Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Look at the Season Finales

Not too exciting I know but it's that time of year. All the local and regional series are closing in on their own season ending events as well. In my backyard the CFPS has their event #5 coming up this weekend and the MiLP will be closing out their season the following weekend. In the CXBL the Richmond Cup is right around the corner. On the international stage the Millennium is returning to Chantilly, a lovely but somewhat isolated venue north of Paris. Their event is scheduled for the weekend of September 26-28. World Cup comes a bit early this year over the long weekend of October 9-12.
In Euroland the Millennium has seen attendance decline slowly from the season opener Med Cup in the south of France. While the locked divisions are stable the two open divisions peaked at Puget sur Argens with modest drops at Bitburg and Basildon. To date the Chantilly numbers are off by a substantial 20 teams. Still nearly a month away that leaves time for late arrivals but normally the majority have at least registered by now which makes the Chantilly deficit one that probably won't be overcome.
World Cup registration is at 243 teams (or was when I posted this.) With the first deadline still a couple weeks out registration will continue to build. (Whatever the number is around the first deadline is a decent indicator of likely event participation, give or take a few.) And with the later first deadline I expect a significant number of teams to get their entries in by that deadline if not sooner. PSP began the season very strong with higher than expected turnout at the first two events while Chicago was basically flat in the year-to-year and Riverside was down from last year. Last year, counting UWL participation, Cup was right around 400 teams.
Are teams running out of steam (and money) towards the end of the season? What's happening in the series you compete in? Are you seeing similar results at the local and regional level? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Next time (unless something else grabs my attention) VFTD will take a quick look at the CXBL's Richmond Cup layout and the Mills Chantilly layout.  


Anonymous said...

If Cup at 400 teams last year and doesn't break 300 this year PSP people will probably blame the economy. But that's a sad excuse. When results are down, you don't blame external factors and move on, you look at what you can do better.

The PSP has grown tremendously, and they are putting their growth in all sorts of areas except the one that matters most -- customer experience.

Not saying they don't care about the customer, but I think a case could be made that the PSP has grown so big maybe now it's time to take a page from the old NPPL book and try to focus a bit on customer experience, customer retention, atmosphere, etc.

The PSP has always been about "the sport" which is why they've succeeded. But they really should look at doing more to and with the show and the spectacle they put on to help bring players back for an overall good time.

I'm not saying that requires carnival rides or concerts, but frankly if carnival rides or concerts would improve the event experience for the paying customers who treat this as a vacation then maybe consider it.

Please don't go on a tangent about carnival rides... I'm not saying that's what the PSP needs.

Baca Loco said...

Anon or should I say "Missy"?
NPPL bankrupted itself repeatedly aiming for spectacle that quantifiably didn't work. Spectacle becomes a game of one upsmanship that eventually can't be topped.
As it stands the PSP focusing on improving customer service where it matters--at the interface between referees and players.
That said would a perk or two be out of order? Not at all but do it routinely and it quickly becomes expected and no perk at all.

As for the 400 number the last time the PSP broke that barrier was, IIRC, 2003, the last season featuring 10-man so I doubt any minor drawback will be considered too earth-shaking.

Anonymous said...

Do players say the PSP has the best refs? Do players appreciate the ID card herding, ref photo cop enforcing?

Maybe the players want to... You know have fun. Don't forget, your not just selling a competition but "a good time". Knowing your customer is important and from your reply you don't know a significant portion of them.

Don't ignore the completition. But don't ignore the showmanship either.

Baca Loco said...

Have you offered this advice to the Millennium folks too. Or Hinman at the WCPPL? How bout the CXBL kids?

And since you brought it up let's get specific. (Since I don't get it.) What sort of things do you have in mind to provide extra value and/or fun or a good time?

Anonymous said...

How about large common area to hang out with with tables in a covered area. Kind of similar to food vending areas we occasionally see but maybe bigger. Speaking of the Millennium, every event I've been to for the most part has players hanging around drinking and eating in a common area... Even better if it were possible to have it near a field viewing area. Although I realize that might be difficult. So put a couple big screen TVs in there with the webcast. Sell drinks in this tent and it's not only paid for but profit generating.

How about facilitating players desires to have their own media. It can be done. Don't tell me it can't.

How about additional elements to keep the players involved. One on one's? Target skills competiton?

Industry meetings and trainings (seminars like PBA?) Skills training?

Just throwing out ideas here... Trade my gun corner where players can go to flea market or trade their gear.

But the fact is its not my job. And just as true, the PSP hasn't shown it values the off-field experience very much which is strange considering the majority of the time spent at events is off field.

Tangent example, Airlines sell a service to move you from point a to b. But they also offer in flight entertainment, food, music, even a shopping mall of sorts. Please don't point to unprofitable examples as they have pensions and unions and bloated management executives that the PSP doesn't have.

Fact is PSP knows they don't care about many of the things I speak of but it might actually help the league grow by paying attention to the atmosphere of the product they're selling.

MissyQ said...

Actually that first post wasn't me. Just someone else who recognised a missing element from PSP events.
It's less fun going to events these days. If people don't think that's an issue then carry on. I don't have the energy to prove something that shouldn't need proving.

Anonymous said...

Here's a small piece of evidence that events are less fun. Marcus Nielson and Chris Lasoya used to "live the dream". Now people talking about "the grind".

Those two mind sets from different eras should give a clue to how people view the experience at the modern tournament.

But go ahead and continue to Grind grind grind at that grindstone!

Baca Loco said...

Sorry Missy
But to be fair you can see from his first comment how I could make that mistake given you both share the same hobby horse. You however have never been so sanctimonious.

You continue to be clueless. I took your idea seriously enough to encourage readers to offer their thoughts despite being skeptical. But you never know when to stop.