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Old 07-06-2009, 12:54 PM #1
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Team Owners and the Value of Franchises


Over the course of the past few years, paintball has introduced the idea that professional teams are “franchises” and that these “franchises” have a value.

I believe this started around about 2003 when the NXL came into existence and teams paid for franchise spots which those paying felt gave their team a certain value. Then in 2004, the NPPL locked its professional division and thereby fostered the concept of ‘franchises’ in that league. Of course the NPPL’s system of promotion and relegation stood NPPL franchises on very shaky ground when trying to assign a value, and this was a major point of contention in the final months of the NPPL, as certain pro teams argued against relegation because it removed any value from the team itself). Suddenly, team owners started to think about resale value for their teams. And it has proliferated across leagues, over to Europe and down to the CXBL and AXBL. It has proliferated despite the overall lack of success for anyone trying to create value in a professional franchise and the demonstrated lack of value of their spots.

Sure, Rage bought out the Raiders at the end of 2007. Dallas Elite bought out Arsenal and then sold to Bad Company in 2007. John Snyder bought Arsenal from Tom Fore and then sold it back. But I think only Tom Fore has ever actually profited by the sale of a team (and even so, Tom spent a lot more money running Arsenal than he made selling it).

History aside, let me present a question that I don’t believe has been asked before: is the valuation of “professional” teams, their “franchise’ and/or their spot in a league, a good thing?

Capitalism drives the desire to create value, which means minding the bottom line and accruing equity.
Competitiveness drives the expenditure of funds in ways designed to improve performance.

The two are often at complete loggerheads with one another. Certainly in the best circumstances, such as the NE Patriots, spending money to create a champion has vastly increased the value of the franchise, and since the Krafts can hold out for their payday, it makes sense for them to continue to reinvest in their operation. But not all professional teams work this way (I read stories about the Browns, the NFL Browns, telling players to go through a sock bin to pick out used socks when they needed a new pair). And I think it is fair to say most paintball teams are not so well off that they can continue to invest in their own operation while hoping to create value they can sell in the future.

I am taking this to the next level: people who are looking to create value make poor professional team owners. If your goal is fiscal gain, you will not spend the money to be competitive and eventually you will realize this is a sucker bet and walk away from the sport.

Instead of capitalists, this sport needs fanatics as team owners. People who don’t mind losing money year after year after year in order to progress the game (or, at least, progress the game in their players). This sport needs owners who are not looking at valuation nor at how much they can sell out for nor at the bottom line. The sport needs people who don’t understand the value of money (and maybe not the value of time, either) so they continue to “invest”.

I propose that a league of fiscally intelligent team owners would quickly become a league without teams.

Discuss.


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Old 07-06-2009, 01:24 PM #2
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I couldn't agree more about the concept of fanatics being necessary to run successful paintball teams. In terms of business sense, there is not enough money to be made by a paintball team that any real business owner in their right mind would look at this as a profitable venture. Most paintball teams are either owned by committee, owned by a field, or owned by someone who loves the sport and doesn't mind losing money.

The increase in the value of these franchises, and the whole franchise system in let's say, the AXBL, has a dual purpose:

1) To try and keep only interested parties in the league, given that the league is locked
2) To try and build brand recognition and build the league as a professional series.

Let's talk about number 1:

This is a mixed bag. Last year, we lost a bunch of teams from the league because owners did not understand what they were getting in to and had to bail midseason. I think this was the case of field owners getting involved, buying teams, and then realizing half way through the season that there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and they bailed.

This locked league concept will take time to sort itself out. Eventually you'll get enough people involved with the league who are there to own teams in a great league and who aren't looking for a pay day.

Let's talk about number 2:

Ridiculous right? Who cares about some "franchise" in a podunk Northeastern XBall league? Well, the answer is pretty simple. . .the people who play in it do. Rhythm has been around for a few years and has tons of lovers and haters, and that has translated into Buddy Bauer owning multiple franchises, being able to create a huge brand for his home field (the NVP suite of teams), and essentially gaining a controlling element in the league. Brand recognition works on all levels, and if a league says "these are the top players" then eventually the participants in the lower divisions will start to treat those players as "pros".

