KickUp:5 and the potential of goal wall shooting as a mainstream sport

Livelihood, best-practise examples and recommendations

Master's Thesis, 2019

103 Pages, Grade: 2,2


Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Formulas

List of abbreviations

1; Introduction
1.1; Research background and motivation
1.2; Description of the research problem and objectives
1.3; Outline of the thesis

2; Background on KickUp:
2.1; The arena concept
2.2; Game modes
2.3; Stakeholders
2.4; Online Community - 23 -
2.5; The league concept

3; Case studies
3.1; The example of Darts
3.1.1; Governing body
3.1.2; Rules of the game
3.1.3; Circuit of tournaments
3.1.4; The ranking system
3.2; The example of Squash
3.2.1; Governing body
3.2.2; Rules of the Game
3.2.3; Circuit of tournaments
3.2.4; The ranking system

4; Recommendations for KickUp:5

5; Conclusion




Uwe Schneider is not only a successful entrepreneur, but also a passionate footballer who had a dream of making goal wall shooting a sport in its own right when his shooting accuracy won him several prizes and trophies in goal wall shooting events across the country. It took him years to realise his dream, but the invention of a fully automatic goal wall arena is just another proof that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and are willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

The goal of this thesis is to find out if goal wall shooting has the potential to make the transition from a game to a recognised sport, as in the case of darts. For this purpose, a profit calculation was performed to assess the profitability of the goal wall arena and estimate the return for investors. The performance of the players was measured throughout the first league season using the motion sensors in the goal wall arena and analysed by regression analysis and the method of least squares to find out which factors are critical for their performance. A probability analysis was carried out to determine the level of difficulty and show that the game offers the possibility to quantify perfection. Darts and squash were analysed with regard to their governing bodies, rules, circuits of tournaments, and ranking systems, to identify similarities and differences with the game modes and derive recommendations for KickUp:5. The dartboard sequence was analysed to assess the difficulty level of darts and a Python programme was written and executed to find the possible paths for a nine-dart finish.

The results show that goal wall shooting is a challenging yet accessible sport for people of all ages and genders. Mental toughness is a decisive factor, but players can improve their shooting accuracy through regular exercise. Even though the level of difficulty is not as high as in darts, hard work and commitment is necessary to climb in the rankings and reach a certain level of experience. Excitement is guaranteed due to the importance of the centre hole, which doubles the score and often decides a match with the last shot. The goal wall arena is a well-designed and implemented concept that offers a profitable investment with competitive returns, but adjustments in certain areas could help KickUp:5 speed up the transition process.


First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my thesis adviser, Prof. Dr. Nina Leffers, of the Faculty of Business Studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, who helped me with the structure of the thesis and guided me through the entire research and writing process with her patience, motivation, and immense knowledge.

I would also like to thank the second reader of the thesis, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hößl, of the Faculty of Business Studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, who took the time to read my work and gave me helpful and constructive feedback. This work incorporates concepts I learned from his lectures on finance, among them the concepts of the mean, variance and standard deviation.

Besides my advisers, I would like to thank Nicole Seidl and the entire KickUp:5 team for the fascinating insights I have gained during my research on this topic, which could not have been accomplished without their help, continuous support and encouragement: Uwe Schneider, Christoph Binninger, Detlef Erhardt, Markus Kaniber, Jürgen Hagl, Mario Schneider, Sandro Schneider, Ian Staples.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents for their love and unfailing support throughout my life and the years of study. This thesis would not have been possible without them. Thank you both for giving me the strength to reach for the stars and chase my dreams.

List of Figures

Figure 1: The KickUp:5 logo page

Figure 2: The KickUp:5 goal wall arena

Figure 3: The five holes of the goal wall

Figure 4: Estimation of the IRR of an investment in KickUp:5

Figure 5: The live games section on the KickUp:5 website

Figure 6: Game details of a KickUp:5 game

Figure 7: Hit rate and player statistics of an experienced player

Figure 8: Hit rate of a beginner

Figure 9: Correlation between the number of games and the high score

Figure 10: Average score per player and match day

Figure 11: The league's top performers

Figure 12: The official WDF dartboard setup

Figure 13: A standard dartboard

Figure 14: Number of people participating in squash and racketball ;;;; in England from 2006/2007 to 2015/2016

Figure 15: Number of German Squash Association members

Figure 16: Number of participants in squash in the United States from ;;;; 2006 to 2017

Figure 17: General configuration of the international singles court

Figure 18: Player hit by the ball

List of Tables

Table 1: Profit calculation for an arena operator with two goal wall arenas

Table 2: The KickUp:5 game modes

Table 3: Possible paths for a perfect game in the KickDown mode

Table 4: Partners of KickUp:

Table 5: Global ranking of the top 15 players

Table 6: Method of least squares to estimate the relationship between ;;the high score and number of games

Table 7: Final table of the first Regionalliga season

Table 8: Method of least squares to find the trend line of the development of ;;the average score

Table 9: Where to aim on the dartboard

Table 10: Possible paths for a nine-dart finish

Table 11: PDC major tournaments and prize money

Table 12: PDC Order of Merit

Table 13: BDO World Ranking

Table 14: WDF Men's Rankings

Table 15: Professional squash circuit and prize money

Table 16: PSA Men's World Rankings

Table 17: PSA Women's World Rankings

List of Formulas

Formula 1: Payback period (PBP)

Formula 2: Net present value (NPV)

