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Old 12-16-2008, 03:55 PM #1
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How would you prepare the Hurricanes for the future?

OK, much more fun than “will we be in the AXBL”;

If you were in charge of the Hurricanes, and it was your responsibility to retool the team to play PSP Pro, and you wanted to build the organization for long term success, what would you do?

So, for instance, would you start a farm team? Would this team play in the AXBL or the PSP or both or something else or none of the above, but just be a practice squad that was there for practices?

Would you work with other teams (Crisis, 187, NEX) and incorporate them into the system, or have them self-manage outside of the system or (try to) break them up and reorganize their players?

How much money, time and headache would each option be worth?

Would you look for players who are almost ready now or players who are a year out, two years out, three years out?

How would the team be paid for (by the players, or would you dedicate some level of support from team funds? Would you want players who paid for it all themselves or would you want to keep better players even if they needed financial support)?
  • You have a budget of about $100K (including paint).
  • You have one dedicated coach on staff.
  • You have only yourself to manage the operation.
  • Given
the current sponsorship market.

For now, those are the only guidelines. I’ll tell you if you’ve crossed any lines (for instance, a practice squad that plays AXBL and PSP D1 and is fully funded by the Hurricanes, I’ll tell you that you’ve spent too much).
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:09 PM #2
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a farm team isnt really a must because you can still pick and choose players from the higher ranked teams when they are ready but having a farm team will help you mold the players into what you want/need them to be to fill the sports you may loose in the future. If you did this you could build it like the SP team last year and have some that are ready to go up right away and others that are still being molded for next year or the year after. This way if any canes players now choose to retire or move on you have some players ready to fill the spots. Also instead of doing all the psp you could do a couple psp and the axbl to save some money. Maybe make a kitty for the team where the players put in X amount of money each week to help with funding the team.

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Old 12-16-2008, 04:11 PM #3
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Man I spend too much time on here lately...

Hmmm. Ive never really thought about it in depth, as far as running a pro team.

Off the top of my head, I would stick with what I have. I would utilize the tools at my disposal. If I could set up scrimmages with the established teams in the area (187, NEX, Crisis, Authority, Philly Dogs, NXE, etc). This would keep costs down. When I say local, I mean something that could be done within a weekend including driving. Im not up there now so I dont know all the teams in this radius.

I would set up travel every few months (maybe 4 times a year) and travel to play pro teams in scrimmages. I would encourage pro teams to come to me though.

I would also set up a farm team, with limited sponsorships. I would reach deep down into the divisionals, even down to D4. They would play regional series (AXBL, NEPL, CFOA etc). Keep the majority of costs on these players like their entry fees, hotel, travel and whatnot, but help with consumables notably paint, markers and clothing. The great thing about reaching so far down is that these players are part of the "Hurricane family" but at a very cheap cost to the organization. These players will fight over these spots and be happy to fill one at almost any cost, with the light at the end of the tunnel and the chance to be a Hurricane one day. I would look as far out into the foreseeable future as possible. The more time I have to groom these players into what I want, the happier I will be in the end.

My pro team would be my crown and jewel with the most to gain. I would put most of my finances in this. These lower players will see this and aspire to be this one day.

Off the top of my head, and very crude, but this is what I would try to accomplish...
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:17 PM #4
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I have one question first: How many active pro players are you starting with on the roster? That would affect how much recruiting you may need to do just to fill the pro roster, which then affects what you do about player farming. I'm assuming 8 players, right now.

(Also, please don't steal our players. We just spent about a month doing tryouts and re-building the team and finally got our roster all set. )
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:23 PM #5
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How about a tournament series where the winners get to be a sister/farm team to the hurricanes? Make them fight for the spot, have them pay for the chance to fight, then let the winner be a farm team. Maybe you'll make a little money in the process of finding your farm team?
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:28 PM #6
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100k is a lotta booze...
Lets do the math, 20 dollars equals a bottle or a 30 rack (less in most cases.)
So that's 5000 bottles (or 150,000 beers). Now lets think about this.
8 players or so per team.
Assuming each can drink a 30 rack a day (or a bottle, lets say, and that's high I'd assume).
That's 365 days a year drinking.
That's only 2920 bottles OR 87,600 beers. (58,400 spent).
Leaving you with money left over even for the pizza!

