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Old 07-19-2011, 11:04 AM #1
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Thread of the Week: Merger

So, the rumor du jour (from a few weeks past) is of the merger of the NPPL and the PSP. I’m fairly certain the rumor itself is drivel – the industry (at least the paint companies) has never shown much aptitude for collaborative action and no one is willing to risk a nickel by turning a back on any player base, no matter how unprofitable that player base may have previously proven itself.

So putting aside the question of feasibility, I thought I’d open a discussion on what a merger could look like if it was to be acceptable for both parties and possibly, possibly feasible. For this thread, and perhaps this thread only, I will openly call bull**** on ideas that are, well, full of kakapoo-poo. And also, just for a change, I’ll open with my own opinion.

So, what do I think a workable merger would look like?

For one, clearly the structure of the PSP remains and the NPPL is folded within it. The PSP continues to have complete operational control over the events. I’d allow no more than an “Oversight Board” of captains selected by Lane to help him think through changes (and how to communicate them) – ombudsmen for the teams so to speak – and I’d want Lane to include some representatives of the former NPPL in that group. The format remains the same, but more apropos, the format remains what the PSP deems it should be, with changes over time that the PSP deems good and necessary. The APPA remains where it is. Tony and Tim and their crews remain the same. We should at least try to merge on our strengths, and the PSP’s strength is in the actual running of events. Change nothing. And my default answer to all the minute questions is “whatever Lane and the PSP thinks is best”.

Meanwhile, the NPPL’s focus has seemingly forever been more on the sizzle than the steak, and conveniently that’s not something Lane has ever paid too much attention to, so in my new world order, the NPPL becomes the marketing arm of the PSP. They can continue to court television and mainstream attention.

The ties between the two sides of this coin will need to be clearly defined and tightly enforced. Non-competes need to ensure that neither side tries to dump the other for its own gain. The NPPL sells PSP content and the revenue generated is split between the two (and the teams), to help expand and improve the league, to help expand and improve the marketing and to help lower costs for the teams. If the NPPL side of the equation does their job, the Pro Team owners of the NPPL get what they wanted – a league to play in for free with the opportunity to earn more. (And should the NPPL have fantastic success, don’t think the operations people won’t listen when there is money on the line. Today people tell the PSP “you should do this”. But what if tomorrow Bart called Lane and said, “we have a $1,000,000 TV deal waiting, but they hate the penalty boxes. Go back to yanking bodies and playing down a body the next point.”? If there was cash on the line, the PSP would not ignore it.

Now, for the merger to work neither side can completely exclude the other. We already introduced an Oversight Board. I want two more things:

First, the pro division. Any NPPL pro team that already played PSP pro at any time in the last three seasons (2009, 2010, and 2011) is automatically given a spot in the PSP pro division. All remaining NPPL pro teams are put into a newly formed Semi-Pro division, which is essentially an open class (and becomes the landing point for all the D1 teams looking to move up). After that, the league adopts the former NPPL’s position on promotion and relegation. The top n teams move up from Semi-Pro to Pro while the bottom n teams go from Pro to Semi-Pro. It will take no more than a season for everyone to rank out where they should be. Spots belong to the league, however, and cannot be sold (that may be a sore point with the NPPL Pro teams, but let’s face it; no one can sell their NPPL spots either). We can include some language that stipulates that once the promotional arm is bringing in a certain amount of revenue, spots become the property of the teams holding them.

Second, the NPPL itself reforms as the NCC – National Council of Captains. Membership is open to all but there needs to be a yearly fee. Something between $500 and $1000. This is necessary to keep out the riffraff. If you believe in a cause, support it. The NCC has elected officials – but maybe they start with a grace period of 2 years for the appointed officials to run things before we open it up to the ravages of democracy.

So, that’s the broad strokes. A PSP run league with NPPL run marketing. The PSP gets an open field where they don’t have to contend with another major league. The NPPL gets its share of revenue and hopes for a greater tomorrow. Pro teams get selected by experience in year one and skill after that. PSP and NPPL teams alike can be a part of the NCC and the Oversight Board.
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Last edited by J. Stein : 07-19-2011 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:46 AM #2
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ironic that national professional paintball league handles promotions and Paintball sports promotions handles the league? I say they flip flop the names.