Formula 3: Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

Formula 4: Binomial probability

Formula 5: Binomial coefficient

Formula 6: Multinomial coefficient

Formula 7: Linear regression line equation

Formula 8: Correlation coefficient

Formula 9: Pythagorean equation

Formula 10: Points calculation formula for the Classic mode

List of abbreviations

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1 ;Introduction

1.1 ;Research background and motivation

I have always been interested in sports, but football has been my favourite one since I was a young boy. The player I fell in love with and who inspired me the most was Brazilian legend Pele because the way he played was pure art and beautiful to watch. He is considered by many as the greatest player the world has ever seen, and, as the English title of his 1977 autobiography My Life and the Beautiful Game indicates, he is one of the reasons why the phrase "The Beautiful Game" (from Portuguese: o jogo bonito) has become synonymous with football not only in Brazil but also in many other countries and languages. Pele is the only player to have lifted the World Cup on three occasions (1958, 1962 and 1970), which makes him the most successful player of all time.1

The cradle of modern football is England, where it enjoyed great interest and quickly spread to continental Europe and other areas of the world. No matter the age, gender or skill level, amateur or professional, anyone can play football. It is an easy game that only requires a ball, two goals and a pitch to play. Maybe that is the reason why it has become the most popular sport with an estimated four billion followers, which is more than half of the world's population.2

No one can deny the impact of football on our culture and society. Football contributes to regional and national identity and is closely linked to political, economic and social developments. An example for this connection is the Miracle of Bern, when Germany unexpectedly won the World Cup thanks to a 3-2 final victory over the "invincible" Hungarians, who came to the tournament as runaway favourites after an unbeaten run of four years. The success of 1954 put German football back on the map and unleashed a wave of euphoria across the country, which was still suffering from the aftermath of the war.3

Germany has become one of the world's leading football nations and the country's football association, the DFB (German: Deutscher Fußball-Bund), can boast around seven million members, making it one of the biggest social networks in Germany and one of the most important football associations around the globe. There are more than 25,000 clubs registered with the 21 national associations of the DFB, with the number of teams taking part in matches every week amounting to more than 165,000 and the number of youth teams amounting to over 100,000. These figures give a sense of how strong the impact of football on our society is and how much the sport means to people.4

The unrivalled popularity of football has created many variations, some of which have become mainstream sports that are popular with television audiences all over the world. Beach soccer and futsal, the latter of which is derived from the Portuguese expression Futebol de Salão and often referred to as indoor football or five-a-side football, are just two examples of football variants that have experienced rapid growth and development in recent years, leading to their integration into the structure of the FIFA, which is the international governing body of association football (French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Other variations related to football are six-a-side football, seven-a-side football, street football, freestyle football, or keepie uppie.5

There are also football hybrid games that combine aspects of association football with elements of other sports. Popular examples of such games are footvolley, a mixture of football and volleyball, footgolf, a combination of football and golf, and football tennis, which, as the name suggests, combines football and tennis. Other lesser-known hybrids include football billiards, bubble football or headies, which is a combination of table tennis and the heading of football.

Another football-based activity is goal wall shooting, which tests the shooting skills and accuracy of football players and came first into the consciousness of a broader audience after its introduction in the German television sports show Das Aktuelle Sportstudio, which was launched in 1963 together with the start of the Bundesliga.

On 2 September 1967, the show was broadcast in colour for the first time on ZDF (German: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen), which is the second channel in the German television network, featuring Uwe Seeler, Franz Beckenbauer and Eusebio, who were among the best players at that time. Uwe Seeler smashed a ball speed detector with the ball, but football sports presenter Harry Valerien kept his cool and saved the evening with the legendary goal wall, even though Eusebio could not hit a single target in front of the cameras. There is an anecdote that when the show was over and the cameras turned off, the Portuguese goal-getter went back to the goal wall and tried it again, but it took him 36 attempts to score.6

The classic goal wall, which was invented by German engineer Heinrich Klein, is made of wood with the following dimensions: 1.83 metres in height, 2.70 metres in width, one hole in the top left corner with a diameter of 55 centimetres and a distance of 110 centimetres from the ground, another hole of the same size in the bottom right corner with a distance of eight centimetres from the ground. The basic game concept is simple, as each player has three attempts for each target from a distance of seven metres, beginning with the bottom right corner, and the winner is the player who has more hits on the two targets. It is said to be extremely difficult to sink all six shots in a row as no one has ever performed it live on television.7

Different types of goal walls have been invented since the introduction of the "mother" of all goal walls, but the game concept is pretty much the same. There are goal walls made of different materials, such as wood, aluminium and synthetic materials, and goal walls with a different number of holes. Exotic types of goal walls are often used for marketing purposes to attract the attention of many people. Media Markt, for example, used a goal wall with just one hole in the middle when it launched a nationwide contest in 2013, where customers were invited to try their luck at the goal wall after a purchase, and those who managed to score a goal received their money back.8

1.2 ;Description of the research problem and objectives

The young and dynamic Regensburg-based startup KickUp:5 enthusiastically took up the idea of establishing goal wall shooting as a new sport and created a sophisticated goal wall system that comes with the latest sensor technology and a goal wall that has five holes instead of the traditional two diagonally opposite holes. The project has met with a positive response and the support of seven-time Bundesliga champion and 1990 World Cup winner Klaus Augenthaler, who became the brand's ambassador.9

