Here's Part Three and I solemnly swear to keep it shorter than the previous parts. There have been expos, trade shows, advisory committees, steering committees, commissions, networks and associations and all that remains is a couple of out of date websites. From the PBI side there was the Paintball Product Manufacturers Association. Impact? Nil. From the front lines of fields and local retailers there was the Paintball News Network. Impact? More inclusive was the World Paintball Commission which appears to have been an if we build it they will come kinda effort. But nobody showed up. Old news, ancient history. Today there is a new push being made with the Paintball Sports Trade Assoc. But just what is the PSTA?
The past is littered with failed attempts but attempts at what? Were they really sincere efforts to engage PBI in a united effort? If they were and failed from apathy perhaps the current environment will have grabbed PBI's attention.
Do you recall from a couple years ago when the NPPL and the PSP were sounding off about world league federations? Did you like the sound of it? Where is it today? PSP even included federation talk on their website. Where is it today? My point isn't that PBI has had lots of good ideas but failed to follow through–my point is that all the federation talk wasn't what it seemed to be. The purpose was to compete with the other guy. The accomplishment of the stated goal was incidental. You oldsters will remember the space race of the 50's and 60's. The results have had a widespread impact on all sorts of things but the primary motivation was a competition between superpowers. Same with the world federation talk. And as soon as one side lost the other lost interest.
Which brings us back to the freshly minted PSTA and their scheduled shindig with the PB Extravaganza Dealer Trade Show. Is this the beginning of a unified face for paintball or is it just another B-to-B event? In the comments to Part One pbi man invoked SGMA and gave out the PSTA's website so anyone interested could follow up. SGMA (Sporting Goods Manufacturers Assoc.) is primarily a relationship (to retail) and lobbying entity. Will they have a useful contribution to make? I expect they will. But if the PSTA ends up being a mini-SGMA it will have forfeited an opportunity. If that's all that happens it will be an improvement over the present but there are other ways it could go. Why isn't the PSTA prepared to sign up, right now, today, all legitimate members of PBI and welcome them on board? And they already have a Board of Directors? As a natural cynic that looks like the recipe for exclusivity, not inclusivity but hopefully I'm mistaken. It could be I'm just impatient.
Anyway, if you'd like more info check out Warpig and send any queries you have to the PSTA .
Additionally the latest PR from the PSP wants y'all to know Paintball Events Unlimited LLC (you will see them at the Warpig presser) and Paintball Extravaganza (them too) will have a booth at Cup. Maybe you unacknowledged members of PBI should ask them if they want you to join them or be their customers. Just saying.
And if you'd like to do a comparison check out the WPC site.
Could be now is the time to start heating up that tar.
[Update: my html sucks but all the links are now working as intended.]
And the big finish–
Part Four: Making Moves
UPDATE: I've changed it to Sign Posts