12 boosters to the prize pool (one per player) and open them. After three rounds, players choose their booster in order of standings, and top four receives a second, unopened booster.

The important thing for both stores is to make winning matter without making it everything.

Try it this week at FNM!


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