The beginnings of goal wall shooting are humble as they were with darts that started as a pub game, which is a game played indoor in a social atmosphere where players can have a chat or drink a beer while playing it. Nowadays, darts is a major sport performed by professional players who compete in prestigious tournaments, several of which are broadcast live on television. What both games have in common is that players try to hit a stationary target from a certain distance. The difference is that a ball is used instead of arrows and players use their feet to kick the ball through the holes in the goal wall.10

A major step forward has been taken with the introduction of a league system, but there is still a long way to go until goal wall shooting becomes a mainstream sport, which is a sport that is recognised by most people as a sport and characterised by a high degree of competitiveness, corporate sponsorship, and exclusivity to certain groups, as in the case of football, futsal, darts and squash, whereas a non-mainstream sport is followed and practised by smaller groups of people who have their focus on fun and skilfulness rather than competition.11

The first thing that has to be done to find out what issues need to be addressed is to provide a description and evaluation of the current situation and the achievements the startup has already made with the arena concept and the online community, the rules of the game, stakeholders and sponsors, the performance of players, the organisation of leagues and tournaments, and the participation in competitions, exhibitions and fairs.

As KickUp:5 intends to attract investors, sponsors and stakeholders, who are interested in the success of the project and its potential for future earnings, the arena concept must be explained in detail, including all components of the goal wall arena and the features of the KickUp:5 website and the online community. It is necessary to perform a project calculation that includes the expected annual revenues and expenses to be able to assess the profitability of the goal wall system and estimate the cash flows and the internal rate of return of the project.

Although goal wall shooting is a game in its own right, the goal wall works brilliantly as a training aid for football players to improve their accuracy of shooting and passing. In modern football, matches are often decided through standard situations like penalties, corners, and free kicks, which require the ability to place the ball in a specific corner of the goal. In this context, the performance of players was measured throughout an entire season using the motion sensors in the goal wall arena, and the data will be analysed by regression analysis and the method of least squares to find out which factors are critical for the performance and how it evolves over time. The results can help encourage more players and teams to practise goal wall shooting as part of their training programme and use the system as a training device like the Footbonaut, which is a similar construction used by players from Bundesliga sides TSG Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund to improve their overall technical skills.12

The similarities and differences between the KickUp:5 game modes and the mainstream sports they are based on will be analysed and discussed to identify potential for growth and improvement and be able to make recommendations that can be used to improve the goal wall arena and the online community, the league concept, the rules of the game, and help the startup better achieve its expansion goals. Powerkick is similar to squash, KickDown is inspired by darts, KidsFun is a modified form of goal wall shooting for children, and the Classic mode, which can be played by single players or teams, is considered the supreme discipline of goal wall shooting. As darts and squash are the examples to learn from, their peculiarities, origins, development, governance structure, rules, circuit of tournaments, and ranking system will be figured out.

The attractiveness of a game is determined to a large extent by its level of difficulty, which can be measured and compared by probability analysis. For that purpose, the data will be used not only to calculate the mean, the variance, and the standard deviation of the performance data set, but also the hit rate of an average player by dividing the total number of hits on a target by the number of hits possible. Sometimes, it happens that the difficulty of a game is limited by its highest score possible and the number of ways to reach it. For example, the maximum score of 300 in bowling is achieved when a player rolls twelve strikes in a row, and in baseball it is 27, the number of runners a pitcher has to prevent from getting on base. The probability of occurrence of a perfect game in goal wall shooting and the number of possible paths to perform it will be calculated.

The findings of this thesis will contribute to a better understanding of the advantages of goal wall shooting as a sport and the opportunities it provides for players, stakeholders, sponsors, investors, and fans. Just like a fine wine, things take time to develop, and the same goes for a new sport, but an informed decision based on a comprehensive analysis will help KickUp:5 take a step in the right direction and save time and money on future investments.

1.3 ;Outline of the thesis

The research is divided into five chapters. After the introduction, which includes the description of the research problem and the objectives of the thesis, Chapter 2 presents the background on KickUp:5, from the beginnings of the company and the idea behind the development of a goal wall arena to its implementation and the creation of an online community and a league structure. Chapter 3 includes two case studies as best-practise examples of mainstream sports that are similar to the KickUp:5 game modes in order to be able to answer the research question and figure out what needs to be done to make goal wall shooting more popular. The first case study deals with darts as it is similar to the Classic and KickDown modes, and the second one is about squash whose results are transferable to the Powerkick mode. The findings are then used in Chapter 4 to develop a strategy for KickUp:5 and propose recommendations for action. Chapter 5 is the final chapter and the conclusion of the thesis. It provides a conclusive summary of the main findings of the presented work and serves as an outlook for further investigation.

2 ;Background on KickUp:5

KickUp:5 is a compound word formed from a phrasal verb which is a combination of the verb to kick, which means to hit something (the ball) with the foot13, and the adverbial particle up, which means to a higher position somewhere (at the goal wall)14. The number, which is separated from the compound word with a colon, indicates that the goal wall has five holes to kick the ball through.