Let's not forget that pro paintballers are merely artificial constructions of the leagues they play in.

Just a few thoughts.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:32 PM #3
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It seems this can be traced back to that one CXBL franchise that was allegedly sold for $10,000. That made a lot of CXBL/AXBL players really latch on to the idea that their franchises are actually worth something.

NPPL franchises were bought and sold repeatedly and there wasn't ever a big deal made about it. CXBL, being the only big national league in Canada gives that sale a little more prominence, but it's still just a paintball team.

I'd like to know what the circumstances were regarding that sale. I've never seen any solid facts about it, just the oft-repeated hearsay.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:54 PM #4
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Let's not forget that pro paintballers are merely artificial constructions of the leagues they play in.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:10 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjokeefe View Post
Let's not forget that pro paintballers are merely artificial constructions of the leagues they play in.
A very interesting point (and you'll kindly note I have been referring to "professional" teams and players for most of this year), but one that is at best tangential to the main point of this thread. Let's table it for now and either open a new thread on that topic or allow it to come back into this discussion at its proper time.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:57 PM #6
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Why does there have to be such a bold line between fiscally intelligent owners and fanatics with money to lose?

Eventually paintball teams at the highest level will need to start being run like a business. Owners will need to find a steady balance regarding players ability and their need for financial support. Anyone with money can step into paintball, throw enough money at any pro player they want, and field an all star team every event, take home the first place prizes, but still be in the red.

It will take a business conscious type owner, to put a value on a player/set of players, who can still compete for that first place prize, but for a lesser cost then the "all star team". This type of owner who could find that balance, and play "moneyball" is really what a league needs.

Jeff - to add on to your Patriots analogy, I will use one of my own. NFL.com recently did a study to figure out how much each team "paid for each win" (http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/06/29/more...ns-and-losses/). This is basically what I am talking about; we need owners who understand how to balance the money they put in, the sponsorships, and which players/maximum talent they can get for those costs. The Patriots make smart player choices, that fit their budget, and as a result their "pay per win" is the lowest in the NFL.

To take our area, New England, as an example: someone could enter into our paintball scene with money/sponsor backings. They know their limits and what they are willing to spend, and they can go out and get the best possible players who are willing to play for the financial backing/sponsorship they are offering. This team would be more effective then if someone else came in, and threw whatever money it took at the most "expensive" talent we have here.

A league with owners focused on maximizing the talent for their buck will be the league that prospers the most. Because even "fanatics" will get tired of losing games and losing money after awhile, and then we're out one more good owner.

Last edited by SeanV : 07-06-2009 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:24 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanV View Post
Why does there have to be such a bold line between fiscally intelligent owners and fanatics with money to lose?

Eventually paintball teams at the highest level will need to start being run like a business. Owners will need to find a steady balance regarding players ability and their need for financial support. Anyone with money can step into paintball, throw enough money at any pro player they want, and field an all star team every event, take home the first place prizes, but still be in the red.

It will take a business conscious type owner, to put a value on a player/set of players, who can still compete for that first place prize, but for a lesser cost then the "all star team". This type of owner who could find that balance, and play "moneyball" is really what a league needs.

Jeff - to add on to your Patriots analogy, I will use one of my own. NFL.com recently did a study to figure out how much each team "paid for each win" (http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/06/29/more...ns-and-losses/). This is basically what I am talking about; we need owners who understand how to balance the money they put in, the sponsorships, and which players/maximum talent they can get for those costs. The Patriots make smart player choices, that fit their budget, and as a result their "pay per win" is the lowest in the NFL.

To take our area, New England, as an example: someone could enter into our paintball scene with money/sponsor backings. They know their limits and what they are willing to spend, and they can go out and get the best possible players who are willing to play for the financial backing/sponsorship they are offering. This team would be more effective then if someone else came in, and threw whatever money it took at the most "expensive" talent we have here.

