08 Jun 2006 16:58:41
arch
Pointelin misses the point

Pointelin's latest offering is here:

Sponsorships gone Wild!!!!
<http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/blog.html?ccode=BLOG8color=#0000FF> >


"Miss Landers, The Beaver didn't do his homework."

I swear, he sounding like it's Grade 3 all over again.

Is the sponsorship program anyone else's concern than the racquet
companies themselves? No. It's their program and it's their money. They
can give sponsorship packages to whoever they like, with whatever
conditions they like attached (maybe). But it's their own problem to
police it, just like The Beaver's howework is Miss Landers' problem, and
not Judy's (the classroom tattler).

An example to illustrate the real problem with player sponsorship, might
begin with a company buying an ad to be displayed on a city bus. The bus
will go about its business as usual, which just happens to be travelling
throughout the busy streets of the city. Is the bus expected to stop and
do product demonstrations? No. It just displays the ad in its travels.

That's all the company gets for its ad money and it'll be up to the
company then to determine how successful their ad has been and whether
or not they'll be purchasing more ad space on city buses. The racquet
companies face the same problem with valuation.

When someone pays a discounted package price, my guess is that they're
still paying an amount above manufacturer's cost. So, what gives the
sponsor the right to expect "work" in return for this discount? Player
sponsorships of this type should really be similar to buying ad space on
a bus.

The racquet companies have begun applying undo pressures, imo, in a
unethical effort to turn their "walking billboards" into "unpaid
employees" for their company. So where are the employee benefits?

Now, here's the twist.

The problems began, imo, not with the sponsors themselves but with peer
pressure amongst the sponsored players, the kind of peer pressure I've
been reading for years, all over the internet.

"Do your demo nights...give clinics...be a good ambassador for your
company."

IE, the sponsoring companies are riding a wave of peer pressure.

It's basically volunteerism, and there's nothing really wrong with it,
but it's getting out of hand when people are being (openly) critical of
others for not doing enough.

Get real folks...IT'S NOT THEIR JOB.

Sponsored players of this type are just supposed to be billboards for
the sport. As such, they're harmless. To then link the sad state of the
sport to what sponsored players are, or are not, doing, is
unconscionable. To then place undo pressures upon others to do more for
their sponsor (ie, for the sport) is also unconscionable. It's the
sponsors' problem to police their contractees as they see fit, not the
"Judy's." Sorry, Brian.

I want to make one last point regarding sponsorships and the pros.
There's been blatant peer pressure expressed, amongst the pros
themselves, that other pros aren't "earning" their sponsorship, that
they're not doing the clinics or whatever and that's why they're not
being offered good contracts. Well, that's total B.S. and those "Judys"
should shut up too. Painting any accomplished player as being lazy does
no one any good. The real problem is, imo, that the sponsors simply
don't have the money to spend. That's the state of the sport today. It's
the sport today's pros have inherited. They certainly didn't create the
situation themselves. The answer, in other words, lies elsewhere.

Kids are so impressionable, and adults are so irresponsible sometimes.
The combination, in this case, borders on exploitation. Is it or isn't
it?

arch


08 Jun 2006 23:04:47
Spidey
Re: Pointelin misses the point

when a player signs a contract for discounted equipment, he "owes" the
sponsor whatever it sayd on the contract. If he doesn't want to do the
required "work", then don't sign the damn thing. If you sign and don't do
the work, basically you lose you sponsorship ... like if you got a job and
didn't do the work, you lose your job. It's not brain surgery ... its a
simple deal ... you sign, you do, you don't, you lose :)

--
www.ProRacquetball.Net
Where the Pro Play

www.RacquetballCentral.Com
Where the Amateurs Play

"arch" <arch@fakeip.com > wrote in message
news:arch-FB4002.12584608062006@news-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
> Pointelin's latest offering is here:
>
> Sponsorships gone Wild!!!!
> <http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/blog.html?ccode=BLOG8>
>
>
> When someone pays a discounted package price, my guess is that they're
> still paying an amount above manufacturer's cost. So, what gives the
> sponsor the right to expect "work" in return for this discount?




