Friday, July 12, 2013

It's On Like Donkey Kong

Okay, they've gone and done it now and it will be very interesting to see what, if any, public backlash is delivered in return. Oh, sorry. Got a ahead of myself. I had a nice conversation in Chicago with CPS (Champions Paintball Series) prime mover, Jaroslav Z., who said at the time he was hoping to make the move to PSP affiliate status--and darned if he hasn't done just that. It's official, the CPS is now a PSP affiliate. At a practical level that means using PSP layouts, field dimensions, rule book, etc. At another level I'm wondering how it will be received by the MS. As regulars know the MS sorta kinda tolerates the CPS but already seemed to believe the CPS was a competitive threat. With this move will the MS perceive the CPS as now a proxy for the PSP? And what impact might it have on the rumors that the MS was considering more closely aligning its format with that of the PSP? Specifically, moving the CPL to Race To 7 and SPL to Race To 5. Does it become more or less likely?
And what will be the response to the CPS from the Euroteams? Registrations for the season ender in Milan in September should provide an answer. For the latest check out the CPS Facebook page.


Anonymous said...

Now if only the psp would allow the top cps team to have some sort of gateway into the world cup champion division next year. That would immediately gin up interest in the cps without any cost or effort.

Bryan Parks said...

Oh damn!!!! Paintball politics at its finiest. After what CPS has been through this year from the EPBF . I'm glad they sided with the PSP.

Scott said...

That is awesome. I really hope that they're successful in becoming a PSP affiliate. It would be great to see one universal, world wide professional paintball format. It'd certainly help with the progression of the tourney world or 'sport' if you will. I like annon 12:33's idea, I think that would be a good idea and potentially provide more incentive for Millenium teams to switch. I'm sure they will have a tough uphill battle though.

Very intrigued I am.

Nick Brockdorff said...

And all this could have been avoided, if the MS (or rather a select few of their principals), had not gone ape shit online and in some cases in real life at events.

I SO wish the MS had a professional CEO or COO with real business experience at high level.

Most of the current board are awesome idea people and are very passionate about paintball - and have made nothing (paintball 20 years ago) into big businesses.... but they are classic innovators, that couldn't manage crap on a stick.

They have landed themselves in (potentially) the most competition they have seen in 15+ years, just because there were no cool head prevailing, and telling them to chill out and embrace the CPS as a feeder series.

Let's hope this is the wake up call, that makes them deal with the real issues they have with their league - and quickly:
- No rulebook
- Arrogant and overly tough reffing
- Cost vs benefit for participants
- Venues that expand paintball instead of hiding it away
- Field designs and bunkers

Competition is usually positive for us participants, so I see this whole development as positive.

Fullbore said...

Nick, I understand what you are saying here, but, two things on your list conflict!

- Cost vs benefit for participants
- Venues that expand paintball instead of hiding it away

If you place events in high profile venues the cost is going to be passed on to the participants! With teams and individuals already struggling with the costs involved, I can't see the benefits.

I was party to conversations over the past weekend discussing the "MS" looking for a new "high profile" London venue, some of which were priced in the £100,000 ($150,000/115,000€) bracket. For the 125 teams that attended Basildon that would equate to £800 each, add the price of hotel rooms in the London area and that's a considerable increase. I don't know exactly what the rent for Barleylands is, but, based on what I was told they charged for the first event there in 2009, I'm guessing it's not a tenth of that. Plus, if you book as soon as you know the dates, or get a deal, there are plenty of rooms at reasonable rates, not as good as Puget or Bitburg maybe, but fairly reasonable. Personally, I think Barleylands works as a venue, it's not London, but there are few, if any, locations I can think of in the greater London area that would offer the facilities and choice of accommodation, dining and facilities in as small an area as Basildon does (not that it would be my first choice vacation destination)! I appreciate the argument that any increased costs to the MS would doubtless be spread over the season and shared with the trade vendors, though, ultimately the costs would be passed on.

