At first you may not see it. That's okay. It is an out-of-the-box idea. It's also one I've suggested before if only semi-seriously. This time though it falls into the what have you got to lose category.
By the way, this isn't a post from the in-progress queue so I'm falling further behind my intended schedule. I realize it can be frustrating but think how I feel, the pressure I'm under to constantly produce new, interesting, vital and topical material. It's a cruel burden I tell ya. And if you believe that I have a fabulous opportunity just for you. Yes, I mean you specifically. It involves a lost inheritance and some very honest bankers in Liberia. Drop me an email. Could be your lucky day.
Oh, yeah, the answer. A sports book for paintball that only operates during events. See, it's brilliant. Gambling is what makes all pro sports exciting and entertaining. Last year nearly 400 billion, yep, that was billion with a b, billion dollars was spent on sports betting alone. Now I'm not suggesting the major league series start trying to make money from gambling--unless you happen to know some Native Americans (that's Indians, and not the Cleveland variety) who haven't started up their own casinos yet. It's not necessary. This first stage can work fine without real cash money changing hands. I know what you're thinking--if real money isn't changing hands it ain't gambling. And you've got a point but stick with me.
One other thing before I go on. I don't expect any remuneration for this idea because, you know, I'm just doing my part for paintball but a little token, down the road, when gambling saves the day wouldn't go amiss. Maybe name the series trophy after me, the Loco Cup, or if that's too much a tasteful statue would be a much appreciated tribute.
The PSP has already noticed the popularity of Cadenet1's Pick'em threads leading into events and now they's using him to help communicate with their audience. They are halfway there already. Now, ask yourself what the PSP wants (and needs)--besides a money tree growing in Lane's backyard. They want to disseminate their game to the paintballing public and, eventually, beyond. They want to build a growing pro following. And they want to do that, in part, with the webcast which reaches an exponentially larger potential audience than on site at an event will ever likely reach. They want to reinvigorate sponsor value. A Paintball Sports Book operating with, say, PSP bucks can do all those things.
Here's how it works. The Sports Book is set up by the Pro field. It only accepts wagers in PSP bucks. You can bet single matches, event winners, different multiples like who makes Sunday, even individual top killers and so on. Betting is limited to the pro teams only. Odds could be simply calculated based on current ranking position. Sports betting works on two levels; an opportunity to win and the bettor's sense that their success is predicated on their knowledge and ability to evaluate the teams and players. Ego gratification and cash.
Where do PSP bucks come from? Here's where it gets good. From the vendors. You get X PSP bucks when you buy a case of paint or a T-shirt or whatever. Since most every team pays something for paint most teams and players will get some bucks to gamble without having to buy other stuff--initially. But there's more.
If PSP bucks aren't worth anything how do you win? On-site vendors accept PSP bucks up to some percentage of any purchase you might make and they can adjust as the event unfolds. For example, something between 5 and 15% maybe. Enough to have some value. So winning PSP bucks encourages purchasing paintball products. (PSP Bucks are only good for single events.)
How does the webcast fit? And does Sports Book reach beyond the event locale? Remember the down time on the webcast? It disappears. In it's place there's plenty to talk about. Recount past match-up results, previous player stats, rosters, up-to-date results and the shifting odds--all the same sorts of things sports fans talk about all the time. And for webcast offer prize give-aways based on Sports Book results. Now the league can charge a nominal fee for the webcast and simultaneously generate consistent more intense viewer interest because any and all results have a direct impact on the viewers.
There are a couple of potential concerns. There's the risk of counterfeit PSP bucks because they do have a kind of value. (Then the question becomes do vendors really care if it generates more sales?) There's the logistics of putting it together both on-site and on the web but neither one is that big a deal. There is also, I suspect, the possibility of running afoul of state laws depending. And the final problem I can see is that, from personal experience, a lot of paintball players aren't all that into sports.
There you have it, kids--pure unadulterated genius if I do say so myself--and I guess I just did.