09 Jun 2006 09:39:43
kg
Re: Pointelin misses the point

You both make good points.

I have been a contract player before with 2 different companies and
never received any guidelines about what I had to do to maintain the
relationship. I do tend to lean more towards Jeff's point of view when
it comes to the peer-pressure element that is a substitute for
effective business practices. What it appears to be to me is a case of
influential professionals exercising peer pressure to perpetuate their
employment in a marginal business.

You have people at the business end getting paid to do a job, but
instead of actually doing it, they are exerting the influence on others
to volunteer, or do types of business related functions that have
imprecise performance goals. The point remains, the "volunteers"
happen to be also paying the professionals for specific services. And
also the point remains that if the volunteers continued to volunteer,
but stopped paying for services, the professionals would no longer have
a viable income. The volunteers are also the entire market in this
scenario! If the volunteers continued to do volunteer tasks, but
stopped paying for the professional services, the pros would have no
source of income, because the volunteers are doing a terrible job. The
pros would all be fired, were it not for the fact the volunteers
continue to believe the hype.

So what it comes out to from my point of view is that the pros have
certain jobs to do in order to sustain and increase business - THEY are
the ones that need to do the outreach. But they don't. Instead, they
manipulate "volunteers" to do that work ineffectively, while at the
same time, the "volunteers" are paying the pros for services that are
being ineffectively rendered - like rankings, credible sanctioning,
public relations, etc.

The "Job" in my mind, is maintaining a certain quality of services for
the people that play the sport. The job is huge! But it is a REAL job,
and people DO get paid to do it. In my opinion, however, the job is not
getting done. But they are still getting paid, because the
"volunteers", the ones that are being conned into believing they are
somebody in the world, and THEIR volunteer efforts are meaningful and
important and "the right thing to do", instead of demanding the
professionals DO THEIR JOBS. They seem to instead prefer the fantasy
that because "important people in the industry" are asking them so
kindly, the right thing to do is for them to volunteer to do it, even
if it is ineffective.

So for me, the big complaint is that it does come down to looking more
like some kind of "scheme" than an actual sport. Say I am a company.
If I have more "friends" buying my "sponsorships", am I doing more
business than the other company? What kind of business is it that you
hold consumers emotional hostage because you don't have the ingenuity
to do the job properly yourself? Basically, the big lie is that a
sponsorship package exists for any other reason that to secure a
recurring consumer base. The manufacturers say they have policies about
who is going to get the sponsorships, but they don't enforce them. Why?
Because it's not their priority. Their priority is selling x amount of
high end racquets every year. And if they have to convince YOU, as a
low-level player, that you are a key ingredient to the sport, and that
your demos and clinics are important to them and make you a higher
class of racquetball member, that is what they are going to say. Is it
true? That's not for me to say, I'm no Harvard business grad. But,
having seen it in action for over a decade now, I CAN ask the question:
is it WORKING for YOU, as a racquetball player? That probably depends
on if you're sponsored or not...:-).