Bitburg is another location I have heard players grumble about, though the issues surrounding the technical illegality of our brand of competitive paintball Bitburg suits.

Public access venues are going to cost in an economy where everybody is feeling the pinch. One of the reasons the CPS is able to offer such reasonable prices is that they use one field and tight scheduling at existing paintball facilities, if they were to expand to a level where they were to compete with the MS in terms of capacity they would have to drastically increase their prices.

There you have my two cents on the subject.

Nick Brockdorff said...

I'm sorry Fullbore, but you are incorrect. It's just a question of thinking outside the box, instead of taking the easy route.

The Copenhagen venue I found for them is FREE, and yet, they seem completely unable to move on it.... now 3 years after the first time I introduced Laurent to it.

The old Toulouse venue is another good example, it was not only free, the city even had crew helping with setup and taking care of the cleanup during and after the event, free of charge.

It don't think the issue is the economy, I think the issue is complacency... and that is why I applaud the move the PSP is starting into Europe... and hope it will scare the MS to get their act together.... lest they go the way of the NPPL.

Anonymous said...

Well apparently they should just have Nick volunteer as their venue manager (and also their rules guy, marketer, webcast guy, classification guy, and PR guy) as he always seems to know what they should do ;)

I wonder what effect this will have with the public antagonism between the leagues. Will the CPS be cloaked in quasi-authority, at least legitimate enough not to be publicly undermined by the Millennium now? Or will the Millennium continue to behave aggressively toward an affiliate of the PSP?

How many other affiliates does the PSP have in Europe? Will we see more? Will we see more of an integration of the PSP/APPA into European "feeder" leagues?

Will the Millennium have its feet chopped out from underneath them while their too busy squabbling about how they can extra maximum value from both players and sponsors while offering in return only the promise of more fluff?

Nick Brockdorff said...

You are right, they should.... but I don't come cheap ;)

Fullbore said...

Nick, I was only reporting on the conversations I had, all the venues mentioned were big money!

I was under the impression that at least one of them had been to Copenhagen on a recce, maybe it was just a rumour to blindside us!

If there is somewhere able to offer a free high profile venue with public footfall, great, but even public authorities have felt the pinch in most of Europe, suffering cuts from central government and generally tightening belts.

We'll see what Chantilly offers, as for the others, with the exception of Puget, which I wasn't disappointed by, but only because I'd been there before, they can stay.

If you want to discuss it more, buy me an over prissed fizzy piss (aka beer) in Chantilly.

NewPro said...

why is it in paintball, everyone knows the more efficient, profitable, streamlined way to do things but these people are always on the fringe, outside, faces pressed against the fence or even better yet, "the guy in the know". I can't speak for anyone else but myself but unless you've managed millions of dollars of assets/people/logistics, every opinion/idea seems like an easy move from the outside.

" the players will always vote with their wallets" and if the MS refuses to change, the sport will change w/o them.

Nick Brockdorff said...


Oh I know, and yes, one did visit Copenhagen and seemed very keen on the venue last fall....

All I'm saying is, that it is actually not that hard to find super venues at low cost - or even free, if you look the right places, and maybe reach out to the community for ideas (the one way communication with the community, is another thing they should change btw ;)).


If you are referring to me, I speak as a passionate paintball player, with extensive executive experience in business generally.

You might then well ask why I don't run a paintball business... and the simple answer is it does not pay enough - far from it - I don't think there is a paintball company in the world that could match my salary with good conscience - but hey, if someone could, I'm game :D

So, can I please have an opinion on how paintball principals run their businesses now? ;)

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing. Everyone competent at any company when presented separately with an individual problem or opportunity will analyze it and come to a reasonable conclusion. Maybe we don't need all agree on the same answers but it's at least we'll though.

