Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rumorology: The Unseen Game

Have you ever asked yourself where rumors come from? After all, they don't spring up ex nihilo like maggots in a sealed jar with a piece of rotting meat. (Alert: ironic science humor not intended to be taken as fact.)

Yes, I'm picking up where I left off last Monday. But, as usual, I'm not going straight from point A to point B.

Most of the rumors that float around paintball are gossip. Low level stuff that's as likely to be dead wrong as anywhere near the truth. The sorta stuff demanded by the crew that have secretly seen 'The View' and tape Oprah to watch with their girlfriends. (You know who you are.) Another category of rumors are the ones that are discoverable but not widely known. Still others are factoids--some approximation of an actual fact--and, of course, some are true and some are utter nonsense. All kinds of rumors share one similarity--they start with somebody telling somebody else something the majority doesn't know.

What is perhaps less well known (or left unconsidered) is the complicity of PBIndustry in the business of rumor-mongering. Very sensitive or fact specific rumors almost always originate from highly placed industry sources. The fact is that there are times when it is in the interest of one industry entity to get some information out there. Sometimes it's from within, floating a trial balloon or internal dissent or dissatisfaction. More often it's not. And if you're beginning to wonder if that isn't something of a dangerous game for industry to play I would agree but then where would would be?

Returning to last Monday's JT brouhaha I can assure you my source wasn't a highly placed inside industry source--I don't have a lot of friendly contacts there--but I have little doubt my source's source fits the criterion. So, in the future when a particularly good or revealing rumor hits the web take a second to consider where it might have come from and who might benefit from that info being made public. At that point you're getting a glimpse of the unseen game.

Oh yeah, I promised to tell y'all who the rumor mill claims is bidding on JT's paint manufacturing--it's Gino at Valken and Richmond from GI Milsim. More tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

So you're saying the two guys who want to be a paint company but don't make their own paint are trying to get a paint operation?

Some rumors are also just common sense.

Baca Loco said...

Since when does paintball have even a passing acquaintance with common sense?

It's not, as you suggest, particularly surprising that the rumored bidders are the ones named but I know at least two other possibles.

And will the successful bidder end up being the winner?

Anonymous said...

baca, it would be interesting to see where you see paintball in 2 years and in 5 years if it all turn arround as it is rumored.

is this good or bad what and if it will happen. i'm talking about the industry / leagues / teams / money and so on...

Anonymous said...

Rumour of a turnaround? What's turning around? And why is it turning?

franktankerous said...

What the other anon is saying is the industries expectation that this will turn around and start to pick back up again in 3-4 years. Much like all other things this seems to be cyclical.

We are experiencing a down turn (how long we've been in this downward pattern is debatable). The down turn forces the weaker companies out of the pool and restores profitability to the stronger ones that survived. Then the industry starts to grow again.

For the most part all the manufacturers are expecting the industry become the land of gold and honey again, in the next 2-4 years.

Good Question Anon. I'm curious to hear what baca thinks about this.

Reiner Schafer said...

Hmmm....I guess if there are less companies, those that remain will need to share with less competition, so hopefully you are right and those that remain will be more profitable. For the industry to be truely healthy though, we better figure out what's keeping people from playing.

If profitable industry is the only thing keeping tournament paintball alive, I think there is a problem. Being structured to be dependent on others for survival, can't be healthy. And if industry investment is the only way tournament players can afford to play, what's the point of making the investment at all? Wouldn't it be wiser to invest in other, more profitable branches in paintball instead? I know I'd be scratching my head if I was in charge of making those advertising/promotional decisions.

anonachris said...

I'm trying understand how it's a problem for "profitable industry" keeping tournament paintball alive being a problem.

Where do Eclipse and Dye make it's money? From tournament players and wannabee tournament players. We're not talking about Tippmann here. SP was trying to plant its feet firmly in both segments of the industry and look how well that worked for them.

Baca Loco said...

Anon #2
I don't expect a "turn around" any time soon so I don't see any reason to hope for or expect any return to a Golden Age of competitive paintball. Or even anything particularly close to it. That isn't necessarily a bad thing in the sense that one feature of the Golden Age was careless profligacy.
We're all still in the process of finding new answers and making changes consistent with our circumstances. Long run it will be fine. Short term it will be a struggle.
And certainly where this is all going is part of the regular dialogue--hopefully--at VFTD.

frank--I have some concerns that the way much of the industry operates is a core element of the economic problems within paintball and while fewer industry members enlarges the market share of each I don't know if that's gonna be enough.

anonachris--this interests me as well and will be a future topic of conversation. How is the one percenters have such an overwhelming impact on paintball industry? The math doesn't add up.

Reiner Schafer said...

It's only a problem if you are using all (or possibly more than all) of your profits to sustain yor market base. Then it's a bit like chasing your own tail.

Virtually all sports industries spend money on sponsorships and paying for endorsements. That's normal. It's when the need for sponsorships exceeds the potential profits, that it becomes a problem. I don't know if tournament paintball is there yet, but it seems some of the industry bigwigs must think so.