arch wrote:
> Pointelin's latest offering is here:
>
> Sponsorships gone Wild!!!!
> <http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/blog.html?ccode=BLOG8>
>
>
> "Miss Landers, The Beaver didn't do his homework."
>
> I swear, he sounding like it's Grade 3 all over again.
>
> Is the sponsorship program anyone else's concern than the racquet
> companies themselves? No. It's their program and it's their money. They
> can give sponsorship packages to whoever they like, with whatever
> conditions they like attached (maybe). But it's their own problem to
> police it, just like The Beaver's howework is Miss Landers' problem, and
> not Judy's (the classroom tattler).
>
> An example to illustrate the real problem with player sponsorship, might
> begin with a company buying an ad to be displayed on a city bus. The bus
> will go about its business as usual, which just happens to be travelling
> throughout the busy streets of the city. Is the bus expected to stop and
> do product demonstrations? No. It just displays the ad in its travels.
>
> That's all the company gets for its ad money and it'll be up to the
> company then to determine how successful their ad has been and whether
> or not they'll be purchasing more ad space on city buses. The racquet
> companies face the same problem with valuation.
>
> When someone pays a discounted package price, my guess is that they're
> still paying an amount above manufacturer's cost. So, what gives the
> sponsor the right to expect "work" in return for this discount? Player
> sponsorships of this type should really be similar to buying ad space on
> a bus.
>
> The racquet companies have begun applying undo pressures, imo, in a
> unethical effort to turn their "walking billboards" into "unpaid
> employees" for their company. So where are the employee benefits?
>
> Now, here's the twist.
>
> The problems began, imo, not with the sponsors themselves but with peer
> pressure amongst the sponsored players, the kind of peer pressure I've
> been reading for years, all over the internet.
>
> "Do your demo nights...give clinics...be a good ambassador for your
> company."
>
> IE, the sponsoring companies are riding a wave of peer pressure.
>
> It's basically volunteerism, and there's nothing really wrong with it,
> but it's getting out of hand when people are being (openly) critical of
> others for not doing enough.
>
> Get real folks...IT'S NOT THEIR JOB.
>
> Sponsored players of this type are just supposed to be billboards for
> the sport. As such, they're harmless. To then link the sad state of the
> sport to what sponsored players are, or are not, doing, is
> unconscionable. To then place undo pressures upon others to do more for
> their sponsor (ie, for the sport) is also unconscionable. It's the
> sponsors' problem to police their contractees as they see fit, not the
> "Judy's." Sorry, Brian.
>
> I want to make one last point regarding sponsorships and the pros.
> There's been blatant peer pressure expressed, amongst the pros
> themselves, that other pros aren't "earning" their sponsorship, that
> they're not doing the clinics or whatever and that's why they're not
> being offered good contracts. Well, that's total B.S. and those "Judys"
> should shut up too. Painting any accomplished player as being lazy does
> no one any good. The real problem is, imo, that the sponsors simply
> don't have the money to spend. That's the state of the sport today. It's
> the sport today's pros have inherited. They certainly didn't create the
> situation themselves. The answer, in other words, lies elsewhere.
>
> Kids are so impressionable, and adults are so irresponsible sometimes.
> The combination, in this case, borders on exploitation. Is it or isn't
> it?
>
> arch



