Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Alive: Merger Talk, that is

Is it April 1st on anybody's calendar? Already league merger rumors are floating about? Does that mean y'all are taking league survival for granted? Ok, so maybe reps of both leagues had a chat or two like they seem to enjoy doing every year around this time but so what? Years ago when both sides were losing money the closest they ever got was an agreement in principle hammered out the weekend before Pacific Paintball filed for bankruptcy. Back then the conventional wisdom was that the NPPL side brought promotional expertise and the ability to reach outside of paintball while the PSP brought the format and event skills to the table. And if the united it would allow each to focus on what they did best and PBIndustry to line up behind a united front.
That was then, this is now. The only element of the old formula that might apply is lining up industry behind a united front--and that isn't a given. In fact, the only way that works at all is because of the new old players in the game (Richmond at GI & Gino at Valken) plus the water ball kids from HydroTec. (I keep trying to tell anybody who will listen the old national level tournament premises are dead. I even try and help jump start the corpse 'cus I know nobody is paying attention.) The only reason any semblance of the old way still remains is because of inertia and a lack of innovation. Besides, industry could have picked a "winner" whenever they wanted except for the soap opera that is paintball behind corporate doors. (Another reason the league(s) need to step up and lead.
Is there a case to be made for a merger now? If there is I'm not seeing it. (For those keeping score at home I am, once again, beyond the Pale along with all the wild-eyed lunatics and Irishmen.) Both leagues are paddling hard and just keeping their head(s) above water. Or so says the word on the street. For starters, merger may or may not bring the others' liabilities along with it. For its efforts the PSP would get a Baker's Dozen or more new partners, a format dispute, the NPPL name and an instant replay of past grievances. For what? For its part the NPPL would take on some percentage of responsibility for PSP liabilities, collect a few seats at the decision-making table, hand over a defunct format along with the phone number of somebody at G4TV. I can see the NPPL kids buying into that but what does the PSP get--besides more headaches?
Enjoy the rumors. A MLP merger ain't gonna happen. (Unless some industry players move in--and why would they?)

7 comments:

papa chad said...

so hydrotec will bring the leagues together? I'm taking a guess at your hint... if hydrotec can take over the paintball world by making The New One League it's one and only "paint," I don't see field owners selling anything else. cool with me.

anyway, the leagues should merge for more competition. a bigger cookie for outside sponsors to look at. winning an event would mean more respect, because you play in the one and only US national league.

Plus, I heard DC was tiny. like how a large local tournament was back in the day (in Indiana). is it worth it, is it "pro," is it the big time if the events are tiny any it seems as if no one cares and there is hardly anyone there?

no merger means no unification in a paintball world that has slowly crumbled apart and divisionalized itself.

to add more gusto to my (this) side of the argument- I don't think professional, national paintball will ever get respect from outside institutions if we're a few little leagues, squabbling about.

on a given sunday, there is one team practicing for NPPL, one for PSP, rules conflicts, and untrue practices matches that won't convert well to the actual national event. that is lame. paintball costs too much for divisional teams to have the whole two-league burden put upon them.
I'm starting to think of the situation as two completely different sports vying for the same rescources and fanbase (players).

maybe divisional teams would get respect, too, with one larger league. I know they used to when there were more teams in the game.

but it's probably all different at Pro level.

congrats on kickin' A this whole season, it goes without saying but you've earned the respect.

Baca Loco said...

No, HydroTec will not bring anything together. (Try as I might I'm not seeing that hint.) What I meant was the introduction of new paint companies on the scene could temporarily halt the extinction of a few pro teams--and add to the vendors list depending on their marketing plans.

Does a merge create a bigger cookie for the PSP if it entails them taking on double digit new owners?

3 of the 8 NPPL events in the last 2 years have cracked the 100 team barrier. Is that too big or too small? A dozen years ago with one league only WC exceeded 100 in a 5 event season--but was still less than 200.
Yes, DC was small but what exactly does that have to do with the quality of the competition in the pro division?

You could be right but you have no argument that suggests a merger changes those perceptions to unnamed outsiders.

The 2 league thing is meaningless to divisional teams as virtually none of them play both.

I think you might find the whole respect thing was a component of the whole media & promotional thing. Look at Vicious. They built their own media machine and as a consequence have stable sponsorship, rabid fanboys and recognition all over the world.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

jus wanted to say...

I <3 |V|I|C|I|O|U|S|!|

papa chad said...

"The 2 league thing is meaningless to divisional teams as virtually none of them play both."

right. wouldn't it be better if the 4 competitive teams in my area played the same game?

Baca Loco said...

Papa C
Ok, you got me. I can see the advantages to that. But if there were a dozen teams in your area would it seem like such a big deal?

vijil said...

Here's the overseas impression: we'd like to have a world cup that's actually a world cup, rather than just some national leagues all pretending to be "the" world cup.

Bickering about formats over there is hurting the game here (and probably elsewhere) because bickering and politics turn people off the sport. We're shrinking because of competing events and formats, which exist because organizers follow different leagues. In a country with about 200 tournament players altogether this is absolutely hammering us.

Give us one league in the US, one worldwide format, and a REAL World Cup. Like almost any other international sport you care to name. Then we'll see growth.

Of course I'm asking for the impossible here.

papa chad said...

I wish we had a dozen good close teams. but I agree, then it wouldn't hurt so bad. like nitrous Angels.

@vijil
I'm with you. I want to see paintball become a big thing. at least in the U.S. no offense.