The idea was conceived and developed by Uwe Schneider, who is a former football player for SSV Jahn Regensburg and FSV Steinsberg and a distinguished expert in goal wall shooting. He has already participated in many goal wall shooting events across the country and is probably the first professional player in the history of the sport, winning everything from trophies, trips and cars to prize money. In a contest which took place at Donau Arena in Regensburg during the 2006 World Cup, he achieved the impressive feat of sinking six balls in a row in front of thousands of cheering fans, something many failed to accomplish, amongst them Lothar Matthäus, Franz Beckenbauer and Pele.15

Inspired by the hype around darts, Schneider and his team invested 250,000 euros and two years of effort in the development of a goal wall which they considered to have the potential to revolutionise goal wall shooting. Schneider thought it was necessary due to the poor playing conditions he was faced with in previous events where the balls were not sufficiently inflated and the holes of the sometimes ramshackle goal walls were too small or had different sizes.16

The result of the development is a fully automatic goal wall arena that celebrated its international premiere at Regensburg Arcaden on 27 June 2016 in connection with an opening press conference for journalists, photographers and TV crews, a presentation of the goal wall system, and the organisation of the first ever goal wall shooting contest in the history of KickUp:5, which was named after the Regensburg Arcaden and went on for a fortnight.17

The KickUp:5 logo, as shown in Figure 1, appeared on the first edition of the goal wall which was also used for the Erl Bräu Cup, a tournament for teams consisting of three players sponsored by Erl Bräu, a beer brewing company from Geiselhöring, and held at the main location in Regensburg where the first two playing courts were opened in 2016 for permanent operation. The first prize was a 30-litre beer keg which was won by Uwe Schneider and his KickUp:5 team.18

Figure 1: The KickUp:5 logo

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The year 2017 was a pivotal and successful one for Schneider, as he did not only manage to roll out his innovative concept to other locations across Bavaria, but was also invited to present the new goal wall arena at the ISPO in Munich, which is the world's largest trade fair for sporting goods and sports fashion, where it received the ISPO Brandnew Finalist Award for innovation.19

Later that year, KickUp:5 took part in the second official German goal wall shooting championship at Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt where 120 teams battled it out for the national title. Several sponsors of the event created and provided their own goal walls, which were traditional ones with just two holes, one in the bottom right and one in the top left corner. Each team consisted of two players, no matter the age or gender, and each player had three attempts for each of the two targets, six shots in total.20

KickUp:5 registered several teams but it was only when six of them advanced to the round of 32 that the organisers and the other participants began to notice that the teams from Regensburg were dominating the competition. Uwe Schneider turned out to be one of the strongest and most consistent players of the day, hitting all six targets in two different matches and eventually winning the trophy together with his teammate Goran Rumunski. The effects of regular training and exercise were unmistakable and ensured that the KickUp:5 team defended the national German title in 2018.21

2.1 ;The arena concept

The KickUp:5 goal wall is part of a fully automatic goal wall system that costs almost 60,000 euros and has the following dimensions: 11 metres in length, 4.5 metres in width and 2.5 metres in height. The arena is equipped with a sturdy goal wall, state-of-the-art sensors and software, a scoreboard, a multi-language touch-screen terminal, and a ball return system. The advertising boards adorning the side walls are playable and there is a ball stop net around the entire playing area, an artificial turf and stadium seats to ensure a proper stadium atmosphere.22

Figure 2: The KickUp:5 goal wall arena

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The goal wall is designed to withstand frequent use and the impact of shots. It has five holes, one in each of the four corners and one in the centre. Each hole has a diameter of 56 centimetres, which is one centimetre more in diameter than the hole of a traditional goal wall, and the distance from the kicking spot is 6.6 metres instead of seven metres.23

Figure 3: The five holes of the goal wall

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As shown in Figure 3, each hole has a number indicating the number of points a player receives for a hit. The hole in the bottom right corner is worth two points, the bottom left corner three points, the top left four and the top right corner five points. A centre hit doubles the number of points as the centre hole is said to be the most difficult one to hit. More than 20 redundantly connected sensors measure the data of interest, such as hit, miss and shot speed, process them and send the information directly to the scoreboard.24

The scoreboard is mounted above the goal wall and features a large LCD (liquid crystal display) panel that displays all the important information for the players about the current score and the ranking, whose turn it is, and which target to aim for next. As data transmission is in real time using WLAN (wireless local area networking) technologies, each player is always up-to-date and all changes are immediately visible on the screen.

A touch-screen terminal that supports multiple languages, such as English and German, allows players to interact with the system. A maximum of six players can participate in a game and use the terminal to enter their names and select the game mode. There are currently five game modes available to choose from, each of which offers a different playing experience and strategy: Classic Ranked, Classic Team, Powerkick, Kickdown, and KidsFun. The terminal is also considered a useful and sometimes indispensable tool to solve problems occurring during a game, for example, if a hit is incorrectly marked as a miss or an attempt is not registered by the sensors. In order to make sure that the flow of the game is not interrupted and everything runs smoothly, the players have the option to enter, modify and delete data manually as well.

Another important element to maintain the flow of the game is a ball return machine, which is hidden and well protected behind the advertising boards to ensure that the ball is automatically returned to the players' feet after each hit. It is not necessary to collect the footballs one by one after a game, and even in case of a miss, the ball bounces back from the goal wall or is stopped by the net. The ball return machine can accommodate several balls at a time, all of which must comply with the IFAB (International Football Association Board) Laws of the Game and weigh between 410 and 450 grammes with a circumference of between 70 and 68 centimetres. The balls used for a league game or tournament must be inflated to a pressure of 0.4 bar or 5.18 psi (pound-force per square inch) to ensure equal playing conditions and that no one is favoured or disadvantaged.25

Each arena is presented in a uniform design based on the company's CI (corporate identity). CI is a marketing term referring to the qualities of a company that make it different from other companies, and the images, words, etc. that it uses to make itself familiar to its customers. CI starts with a logo, but it also includes other images, colour schemes, typefaces, and slogans like KickUp:5's "live spielen - online erleben", which translates to English as "play live - experience online", to maintain the nationwide and global recognition of the brand and its standards.26