10 Jun 2006 09:49:59
Qjakal
Re: Pointelin misses the point


kg wrote:
> You both make good points.
>
> I have been a contract player before with 2 different companies and
> never received any guidelines about what I had to do to maintain the
> relationship. I do tend to lean more towards Jeff's point of view when
> it comes to the peer-pressure element that is a substitute for
> effective business practices. What it appears to be to me is a case of
> influential professionals exercising peer pressure to perpetuate their
> employment in a marginal business.
>
> You have people at the business end getting paid to do a job, but
> instead of actually doing it, they are exerting the influence on others
> to volunteer, or do types of business related functions that have
> imprecise performance goals. The point remains, the "volunteers"
> happen to be also paying the professionals for specific services. And
> also the point remains that if the volunteers continued to volunteer,
> but stopped paying for services, the professionals would no longer have
> a viable income. The volunteers are also the entire market in this
> scenario! If the volunteers continued to do volunteer tasks, but
> stopped paying for the professional services, the pros would have no
> source of income, because the volunteers are doing a terrible job. The
> pros would all be fired, were it not for the fact the volunteers
> continue to believe the hype.
>
> So what it comes out to from my point of view is that the pros have
> certain jobs to do in order to sustain and increase business - THEY are
> the ones that need to do the outreach. But they don't. Instead, they
> manipulate "volunteers" to do that work ineffectively, while at the
> same time, the "volunteers" are paying the pros for services that are
> being ineffectively rendered - like rankings, credible sanctioning,
> public relations, etc.
>
> The "Job" in my mind, is maintaining a certain quality of services for
> the people that play the sport. The job is huge! But it is a REAL job,
> and people DO get paid to do it. In my opinion, however, the job is not
> getting done. But they are still getting paid, because the
> "volunteers", the ones that are being conned into believing they are
> somebody in the world, and THEIR volunteer efforts are meaningful and
> important and "the right thing to do", instead of demanding the
> professionals DO THEIR JOBS. They seem to instead prefer the fantasy
> that because "important people in the industry" are asking them so
> kindly, the right thing to do is for them to volunteer to do it, even
> if it is ineffective.
>
> So for me, the big complaint is that it does come down to looking more
> like some kind of "scheme" than an actual sport. Say I am a company.
> If I have more "friends" buying my "sponsorships", am I doing more
> business than the other company? What kind of business is it that you
> hold consumers emotional hostage because you don't have the ingenuity
> to do the job properly yourself? Basically, the big lie is that a
> sponsorship package exists for any other reason that to secure a
> recurring consumer base. The manufacturers say they have policies about
> who is going to get the sponsorships, but they don't enforce them. Why?
> Because it's not their priority. Their priority is selling x amount of
> high end racquets every year. And if they have to convince YOU, as a
> low-level player, that you are a key ingredient to the sport, and that
> your demos and clinics are important to them and make you a higher
> class of racquetball member, that is what they are going to say. Is it
> true? That's not for me to say, I'm no Harvard business grad. But,
> having seen it in action for over a decade now, I CAN ask the question:
> is it WORKING for YOU, as a racquetball player? That probably depends
> on if you're sponsored or not...:-).
>
>
>
> arch wrote:
> > Pointelin's latest offering is here:
> >
> > Sponsorships gone Wild!!!!
> > <http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/blog.html?ccode=BLOG8>
> >
> >
> > "Miss Landers, The Beaver didn't do his homework."
> >
> > I swear, he sounding like it's Grade 3 all over again.
> >
> > Is the sponsorship program anyone else's concern than the racquet
> > companies themselves? No. It's their program and it's their money. They
> > can give sponsorship packages to whoever they like, with whatever
> > conditions they like attached (maybe). But it's their own problem to
> > police it, just like The Beaver's howework is Miss Landers' problem, and
> > not Judy's (the classroom tattler).
> >
> > An example to illustrate the real problem with player sponsorship, might
> > begin with a company buying an ad to be displayed on a city bus. The bus
> > will go about its business as usual, which just happens to be travelling
> > throughout the busy streets of the city. Is the bus expected to stop and
> > do product demonstrations? No. It just displays the ad in its travels.
> >
> > That's all the company gets for its ad money and it'll be up to the
> > company then to determine how successful their ad has been and whether
> > or not they'll be purchasing more ad space on city buses. The racquet
> > companies face the same problem with valuation.
> >
> > When someone pays a discounted package price, my guess is that they're
> > still paying an amount above manufacturer's cost. So, what gives the
> > sponsor the right to expect "work" in return for this discount? Player
> > sponsorships of this type should really be similar to buying ad space on
> > a bus.
> >
> > The racquet companies have begun applying undo pressures, imo, in a
> > unethical effort to turn their "walking billboards" into "unpaid
> > employees" for their company. So where are the employee benefits?
> >
> > Now, here's the twist.
> >
> > The problems began, imo, not with the sponsors themselves but with peer
> > pressure amongst the sponsored players, the kind of peer pressure I've
> > been reading for years, all over the internet.
> >
> > "Do your demo nights...give clinics...be a good ambassador for your
> > company."
> >
> > IE, the sponsoring companies are riding a wave of peer pressure.
> >
> > It's basically volunteerism, and there's nothing really wrong with it,
> > but it's getting out of hand when people are being (openly) critical of
> > others for not doing enough.
> >
> > Get real folks...IT'S NOT THEIR JOB.
> >
> > Sponsored players of this type are just supposed to be billboards for
> > the sport. As such, they're harmless. To then link the sad state of the
> > sport to what sponsored players are, or are not, doing, is
> > unconscionable. To then place undo pressures upon others to do more for
> > their sponsor (ie, for the sport) is also unconscionable. It's the
> > sponsors' problem to police their contractees as they see fit, not the
> > "Judy's." Sorry, Brian.
> >
> > I want to make one last point regarding sponsorships and the pros.
> > There's been blatant peer pressure expressed, amongst the pros
> > themselves, that other pros aren't "earning" their sponsorship, that
> > they're not doing the clinics or whatever and that's why they're not
> > being offered good contracts. Well, that's total B.S. and those "Judys"
> > should shut up too. Painting any accomplished player as being lazy does
> > no one any good. The real problem is, imo, that the sponsors simply
> > don't have the money to spend. That's the state of the sport today. It's
> > the sport today's pros have inherited. They certainly didn't create the
> > situation themselves. The answer, in other words, lies elsewhere.
> >
> > Kids are so impressionable, and adults are so irresponsible sometimes.
> > The combination, in this case, borders on exploitation. Is it or isn't
> > it?
> >
> > arch