In all seriousness though, I give your proposal a solid A-. The minus part because now this thread is gonna get littered with a bunch of "I agree with Jeff" rather than thinking up their own idea. Also why not go ahead and nominate yourself as comish of NCC?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:01 PM #3
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I agree with jeff
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:08 PM #4
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I agree with jeff
.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:29 PM #5
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yeah...I agree with Jeff too.

Ok - just kidding (kind of).

The reality is that Jeff is in the know and his ideas around unification are solid. The real question that he didn't want to address here is can it be done.

Let Lane run the events but don't let him get in front of a camera. Anyone who can pull off what they did in Chicago (can you say total destruction 2 days before the event) has proven that they can run events and venues.

Put the glitz and glimmer of the NPPL in front of a camera and out chasing business.

Let all the venders in for free – sort of. (Ok – this idea is stolen from someone else). Make each vendor hold raffles every hour – raffle off stuff on the “Pro” field every match, etc.. Things that will help bring in more people interested in paintball but not necessarily playing that event. You could base their level of participation in the free raffles to the size of the spot they want. Small spot equals small donations – large spot equals large donations. It would be nice to get back to the days when there were 3 and 4 rows of vendors at World Cup - not just a handful of the big boys.

Format – keep some sort of race to – the simple fact is that the better team wins 99% of the time in this format. One bad call from the ref may cost you the match, but you allowed it to come down to one point – shame on you.

Run 4 events: Mid April, Late June, Mid/Late August, Mid Oct
Why:
Mid April: No need to start the season in March – this just encourages teams from northern states skip the 1st event.
Late June & Mid/Late August – try to get 2 events in the Summer time – someone easier on many of the participants as far as School is involved.
Mid Oct – I guess because World Cup has Always been in Mid/Late Oct.

Have an off season – from November 1st to February 31st – not that teams can’t practice if they don’t want to, but by holding events in March you’re “forcing” teams to practice more in the winter time and that is just too difficult on the northern teams.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:42 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffriezz View Post
ironic that national professional paintball league handles promotions and Paintball sports promotions handles the league? I say they flip flop the names.

In all seriousness though, I give your proposal a solid A-. The minus part because now this thread is gonna get littered with a bunch of "I agree with Jeff" rather than thinking up their own idea. Also why not go ahead and nominate yourself as comish of NCC?
Did you know I was almost offered that role in 2008 at the World Cup. Bruce and Scott took me to dinner at Charley's (is that the name of it - the really expensive steak house in Kissimme?) and asked me to consider being the NPPL commisioner in 2009. But I had to drop the Hurricanes and I ultimately decided not to follow that path.

But that was then and this is now. I want no part of it. I've spent enough time trying to promote the greater good and almost all of it for naught. Now I'll focus on what's 'mine'.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:32 PM #7
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so...

is 50% of something better than 100% of nothing?
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:49 PM #8
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Wouldnt that require the NPPL to admit that the PSP has either a stronger brand or better product? IDK I just dont see that happening.

So what would happen to the NPPL event staff? Or the PSP Marketing? You certainly wouldnt need both.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:11 PM #9
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What about event locations... Would we combine some of the NPPL locations with PSP.. I think Huntington Beach no matter what would be a great location. Lot of teams in the California area so I feel there needs to be an event there... There should be one more towards the northeast You have Cup in the South east. That leaves 1 event. Where should it be.. Chicago or do we go south east...
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:46 PM #10
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4 events:

1 - HB - Great location - many teams go because of the great location
2 - Chicago - always a great draw - lots of paintball in the Chicago area
3 - Northeast/Mid-Atlantic - Pev's has a great field - near two airports, etc..
4 - Orlando Fl Area - Tradition if nothing else.

For the 2 in the middle I'd work with an existing field - help build them up over time so that within a few years you don't have all the setup and breakdown costs - or at least a greatly reduced cost for Setup and breakdown.

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:15 PM #11
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Sorry I have to ask what about the divisional player? Or just a fan of pro paint ball? will this just make paint a cheaper like we discussed in the last merger thread? Every ones ideas make sense I like the vendor idea dave!!!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:56 PM #12
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I doubt any merger will equate to a cheaper event for divisional teams.

There might be a few more sponsorship dollars that trickle down to divisional teams, but overall it is the divisional teams that pay for the events. They're like the Fans of other sports. Meaning the Major League Baseball team doesn't pay their players - the fans pay/TV deals, etc. In this case the Pro Paintball teams don't pay for much of anything, but that means someone is paying for it - the divisional teams.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:19 PM #13
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Yeah that's what I figured at least I can stop asking my self why there are two formats lol them again base ball has to sets of rules.