A goal wall arena with a ball return machine and similar sensor technology is something that has never existed before and is now registered with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). It is protected by trademarks, copyrights, and patents and can only be produced by KickUp:5 for a predetermined period.27

Delivery and installation of the goal wall arena is carried out by a team of experts in coordination with the customer. All arenas and their components are connected to the central server through the internet which allows players and teams in different locations to play against each other in real time. For example, if players register online and set up a team in Hamburg to compete with a team from Regensburg, the game can be watched live on the internet. A user-friendly operator software allows users to configure and control the system, from the activation of the arena and access rights to reservations and bookings, and ensures accessibility for remote maintenance and servicing.28

A centralised marketing strategy ensures that all locations are listed on the KickUp:5 website with maps and driving directions and promoted through social media, online advertising, flyers, advertising panels and posters in the city. Opening events for new locations are covered by the media with a professional sports presenter and a well-known sports personality. Other advertising solutions are based on the customers' needs and include television, cinema or radio advertising.29

No matter the level of experience and ability, the arena concept brings people of all kind together, fulfilling their social and emotional needs and thus contributing to stress reduction and a better quality of life. The target audience is the recreational player, who plays the game just for fun and wants to spend some quality time together with family and friends, but also the professional player, who wants to exercise on a regular basis, play ranked and league games and be part of the online community.30

The goal wall arenas are not exclusively a B2C (business-to-consumer) product, but also sold in the B2B (business-to-business) market. The reason behind is the fact that competition often comes from substitutes, not from other companies. Sports arenas, bowling centres and indoor football centres offer different alternatives where people can go to have fun. KickUp:5 intends to cooperate with these facilities to avoid unnecessary competition and create a win-win situation for both sides. Apart from Regensburg, goal wall arenas have so far been installed in Passau and Kirchheim-Heimstetten.31

The installation of the goal wall arenas in these facilities increases their demand and number of visitors but also the sales of KickUp:5. Assuming that the price for court rental is 25 euros per hour during peak hours and 20 euros during off-peak hours with a utilisation rate of 50 percent for all courts, a potential customer, who wants to buy two goal wall arenas and operate them on a daily basis for ten hours, can expect average daily earnings of 270 euros and an annual turnover of 81,680.67 euros, excluding VAT (value added tax).

Table 1: Profit calculation for an arena operator with two goal wall arenas

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As shown in Table 1 above, the arena operator has to pay estimated annual expenses of 47,800.33 euros that include the monthly rent for the facility, licence fees, server costs, maintenance fees and the costs for service, support and advertising solutions provided by KickUp:5. Other costs shall not be taken into consideration for the purposes of this calculation. After deducting all expenses, the operator has an annual net profit/EAT (earnings after taxes) of 33,880.34 euros. Given an initial investment of 120,000 euros and an annual net cash flow of 33,880.34 euros, the payback period is 3.54 years and can be calculated using the PBP (payback period) formula:

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The payback period of a project is an important factor in the decision-making process of whether to realise an investment or not, as long payback periods are undesirable due to their increased uncertainty. The main disadvantage of this capital budgeting method is that it does not consider the time value of money, which means that money received today is worth more than money received in the future. To assess the profitability of an investment, it is recommended to use the NPV (Net Present Value) formula:32

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where Cn is the cash flow during the period n, C0 is the initial investment, r is the discount rate, and n denotes the number of time periods. The NPV formula is used to determine the present value of an investment by discounting the future cash flows using a suitable discount rate. A positive NPV suggests that an investment is expected to be profitable, whereas an investment with a negative NPV is expected to destroy value. According to the NPV rule, all investments with a positive NPV should be accepted.33

The discount rate plays an important role in determining the NPV as investors must be compensated for the time value of money and the risk associated with the future cash flows. It appears in the denominator of the NPV formula, which means that there is an inverse relationship between r and the NPV as a higher discount rate leads to a lower present value and a lower discount rate results in a higher NPV. While the risk premium covers a company's business and financial risk, the time value of money is represented by a risk-free rate of return based on government bonds, such as the 10-year German federal bond, which currently yields around 0.50 percent.34

By setting NPV equal to zero and assuming a project duration greater than the payback period, for example, five years (n = 5), it is possible to estimate the IRR (Internal Rate of Return), as r remains the only unknown variable in the above formula. For example, a discount rate of 10 percent gives a positive NPV of 8,433.14 euros and a discount rate of 15 percent results in a negative NPV of -6,427.85 euros.

This means that the rate r, which gives an NPV of exactly zero, lies somewhere between the two limits of 10 and 15 percent. As NPV is a quadratic function of 1/(1+r), there is no straightforward method to calculate the IRR, but linear interpolation can be helpful to find the approximate value of IRR:

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where R1 is the lower discount rate, R2 is the higher discount rate, NPV1 is the net present value related to R1, and NPV2 is the net present value related to R2. The IRR formula returns a result of approximately 12.84 percent, which means that an r of 12.84 percent makes all expected annual net cash flows for the next five years equal to zero.

