Before I get started on this post topic I want to address posts that haven't yet appeared. (Are you still with me? I didn't think so.) There will be 5 posts coming in the next couple of weeks on the topic of paintball media. (The first was coming today until I decided to do this one at the last minute.) There will also be at least two posts on the PSTA. (I didn't pursue the phone interviews I need to do because of Extravaganza going on this week.) There will also be an xball How-To coming up as I haven't done any nuts & bolts stuff in a while. So there you go. [Btw, the way this works is now that I've told you what to expect--some of which you were already waiting on--it buys me a little more time to procrastinate. Because I am--a lazy slacker.]
In yesterday's spur of the moment post about rugby on Spike TV--rugby for crying out loud--the comments reminded me of my favorite idea for promoting competitive paintball on TV. An idea I originally pitched 3 or 4 years ago in the pages of PGi magazine. An idea I unashamedly stole and modified for paintball because it's already been done and it works.
The concept is simple: making the team. The show opens by briefly setting the stage; tryouts for a brand new D1 team are about to begin. A short action montage with voice over puts the tryouts in context. First couple of shows introduce characters who may or may not make the team and in the process of the tryouts you also introduce the fundamentals of the game. Later, after some number of players have been chosen--a number that needs to be whittled down to a final roster--that process begins to reveal how the game is played--even though the focus remains on the players. The larger idea is that putting names and faces and personalities on the game is the best way to draw in ballers & non-ballers alike. They don't have to play, they just have to have a rudimentary understanding of the game and get caught up in rooting for their favorites to succeed. Once the final team is formed you move on to the actual events and throughout the process one step leads to the next progressively and naturally. Having worked so hard and beat out the other potential players the drama is now in the team's success or failure on the field of competition and all the action in the pits and the scene surrounding every event. And you began with D1 because it's more accessible to the average player and it offers the option of continuing with the team for additional seasons either as they struggle to make the grade or take on new challenges in the semi-pro and/or pro divisions.
It's practically perfect. The show format personalizes the competition, educates in a non-pedantic way and makes competitive paintball accessible and the potential drama visceral. And, best of all perhaps, there's no reason you couldn't do a variation of the same thing with a scenario team.