Thursday, July 14, 2011

New NPPL Board Member Appointed

If you want the official story click on the title for a link to the NPPL's press release. I'm cranking this out in a hurry as I've put a bug in a few ears hoping to hear back on some of the details of this appointment--and perhaps some more merger talk rumors. And I want to get this written and posted before that information comes in--if it does--especially if any of it carries the caveat that it can't be discussed on VFTD.
First, the timing is exquisite--and leads me to believe a couple of things have happened recently. More when I can confirm. (I know, you hate the cryptic stuff, but it is what it is. You hate that expression, too. I know.)
Through some process that didn't include all the owners or their reps somebody at the NPPL added Rick Alessandri to the Board of Directors. Mr. Alessandri, who currently works for Univision, was a past VP at ESPN and Managing Director of the X Games though exactly when to when is unstated. Included are a couple of made up, crafted "quotes" about how Mr. Alessandri was instrumental in getting HB 2011 on ESPN3 and how excited Mr. Alessandri is to be in a position to assist the league to "new heights." Which, admittedly, sounds swell but what exactly does it mean?
Was Mr. Alessandri also instrumental in blowing off ESPN3 afterwards when they wouldn't pony up cash for more ESPN3 broadcasts? Is he in a position to help repair that decision? No doubt he knows a bunch of other peeps in the extreme sports biz and that's surely a plus and I'm glad he seems to have enough free time from his other jobs to help out--but help out exactly how? There's talk of being on the cusp of major growth and expanding the game of Paintball to new levels while taking it to new heights but for the life of me I can't make heads or tails out of that gibberish. But it sounds promising, doesn't it?
Could this be a good thing? Sure, but without any concrete details it's just a variation on the same old story. Fingers crossed and hope for the best, I guess.
And of course I can't help wondering what's in it for Mr. Alessandri. Is he just motivated by his love of paintball or is there something else? And if there's a payoff at the end of the rainbow why align with the NPPL? 'Cus those are the guys he knows?
I know, none of my cynicism matters if he comes through--whatever that hell that's supposed to mean--and it's true--but I can't help being curious particularly in light of other events this week.

[Disclaimer: first I heard of this was in today's press release email & and I know nothing about it other than was in the email. As noted above I hope to learn more and if I do I will update this post.]

UPDATE: The word is Mr. Alessandri approached the NPPL expressing an interest in continuing to work with the league and given his contacts it seemed a win, win sort of situation. I am informed Mr. Alessandri is not an owner and will function something like a headhunter, earning a piece of any deals he brokers. Which really would be a win, win for the NPPL if Mr. Alessandri has any success.

Btw, I still despise the practice of using press releases to say as little as possible while trying to blow smoke up my skirt, er, kilt. (Real men wear kilts.) I try not to take it personally but would really have been so difficult to simply tell the truth--gussied up a bit, of course. Oh, well.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to give it to NPPL, they always find new ways to make smoke.

Question 1:

Rick has been as Univision less than two months, after apparently leaving ESPN. Why did he leave ESPN? Interestingly, it appears his departure from ESPN was pretty much immediately after Huntington Beach.

Question 2: What keeps PSP from poaching any sponsors Rick comes up with? Presumably they'd notice there is a much larger national league on the scene.

Anonymous said...

why does the the league with the weakest... (you can fill in the blank here)always manage to pull a stuffed rabbit out of a hat?

Its clearly not the strongest league, but they insist on attempting to play the leap frog game and i guess imagine they will win a ribbon.

Missy Q said...

To Anon,
if what you consider to be the weakest league is always the one pulling the marketing/promotional rabbit out of the hat, doen't that indicate that they are the league that is making the best moves in that regard and are better at that aspect of the job? Can you see past your bias and acknowledge that they are simply working to further their business, and, as a byproduct, the market as a whole? If you want to get mad at someone, why wouldn't you start dissing the league that doesn't have a track record of pulling out the rabbit, and consider why that is?
"they insist on playing the leap-frog game" - really? You mean they insist on trying to improve the business they invested in? And that's a bad thing why? Because you prefer the PSP. Grow Up.
I don't argue that the NPPL is currently the weaker of the 2 leagues, I just don't understand the attitude of people that put the NPPL people down for doing their jobs and trying to improve on their position. Should they just think, "oh, we're the smaller league now - let's give-up?" Should the PSP have done that when they were the smaller league?

Baca said...

Missy
When, in any incarnation of the NPPL, has the so-called marketing prowess of anybody associated with the league made one whit's worth of a lasting difference?

And realistically what more can Mr. Alessandri really do? He dished up ESPN3, which was a foot in the door, and set the table. It was the league that couldn't (or wouldn't) follow up. Is he supposed to find another outlet--and the money to pay for it, too?

