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Electronic Scoring Steel Darting Arrives In Spain

Date: 02/15/2005

Madrid, Spain- During the weekend of February 5th, 2005, Automatic scoring of steel darts was introduced to Spain. The Spanish Federation of Electronic Darts and Merlin Technologies, Inc, USA, partnered for this inaugural event.

Using Merlin’s new electronic scoring steel dart game, titled the Wild Bull®, traditional steel players from throughout Spain got their first look at automatic scoring of their steel darts. Players came to Madrid from all over Spain both to witness and to compete on the Wild Bull games.

Steve Pope, VP of Marketing for Merlin explains, “I was amazed by several things at this event. First, some players traveled 8 hours from the coast of Spain, just to come see our game. Second, the players were competitive, but they were even more concerned with having a good time. And lastly, I was amazed by how many female darters where there.” According to Pope, these elements worked well with the Wild Bull® dart game, as after a player threw his or her darts, they could concentrate on being social or enjoying their cocktails, rather than doing math and ‘chalking’ their score.

The goal of the event was for these participants to join Merlin and FEDE in growing steel darts in Spain, using the Wild Bull machine. The event also featured a select group of darters and influential members of the steel darting community throughout Spain. The concept was to invite these special guests, and to bring them to Madrid, expenses paid, with the goal of getting them to fall in love with the game. “Rather then giving them some presentation, we let the games speak for themselves and to let the players compete on them,” explains FEDE (Spanish Electronic Dart Federation) President, Roger Mahan.

Mahan continues, “Spain is dominated by Soft-Tip darts and my Federation represents the largest league, with roughly 17,000 members. Steel darts in Spain is in the minority; and our Federation doesn’t have a steel division. However, some of our soft-tip Professionals were once steel players, and we would like to reach out to steel players.” A theme commonly heard from other prominent soft-tip associations, now with the introduction of the Wild Bull’s automatic scoring coin operated machine, the leagues can now afford to add steel leagues and to properly promote them.

Mahan and Pope explain that the business plan is to add ‘value’ for the players. If we can present a greater ‘value’ for the steel player when they are paying-to-play on the Wild Bull® versus playing on a free board, he will see for himself why it is more enjoyable to play on our game and to be in a league like the Spanish Dart Federation.

Pope concludes, “This event was a great first step. Roger and I were thrilled by the players’ reaction to the game. I would also like to thank our friends at FEDE and especially to those players who attended this weekend.”

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