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The higher a project's IRR, the better its financial performance. The result of the IRR calculation suggests that an investment in two KickUp:5 goal wall arenas generates an average annual rate of return equal to 12.84 percent a year for the next five years. As a rule of thumb, an investor should accept the project if the IRR is greater than the rate of return on alternative investments.35

Figure 4: Estimation of the IRR of an investment in KickUp:5

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2.2 ;Game modes

KickUp:5 has five different game modes. The Classic mode can be played by one to six players and has a fixed kicking order. Each player has three attempts for each of the five targets, always beginning with the bottom right hole (2 points per hit), followed by the top left hole (4 points), the bottom left hole (3 points), the top right hole (5 points), and ending with the centre hole, which doubles the total number of points with every hit. Each target requires a different shooting technique and the target to be hit next is always marked in white color on the scoreboard so that everyone can see it. If a player sinks the ball in a wrong hole, the attempt is counted as a miss and will not be awarded any points. The maximum number of points possible is 336, the perfect game, which requires fifteen consecutive hits by a player in the following order: 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, centre, centre, centre.36

Table 2: The KickUp:5 game modes

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A perfect game is a rare event and the probability of that happening is infinitesimally small, even for an experienced player. Assuming that a player has a fifty percent chance of hitting each target (p = 0,5), which is about the same chance as tossing a coin, then the probability of the occurrence P of a perfect game can be calculated using the binomial probability formula:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

where p represents the probability of success, n is the number of trials and k is the number of successes. The number of trials in the Classic mode is 15 (n = 15) and, in the case of a perfect game, the number of successes is equal to the number of trials (k = 15).

The first step is to calculate the binomial coefficient, which is shown in parentheses and gives the number of combinations of k elements from a set of n elements:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

where n! and k! denote factorials: n! = n(n-1)(n-2)...(2)(1), and k! = k(k-1)(k-2)...(2)(1). The factorial of 15 is exactly 1,307,674,368,000, but the calculation can be simplified as the factorial of 0 is 1 and n is equal to k, which means that the numerator is equal to the denominator and the fraction has a value of exactly 1:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The next step is to calculate the probability of the occurrence of a perfect game by using the results of the binomial coefficient formula. Since n is equal to k and the exponential of zero is 1, the probability of the complement is negligible, making the calculation of P straightforward:

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The result of the binomial probability formula shows that a perfect game occurs with a probability of 0.003 percent, which is equivalent to a probability of less than one in thirty thousand. As a comparison, the odds of a perfect game in the Sportstudio version of goal wall shooting with two holes and six kicks are significantly higher - 1.5 percent:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

As shown in Table 2, the Classic mode can also be played in teams of one, two or three people. This mode is not a physically exhausting one, especially for players who are not in their best shape or have any health restrictions, which makes it possible for almost everyone to play it.

KidsFun is a light version of goal wall shooting for kids and junior players, where just the two bottom holes and the centre hole are used as targets. The kicking order is fixed with three shots on each target, beginning with the bottom right hole (2 points per hit), followed by the bottom left one (3 points), and ending with the centre hole, which doubles the total number of points with every hit. The total number of kicks per player and game is nine and the maximum number of points possible is 120.37

KickDown can be played by one to six players who do not follow a fixed kicking order. The players are free to choose the target where they want to score as their aim is to get down from 36 points to zero. Each player has three attempts in each round and each hole must be hit at least once during a game. The bottom right hole is worth two points, the bottom left three, the top left four, and the top right hole five points, as usual. The centre hole is worth one point, however, assuming that a player has hit a different hole right before in the same round, it doubles the score of the previously hit target. With that being said, it appears that the game is not so easy as a player must finish on exactly zero by hitting the centre hole to win the game. For example, when a player has three points left, he or she needs three consecutive centre hits in one round to finish the game, and when a player has two points left, two centre hits are required. If a player scores below zero, his or her round ends immediately and the last hit is not counted.38

As each target has to be hit once, the least possible number of kicks to finish a game in the KickDown mode is nine, similar to a nine-dart finish. Considering that a player has to check out with a centre hit and is not allowed to go below zero points, it is necessary that the penultimate target is the 2-point hole in the bottom right corner. The other seven targets (n = 7) are variable in their order. The number of paths can be calculated with the multinomial coefficient formula, which is an extension of the binomial coefficient formula and used to find the number of distinguishable permutations of n elements:

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where one element is repeated km times and m is the total number of groups of identical elements. Apart from the 2-point hole and the centre hole, which doubles it to 4 points, a player has to hit the 5-point hole five times for additional 25 points (k1 = 5), the 4-point hole for additional 4 points (k2 = 1), and the 3-point hole for additional 3 points (k3 = 1) to reach the required 36 points. This can be achieved in 42 different ways, but the minimum number of kicks remains nine:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Assuming that it is advantageous to get down as quickly as possible and easier to hit a target repeatedly than to hit a different target with every shot, the following kicking order is preferable: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, centre-out. If a player feels more comfortable with the centre hole than the 5-point hole, it is possible to opt for a different strategy by first hitting the 5-point hole and immediately going for the centre hole to double the score to 10 points instead of hitting the 5-point-hole twice:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

If this strategy is followed, two of the five 5-point targets are replaced by a combination of a 5-point target and a centre target (k1 = 3, k4 = 1), with all other targets remaining unchanged (k2 = 1, k3 = 1) and the number of elements reduced (n = 6). Considering the fact that both targets must be hit one after the other and a player has three attempts per round, it is not advisable to start a round on the centre hole as there is no previous shot to double. Consequently, all permutations associated with an unfavourable position of the centre target in the kicking order must be deducted: 5, 5, 5, centre, 5, 4, 3, 2, centre-out, or 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 5, centre, 2, centre-out. A centre hit in the fourth or seventh position would earn just one point, no matter the arrangement of the other targets, thus reducing the number of possible paths for the "centre-oriented" strategy from 120 to 80.