10 Jun 2006 09:59:50
Qjakal
Re: Pointelin misses the point

Is this the ol' "which came first the chicken or the egg" argument?

30 years ago there were a handful of sponsored players....the best of
the best. Of course the sport was still booming and racquets were
flying off the shelves as fast as they could be supplied. Then came
the slowdown. Sponsorships didn't increase in this time period,
rather the opposite. Companies were cutting costs and personnel and
tournament participation was down.

Now there's tons of sponsored players. % wise an huge increase.

I'm not sure that's a bad thing. At this point anything that keeps or
generates interest in the sport has to be considered a valid strategy.
We're fighting for our lives/square footage in every gym across the
country, and we're losing ground.

Sponsor 'em all I say if it would help.

I've never taken a sponsorship, but that's mainly because I like to
shop equipment as I wish and don't want to be restricted by any ethical
guidelines.

Otoh, I have given instruction at whatever club I find myself as
appropriate and needed...up to doing informal beginner clinics as well
as ongoing work with upcoming players.

You don't have to be sponsored to help, but if it motivates you I don't
see the harm. As long as they're not handing out better seeds or
better rulings because of these titles...so be it.

Q



kg wrote:
> You both make good points.
>
> I have been a contract player before with 2 different companies and
> never received any guidelines about what I had to do to maintain the
> relationship. I do tend to lean more towards Jeff's point of view when
> it comes to the peer-pressure element that is a substitute for
> effective business practices. What it appears to be to me is a case of
> influential professionals exercising peer pressure to perpetuate their
> employment in a marginal business.
>
> You have people at the business end getting paid to do a job, but
> instead of actually doing it, they are exerting the influence on others
> to volunteer, or do types of business related functions that have
> imprecise performance goals. The point remains, the "volunteers"
> happen to be also paying the professionals for specific services. And
> also the point remains that if the volunteers continued to volunteer,
> but stopped paying for services, the professionals would no longer have
> a viable income. The volunteers are also the entire market in this
> scenario! If the volunteers continued to do volunteer tasks, but
> stopped paying for the professional services, the pros would have no
> source of income, because the volunteers are doing a terrible job. The
> pros would all be fired, were it not for the fact the volunteers
> continue to believe the hype.
>
> So what it comes out to from my point of view is that the pros have
> certain jobs to do in order to sustain and increase business - THEY are
> the ones that need to do the outreach. But they don't. Instead, they
> manipulate "volunteers" to do that work ineffectively, while at the
> same time, the "volunteers" are paying the pros for services that are
> being ineffectively rendered - like rankings, credible sanctioning,
> public relations, etc.
>
> The "Job" in my mind, is maintaining a certain quality of services for
> the people that play the sport. The job is huge! But it is a REAL job,
> and people DO get paid to do it. In my opinion, however, the job is not
> getting done. But they are still getting paid, because the
> "volunteers", the ones that are being conned into believing they are
> somebody in the world, and THEIR volunteer efforts are meaningful and
> important and "the right thing to do", instead of demanding the
> professionals DO THEIR JOBS. They seem to instead prefer the fantasy
> that because "important people in the industry" are asking them so
> kindly, the right thing to do is for them to volunteer to do it, even
> if it is ineffective.
>
> So for me, the big complaint is that it does come down to looking more
> like some kind of "scheme" than an actual sport. Say I am a company.
> If I have more "friends" buying my "sponsorships", am I doing more
> business than the other company? What kind of business is it that you
> hold consumers emotional hostage because you don't have the ingenuity
> to do the job properly yourself? Basically, the big lie is that a
> sponsorship package exists for any other reason that to secure a
> recurring consumer base. The manufacturers say they have policies about
> who is going to get the sponsorships, but they don't enforce them. Why?