A league with owners focused on maximizing the talent for their buck will be the league that prospers the most. Because even "fanatics" will get tired of losing games and losing money after awhile, and then we're out one more good owner.
Good research and a very intelligent post. I'll post my thoughts later.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:01 PM #8
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SeavnV, methinks you are vastly overestimating the available backing out there.

Quote:
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Eventually paintball teams at the highest level will need to start being run like a business. Owners will need to find a steady balance regarding players ability and their need for financial support.
I disagree. A team should not be run like a business. A team is not a business. There is no profit center. There are no significant revenue streams. The team does not control enough of the infrastructure in which it plays to create revenue. We can't sign tv deals, even if there were tv deals to be had. The league controls that and the league wouldn't share.

A team should be run like a marketing promotion. We are cost centers. We should be affiliated with a company or companies who fund us to lose money in the search of market advantage (ideally through winning, but its not unknown to take another route - witness Bad Company).


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanV View Post
It will take a business conscious type owner, to put a value on a player/set of players, who can still compete for that first place prize, but for a lesser cost then the "all star team". This type of owner who could find that balance, and play "moneyball" is really what a league needs.
Again, I just don't think you have a clear view of what the financial support is like versus the costs. That balance you speak of.... teams are already operating in the red. Moneyball requires money. Moneyball also requires rules around the expenditure of money (while the Patriots have spent less per win, they pay out more than most teams every year, they just happen to win more. If there were no salary caps in the NFL, you would see a different picture).

So what will happen is that business-smart owners will come in, try to find that balance, field noncompetitive teams, grow disgruntled and leave. Its not a good cycle for the sport.


Quote:
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To take our area, New England, as an example: someone could enter into our paintball scene with money/sponsor backings. They know their limits and what they are willing to spend, and they can go out and get the best possible players who are willing to play for the financial backing/sponsorship they are offering. This team would be more effective then if someone else came in, and threw whatever money it took at the most "expensive" talent we have here.
And since NE is not a level playing field, it makes a good example of why this won't work.

Let's take two owners. On the one hand, Jon O'Keefe, who is inteligent, does most things right and has a budget he manages to. On the other hand, myself, a blithering idiot who spends money well over what he should because he has a very small penis and needs to compensate.

Jon does just what you say; he manages his budget and picks up players who fit his mold, he creates value in his franchise and builds his players up to ever increasing levels of proficiency.

Then I steal them.

I've heard all the arguments about loyalty and sticking with your team and all that la de da. But let's face it, its mostly horse ****.

So what we are left with is a pissed off Jon O'Keefe because he did everything right and lost something, not because he was out-thunk or out-played or out-anything'd, but because idiot Jeff Stein refuses to follow the rules of logic and common sense.


Quote:
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A league with owners focused on maximizing the talent for their buck will be the league that prospers the most. Because even "fanatics" will get tired of losing games and losing money after awhile, and then we're out one more good owner.
Fanatics do lose their zeal. But it takes longer than it does for businessmen.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:17 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjokeefe View Post
The increase in the value of these franchises, and the whole franchise system in let's say, the AXBL, has a dual purpose:

1) To try and keep only interested parties in the league, given that the league is locked
2) To try and build brand recognition and build the league as a professional series.
Both of these are accomplished by the locked-league system (franchises). Resale value plays no part.

Quote:
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Let's talk about number 1:

This is a mixed bag. Last year, we lost a bunch of teams from the league because owners did not understand what they were getting in to and had to bail midseason. I think this was the case of field owners getting involved, buying teams, and then realizing half way through the season that there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and they bailed.

This locked league concept will take time to sort itself out. Eventually you'll get enough people involved with the league who are there to own teams in a great league and who aren't looking for a pay day.
So far we agree (about the locked league system requiring some time to sort itself out. I have no idea about the teams who bailed on the AXBL last season and so can't speak to that).

