Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mactonight Brings Light to the Financing of WizFest

In light of some of the comments that have been posted, and for those of you who may have been wondering about the cost of organizing a tournament like Wizfest, I would like to present the following overview of some of the expenses involved.

In 2010, Ken Fisher (Wizard) decided to hold the Wizfest tournament at the Delta hotel in Toronto. The event was funded by Wizard Cards International, of which Ken Fisher is the major shareholder.

The registration fee that was charged to players was approximately $20, which means that the 60 or so players contributed somewhere close to $1200 to the event. The prizes and trophies and pins for the winners and finalists of the A and B tourneys alone came to more than $2000, and the entire event cost in excess of $10,000.

It is easy to understand why Ken was quickly losing interest in organizing and funding these annual tournaments on such a large scale.

That is why the two Toronto Wizard clubs stepped in and joined forces to organize Wizfest on a much smaller scale in 2011. Wizard Cards had already committed to organizing a tournament in Florida that year, so it was not able to offer the kind of financing that had been available in previous years.

However, even with a smaller venue and less frills, the cost of the tournament exceeded $4500. Registration fees were increased to $30, which means that the 50 players who attended contributed approximately $1500 to the event. This still left a shortfall of more than $3000, which had to be covered by our 3 major sponsors – Wizard Cards International., US Games Systems, which matches the contribution made by Wizard Cards, and Kroeger games – along with several smaller sponsors. These costs do not include the prizes, trophies, pins, certificates or the decks of Wizard cards that we needed to run the tournament.

In addition to helping to fund Wizfest, Wizard Cards International also paid for the 2 top finishers to attend the World Championships in Europe, which included airfare and hotel accommodations.

In 2012, after receiving a number of complaints to the effect that the 2011 tournament wasn't "grand" enough, we worked on obtaining more money from our sponsors, and more sponsors. We had a friend from Coke who supplied us with all of the soft drinks and juice for the tournament, and we found three local sponsors who helped us to make the event happen.

Once again, registration fees were $30, which means that the 62 players who attended contributed less than $1900 to the event. That didn’t even cover the cost of the prizes and trophies and pins for the winners and finalists of the A and B tourneys.

Despite the sponsorships that we were able to obtain, the event still cost in excess of $5000, not to mention the 20 decks of Medieval Wizard cards, pins, and certificates. Once again, Wizard Cards International provided the financing to send two people to Europe, in addition to supporting the New Mexico tournament and sending a representative from that tournament to the World Championships.

For 2013, which will be the 10th anniversary of Wizfest, we asked Wizard Cards International., US Games Systems and Kroeger games to DOUBLE their support, and they agreed!

I have no idea how much this year’s tournament will cost, but we will likely have to increase the registration fee a little in order to help with the funding, and we will still need decks of cards, coins, certificates and pins.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the registration fee paid by the players who attend Wizfest is basically a pittance that doesn’t even cover the cost of the prizes. It doesn't come anywhere close to covering the cost of the venue, the food, or any of the supplies that are required to run a tournament such as Wizfest.

As for sending representatives to the World Championships, the funding for that comes directly from Wizard Cards International, which means that Ken Fisher and the other shareholders are giving up money that could otherwise be paid out to them in the form of dividends.

The same is true for the website, which costs money to maintain and operate. All of this funding comes from Wizard Cards International.

In addition, the people who organize and run Wizfest are all volunteers, putting in a great deal of hard work and personal time out of the kindness of their hearts and for the love of the game.

I hope this will help you to understand a little bit of what Ken Fisher and others do for the community of Wizard players, who sometimes seem to do nothing but criticize and complain!

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