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?)