Missy Q said...

Depends what you mean by 'lasting'. In the past, deals have been cut for the following season, and those deals have lasted for that season. There are no 'forever' deals, unless you're Oprah, they have to be cut and re-cut. There used to be a guy of Alessandri's ilk working with the league before. He came from Saatchi&Saatchi, and his deal was similar - bring in some large sponsors and you get a cut. This was 04/05, and he did make some progress, but ultimately did not deliver the big dollars he thought he could. Now someone else has approached the league claiming to have the contacts to bring in some dollars for them while earning his cut. I guess I don't see a problem with that and see no reason to put the effort down or try to detract from it before it has had a fair chance to fail. It seems the only reason people are dissing the deal is that it belongs to the NPPL and not the PSP. I think that's lame. I think one area that the PSP is lacking is exactly this area that the NPPL have a handle on. Why don't these people approach the PSP instead of the NPPL? Because the NPPL has spent a lot of time looking to broker these deals and are interested in doing so. In teh promotions game you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get to the palace. Nobody complained when Activision, Bawls etc came on board with the NPPL and dropped some sponsor dollars - as I remember everyone thought it was really positive. Where do you think that deal came from? No-one minded when the Miami Prize Purse was raised to $50,000 courtesy of Fox, how do you think that happened? Are they 'lasting deals'? No, but what is this 'lasting deal' you speak of and how do I get me some of that?

The answer to the last question is 'yes', that's exactly what he's supposed to do, and if he doesn't do that, he doesn't get paid. What's the issue?

Missy Q said...

Also - HB. That's a lasting difference right there. It was not easy to get that venue, and it was harder to keep it. It was only the legitimacy gained by outside industry support, and the fact it was being filmed and could potentially promote the venue itself, that saved it.
I guess that counts.

Anonymous said...

Ok, let's assume somebody ACTUALLY has the contacts to bring out-of-industry sponsors into the sport, and get a cut of that sponsorship. That person then looks at paintball, and sees two national leagues, one that is three times the size of the other, and would presumably demand a larger sponsor price, and thus higher commission. This person then chooses to contact and work with the smaller league.

NPPL is always pulling a rabbit out of the hat - but it always turns out that on closer inspection, the rabbit is dead.

NPPL just spent a whole bunch of time telling us how they were going to be on TV, in the XGames, blah blah blah, and then... nothing. It seems likely this is just another press release in a series of press releases to try and convince people they have something going on when, in fact, they likely do not.

It's not like NPPL sent out a press release announcing a major out-of-industry sponsor. They sent out a press release stating somebody might bring them a sponsor later, for a cut. It's just more non-news.

Missy Q said...

I don't see why I have to be the NPPL defence,as I consider myself 100% neutral, but if they're too pxssy, then here goes..

Anon. Your example is not 'apples to apples'. The NPPL already worked with this guy. That's the connection, and the reason the guy , in turn, went to them. It's networking 101. He didn't do any of that other stuff you say in your post. That's fiction.

Go look at all the other press releases that came from various sources this month. Any of those have 'real-news'. The function of a press release is primarily to keep yourself in the press, encourage more people to talk about you and what you're doing. It's basic promotion and something both leagues do. They can't stop doing it, because it's part of running a business. When Camille went to the PSP there was a press release about this new employee joining the league, and a brief outline of her experience in the industry and what her responsibility will be at the PSP. Is this any different? Did you consider the PR about Camille 'more non-news' or was that OK because it came from a league you like?

Anon said...

Wow, sounds like a typical Chris R. response.

Here is a fact: The current brain trust within the NPPL does not give a hoot in any way shape or form if they are number #1 for team counts. Look at their venues, profitability and business resumes/ net worth of the board and you will glean the answers you don't want to hear.

Missy Q said...

I have most of the answers already to be honest.
I certainly wouldn't state facts about what other people think, or accept them as facts when others do, because stating what you believe others think as 'Here is a fact' is pointless. It would be like me saying "I know what you did last summer", when I clearly have no idea what you did. Unless you have some kind of Vulcan powers, you can't know, therefore it's fiction. If I were to guess at their 'brain-trust' I would say that they do care about their team-count. Is there a reason you feel they don't care about this, one of the most fundamental aspects of running a league?

My guess is that the net worth of the NPPL board is higher than the net worth of the PSP board, simply because Bart has more money than people in this industry have. Take Bart away and it's a totally different story, obviously, but that doesn't help your point.

And if you ever call me Chris R again there is no amount of anonymity that will protect you from the consequences.

Anonymous said...