Haha.

But for real.
With PSP being a national league, and the competitive level of the Canes, I'd be looking in that direction. Unsure of cost really (paint would be more expensive this is true), but for now until the economy picks back up it's gonna be hair and hide for a while.

I'd budget out what a single PSP even costs and even determine if it would be financially sound to participate based on current sponsorship and financial ability. AXBL would be even more costly (again, assumptions).

As far as a farm team, no, if players want to play against the canes and what not they will do so without being a farm team. I'd simply approach the players who looked ready and ask them if they'd like a spot (if there was an opening). They'd then have to make the choice and the team they came from would have to do the same.
Just cause a AAA baseball player likes his team doesn't mean he would turn down a chance to get in the majors, and that AAA team would be able to find someone else in turn.

*Shrug*

Though I think my first idea has some pull .
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:33 PM #7
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I honestly don't think you'll have a hard time convincing a player to leave his team to join the canes.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:43 PM #8
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but with the "farm" team he can mold the players to fit his style of play and what he wants them to be on the field. Where if its just another team he doesnt really have much input.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:20 PM #9
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All ideas are based on the Canes making a switch to xball

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stein View Post
So, for instance, would you start a farm team? Would this team play in the AXBL or the PSP or both or something else or none of the above, but just be a practice squad that was there for practices?
I'd start by looking at the previous "farm teams" (both official and non-official): PTI, NE United, Boston Paintball Factory, and NEX. No matter the reason (financial or otherwise), with the exception of NEX, no team that has ever been crowned the official Canes B team has ever survived past one season. This was NeX's first season as it, and since NPPL is gone, no one will ever know if they would have been it again next season. Although they would have stayed together, which is something the other teams failed to do after being tagged the b team.

Of those teams, how many players have been brought up from the B team to the pro squad? I can name a few players who played with the NXL squad when they had it, but as far as 7man goes, I'm not sure I can name any. Hell, Jonzo was rostered on 3 of those 4 teams and I don't think he ever played pro at the 7man level.

So if the teams seem to change every season, and there hasn't been a consistent amount of promotions from the B to the A team, why waste the time/money? I can understand the idea of a good practice squad. But if you don't take those players, more then likely there are only 2-3 other teams who they would all go to, so you could just go practice them.

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you work with other teams (Crisis, 187, NEX) and incorporate them into the system, or have them self-manage outside of the system or (try to) break them up and reorganize their players?

How much money, time and headache would each option be worth?
I would let them continue to self manage. There is no need to step in and start organizing all the top tier talent in New England. You have a monopoly on the pro scene around here. If you want a player, 99% of the time you can go and get them whenever you want. Obviously setting up practices with these teams gives you the chance to monitor the growth of new talent, but I would focus on he talent on the current roster.

Quote:
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Would you look for players who are almost ready now or players who are a year out, two years out, three years out?
Two or three years ago the "next big thing" type of talent are not the "big thing" talent right now. A few select players could have been tagged to be something special a few seasons ago, and ended up being something. But for the most part, most players max out at a certain peak and never reach a point where they were once predicted to be. Instead of the farm team idea, it wouldn't hurt to keep track of several players, ranging from almost ready to one year out. With the PSP now the one major national league, it will be easier to take some time and watch certain players at these events. In the past, if a local young talent only played PSP, while you focused on NPPL, it was hard to monitor them. Nowadays it will be easier.

So in conclusion, the Canes really don't need to do much to prepare for the future. You have seen the surge in xball in the northeast with the popularity of the AXBL rising. More kids will learn how to play that. There isn't any other pro team around to compete against you for picking up the players you want. For most New England players, playing for the hurricanes would be the pinnacle of their paintball goals, making it easier to sit back and watch other people foot the bill for multiple "b" teams.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:24 PM #10
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Im not sure how much this would help in the long run 2, 3 years down the road but I believe that it would be more cost effective to include the teams you mentioned in more practices with the canes. While not technicaly costing the team anything financially it would be local practice and you could still keep an eye on some of the local talent playing in the format that the Canes seem to be headed towards. As far as molding the players, even having them practice against the Canes with their coaches around could start molding them into how Stein would want them to play. A suggestion after a point during practice a good job but try it this way, would be subtle molding.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:41 PM #11
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I agree with Valukis and Alty. Focus on the pro team, practice with the local teams and keep an eye on them.

