I’m a new organizer and I want to run Game Night in my store. What do I need to do?

Game Night is a great program for new organizers because it’s flexible and easy to implement. Would you like to run a tournament every week? You can run Game Night!

To start with Game Night, you need to have a brick-and-mortar store and membership in the Wizards Play Network, or WPN.

Once you have signed up as a StarCityGames.com Organizer and been approved, all you have to do is use the “Click to Enroll” button in Organizer Tools and you will be signed up for next month’s Game Night!

Game Night can be run any night of the week, as a new tournament or an add-on to tournaments already in your store, and you may distribute the Game Night prizes however you like.

Questions? Contact gamenight@starcitygames.com and we’ll be happy to assist.

Store Spotlight: Worlds Away

The Store Spotlight is going international! Midway between Detroit, Michigan and Toronto, Ontario lies the Canadian city of London, where Brad Ashton-Haiste runs StarCityGames.com In-Store Programs and other tournaments at his store, Worlds Away.

For a city that may not be familiar stateside, “London, Ontario has a huge Magic scene, one of the biggest per capita in Canada,” said Ashton-Haiste. “The population of the city and surrounding area is about 350,000, and there are six stores that run competitive tournaments, plus the clubs at the university and college…it’s remarkable how vibrant the scene is.”

Worlds Away located in London, Ontario, Canada.

Worlds Away located in London, Ontario, Canada.

Ashton-Haiste was among the earliest players of Magic, and he started selling the game in 1994, the year after its debut. Tournaments came soon after: “I ran my first Magic tournament in late 1997. It was at another location, it was freezing out, the furnace was broken and two space heaters were in overdrive, but everyone had a blast.”

Ashton-Haiste and Worlds Away have come far since then: “I’ve run more than 3,000 tournaments, seven or eight a week at this stage, and I’m about to stage my first Preliminary PTQ. I’m also very fortunate in other ways; one of the guys that volunteers at the store on weekends, Rick Miles, is my best friend and a Level 2 judge. I never have to worry about finding a judge for any of my SCG IQs, GPTs or PPTQs. That’s very special.”

As a longtime tournament organizer who’s never far from the leading edge of in-store play—he ran midnight “Sneak Peek” tournaments before they became a Prerelease tradition, and after Wizards announced Friday Night Magic, Worlds Away started Friday night tournaments two weeks early—Ashton-Haiste has held his share of cool and unusual tournaments. “I’ve run Halloween events where everyone had to play mono-black; red, white, and green Christmas tourneys; and other goofy combinations. … The best thing I’ve ever done was starting a store championship. Players earn points at all sanctioned events and the Top 32 are entered into a free five-round tournament at the end of the year. After cutting to Top 8, they draft for free. Everyone in the Top 8 receives a glass mug and the winner a stained-glass trophy. It has generated enormous interest.”

Worlds Away preparing for their Fate Reforged Prerelease on January 17th, 2015.

Worlds Away preparing for their Fate Reforged Prerelease on January 17th, 2015.

Ashton-Haiste believes the small things really aren’t when it comes to running a store. Take the life-total pads he purchased from StarCityGames.com: “Earlier I had store pens made, so it’s cool to give players a free pen and life pad before a tournament. I haven’t given them all out, but one day I’ll need more!” He also saves commons and uncommons that his regulars would throw out and gives them to youngsters starting out or players who can’t afford to buy many packs. He adds, “After I’ve opened several cases of a set, I have tons of extra cards, so I give a lot of them away as well.”

Other small steps that help: “The most important part of running an event is having an attractive prize pool. Adding a few extra prizes goes a long way in building customer loyalty. And sell cheap junk food…gamers love cheap junk food.”

All those tournaments and perks come down to Ashton-Haiste’s one big rule for organizers: “Just listen to your players. Ask what tournaments they want…and be nice. You can’t keep everyone happy, but you have to try.”

Order Your 2015 StarCityGames.com Creature Collection Retailer Bundles!

The StarCityGames.com Creature Collection is bigger and better than ever in 2015 and we’re excited to offer you special Creature Collection Retailer Bundles of our first-quarter designs! Our first-quarter Creature Collection designs match the Game Night themes from January through March, making them a great way to add value to those weekly tournaments in particular and all your Magic tournaments in general. Our adorable Creature Collection products also make great impulse purchases in your store and at events!