But let me ask, would those team owners not have pursued the "pot of gold" if everything was upfront about there being no resale value in teams?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjokeefe View Post
Let's talk about number 2:

Ridiculous right? Who cares about some "franchise" in a podunk Northeastern XBall league? Well, the answer is pretty simple. . .the people who play in it do. Rhythm has been around for a few years and has tons of lovers and haters, and that has translated into Buddy Bauer owning multiple franchises, being able to create a huge brand for his home field (the NVP suite of teams), and essentially gaining a controlling element in the league. Brand recognition works on all levels, and if a league says "these are the top players" then eventually the participants in the lower divisions will start to treat those players as "pros".
Not ridiculous at all. I have proposed to Jacko that, if the only press a team gets comes from the sponsors advertising, then sponsors should look for lower cost leagues, ideally which would be easier to win in, and then just advertise that. The cost of creating press is the same, but the cost of winning (and providing fodder for the created-press) is cheaper and easier.

Rochester Rythm has real value. No doubt. I'm sure it helps Buddy's business. But does it help enough to offset the costs?


Let's not forget that pro paintballers are merely artificial constructions of the leagues they play in.[/quote]

Still not time to get into this but.... while the "pro" designation is an artificial construct, it is supported in most cases by a level of play that is heads and tails above the norm. So while we could call the Ducks "pro" because they won the last NEPL, the fact is that it would not hold water with the locals, and even the people who look up to them, because they see them daily, would know that.

If you want to be a "professional" you have to play against "professionals" othewise it is transparent.

And yes, the "pro" designation is pretty transparent to begin with.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:51 PM #10
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I did not intend for my post to come across as "paintball teams need owners who will field a team that yields a profit or no losses". And I agree with you Jeff that teams are more of a marketing ploy then a business in it of themselves.

187 cRew is a marketing tool of Fox 4 Paintball. It drives in business to their field in terms of other teams who are willing to pay just to practice against them. Dave Painter obviously has provided a sponsorship package that was able to lure in quality players, and on top of that also has a deal in place to bring in 3 Hurricane players. Their financial choices have lead to success on the field, and a higher promotional value of their team. There are other teams who probably have better sponsorships or who pay to rent more pro players, who have not yielded such success.

So in that sense, 187 cRew has more value then say.. an 0-4 team in the AXBL. It has more marketability, which slightly offset the costs Fox4 has to support it. The difference is the ownership being smart with their money and using their successes to bring in some more revenue (clinics/hosted practices). I know we would rather spend extra money at a field to play a team of 187's caliber, then to spend less money to practice against an 0-4 team. In that sense Fox4 has succeeded in pulling in more business with their success, creating more value.

Two teams, same league, different values. YET both spots cost the same, and would sell for the same amount at the start of the season when they were 0-0.

EDIT: I dont want this post to be confused as a "Fox4 only has 187 as a business decision". I'm sure its part business, but mostly hobby.

------


Team's may need smart yet fanatic type owners willing to lose the money. But I believe that leagues need a strong business minded structure and business experienced owners running it. Not players.

Last edited by SeanV : 07-06-2009 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:26 PM #11
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Interesting. Just posting so I get reminded to come back to read more.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:49 PM #12
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Quote:
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I did not intend for my post to come across as "paintball teams need owners who will field a team that yields a profit or no losses". And I agree with you Jeff that teams are more of a marketing ploy then a business in it of themselves.

187 cRew is a marketing tool of Fox 4 Paintball. It drives in business to their field in terms of other teams who are willing to pay just to practice against them. Dave Painter obviously has provided a sponsorship package that was able to lure in quality players, and on top of that also has a deal in place to bring in 3 Hurricane players. Their financial choices have lead to success on the field, and a higher promotional value of their team. There are other teams who probably have better sponsorships or who pay to rent more pro players, who have not yielded such success.

