This is a continuation of the Paintball Sucks! post on PBIndustry sponsors of tournaments and the naive notions some ballers have. The original post decried the ignorance or self-absorption of ballers who blame the tournaments for failing to line up enough sponsors/vendors when most of those same ballers have little or no intention of buying anything anyway.
The Big Picture point was that the model of sponsors/vendors paying the league in order to sell their products at an event is a model that is no longer working. (And, in fact, hasn't been working for longer than the current economic malaise.)
In that post's comments I was apparently being mean and dictatorial (see for yourself) for suggesting a more useful dialogue would result if commenters didn't ignore the original position and cherry-pick their objections. Anyway, this post is my effort to try a new tack--and respond to the self-appointed PSP flack, raehl faction, on my terms instead of his.
Around this point in comments the raehl faction jumped in to insist the new PSP policy is intended to protect local stores and fields from the predations of the swarm-of-locusts traditional trade show & camp followers. Does he address, even in passing, the idea that the sponsor/league model is in trouble? Does he think the premise is mistaken? Why or why not? Does he think players are as actively purchasing paintball stuff at events as was once plainly the case? Or soon will again? Does he put the PSP policy into any context other than to make patently absurd claims about it? Well, no, he doesn't. (This is approximately where I began suggesting the comments might be more productive if they actually, you know, had at least something to do with the point of the original post.)
On the subject of sponsor protectionism I've previously posted some thoughts here, here, here and here.
The raehl faction claim: the new restrictive sponsorship policy of the PSP is intended to protect local stores and fields. It's frankly an outrageous claim on its face because it doesn't do anything of the sort except perhaps incidentally at the margins.
Imagine a town with two or three lemonade stands. Once a year when the circus comes to town a few mobile lemonade stands follow along and park beside the circus, by the entry. Most of them offer extra large cups at regular prices while a couple of others sell more expensive premium lemonade. This arrangement worked as long as the circus attracted all sorts of people. All the traveling lemonade stands were happy but after a while it seemed more and more people bought the cheap lemonade and ignored the premium lemonade. The purveyors of premium lemonade were unhappy because it was more expensive for them to provide premium lemonade. Now the circus charged the traveling lemonade vendors for the opportunity to use the circus's popularity to sell lemonade and the premium vendors had bigger trucks and paid the circus more so when the premium vendors became unhappy the circus told all the small vendors of cheap lemonade they were no longer welcome.
The raehl faction version insists the circus did it to spare the local lemonade stands when the circus came to town--but aren't the premium lemonade vendors still trying to sell their lemonade? And if the locals suffer less harm is it because the circus gave a rodent's posterior about the locals' lemonade sales or is it because they were trying to satisfy the premium lemonade vendors who pay the big money to follow the circus?
Odd too that this new policy was only conceived after the big industry players started complaining about losing sales to the smaller retailers. I'm just saying the timing is oddly coincidental.
The reality is it's a policy intended to protect manufacturers from themselves and prop up an operating model that is no longer working--and keep some of that sponsor money coming in. (There is, of course, a rational explanation to be made for following this course of action but the raehl faction fantasy sounds so much more altruistic and nobody seems to believe you, the tournament consumer, can handle the truth. Except me. And I'm an oppressive hatemonger. Go figure.)