> Because it's not their priority. Their priority is selling x amount of
> high end racquets every year. And if they have to convince YOU, as a
> low-level player, that you are a key ingredient to the sport, and that
> your demos and clinics are important to them and make you a higher
> class of racquetball member, that is what they are going to say. Is it
> true? That's not for me to say, I'm no Harvard business grad. But,
> having seen it in action for over a decade now, I CAN ask the question:
> is it WORKING for YOU, as a racquetball player? That probably depends
> on if you're sponsored or not...:-).
>
>
>
> arch wrote:
> > Pointelin's latest offering is here:
> >
> > Sponsorships gone Wild!!!!
> > <http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/blog.html?ccode=BLOG8>
> >
> >
> > "Miss Landers, The Beaver didn't do his homework."
> >
> > I swear, he sounding like it's Grade 3 all over again.
> >
> > Is the sponsorship program anyone else's concern than the racquet
> > companies themselves? No. It's their program and it's their money. They
> > can give sponsorship packages to whoever they like, with whatever
> > conditions they like attached (maybe). But it's their own problem to
> > police it, just like The Beaver's howework is Miss Landers' problem, and
> > not Judy's (the classroom tattler).
> >
> > An example to illustrate the real problem with player sponsorship, might
> > begin with a company buying an ad to be displayed on a city bus. The bus
> > will go about its business as usual, which just happens to be travelling
> > throughout the busy streets of the city. Is the bus expected to stop and
> > do product demonstrations? No. It just displays the ad in its travels.
> >
> > That's all the company gets for its ad money and it'll be up to the
> > company then to determine how successful their ad has been and whether
> > or not they'll be purchasing more ad space on city buses. The racquet
> > companies face the same problem with valuation.
> >
> > When someone pays a discounted package price, my guess is that they're
> > still paying an amount above manufacturer's cost. So, what gives the
> > sponsor the right to expect "work" in return for this discount? Player
> > sponsorships of this type should really be similar to buying ad space on
> > a bus.
> >
> > The racquet companies have begun applying undo pressures, imo, in a
> > unethical effort to turn their "walking billboards" into "unpaid
> > employees" for their company. So where are the employee benefits?
> >
> > Now, here's the twist.
> >
> > The problems began, imo, not with the sponsors themselves but with peer
> > pressure amongst the sponsored players, the kind of peer pressure I've
> > been reading for years, all over the internet.
> >
> > "Do your demo nights...give clinics...be a good ambassador for your
> > company."
> >
> > IE, the sponsoring companies are riding a wave of peer pressure.
> >
> > It's basically volunteerism, and there's nothing really wrong with it,
> > but it's getting out of hand when people are being (openly) critical of
> > others for not doing enough.
> >
> > Get real folks...IT'S NOT THEIR JOB.
> >
> > Sponsored players of this type are just supposed to be billboards for
> > the sport. As such, they're harmless. To then link the sad state of the
> > sport to what sponsored players are, or are not, doing, is
> > unconscionable. To then place undo pressures upon others to do more for
> > their sponsor (ie, for the sport) is also unconscionable. It's the
> > sponsors' problem to police their contractees as they see fit, not the
> > "Judy's." Sorry, Brian.
> >
> > I want to make one last point regarding sponsorships and the pros.
> > There's been blatant peer pressure expressed, amongst the pros
> > themselves, that other pros aren't "earning" their sponsorship, that
> > they're not doing the clinics or whatever and that's why they're not
> > being offered good contracts. Well, that's total B.S. and those "Judys"
> > should shut up too. Painting any accomplished player as being lazy does
> > no one any good. The real problem is, imo, that the sponsors simply
> > don't have the money to spend. That's the state of the sport today. It's
> > the sport today's pros have inherited. They certainly didn't create the
> > situation themselves. The answer, in other words, lies elsewhere.
> >
> > Kids are so impressionable, and adults are so irresponsible sometimes.
> > The combination, in this case, borders on exploitation. Is it or isn't
> > it?
> >
> > arch