So in that sense, 187 cRew has more value then say.. an 0-4 team in the AXBL. It has more marketability, which slightly offset the costs Fox4 has to support it. The difference is the ownership being smart with their money and using their successes to bring in some more revenue (clinics/hosted practices). I know we would rather spend extra money at a field to play a team of 187's caliber, then to spend less money to practice against an 0-4 team. In that sense Fox4 has succeeded in pulling in more business with their success, creating more value.

Two teams, same league, different values. YET both spots cost the same, and would sell for the same amount at the start of the season when they were 0-0.

EDIT: I dont want this post to be confused as a "Fox4 only has 187 as a business decision". I'm sure its part business, but mostly hobby.

------


Team's may need smart yet fanatic type owners willing to lose the money. But I believe that leagues need a strong business minded structure and business experienced owners running it. Not players.
However, Sean, let's remember that we are not 187, we don't have their record or their roster, but teams still want to come play us because of the demeanor, attitude and general atmosphere that practicing us brings.

There are different things that bring in teams and players to an organization. We had 50 people at our tryouts, because word has spread about our organization.

There are different ways to the top than just winning is all I'm saying. Discuss.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:53 PM #13
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One should not post once they’ve started drinking, so I shouldn’t post. However, I can’t seem to resist the temptation.

Sean V – Fox 4 doesn’t do this (team ownership) for any other reason then my oldest son plays paintball – and as a father it is my job to provide for my son – provide him the best opportunities in life – what he makes of them is up to him, but I’ve provided opportunities. Ok – there is a second reason – Paintball is a drug that I am addicted to. I can’t get away from it if I tried.

I consider myself to be a fairly smart business person, but if I applied all that I know business wise to tournament paintball I wouldn’t spend the money – there is very little paintball value in what we do. However, there is a significant amount of personal value/satisfaction.

While I believe some teams would prefer to come out to Fox 4 because they want to play 187 cRew, I believe most of them come out to our rotations because they’re run professionally and we offer a solid value for the buck. I believe we have set the standard in New England for running a practice. Every team gets their games, every team refs their games, every team has the opportunity to get paint at a “fair” price, the field is laid out just so, and usually cleaned off at the start of the day.

What do I like about the AXBL over other leagues – that’s easy:
1) I like xball for one reason – one call doesn’t screw you out of a match. You play many points per match and I’d say a lion’s share of the time the best team wins.
2) The locked rosters – Look at the rosters of many (not all) of the NEPL 7-man teams and even the teams playing in the PSP and USPL – they change from event to event. The owners have now control over players jumping ship. In the AXBL if a player wants to leave – so be it, but I don’t have to release them from their contract, so they won’t play anywhere else in the AXBL this season. The player has to consider what they’re doing – not burn bridges – live up to their “contract”

As for teams dropping out of the AXBL last season (and any season for that matter) – I’d say it was more growing pains then anything else. The AXBL started out as the NY Xball League or something such. Many/most of the teams where out of Upstate NY – as the league grows and changes some of the owners and teams will not be able to grow and change with the league.

Do the New England Patriots make their money off of running practices with other teams? Do they make their money off of selling footballs (ok – maybe Patriot Logo footballs). Let’s face it – they make their money off of filling up the stadium with fans. I’ve been to pre-season events (Practice – not games) where the stadium was mostly full on the lower level. Paintball doesn’t have that – we have very little fan base – why, because everyone didn’t play Paintball when they where kids – but everyone played football, baseball and basketball when they where kids – whether it was in the street or on an organized team. We know those sports and can understand what makes them “Pros” without actually being able to play even remotely close to their levels. To some degree the same can be said about “X” games like Skateboarding and snowboarding – we know that they’re good because we can’t do anything they can do (ok – maybe some of you younger guys can so some of it, but I know I struggle to make it down the mountain without breaking my A$$ on a snowboard).

