CEDAR RAPIDS, IA -- The first-ever Dart Tournament of Champions will be held in Kansas City, MO, in October. Club Lucky Group announced plans for its ambitious coin-op electronic dart tournament last year. Additionally, Club Lucky has signed up Pearl Vodka as a major sponsor and has appointed an official sanctioning body.
With a venue, sponsorship and sanctioning body in place, Club Lucky, an organization that promotes play through professionally managed competition on operator-owned games, said the groundwork for the 2012 tournament is complete.
"Flighted" events have been added to the tournament schedule and players can now qualify through local operators. At the championship match, Club Lucky plans to award $400,000 in prizes. There will be a $100,000 finale for both men and women, including $30,000 in each gender’s finale championship match.
The first event, now called the Pearl Vodka Darts Tournament of Champions, will be held at the KCI Expo Center from Oct. 19 to 23. The 70,000-sq.ft. venue is ideal for a large-scale tournament, Club Lucky said, because it's adjacent to the Kansas City International Airport, a Southwest Airlines hub.
Pearl Vodka's support, Club Lucky reported, lends itself to "multilevel marketing" opportunities. Branded tournament kits for local events, for instance, will keep players informed throughout the qualification period and provide Pearl Vodka with a direct marketing link to bars and the coin-op athletes who frequent them.
Partners Promoting Darts is overseeing the tournament's planning and management, including sanctioning dart players. It employs a Web-based system that Club Lucky operators can use to qualify players. This system is designed to help local operators build leagues and tournament systems.
Founded in 2009 by five amusement-vending companies in the Midwest, Partners Promoting Darts was originally formed to administer restricted-access tournaments for dart-league players. The operators who created the program sought to distinguish their leagues from the competition and develop tools to promote league growth and player loyalty.
More information on the Pearl Vodka Darts Tournament of Champions can be had at dartstoc.com, a newly launched support site.
Plans are already under way for the 2013 dart tournament, when the tournament organizers expect player and operator participation to increase considerably. Operators interested in learning more can request information from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separately, Club Lucky announced that this year's Golden Tee Live Tournament of Champions, the fourth annual, will be held alongside the dart competition at the KCI Expo Center from Oct. 19 to 21. Qualifications for the video golf tournament begin this month. At the finals, the best 128 players from around the country will compete for $65,000 in prizes. Visit clubluckygroup.com to learn more.
Club Lucky, founded in 2006, is a nationwide group of 34 amusement-operating companies, each regarded as a respected member of its local business community. Collectively, they serve more than 7,500 locations. The group's current president is Larry Elbert of Camden Amusement (Cedar Rapids, IA).