This would mean new bunker sets fml I hate that supair runs the show for bunkers.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:29 PM #14
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Quote:
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Did you know I was almost offered that role in 2008 at the World Cup. Bruce and Scott took me to dinner at Charley's (is that the name of it - the really expensive steak house in Kissimme?) and asked me to consider being the NPPL commisioner in 2009. But I had to drop the Hurricanes and I ultimately decided not to follow that path.

But that was then and this is now. I want no part of it. I've spent enough time trying to promote the greater good and almost all of it for naught. Now I'll focus on what's 'mine'.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:49 PM #15
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I think that the winners of each division's championships should face eachother at the real world cup meaning pro winner from nppl faces pro winner from psp and so on for all divisions with some rules to make it neutral.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:47 AM #16
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I think that the winners of each division's championships should face eachother at the real world cup meaning pro winner from nppl faces pro winner from psp and so on for all divisions with some rules to make it neutral.
But, what does this have to do with a merger?

And this is not feasible. There is no neutral format, nor refs trained in that neutral format. Where the teams are not one and the same (Dynasty), they may share players. There are costs involved in showing up at an event (and reffing an event and setting up a field and shooting paint in a match), and no one wants to bear those. And if you hold it at the real World Cup, the PSP teams will be tired from just running the gauntlet and winning the event.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:44 PM #17
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Leagues had a "secret meeting" last week. Looks like the ultimatum from the paint manufacturers did something. I'd like to see 1 league. Format = race 2 semi and coaching from the snake. The merge will only strengthen the public perception of PB. Alot more great PB ppl working together to make our sport more mainstream. Hopefully the more mainstream it is the more people will play it, hopefully the more people play the cheaper it will be to play.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:25 AM #18
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12.5 ramp...period. Vendor idea is decent but I don't think raffles where someone calmly passes out the prize to the winner works for a rowdy paintball crowd as many are. Despite the fact they may or may not be large in any measure, but still rowdy...The vendor's situation is a matter of weeding out what makes paintball paintball and leaving innovation to prove if your ready to show up or not. If you truly have a product that is remarkable you show up. If your making flame dropforwards or don't know what the market wants...later. It doesn't matter if it's $1,000, $5,000, or free...paintball companies need to learn that marketing and a solid product opens doors to a multi million dollar industry. period.

Vendors need to innovate...marketing or product.

Events need to innovate. Why not have fields create mini-stadiums. Who said a paintball stadium even if it's as big as a playground can't make money. Innovate...figure it out. Who says you need the immense complication of a real stadium. We live in a world where those who cater to those who want to be catered to, win. If our paintball audience doesn't need the glitz and glammer of a real NFL stadium why not spend some money developing mini-stadiums that are profitable to run and can captivate a paintball event sized audience in the moment.

All im saying is we keep talking the same B.S. Jeff is throwing out a sound baseline to the world. If you want this to happen innovate. The idea, the process, the business, the industry, the way things are done, the norms, the events, the leagues, the venues...

Start asking why?
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:11 AM #19
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A merge would require compromise in every aspect, especially format. The trend im seeing in this thread is that the psp format gets to stay without objection, with no changes. Thats like the psp eating all of the marshmallow's out of the lucky charms, every single time. I can see them working out all of the logistics, but i feel that the real ball buster is going to be format.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:24 PM #20
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A Paintball stadium sounds like a pretty sick idea.. Start off with one main stadium for the World cup finale at the end of year. Promote the **** out of it bring in media,people,vendors and go from there. I think eventually it would catch on and paintball could start generating some money from it.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:46 PM #21
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A merge would require compromise in every aspect, especially format. The trend im seeing in this thread is that the psp format gets to stay without objection, with no changes. Thats like the psp eating all of the marshmallow's out of the lucky charms, every single time. I can see them working out all of the logistics, but i feel that the real ball buster is going to be format.
I was thinking the same thing... Which format stays? Or how do they compromise?

I would think that it would be in the best interest to agree on one main format (race to or 7man). Say it's agreed that race to is the main format, maybe offer two divisions of 7 man for the first year or two of the merger. Such as open and a combined D3/D2 division.

Not sure how to compromise on the two formats... 7 players on the field, Race-To 5, on a PSP field, 12.5 ramping and no coaches? Lol.
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