I assume that there will be a few additions to the canes roster if the switch to xball is made. Perhaps as simple as bringing back some players who had previously been rostered, or bringing up some players from NEX if they're ready.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:01 PM #12
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I'd say screw it and run a college league. Then you can have 2,000 players on your team, and some of them are guaranteed to win every time!

Plus, better TV deal.

Or, buy all your players snowboards, and wait for the payoff when one of them becomes the next Shaun White.


But, if we accept that you have the requisite level of insanity to put any time, money or energy into tournament paintball....

...I would hire a PR agent and get a couple of your players seen with some young single celebrity chicks. I'm not kidding.


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Old 12-16-2008, 06:10 PM #13
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For those people suggesting that I should blow the money on booze, hookers or Oliver Lang, or sell off the assets and make a profit off of this, we can assume I have enough money for booze or whores and that I don't look to profit off paintball.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:20 PM #14
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jeff its simple math. Girls + booze = whores. No need to buy both

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:55 PM #15
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$100K could probably get you this Jeff:
http://www.zimbio.com/Favorite+Cigar...igar+Rolled+Up
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:13 PM #16
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Quote:
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I have one question first: How many active pro players are you starting with on the roster? That would affect how much recruiting you may need to do just to fill the pro roster, which then affects what you do about player farming. I'm assuming 8 players, right now.
8 players
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:55 PM #17
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Seems to me that you have a pretty solid roster already if you can only bring 8, I’m guessing your pretty much set. You might grab a guy or two from other teams (NEX?, 187?), but you've got the roster to do damage in the pro division of x-ball (or what ever they decide to call it).

As for farm systems - unless you make the investment that Tom(Arsenal) has made I'm not convinced that it benefits you (the pro team) nearly as much as it benefits the farm team. So I'm forced to ask - why would you do it?

Now - how do you go about spending 100K..

1) Figure on 4 national events - let's figure on 15K per event - that's basically 1.5K per person (8 players, 1 coach, and 1 owner) -
Travel: $400 per person x 10 = 4000
Hotel: $200 per person x 10 = 2000
Entry: $5000 - or roughly $600 per player = 5000
Food/Batteries - $200 per person = 2000
Car Rental: $100 per person = 1000
Misc: $100 per person = 1000
I'm assuming your paint is covered by sponsorship

You’ve played 4 long weekends and you’ve already spent $60K

2) Figure on 3 solid practices per month - shooting as much as 30 cases each practice - that's 90 a month - lets just call it a skid (105 or 120 depending upon who you buy from) - now lets assume you get 10 months of practice (End of Nov through early January is "Off season"). So, 10 skids at say 2500 per skid = $25K in practice paint. Let's assume you get 1/2 of that for free as some sort of sponsorship deal - so it's $12.5K (Running total: $72,500)

3) You’ve got to figure the farm team is much like the “Do we help local teams by playing them in practice” question. Don’t you think all the local teams (NEX, Crisis, 187, etc..) would want to play you in practice? Don’t you think you could “Steal” players if by chance one of us had a player you wanted? Why pay for the cow when you get the milk for free? However, since you still have funds remaining ($27.5K) you could run a farm team and do the following – Pay entry for National Events ($4K * 4 = $16K), Pay for their practice paint (figure ˝ again what the pros shoot, but no sponsorship offset, so another $12.5K) – you’re now just over 100K.

Now – if you get all your paint via sponsorship that would free up some additional cash. I’d say you fund the AXBL season for the farm team – that’s going to run you around 8K (I’ve already got paint for this season – won it last season, so you only need to cover my entry and player fees).