11 Jun 2006 06:30:47
kg
Re: Pointelin misses the point

I agree to a certain extent with your live and let live attitude. But
my question to you is, is it really harmless? If you have people in
professional positions not doing what their job, is it harmless? Do you
not see a relationship between the lack of functionality in the
business ranks and the decline of the sport? I think they're might be
a strong relationship between setting up phony business relationships
instead of actually doing the job. I also need convincing, maybe with
stats from another sport, that as many players would by the top of the
line racquet every season without these "contracts". I think the
turnover would be much lower.

It would be interesting to find out some statistics on other sports. It
seems high-end equipment sales don't generate football revenue. Nor
baseball. Probably not volleyball.

What seems like a pretty big problem is that as long as you have people
ignoring the popular interest problem, the other related problems are
going to continue for the majority of the players. It seems like maybe
because we all have a shelf-life, we only care in as our personal
playing career is affected. But if you look at it in a longer-view way,
you see that your draws may only have 3 people in your division, 5
years later that will be only 2 players.

It's ok. This is not a new realization. Not enough people are
interested in taking the issue on.



Qjakal wrote:
> Is this the ol' "which came first the chicken or the egg" argument?
>
> 30 years ago there were a handful of sponsored players....the best of
> the best. Of course the sport was still booming and racquets were
> flying off the shelves as fast as they could be supplied. Then came
> the slowdown. Sponsorships didn't increase in this time period,
> rather the opposite. Companies were cutting costs and personnel and
> tournament participation was down.
>
> Now there's tons of sponsored players. % wise an huge increase.
>
> I'm not sure that's a bad thing. At this point anything that keeps or
> generates interest in the sport has to be considered a valid strategy.
> We're fighting for our lives/square footage in every gym across the
> country, and we're losing ground.
>
> Sponsor 'em all I say if it would help.
>
> I've never taken a sponsorship, but that's mainly because I like to
> shop equipment as I wish and don't want to be restricted by any ethical
> guidelines.
>
> Otoh, I have given instruction at whatever club I find myself as
> appropriate and needed...up to doing informal beginner clinics as well
> as ongoing work with upcoming players.
>
> You don't have to be sponsored to help, but if it motivates you I don't
> see the harm. As long as they're not handing out better seeds or
> better rulings because of these titles...so be it.
>
> Q
>
>
>
> kg wrote:
> > You both make good points.
> >
> > I have been a contract player before with 2 different companies and
> > never received any guidelines about what I had to do to maintain the
> > relationship. I do tend to lean more towards Jeff's point of view when
> > it comes to the peer-pressure element that is a substitute for
> > effective business practices. What it appears to be to me is a case of
> > influential professionals exercising peer pressure to perpetuate their
> > employment in a marginal business.
> >
> > You have people at the business end getting paid to do a job, but
> > instead of actually doing it, they are exerting the influence on others
> > to volunteer, or do types of business related functions that have
> > imprecise performance goals. The point remains, the "volunteers"
> > happen to be also paying the professionals for specific services. And
> > also the point remains that if the volunteers continued to volunteer,
> > but stopped paying for services, the professionals would no longer have
> > a viable income. The volunteers are also the entire market in this
> > scenario! If the volunteers continued to do volunteer tasks, but
> > stopped paying for the professional services, the pros would have no
