Houston, TX - -(Ammoland.com)- In 2013, two men engaged in a discussion about how to increase the visibility of Sporting Clays.
From this conversation, came the framework and vision for the Professional Sporting Clays Association (PSCA). This is the first-hand account of their story:
Dan Carlisle, President, PSCA
I was working in Houston at American Shooting Center on June 11, 2013 with Mike Osowski. It was after the lesson and we were in Mike’s cart barn talking about the future of clay shooting in America. Mike is a very successful businessman and was thinking about his next adventure. He was telling me that he was thinking about getting into the venture capital industry, and then asked me what he could do for Gold Medal Shooting Academy.
I was a little stunned because I’ve never worked for anyone except myself, so I thought for a minute and said to Mike, why don’t we start a Professional Sporting Clays Association? The look on his face was priceless! I wish I had a picture of that moment because I could see the wheels turning. After talking more about what it could do for the growth of our industry, the more excited we both became. Mike had said he had contacts in the production industry to put it on television and would make some inquires.
The rest is history.
It was about two month after we talked, and after some extensive research, that we had our first meeting. I introduced Mike and his staff to my business partner Mark Weeks, who brought in Game Keeper Productions owner Mike Garner, one of the best in his industry. Within a week after this meeting, the PSCA company paperwork started.
Our thoughts from the very first talk Mike and I had in his man cave was that this was the answer to elevate the industry and help gun clubs who are struggling, the Sporting Clays industry in which has limited growth on a year to year basis, the pro shooters like me. I’ve spent my entire life competing in ATA and Bunker trap, American and International skeet, and of course Sporting Clays which I was involved in helping bring to our country in 1985.
It’s a sport that’s less dangerous than golf and that you can enjoy up into your later years. A good example is that have pros from 18-62 years of age…and they can all be competitive. I won the NSCA Nationals at age 51 (turning 52 just 2 months later). There’s no other sport with this kind of longevity!!
Once sporting clays becomes mainstream it will truly boost our industry and our best players that have spent years and years of training can be elevated to pro status like other sports.
The key people in getting this started are the Gold Medal Shooting Academy and Mike’s team plus lots of other people with shooting and production knowledge and key people in the shooting industry.
We’re all very excited about the future. We think with the right media coverage, the PSCA will be a huge success in this country.
Mike Osowski, CEO, PSCA
The discussion of the Pro Tour started on June 11, 2013. I was the last lesson of the day for Dan and the two of us had some time to sit and talk in my “Cart Barn” at American Shooting Center. We discussed the success of some of the top athletes, but acknowledged that even as a gifted competitor, it was hard to making a living just being a shooter. When talking about one particular athlete, I think it was said that
“There is little value for sponsors, because the only people that know what type of shotgun he’s shooting are the people standing next to him”.
From this discussion, we concluded that national television coverage would benefit the sport at all levels. I told Dan that I had some friends producing television shows and would make some calls, and Dan started conversations with the very talented team at Gold Medal Shooting Academy.
The kick-off meeting for the PSCA was August 12, 2013, a meeting in which Dan introduced Mark Weeks to my staff. In this all-day discussion, we were first introduced to Game Keeper Productions and Obsession Media, who would become key partners. Prior to that meeting, I had no idea of the talent we were about to include. The hard work and talent of Mark Weeks and his team at GMSA, and the owners of Game Keeper Productions and Obsession Media have been vital to successfully launching the PSCA.
This sport is as addictive as golf, and for all the right reasons. It is a game where the participant ultimately competes against him/herself and strives for perfection that can’t be obtained. It is a game that allows you to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family in scenic locations and can be played at almost any age. For these reasons, those who try Sporting Clays tend to want to play it more. Some even get obsessed.
“Then there are those who become obsessed AND are world-class athletes”.
There are few opportunities to introduce a new sport to a national television audience. This is a rare chance to positively benefit professionals, amateurs, shooting clubs, equipment manufacturers, the entire sport and associated industry. I also expect it to be a tremendous opportunity for sponsors. I am constantly asked by those who are starting out in the sport what equipment they should buy. A national television audience will soon be seeing what the nation’s top shooters have chosen for competition.
My full expectation is that this sport will become nationally known and accepted in the next three years, allowing for even greater media coverage and benefits for sponsors, athletes, and the entire industry!
The 2014 Professional Tour will be featured in a television series to be aired by NBC Sports. Programming is scheduled to begin airing in July 2014. The show will air from July 27th-September 26th 2014, airing Sundays at 10:00pm (EDT) on NBC Sports.
The purpose of the Professional Sporting Clays Association (PSCA) is to provide a professional tour for top athletes. This tour will give qualified top athletes of the sport greater access to closed competition with other athletes of similar skill. It will also provide access to media and other notoriety, which in turn will allow them all of the benefits of other professional sports. By creating such an association, the benefits will not be limited to the professional athletes, but also to amateur competitors, club owners, and the entire industry by allowing greater mainstream acceptance of the sport. Updated news and events news regarding PSCA can be found at www.psca.com and by following PSCA at facebook.com/PSCAtour and twitter.com/PSCAtour.