This strategy also includes the option to replace four instead of two of the five 5-point targets by two combinations of a 5-point target and a centre target (k1 = 1, k4 =2), with the other targets remaining unchanged (k2 = 1, k3 = 1) and the number of elements further reduced (n = 5):

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Once again, it is necessary to eliminate all permutations where the centre holes have an unfavourable position in the kicking order: 5, centre, 5, 4, 3, 5, centre, 2, centre-out, or 5, 4, 5, centre, 5, centre, 3, 2, centre-out, or 5, centre, 5, centre, 5, 4, 3, 2, centre-out. A centre hit in the seventh position will earn just one point independently of the position of the second centre hit, which can be in the second, third, fourth or fifth position, affecting 6 permutations of the other three targets in each of the 4 positions. The same goes for a centre hit in the fourth position, which is the case when the second centre hit occurs in the second or sixth position, affecting 6 permutations in each of the two cases, reducing the number of possible paths for this strategy from 60 to 24.

Table 3: Possible paths for a perfect game in the KickDown mode

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As shown in Table 3, there are 146 ways to perform a perfect game in the KickDown mode with nine kicks in just three rounds. The standard way offers 42 paths where the centre hole is the target only on the last shot. The other two ways require more often a change of the shooting technique, but are easier to perform for so-called centre shooters who prefer to go for the centre hole instead of the 5-point hole.

Inspired by squash, the Powerkick mode is physically more demanding than the other game modes as the players have to run a lot instead of kicking the ball through holes from a fixed spot. It can be played by one to three players who are free to choose the target where they want to score, and the winner is who scores exactly 21 points first. As usual, the bottom right hole is worth two points, the bottom left three, the top left four, and the top right hole five points. The centre hole is worth two points with the exception that, if the previous hit was recorded by the same player, a centre hit doubles the score of the previously hit target. Players are not obliged to hit each target, but if they reach exactly 20 points or score over 21 points, they cannot check out and their last hit is not counted.39

Similar to squash, a game in Powerkick starts with a service behind the service line where the ball is kicked out of the hand without being allowed to touch the ground. When the server hits a target, it is called an ace. If the ball bounces back from the goal wall into the playing field, which is marked by two lines and the advertising boards, the next player in line attempts to get the ball and kick it through one of the five targets. If the incoming player is not able to control the ball or the ball is touched more than once, the opponent serves. The player who hits a target is awarded the points and serves.40

If a player obstructs the incoming opponent or commits a foul or violation, the opponent gets a free kick from the kicking spot. Fouls include jersey grabs, blocking, standing in the line of fire or touching the ball during the opponent's turn. Until the player has taken the free kick, no other player is allowed to be in the playing field. After a free kick, the fouled player serves, no matter whether it was a hit or not.41

The minimum number of kicks required to win a Powerkick game is five. As the five targets (n = 5) are variable in their order, there are 20 different paths to achieve this feat by hitting the 5-point hole three times (k1 = 3), the 4-point hole and the 2-point hole one time (k2 =1, k3 =1), and completely leaving out the 3-point hole and the centre hole:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Just like in the KickDown mode, a player, who prefers the centre hole over the 5-point hole, can choose a different strategy by hitting the 5-point target and then doubling the score to 10 points on the centre hole instead of hitting the 5-point-hole twice in a row. This strategy requires that two of the three 5-point targets are replaced by a combination of a 5-point target and a centre target (k1 = 1, k4 = 1), with the other targets remaining unchanged (k2 = 1, k3 = 1) and the number of elements reduced (n = 4):

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

As Powerkick is not played in rounds, the position of the centre hole in the order is irrelevant and the only condition that must be met is that the centre hole is preceded by a 5-point hole, thus increasing the number of possible paths for a perfect game by 24 from 20 to 44.

2.3 ;Stakeholders

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, a stakeholder is a person or company that is involved in a particular organisation, project, system, etc., especially because they have invested money in it. This means that stakeholders primarily consist of investors, employees, customers, lenders, or suppliers, who are essential to the existence of the organisation and have an interest in its success. However, stakeholder is a very broad term referring not only to the members of the organisation itself but also to individuals and groups who are affected by its decisions and actions.42

The KickUp:5 development team includes eight members, all of whom have their own area of responsibility. Apart from the efforts of Uwe Schneider as the spiritual father and inventor of KickUp:5, the team can rely on the experience of Christoph Binninger as head of sales, Ian Staples as head of technical product development, Markus Kaniber as head of IT (Information Technology), Jürgen Hagl as art director, Sandro Schneider as head of purchasing and accounting, Mario Schneider as head of production and assembly, and Detlef Erhardt as head of PR (Public Relations) and social media.43

Sponsors are considered one of the most important groups of stakeholders as they are needed to help funding the project. Among the companies which joined the KickUp:5 project as sponsors even before the introduction of the league system are the Munich-based financial services company Fuchsberg Capital, the Regensburg-based rental car company Buchbinder, and the sports betting company Bet3000.44

Table 4: Partners of KickUp:5

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Apart from the aforementioned sponsors, there are other partners who team up with KickUp:5 in order to make goal wall shooting more famous. As shown in Table 4, these include partners who support the project by sending a team into the league, partners who are involved in organising events and tournaments, such as the Erl Bräu Cup and the FuPa Cup, and outfitters like Erima who provide jerseys for the teams and the game balls for league games and tournaments.45

2.4 ;Online Community

All arena locations are integrated into the KickUp:5 online community and the league concept, which means that players can easily register for an online account to be able to play ranked games in goal wall arenas in each location and fully use the features of the website. As all game data are saved in the cloud, they are immediately accessible and allow logged-in users to view and edit their player profile, follow live games, and keep track of their progress and statistics over time. The showpiece of the website is the live games section in which current and recent games and training results are shown for each game mode and location for a period of time no longer than the last seven days.


