WizKids monthly Organized Play events have topped 10,000 per month, with over 11,000 held in October alone. According to WizKids spokesperson Jenny Trisko, that's about ten times the number of Games Workshop events, and is greater than the number of formal events run by game industry leader Wizards of the Coast.
WizKids Executive Vice President Martin Stever noted that organized play events were great for WizKids. '...[O]ur Organized Play program....has been key to our growth,' he said. '...[T]ypically a store running our OP triples its sales of WizKids products.'
Stever told us that WizKids sales are doubling this year over 2001. Company founder Jordan Weisman predicted in an interview with the Pugent Sound Business Journal in January that the company's sales would be up about 50% this year over its $20 million in sales in 2001, so the sales increase has been far greater than expected. According to Stever, reorders in December, '...may be the best we've ever had, with distributors typically ordering good volumes on 15 skus at a time.'
Stever also pointed out that in-store events are a key competitive advantage enjoyed by brick and mortar retailers over their Internet counterparts. 'We also believe it creates a significant advantage over Internet discounters,' he said. 'We encourage our retailers to only allow the people who shop in their stores to take part iin our OP programs. We know OP can build repeat business, store loyalty, and create and environment that is just fun for both the retailer and the retailer's customers.
Of the over 10,000 WizKids events held per month, over 4700 of those feature MechWarrior, one of the components of marketing for the game that led it to be named as a finalist for Marketing Campaign of the Year by the Toy Industry of America (see 'WizKids Nominated for Marketing Award'). According to Stever, the 900 launch events held the first weekend after its release caused a surge in reorders. 'That's powerful,' he said, 'for us and for the retailers that participate.'