Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pre-HB Report

UPDATE: Didn't get this posted on Thursday--in case you hadn't noticed. Yep, it's still computer issues but I do have a guaranteed solution. I'ma gonna wipe this thing clean and start over. So, here's yesterday's post with a Friday special--just for you. And you. And you. (And when I say you I mean you.)

Yeah, right. Like there's anything to report prior to the event. Except there actually are a couple of things. The schedule is up. Pro teams play a snake-seeded 8 game round robin on Saturday afternoon. Don't know how many move thru to Sunday but if it's 8 like last year seems like a pretty sweet deal for the pros. (Just so you know I ain't lost my edge I will say those hour gaps between games late in the afternoon suck. But there are lots of worse places to be than the beach.)

The league also posted on their website some player conduct info as well as a preview of some of the details to be discussed at the Captain's meeting at 5 pm PST today. (I'ma miss that one seeing as I'm in Florida.) Let me suggest if you're going to be competing you at least check out the website update. Yeah, it was posted late but it's in your interest to catch it now if you can. The big 2 are concealed markers--I mentioned this before with respect to the new rules--are the warnings optional nature of aspects of the officiating. At a guess I think they will strongly enforce the concealed marker request as they's able and I think the stern language regarding official warnings or the lack thereof is intended to frighten peeps into compliance. Will I get a warning? Won't I? What's this crazy ref likely to do? (And of course it covers the league when some ref loses his cool and starts dishing out suspensions--though I can also picture Chuck getting heart palpitations under those circumstances too.)

The other thing about HB (kinda) that I'm vaguely interested in is the sponsors and new product releases. Don't get me wrong--I'm not interested in the products themselves--I'm interested in what's going on behind the scenes and in marketing departments (for those who have them) within the industry as we begin the old cycle anew. Take for example the Euro distributor who is convinced that sponsoring the MS reaps business benefits even though there is very little team participation from his region in the series. If it's true, how does it work? And would it work as well--since he's a distributor--if it were only his principle suppliers who sponsored the league?

At HB we've got the Angel folks bringing back Heaven and introducing a new goggle system. They are limiting access to their VIP in hopes of making it cool and trendy again but if that effort falters will it impact the goggle intro? Their timing has been impeccable on the goggles and now the question is will it generate some serious buzz that results in serious dealer interest. But more than that--I think we're seeing a lack of imagination when it comes to the Big Picture. How has the industry always promoted and marketed their products? Through high profile events in an effort to reach a broad number of players while generating widespread publicity. So here we are with most vendors losing money to attend big events--at least in the competitive paintball realm--and promoters demanding ridiculous sums as if it were still 2005--while we keep wondering why we (paintball in general) keeps doing, or trying to do, the same old things over and over. I think there remains a place for sponsors of teams, events, etc. in the game and circumstances where it's still worthwhile. However, as with any commodity--and opportunity is a commodity of sorts in this context--the question is what is it worth. If it isn't worth what the promoters are asking it doesn't surprise me that different terms need to be negotiated and it shouldn't surprise you either.
Okay, that was a rambling mess but I hope you get the idea 'cus I ain't rewriting any of it.

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