The magic number for the first-quarter 2015 Creature Collection Retailer Bundle is “three.” Each first-quarter 2015 Creature Collection Retailer Bundle contains:

  • Three designs (Mammoth, Wolf, Rat)
  • Three complete product sets for each design
  • Three items in each product set (playmat, pack of sleeves, and dice bag)

Each 27-item Creature Collection Retailer Bundle, a $233.73 retail value, is available for just $124.99!

First Quarter 2015 Creature Collection Retailer Bundle includes Mammoth, Wolf and Rat!

StarCityGames.com is also offering first-quarter 2015 Parody Retailer Bundles! These bundles feature our new card parody, Eturtle Witness, and includes FIVE Eturtle Witness playmats, sleeve packs, and dice bags. Each 15-item Parody Retailer Bundle, a $154.85 retail value, is available for only $79.99!

First Quarter 2015 Creature Collection Parody Retailer Bundle features Eturtle Witness

Order your Creature Collection Retailer Bundles and Parody Retailer Bundles now!

2015 Organizer Rewards Updates!

Happy New Year! While I’m not one for resolutions, we do have plenty of goals for 2015. Number one is to continue improving In-Store Programs to offer you the best value and support for your business that we can. We already have some exciting news and announcements to help start off on the right foot.

First, a little bit of housekeeping. Over the next few days you’ll notice the Total Points section of your Organizer Rewards Points drop back down to zero (or at least to a very low number, if you’ve already run an event in 2015 or are signed up for Game Night). Meanwhile, your Available Points and Pending Points will remain unchanged. So what does all this mean? All the points and rewards you earned from 2014 are still there. If you ended the year at Level 2, all those benefits are in place until the end of 2015!

Speaking of Organizer Rewards, the goal was to create a system that provides increasing benefits as you participate in ISP. I’m happy to announce that the point thresholds for 2015 have become even easier to reach. First, Game Night now awards 100 points per month, with 50 bonus points each month if you are enrolled in automated billing. Open Trials moved to a base of 100 points, but also now have the potential for 100 bonus points!

The biggest change to Organizer Rewards: we’ve reduced the points required to reach each level!

fullStaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar fullStarfullStaremptyStaremptyStaremptyStar fullStarfullStarfullStaremptyStaremptyStar fullStarfullStarfullStarfullStaremptyStar fullStarfullStarfullStarfullStarfullStar
Points to Level 0 1,500 3,000 6,000 8,000

With more points being given out for events and improved thresholds, we hope to see even more of you earning the benefits of Organizer Rewards!

Speaking of benefits, we have a big addition for you, starting right now: the Flexible Payment Option! Eligible organizers may now defer their event fee until 30 days from the day of the tournament, while still receiving full marketing benefits from the date the event is approved. Full details are available here.

We thank you all for a fantastic 2014 and look forward to an even bigger and more rewarding 2015!

Introducing Flexible Payment Option!

For any small business, flexibility is key. StarCityGames.com In-Store Programs is proud to offer a Flexible Payment Option (FPO) for eligible organizers who’ve reached Level 2 in Organizer Rewards. The Flexible Payment Option allows organizers to defer payment for most events* until 30 days before the event date.

The FPO is available by application only. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Level 2 organizer in good standing
  • Located in the US or Canada
  • No events canceled for late payment in the past 12 months (excluding Game Night)
  • No more than two events paid late in the past 12 months

FPO participants receive the following benefits:

  • Advertisements for FPO events posted on approval
  • SCG Guarantee for FPO events with event fee received 30 days prior to event date
  • Organizer Rewards bonus points with event fee received at least six weeks before event date

Once approved for FPO status, you will receive these benefits indefinitely. All you need to do is maintain Level 2 status and ensure that your event fees are submitted at least 30 days before their start dates!  Event fees received after that period will result in cancellation and temporary suspension of FPO status.  For full FPO details, please review the Organizer Rewards FAQ.

To apply for the Flexible Payment Option, simply email your regional representative or call 540-767-4263 x292.

* FPO not available for Game Night, States, and Regionals. Late or failed payment for non-FPO events will count against FPO status.

April Event Scheduling Now Available!

Ready to schedule your April In-Store Program events? Sign-ups are open now!

One important reminder:

  • No events may be scheduled April 11-12 due to the StarCityGames.com State Championships.

Also, check out the new Spring 2015 Invitational Qualifier and Open Trial artwork!

Schedule your April 2015 StarCityGames.com In-Store Program events in Organizer Tools!