Wasn’t hard to spend the cash – If you’re interested give me a call (You’ve got the number).
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:10 PM #18
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well it's quite obvious that at some point in the future some of the 'Canes will leave the team, be it through retirement or other intrests outside of paintball, These players will need to be replaced. Logically, these players will come up through the ranks of the local fields and tournament series'. Lets use NeX for this example. They came together and achieved success as a unit and worked their way to where they are today. They are currently the 'Cane's "B" team but are still self managed and recieve "guidance" from the 'Canes and staff (as far as i know, correct me if i'm wrong). As the guys from NeX mature as players and eventually turn pro, another team will come up through the ranks and fill the void at the "B" team level. By closely associating NeX to the 'Canes but still letting them self manage thats money saved to focus on your true goal, the 'Canes pro squad.

As far as i'm concerned, it would be a waste for the 'Canes to field a divisional team at every level. Sure it would give the local players something realistic to work towards but the reality of it is that the 'Canes don't need divisional squads to watch players. They have a true monopoly on the talent pool of new england. They can cherry pick from whatever team they want looking for any player that fits their needs as a team (i'll get to that in a minute). Most players i know would leave their current team in a heartbeat to play at the pro level for the Hurricane's organization. By not spending money on divisonal squads you can then look at other things to spend your money on, be it practice, travel, events ect.

OK let's say you've spent say 1/4 of your budget on your "B" team providing them with the funds they need to keep on par with the 'Cane's expectations (entry, tournament paint ect..) leaving them to foot the rest of the bill if they want to say play in the AXBL or other local series'. you still have 75k left for your pro squad. Let's say you've met with your players, coaches, sponsors ect and decided with the collapse of the NPPL it's a waste of time to train and field a 7man squad, you decide to focus on the PSP for the 2009 season. Right away thats $5000 (cost of NXL per event in 2008) per event (5 events) = 25k, another 1/4 of your budget gone, and thats not even including paint at events.

Whatever series you play, that team needs to practice.This is where the bulk of the budget is spent. In order for pro teams to get the maximum out of their practices, they ideally practice against other pro teams. The easy solution is do it, practice exclusively other pro teams and let your "B" squad attend these practices. Try as hard as you can to convince these other teams to travel to you (save travel/lodging costs). At practice do drills as a team and individually as well. Say player X has been slacking in the snap shooting department, pull them aside and pair him up with the best snap shooter on the team, help your weak links improve their skills, thats what practice is for. practice against the best to get better.

Since most of the 'Canes haven't played xball in a few seasons (there are exceptions) it would be wise to play as many full matches as possible. Play other pro teams play your "B" team, just play a ton of xball matches. Surround them with xball since it will be all they play over the course of the year. Focus on your starting 8 players, get them used to playing lots of points back to back. work on condishioning and stamina, your guys need to be fresh when there's one minute in the 2nd half and they are down by 1 point (of course that will never happen...they never lose ).

So i guess to sum it all up, use most of your money to get your current 8 to their absolute best and then use minimal funds to mold your "B" team into what your want in the future. Don't field divisonal teams. Focus on one format and dominate it.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:08 PM #19
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Quote:
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8 players
Well then, should we assume the rumors of the PSP Pro team rosters being limited to 8 are accurate? If so then keep the roster you've got and practice with local teams to keep an eye on players to steal in the future if need be.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:14 AM #20
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OK, much more fun than “will we be in the AXBL”;

If you were in charge of the Hurricanes, and it was your responsibility to retool the team to play PSP Pro, and you wanted to build the organization for long term success, what would you do?

So, for instance, would you start a farm team? Would this team play in the AXBL or the PSP or both or something else or none of the above, but just be a practice squad that was there for practices?

Would you work with other teams (Crisis, 187, NEX) and incorporate them into the system, or have them self-manage outside of the system or (try to) break them up and reorganize their players?

How much money, time and headache would each option be worth?

Would you look for players who are almost ready now or players who are a year out, two years out, three years out?

How would the team be paid for (by the players, or would you dedicate some level of support from team funds? Would you want players who paid for it all themselves or would you want to keep better players even if they needed financial support)?
  • You have a budget of about $100K (including paint).
  • You have one dedicated coach on staff.
  • You have only yourself to manage the operation.
  • Given
the current sponsorship market.