But people running business aren't presented with individual cases one-off. They make dozens of decisions on hundreds of things and have to prioritize their analysis where the most profitable returns are generated... If they're any good that is.
Schmucks will focus like a laser and think deeply and passionately on things that at the end of the day won't drive success but may be fun to dream about. Like high profile venues... Which is no doubt why we see Chantilly and even why they persisted with Disney Paris. The Mill guys for the most part are schmucks who think too deeply about the wrong things.

Extremely successful business people (I'd only consider myself moderately successfuly) consistently make above average decisions across the board on average. Not only do they make more right decisions but they make those right decisions about the right subjects. Poor business leaders suffer from not only deciding a case wrong but focusing their decision time on the wrong case entirely. So even if they make the "right" call they made it on the wrong subject that was only tangential to their potential success.

But in reality the Mill guys are above average. Most of the schmucks are their customers who are certain they know it all better.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Running a business in the event industry, is not only about being profitable.

Significant attention has to be given to the "experience" your customers get at an event, if you want any hope of them returning for the next one.

A lot of your growth also stems from soft values like "look", "feel" and "perception", which is far less important in many other industries.

Btw, I never said "high profile venues".... and I think a lot of tournament organisers in paintball (not just in the MS) completely miss the point of what is important in terms of venue choice.

Chantilly is a ridiculously poor choice of venue.... and not at all what I mean by "venues that expand paintball".

It's in a small town in the middle of nowhere, which is mainly visited by families and 40+ adults, due to the castle and museum there.

It clearly misses the target demographic for paintball entirely, so while looks picturesque it does nothing for the MS, short term or long term.

Anonymous said...

Nick proves the point of the previous post. There are things to focus on that are crucial for an event, and he focuses on pet projects concepts instead.

There's a saying that "Amateurs talk tactics. Dilettantes talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics."

Nick Brockdorff said...

What "pet projects concepts"? :D

I identified 5 problem areas, and you apparently chose to focus on one.... pot calling the kettle black? ;)

Anonymous said...

Nick, I can assure you if the Millennium took 20k from their ID cards and it into "look", "feel", "perception" of their events (which would require the requisite months of debating just how to spend that 20k) their events would not be any better, their profit would not be any better, their growth would not be any better.

Instead they are probably focusing on issues like... we need a new ID card machine, we need to sort out trucking, vendor relationships, we need new netting, we're 5 refs short for the next event, and a host of other critical factors.

THAT is the point. They don't make enough money to spend time on fluff- what you call soft factors.

You don't understand these things because you've never done them and you willfully refuse to acknowledge that what you don't know isn't that important, but what you do know is crucial.

I'm suggesting the things you don't know about what you've never done are important and biasing you to think if only they did a better job on X Y Z we'd be on the way to the promised land.

I've never put on an event of this magnitude and more importantly than a single event, never run a continuous operation with the logistical difficulties spanning across many kilometers and several nations.

Quite frankly, neither have you and you're presuming to know better. Well, we can all agree the Millennium guys are mediocre business people. But that doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing with their events and it doesn't mean their events would get better if only they spent more time on XYZ.

Nick Brockdorff said...

You are making some fairly creative assumptions.

I have never said they should ignore the logistics of the events..... and actually, logistics is one area they do really well.

You seem to assume, that if they do not have the capacity to bring out a new rulebook (for instance), which has been needed for 5+ years, it's because the organisation is already operating at full capacity, so the extra resources for a rulebook are non-existant.

I say it's not a question of working harder, it's a question of working smarter.

Now that you keep harping on about venues (even if that was the lest important part of my initial post).... they ARE spending a lot of time on choosing venues (Chantilly is an example of that), my point is that they are using the wrong qualifiers as to what makes a good venue, so they could have a person looking at venues all year, and would still arrive at the wrong result.

And please, spare me the tired old "you don't know till you have done it yourself" argument.... which is the last resort of people that don't want to debate and wants to maintain the status quo at all cost.

The whole point if this blog is to inspire debate.