A Quick Jump With Manufacturing... Way Ahead.
I've touched on the topic of racquetball marketing, manufacturers and sponsorships many times, either directly or inferred while I was on other topics. What I've been very clear about is my position that things should change.
Eventually, they will. If they don't on their own, the way we buy racquets will force them into this change. Because at a certain point, giving away racquets and accessories in groups just won't make any sense, at all. Not only will the way we share information force them to change, but how people actually get racquets into their hands will.
Check this page out. 10 Crazy Things 3D Printers Can Make Today. You may be inclined to think, that's printing racquets may be pretty far off. And to that I say, it may be much closer than you think. As with all things media, technology is also evolving exponentially. This is today's reality. The explosion is coming if it hasn't already begun. The way you are reading this now, is a basic foundation of that much larger framework. And it's evolving. As humans, we process linearly in our evolution. The more engrained in our technology, the faster things change for us. (If you feel that our sport is still operating as it did in the 80's... you can get what I mean by that.)
I'm jumping ahead, maybe more than a few years, maybe not. I may be buying composite materials at a really cheap price and downloading manufacturer specs at a really cheap price, if not, I may be getting bootleg copies of the software, or pattern, or whatever it will be called. When I break my racquet, if I still have enough composite material loaded in my printer, I'll have a new racquet in a matter of hours.
If product printing becomes the norm, racquet manufacturers will be reformed and downsized by what engineers will be doing. Those companies will change or their engineers may leave to just Start-up on their own. The overhead saved may go into enticing great players with really lucrative offers. And if this type of thing happens, my bet is that these guys will be way more savvy at connecting with players, everywhere they may be, at the most targeted, appropriate time. On their phones, their glasses, wherever buy-in messages are being delivered.
Even if we don't go the printing route, why will I (or the Next Gens) choose your design, products, composite materials, etc.?