Friday, March 13, 2009

Saving Pro Ball: The Answer

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.

16 comments:

raehl said...

You ever seen the Alexpotato market?

Anyway, your suggestion is, unfortunately, patently illegal. Any system which both requires payment or purchase for entry and awards something of value to winners is illegal gambling (unless you're, or course, duly licensed.)

But, there are other ways to achieve the same effect. Actually, far better ways.

Anonymous said...

The PSP bucks is a good way to try and make it legal.

Here is a better way. Send once guy with paypal acount to mexico.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, "Try" and make it legal. You stll fail. (same person)

Baca Loco said...

Well, see, when theone gets his law degree he can go to work and fix this dealio up.

Baca Loco said...

Well, I've seen the Alexpotato market now. I feel better already.

Ok, so give everybody a base number of PSP bucks at registration. And of course "winning" doesn't give you anything except more PSP bucks. Otherwise they are like coupons that the on site vendors either accept or not.

Anonymous said...

I think that working on player/team statistics would be helpful with this. Just look at the ever popular fantasy sports, you don't even win anything except bragging rights yet thousands of people participate in it.
And basically all of the emphasis is put on the player statistics, like RBI, tackles, recieving yards, TDs, etc.
The PSP should continue with their stats and improve it, maybe having more detailed stats such as break shooting or how many players survive off the break, # of penalties, average length of points, etc.
I think that could help people get interested in watching paintball

retired pro said...

I personally love the concept, I think you will see more viewers overall at all the games inlcluding sub par pro teams. I hink it can be a great way for viewers to get more involved and actually root for a specific team. At the end of the day if it generates more traffic for vendors and offers discounts, I feel players may actually spend more time buying then waiting to order online for cheaper. I'm sure the system will have some of the drawbacks and concerns mentioned. One things for sure i would be personally way more interested in watching games, then sitting in the ac at my hotel room. Adds another fun and entertaining element to the game which also would need some serious monitoring in order to take place. Great Suggestion and Idea in my opinion.

if you think about in Europe they just add beer stands in b/t the fields to get the same effect

Crotchety Old Fan said...

This was potentially looked into years ago with the sports book folks in Vegas. The big issue was legitimacy of the sport. (Yes, they all averred as how no pro sport was above being fixed, but...); no pro refs, no pro-maintained stats and a 'black sox incident' waiting in the wings kinda mitigates against the while thing.

I'll email you my new format for a real thrill...

Chris said...

Couldn't we just set the whole thing up online, then have a booth with a few PC's at it...

No need for PSP bucks..

Baca Loco said...

COF
That's why the PSP, or whoever, handles it on site--besides, the players and "spectators" need ready access. It doesn't require official legitimacy or real money.

BTW, love your idea. Could be terrific fun for a limited field and could also draw peeps in just to watch and play the spectator version.

Chris said...

Just throwing it out there...

I'll be more then happy to bookie...

-X

Baca Loco said...

I'm with you, Chris. I was just looking for a way to include the vendors.

Chris said...

Vendors can gamble all they want.. I'll even hold equipment to cover the bets.

I just need a translucent green poker hat, a little black book, and a bad cigar.. Maybe some flashy suspenders..

-X

Tim Cerruti said...

They should make a iphone/itouch app where you can gamble and such. then you just have wifi at the events. if this is implicated i want a cut.

chad said...

"And the final problem I can see is that, from personal experience, a lot of paintball players aren't all that into sports."

are you - or could you be - suggesting that most paintball players are/were scrawny/fat nerds in high school?

Baca Loco said...

Nerds? Most? That may be a little harsh.