For now, those are the only guidelines. I’ll tell you if you’ve crossed any lines (for instance, a practice squad that plays AXBL and PSP D1 and is fully funded by the Hurricanes, I’ll tell you that you’ve spent too much).
I see what you are doing here. I love it Jeff.

I would say, let the farm teams manage themselves, take what you need from them, and trust that those of us around here are going to be developing a pool of talent for your future. All you have to do is put your guys on the field against the top tier local teams every once and awhile, and you'll see how its all shaking down.

I promise to put all the kids who are now on my team that you want through their paces. If they want to play pro, I'll get them there
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:04 PM #21
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Location: South Boston MA
1- Farm Team- I would start 2 farm teams. One team would consist of guys maybe 1-3 years out. The pro team seems set to make a run for at least a year or two without losing anyone, so you don't want to take on anyone who is ready to go now because they'll end up leaving at their first opportunity. Also you want to vary the readiness of your farm program, you don't want them all coming up at the same time as the likliehood of 100% turnover is doubtful. I would try to stay in the region as much as possible as far as events as a way to save money, maybe 1 or 2 national events if they are dominating the region. The second farm team would consist of kids in their early teens. I would use this team as long term stability. Getting a team that young and grooming them as they move through the ranks could be a great way to create synergy throughout the organization. This team would only do local events and I would have the option of moving them up to the first farm team to fill voids left by them as they move up to the pro squad. This way you stay competitive at the pro and upper divisional levels with out having to do extensive recruiting looking for players who are ready. It's better to lose and be inconsistant at the cheaper local level than in the upper divisions or pro. Plus, imagine 3-4 players, even with only average skills, coming from this young team having played together in a system for 4-7 years as them move up to the pro level, they would know what each other is going to do before even thinking it. Also this way you can recruit from outside the organization, but you don't have to, if there really aren't any game changers out there.

2- Finances- The pro team has earned they're due, they're expenses come out of the organizational pool. The 1st farm would pay team dues that would total 50% of their costs, the organization picking up th other 50%. Winnings divided the same way. The 2nd farm team's split for dues/prizes would be 75/25. This way players are invested in the organization and with that comes accountability.

3- Practice/Coaching- I would have 2 veteran pro players coaching each of the farm teams. This will provide synergy throughout the organization as far as the systems go and reduce the number of coaches needed. As for practices I would schedule either one practice a month or one every other month in which all 3 teams are required to practice together, this is more of an effort to help the farm players get better. That is of course on top of their regular practice schedule.

4- Leagues- Whatever style the pro squad is playing, that is what the farm teams will play.

5- Branding- With this fresh pipeline of talent I would always be bringing a game ready competitive team to any event, increasing my chances of winning. Winning builds a stronger brand identity, thus allowing me to peddle more jerseys, tshirts, instructional DVDs, random merch, etc. I would take the return I see on increased sales and funnel it back into the organization. I also think with the farm teams playing a little closer to home it will build more brand recognition and a bigger local following. I am shocked at how few Hurricanes jerseys I see at some of our local fields as opposed to Ironmen and Dynasty jerseys. Building a stronger brand creates possibilities.

6- Field/store/web- Building the brand could also help down the line in creating a successful field/store/web operation which could make the team entirely self sufficient and no members would have to dig into their own pocket for anything, which could potentially attract some top talent. I know it sounds crazy, but think about it. There are wildly successful field/store/web operations that don't even sponsor a pro team nevermind being operated by one. Plus now you have your own first class training facility. I would definitely approach the local municipality and see about getting some of the building subsidized by agrueing benefits to the local community such as maybe setting up an after school program or something. Maybe even turning the organization into a privately held company where the players and employees are allowed to by the shares, while I hold the controlling shares. As you leave you're given your investment back. Obviously more of a long term goal, but none the less possible. With this kind of infrastructure the organization is poised for long term success and will be able to weather any tough times.

I think the key to sustained long term success is continuity at all levels of the organization, everyone has to be on board as far as mentality, playing style, goals, and preparation.

Anyway, that is my little blurb on the subject. I hope you guys find it interesting or at least mildly thought provoking, if not have a good laugh at my expense, lol!
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