1 cf. Guinness World Records, Hall of Fame, "Pelé: Most wins of the FIFA World Cup by a player",, accessed August 2018

2 cf. World Atlas, The most popular sports in the world,, accessed August 2018

3 cf. DFB - Deutscher Fußball-Bund (English: German Football Association), "World Cup Rewind: 1954 - The Miracle of Bern", 2 June 2018,, accessed August 2018

4 cf. DFB - Deutscher Fußball-Bund, Member Statistics, 26 February 2016,, accessed August 2018

5 cf. FIFA - Fédération Internationale de Football Association (English: International Federation of Association Football), "Futsal and beach soccer enjoying rising interest, FIFA research shows", Media Release, 14 September 2006,, accessed August 2018

6 cf. Kuhloff, Benjamin, "Zum Tod des Torwand-Erfinders Heinrich Klein - Die 36 Versuche von Eusebio (English: On the death of Heinrich Klein, inventor of the goal wall - the 36 attempts of Eusebio)", 11 Freunde magazine, 3 August 2011,, accessed August 2018

7 cf. Kuhloff, Benjamin, loc. cit.

8 cf. MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group, "Media Markt launches it's crazy goal-wall shooting promotion: Anyone scoring a goal will receive a refund totaling the value of their purchases", 29 May 2013,, accessed August 2018

9 cf. Wendl, Rainer, "Auge ist KickUp:5-Pate. Regensburger Start-Up revolutioniert das Torwandschießen (English: Augenthaler is brand ambassador for KickUp:5. Regensburg-based startup revolutionises goal wall shooting)", Kult magazine, 23 June 2016,, accessed September 2018

10 cf. Newman, Paul, "Darts is a major sport, not a pub game any more", The Independent, 1 January 2008,, accessed September 2018

11 cf. Jarvie, Grant. Sport, Culture and Society: An Introduction. London (Routledge) 2006, p. 273

12 cf. Bundesliga - official website, "Meet the Footbonaut, the futuristic pass-master currently firing Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim", 13 December 2017,, accessed September 2018

13 cf. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English. Sixth Edition. Oxford (University Press) 2000, p. 707

14 cf. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English, op. cit., p. 1428

15 cf. Wendl, Rainer, loc. cit.

16 cf. Wendl, Rainer, loc. cit.

17 cf. Wendl, Rainer, loc. cit.

18 cf. FuPa - The Football Portal, "Erl Bräu-Cup 2016 - Das Teilnehmerfeld steht (English: Erl Bräu Cup 2016 - list of participants is final)", 4 December 2016,, accessed September 2018

19 cf. Gläser, Heinz, "Ein Oberpfälzer entstaubt die Torwand (English: An Upper Palatinatian reinvents the goal wall)", Mittelbayerische Zeitung, 7 February 2017,, accessed September 2018

20 cf. Allacher, Andreas, Seltenreich, Peter. "Zweimal sechs von sechs Bällen versenkt (English: Schneider sinked all six balls twice)", Mittelbayerische Zeitung, 1 June 2017,, accessed September 2018

21 cf. Allacher, Andreas; Seltenreich, Peter, loc. cit.

22 cf. Gläser, Heinz, loc. cit.

23 cf. Gläser, Heinz, loc. cit.

24 cf. Wendl, Rainer, loc. cit.

25 cf. IFAB - The International Football Association Board, Laws of the Game, Law 2 The Ball. Qualities and Measurements,, accessed September 2018

26 cf. Cambridge Dictionary,

27 cf. Gläser, Heinz, loc. cit.

28 cf. Gläser, Heinz, loc. cit.

29 cf. KickUp5,, accessed September 2018

30 cf. Gläser, Heinz, loc. cit.

31 cf. Schmitt, Christoph, "Sporttraum eröffnet KickUp:5-Torwandarena (English: Sporttraum introduces a KickUp:5 goal wall arena", 3 July 2017,, accessed September 2018

32 cf. Investopedia,, accessed October 2018

33 cf. Investopedia, op. cit.

34 cf. Bloomberg,, accessed October 2018

35 cf. Investopedia, op. cit.

36 cf. KickUp5,, accessed October 2018

37 cf. KickUp5,, accessed October 2018

38 cf. KickUp5,, accessed October 2018

39 cf. KickUp5,, accessed October 2018

40 cf. KickUp5, loc. cit.

41 cf. KickUp5, loc. cit.

42 cf. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English, op. cit., p. 1260

43 cf. Wendl, Rainer, loc. cit.

44 cf. Wendl, Rainer, "KickUp:5 startet durch (English: KickUp:5 gets started)", Kult magazine, 1 February 2017,, accessed October 2018

45 cf. FuPa - The Football Portal, "KickUp:5 lädt zum 2. FuPa Cup ein (English: KickUp:5 invites to the 2. FuPa Cup)", 10 October 2018,, accessed October 2018

Excerpt out of 103 pages


KickUp:5 and the potential of goal wall shooting as a mainstream sport
Livelihood, best-practise examples and recommendations
University of applied Sciences Regensburg
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
kickup, livelihood
Quote paper
Markus Giesecke (Author), 2019, KickUp:5 and the potential of goal wall shooting as a mainstream sport, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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