"And if you ever call me Chris R again there is no amount of anonymity that will protect you from the consequences."

Internet thug threats. You are a retard and so is your shitty league.

Missy Q said...

1. It was meant to be humorous
2. It isn't my league
3. looks like you're retreating from your argument and resorting to ignorant abuse. Missy FTW. Thanks for playing.

Baca said...

Hey Missy
While I'm enjoying yours and anon's debate I also want to point out you didn't actually address the question I posed. I asked about the lasting differences effected by all the marketing wizardry the various versions of the NPPL had.

Nor, it seems to me, is Mr. Alessandri an outside sponsor guy but a media (TV) and extreme sports guy--and the league (apparently) has failed to build on what was probably his best contact, ESPN3.

Don Saavedra said...

I laughed, Missy.

Anonymous said...

Jesus why would anyone pick on Missy. Probably the only person I enjoy reading comments from more then Baca himself.

Anon1- just chill...

Missy Q said...

Baca,
1. I gave it my best shot. It's not my intention to act as a mouth-peice for the NPPL crowd and so I reckon they should field the question instead of me. My intel is 3 years out of date.

2. Presumably he feels he has something to offer aand that's why he approached the league and offered his services on a commission basis. If he didn't think he could deliver he would have asked for a wage. If he does deliver that's good for the league, if he doesn't, who cares? if he doesn't eat into existing resources it just equates to having more hooks in the water.

Anonymous said...

Missy, just saw your comment. . . i said stuffed (non living) rabbit. . . and the point is in my view they are trying to the detriment of national tournament paintball.

i don’t really care if your opinion differs. there is a reason i said (fill in the blank) concerning what areas, because they are multiple.

when they man up and do what in the best interest of national tournament paintball and stop being selfish, grubbing for a piece of nonexistent pie. . THEN i will give them kudos.

Anonymous said...

Missy, just saw your comment. . . i said stuffed (non living) rabbit. . . and the point is in my view they are 'trying' to the detriment of national tournament paintball.

i don’t really care if your opinion differs. there is a reason i said (fill in the blank) concerning what areas, because they are multiple.

when they man up and do what is in the best interest of national tournament paintball and stop being selfish, grubbing for a piece of nonexistent pie. . THEN i will give them kudos.

raehl said...

To answer the lasting impact question, the 2006 NPPL show on prime-time ESPN apparently drove a lot of new paintball participation traffic.

Whether that was good or bad in the long term is less certain - lacking any plan to accept that traffic, we may have just caused a few hundred thousand people to open their phone books, pick a field, and get shot up by tournament teams and decide paintball wasn't fun.

Missy Q said...

Are there 2 anons or 3?

I understand your stuffed rabbit thing, however, was the hat empty before they pulled the stuffed rabbit out?

If the hat was empty, and they pulled stuffed rabbit out of it, I'd still call that impressive, in fact, the difference between pulling something live or stuffed out of an empty hat is minimal, as once you've shown that you can 'make the magic happen', the sky's the limit, surely...

Mike said...

"And if you ever call me Chris R again there is no amount of anonymity that will protect you from the consequences."

AND

"we may have just caused a few hundred thousand people to open their phone books, pick a field, and get shot up by tournament teams and decide paintball wasn't fun."

LMAO

I found this topic to be most informative and throughly entertaining .......

ScotchMonster said...

Great sparring folks! Missy you are a contender. In answer to Bacca's question I defer to a cheeky quote from the Oracle of Omaha in an address to shareholders on timing their investments.
"Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful."
Something has to be said for the passion of the two sides, but we all know 3's a crowd. As players.coaches and fans, don't let the tail wag the dog industry. Baca, I do admire many kilts on any good lass, but won't wear one personally, I've been told chicken legs and wool don't work ;)

Anonymous said...

"and get shot up by tournament teams and decide paintball wasn't fun."
Actually Raul in the real world it doesnt go down that way.D4/D3 teams don't want to play NOOBs or walk ons.When they show up they play themselves and we coach on the sidelines and then point them back in the direction of the rec field.Some of those players will come back to give Xball a shot someday.
Whats happening on the ground is not a lot of interest in 7 man.Sure we all go the the NPPL at HB because it's the only show in town.If the NPPL adopted PSP rules more teams would be playing at HB...

raehl said...

@Anon:

Sure, that's true for some teams. But it often is not true for the new players playing at the field somebody started because they like paintball, therefore it must be easy for them to be in the paintball business. The walk-ons come, and the regulars shoot them up.

A lot of those fields have gone out of business since, so it's not nearly the problem it was 5 years ago, but I wonder how many people we permanently lost because they had the misfortune to play their first time at a location that didn't separate their new players from the field owner's buddies.