I’m confident that with more booze I could go on all night – but let’s just say we don’t have the fans paying the bills – that leaves it up to people like Jon, Jeff and myself (or the players themselves) and that will only go so far. I’m not going to spend millions to build a stadium and I doubt Jeff is going to sign on 3 or 4 big name “Pros” to million dollar contracts. The money isn’t there – our insanity can only carry this sport so far.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:02 PM #14
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Good point Jeff. Consider the fact that I just got my numbers from my accountant. In 2008, wow....4 teams, tv show and tv pilot. you could guess the number within 50 grand... I am always marketing the sport and my franchise and of course I helped start the USPL. I do not know where we are headed, however, I love the sport and love to compete. so there you go..I will be back next year for more!! Come play 7 man!
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:08 AM #15
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Ok. First of all, NVP is not my company. I used to work there 3 years ago. Before that, i worked for PRO Paintball or (FreeFlow) for 3-4 years. I started Rhythm in 2002. It started as a project to see if i could make them better being they were so young. I played for Lockout or Detroit Thunder at the time. I put time into them and they devloped nicely. I made nothing off of them. I made not one dime from helping them, it was more of a self satisfaction type of thing. we kept the team going. Since and I played for Tippmann Effects 7 man team and there X Ball team wasnt doing so well. Rhythm got the opportunity to (take over) there spot. They did and turned poor results into great results during the 05-06 season. This started it all. Now that the team had proven to do well nationally, with tippmanns, it was perceived that it must be complete talent and skill that are winning the games. I then was working at NVP and having a nationally winning team playing at your facility was most certainly beneficial. Tippmann had a great budget for the team and allowed us to get a skid of paint a month to practice with. NVP was a Procaps distributor at the time, so NVP got an extra skid a month in sales for 2 years because of it. I made 0 extra. Then there came the following. The players that were good, but not there yet that instead of quitting, saw what they had a chance at. The only team around playing nationally, doing well. So they stayed with it. and they played at NVP for the chance to "get noticed" instead of competing fields where there was no "future" or ability to go very far in the sport.

Along came AXBL. This was a chance to really play real X BALL locally. The kind of X BALL PSP USED TO HAVE (2, 25 minute halves). it was like a practice for Tippmann. so they played and did well. winning 3 straight years. So once the team is full, and you have this huge pool of players that want to play and work their way up to it, what do you do? You make new teams. You make their winter practices all be held at NVP. this helps out your friends business. I now have 75 players that play for me. Do i make 1 cent off of them? Nope. i actually end up spending my own damn $$$ much of the time. I drive to EVERYTHING. I have 320,000 miles on a pathfinder. I give up a lot of time with the GF and have missed tons of family functions. I have missed funerals, weddings. I have to deal with all of the parents, good and bad. I make them get good grades etc....I have done all of it for what? I dont know. certainly not for the $. It is almost like once you start, you can not stop. How do you start coaching these kids and then one day just say, im not doing it anymore.....good luck. I really have noticed the difference in the way my teams function when i am in the pits and when i am not. I feel that if i just up and stop doing it, a lot of players would do the same. I havent done it for the $. It has been done more for self satisfaction. There is no better feeling than when you start with a bunch of players give them some direction, and help them and see what they are capable of. Sure a lot of us would like to play PSP and prove to EVERYONE what we can do against a much larger team base, but i think people can guess where we would end up. If Rhythm played D1, i would feel confident in saying top 4 every event. If Brooklyn Played d3 i would feel confident in the same. But it really is enough for us to play the AXBL. It fulfills our needs as players without emptying our wallets.

As to the 5 franchises i own, what do you do when you have 15 players that want to play but no team to put them on? you get a franchise. Do i personally pay their fee? no. I look at it as an entry fee. They all divide it up. if it is $2000 for their spot for MXL. its 133 per player. or $34 per event as an entry fee. If they dont get there entry fee in in time, they dont get to play. Just like PSP and NPPL. Call it what you want, franchise fee, entry fee, whatever. I was an owner for this season, of 5 teams. if only four of my teams pay on time next year, i will be an owner of 4 teams lol. If Brooklyn happens to win an AXBL spot but doesnt feel they are ready, they may sell it in order to buy and MXL spot and have $$$ left over.

Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If someone feels and AXBL spot is worth more than an MXL spot, Brooklyn may be able to trade it Plus some money toward paint the next year. etc. All i know is i am the NAME on the sheet for owner. If they sell it, it is their $$$.

All in all, i am not in it for the $$$. lol. funniest thing i have heard in a long time. $$$ in paintball. lol. at one time there was. now it is simply to have fun and play with your friends. I can tell you with 100% confidence. If Philly wins or Upton or whoever this year, and for some reason asked ANY of Rhythm to come play for them instead, not 1 of them would do it.

I think the owners that have a lot to GIVE will make the sport and league they are in go a lot further. And i am not meaning financially. I mean owners that help their teams, and offer good suggestions to the league, that dont complain every 2 seconds, that truly want to help the league get bigger and not their pockets or the teams.

I have been told so many times that "i should do "team dues" and "do you have any idea how much $$$ you could make off of 75 people is you did dues?" I dont want to make anything off my guys. and that just causes headaches. I know a lot of people dont like me. maybe because my teams do well or i know the rules better. but anyone that has ever played for me knows i take good care of them and would bend over backwards for any of them. I would like to think i have done a lot for the sport. especially in the Northeast. I think to find people that would do what i have for their players over the past 4 seasons are few and far between. I attribute all of that to the success of my teams and that means more to me than any DOLLAR VALUE.

-Buddy Baur
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:19 AM #16
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Jon,

Unfortunately I disagree with you on one point - the only way to the top is winning. Of course when I say "Top" I mean the best of the best - the division champions, the league champions, etc..

You can have a top notch organization but without winning the funding, player dedication and the organization itself will eventually fall apart.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:46 AM #17
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Jon,

Unfortunately I disagree with you on one point - the only way to the top is winning. Of course when I say "Top" I mean the best of the best - the division champions, the league champions, etc..

You can have a top notch organization but without winning the funding, player dedication and the organization itself will eventually fall apart.
That's a fantastic avenue of conversation, and now that we appear to have the attention of Tom Fore and Buddy Bauer, both of whom have enviable track records of success, we can have a well rounded discussion of what "the top" means in this sport.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:59 AM #18
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Jon,

Unfortunately I disagree with you on one point - the only way to the top is winning. Of course when I say "Top" I mean the best of the best - the division champions, the league champions, etc..

You can have a top notch organization but without winning the funding, player dedication and the organization itself will eventually fall apart.
I don't know. I really don't. It all depends on your end game. I think personally I just don't have an end game in mind other than having the best time possible for as long as possible, and giving players a chance to grow and learn the game.

Yes, Somerville wants to win. We want to stay in the AXBL, but if we lost and moved down, we'd play MXL and try and win our way back up. After we lose a match, no one on this team is starting to look for new teams or starting to panic. We just want to work harder. Some of that is my players who all have great attitudes, and some of it is my overall attitude towards the sport.

I've played a sport for seriously that has an "end game". I was a nationally ranked tennis player in my teens, almost dropped out of high school to go train full time, and was right on the cusp of being something special. At that time, I looked at the end game. You need to be about top 100 in the world to make a full time living playing tennis. I wasn't convinced I could get there, thought high school and college might be more important, and made a choice.

There is no choice like that in paintball. You can't be like "I'm pretty good, I have a shot to do this for a living, make enough money to retire when I'm 30 or 35 and go coach somewhere". Are there paintball players who make money? Sure. However, even at the "Pro" level there are players paying their way, working other jobs, etc. Does Tiger Woods work another job? How about Tom Brady? Ollie Lang does, so does Alex Fraige.

