So I was wrong. I had previously predicted the Denver event as the over/under for the demise of the NPPL 3.0. At least this is gonna be fun to watch. (Gee, I hope the checks from HB don't bounce.)
The official statement can be seen here. [Does any paintball company have anyone on the payroll who can write and spell? Doesn't seem like it.] A few items are noteworthy.
But before I get to those it might be worthwhile to do a brief, very brief, historical review of the NPPL. The original NPPL was comprised of representative pro and am teams fed up being at the mercy of the limited number of promoters running national scale events back in the day. The idea was that the NPPL, representing the teams, would sanction specific events after vetting the promoters who would handle the logistics and event operations. Within a couple of years it devolved into a series of individual events run by NPPL members. Without going overboard on the details ownership of the NPPL name and logo lapsed due to unpaid fees and was acquired by Chuck Hendsch. At around the same time WDP had a falling out with the by then PSP promoters, specifically Jerry Braun, at one of the Ponciana Blvd. cow pasture World Cups. Thus was born Pure Promotions and a deal with Chuck to promote NPPL (1.0) events using the 7-man format then used in Euroland by the Millennium Series. Despite a second and third season of operations when it wasn't uncommon to see 200 plus teams signed up Pure Promotions was rumored to be hemorrhaging money and sold their interest to the Pacific Paintball group (NPPL 2.0). Pacific hired Shawn Walker as their event operator and over the next few seasons was unable to stave off declining turnout and in a surprise move the Monday after a tentative merger agreement was made with the PSP Pacific declared bankruptcy. Prior to asset sales of the Pacific bankruptcy Chuck talked a number of pro team owners into the idea they could each pony up some cash and run their own league. The physical assets and intellectual property were bought by Chuck & partners and NPPL 3.0 was formed. Rumor has it that prior to HB 2013 the league (3.0) had spent 300 large more than they had taken in. Throw in a couple of failed TV ventures, a fistful of fumbled merger attempts and the departure of most of the original "owner" teams and here we are today.
According to the press release the NPPL will oversee (and sanction) events now to be run by PB Promotions--a company[?] that has apparently existed for a few days at most but is believed by most to be a front company for Valken. My sources say such speculation is incorrect and that it is Shawn Walker and Shawn Walker--of NPPL 2.0--alone who will be the event operator using PB Promotions as the legal front company. Walker has past and ongoing on site operations experience in tournament promotions though his previous NPPL efforts were unsuccessful and left him shrouded in ugly rumors and innuendo.
So where does this leave Chuck, Pev & the rest of the "owners"? For starters no longer in charge of the checkbook but still able to sit around and dream big dreams and talk big talk without the downside of actually having to produce anything.
A couple of months ago there were some hot and heavy rumors of Richmond (GI Sportz) and Gino (Valken) both buying into the NPPL. At the time Richmond was also looking to regain a piece of the PSP but the only thing that came of all the threats and bluster was a multi-year sponsorship deal between GI and the PSP. It was also rumored at the time that one look at the state of the NPPL as a legal entity frightened both potential suitors away.
By acting as the event operator PB Promotions avoids legal ties to the NPPL and what may or may not be its current debt burden. In the interrum however it seems fair to ask what resources PB Promotions will bring to the table that will help the league succeed when as the man on the ground for NPPL 2.0 Walker literally had millions of dollars to work with from Pacific Paintball yet failed to be successful.
The one remaining critical question for PB Promotions is: Does a national tournament series exist if it doesn't have a webcast?