So, I think I've seen what a real end game looks like, and I know there isn't one in paintball. This means that I might have a different outlook. I don't value my franchise in cash, I value it in the time I get to spend with people that I like. Someone pretty smart once said "I don't have a boat, I have a paintball team" and that is exactly how I feel. Win or lose, it is an endeavor we choose to engage in because we WANT to. I think that attitude, combined with our work ethic, means we'll be around for a long time.

Just my two cents though, and I do realize that winning is part of what makes this fun. . .
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:44 AM #19
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Jeff,

You bring up several good points. First and foremost, I have to preface any of my statements by making it clear that I am a firm believer that a paintball "franchise" currently holds ZERO value. Nor, will it hold value anytime soon. The value of a team is in merchandising. Even stadiums full of people and on television produce minimal profits for a team owner. The money comes from the logo rights, the shirts, hats, and random paraphernalia that fans purchase. The overhead of stadiums is astronomical.

Nonetheless, in regards to the success of a league, you are correct that it takes fanatics. This holds true because the success of a league depends on the success of its teams. For example, the current Pittsburgh Pirates are owned by Robert Nutting. He has made claims that they are rebuilding for many years down the road, when in fact they are very good at trading away top level talent for young prospects, financial compensation and relief for oncoming heavy contracts. Would Jerry Jones from the Dallas Cowboys or Mark Cuban from the Dallas Mavericks or the Steinbrenners in New York make such moves as trading away one of the premier players in Jason Bay for simply peanuts? For those sports activists, consider the possibility of trading Dwight Howard for Ricky Rubio and a million dollars? Now I understand that quite a lot must be considered with free agency and salary caps, but fanatics will make it work.

The success of a professional league hinges on the notion of competition. No one wants to watch boring games in which one team pounds on another repeatedly. A dynasty (not the team from san diego, a general reference) is fun for a while, but the hope is that teams will catch up eventually. Hence, the creation of salary caps. Nonetheless, as it pertains to paintball. The overall success of a professional "league" is dependent upon a group of owners that care about the team's success.

From a personal standpoint, I don't see many players leave the Ironmen or the All-Americans on their own accord. As an insider to one of these factory teams, its because ownership cares. We strive to win and the success is the only goal. Yes, marketing of products and potential assistance in product development is useful. However, I'm honest in admitting that I don't help sell enough product to justify the cost of a team. We have existed for so long and maintained a fairly high level of success because ownership wants to win, not turn a profit. I cross my fingers and hope upon a grain of salt that one day the team will be worth something. But we're all truthful enough with ourselves to know that it probably won't happen in our eras.

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:34 AM #20
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One should not post once they’ve started drinking, so I shouldn’t post. However, I can’t seem to resist the temptation.

Sean V – Fox 4 doesn’t do this (team ownership) for any other reason then my oldest son plays paintball – and as a father it is my job to provide for my son – provide him the best opportunities in life – what he makes of them is up to him, but I’ve provided opportunities. Ok – there is a second reason – Paintball is a drug that I am addicted to. I can’t get away from it if I tried.

I consider myself to be a fairly smart business person, but if I applied all that I know business wise to tournament paintball I wouldn’t spend the money – there is very little paintball value in what we do. However, there is a significant amount of personal value/satisfaction..
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I don't know. I really don't. It all depends on your end game. I think personally I just don't have an end game in mind other than having the best time possible for as long as possible, and giving players a chance to grow and learn the game.
I think these two statements say it all. As a Team owner, its definitely for the love of the sport and not monetary gain.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:20 PM #21
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I give up a lot of time with the GF

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We all know you dont have a girlfriend buddy, cmon now

I will post more later when I am not at work, but for the AXBL and CXBL the value on franchises comes down to one simple thing, How bad does someone or a group of players really want to buy into this league. In one situation that meant $10k to a CXBL owner for his team. There is no value in the name of the team or "franchise." People are merely paying for the right to play in the league.

We can compare this to other pro sports all we want, but the idea of a "franchise" in paintball is an entirely different idea than a "franchise" in the NFL, NBA, or MLB.
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