> > source of income, because the volunteers are doing a terrible job. The
> > pros would all be fired, were it not for the fact the volunteers
> > continue to believe the hype.
> >
> > So what it comes out to from my point of view is that the pros have
> > certain jobs to do in order to sustain and increase business - THEY are
> > the ones that need to do the outreach. But they don't. Instead, they
> > manipulate "volunteers" to do that work ineffectively, while at the
> > same time, the "volunteers" are paying the pros for services that are
> > being ineffectively rendered - like rankings, credible sanctioning,
> > public relations, etc.
> >
> > The "Job" in my mind, is maintaining a certain quality of services for
> > the people that play the sport. The job is huge! But it is a REAL job,
> > and people DO get paid to do it. In my opinion, however, the job is not
> > getting done. But they are still getting paid, because the
> > "volunteers", the ones that are being conned into believing they are
> > somebody in the world, and THEIR volunteer efforts are meaningful and
> > important and "the right thing to do", instead of demanding the
> > professionals DO THEIR JOBS. They seem to instead prefer the fantasy
> > that because "important people in the industry" are asking them so
> > kindly, the right thing to do is for them to volunteer to do it, even
> > if it is ineffective.
> >
> > So for me, the big complaint is that it does come down to looking more
> > like some kind of "scheme" than an actual sport. Say I am a company.
> > If I have more "friends" buying my "sponsorships", am I doing more
> > business than the other company? What kind of business is it that you
> > hold consumers emotional hostage because you don't have the ingenuity
> > to do the job properly yourself? Basically, the big lie is that a
> > sponsorship package exists for any other reason that to secure a
> > recurring consumer base. The manufacturers say they have policies about
> > who is going to get the sponsorships, but they don't enforce them. Why?
> > Because it's not their priority. Their priority is selling x amount of
> > high end racquets every year. And if they have to convince YOU, as a
> > low-level player, that you are a key ingredient to the sport, and that
> > your demos and clinics are important to them and make you a higher
> > class of racquetball member, that is what they are going to say. Is it
> > true? That's not for me to say, I'm no Harvard business grad. But,
> > having seen it in action for over a decade now, I CAN ask the question:
> > is it WORKING for YOU, as a racquetball player? That probably depends
> > on if you're sponsored or not...:-).
> >
> >
> >
> > arch wrote:
> > > Pointelin's latest offering is here:
> > >
> > > Sponsorships gone Wild!!!!
> > > <http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/blog.html?ccode=BLOG8>
> > >
> > >
> > > "Miss Landers, The Beaver didn't do his homework."
> > >
> > > I swear, he sounding like it's Grade 3 all over again.
> > >
> > > Is the sponsorship program anyone else's concern than the racquet
> > > companies themselves? No. It's their program and it's their money. They
> > > can give sponsorship packages to whoever they like, with whatever
> > > conditions they like attached (maybe). But it's their own problem to
> > > police it, just like The Beaver's howework is Miss Landers' problem, and
> > > not Judy's (the classroom tattler).
> > >
> > > An example to illustrate the real problem with player sponsorship, might
> > > begin with a company buying an ad to be displayed on a city bus. The bus
> > > will go about its business as usual, which just happens to be travelling
> > > throughout the busy streets of the city. Is the bus expected to stop and
> > > do product demonstrations? No. It just displays the ad in its travels.
> > >
> > > That's all the company gets for its ad money and it'll be up to the
> > > company then to determine how successful their ad has been and whether
> > > or not they'll be purchasing more ad space on city buses. The racquet
> > > companies face the same problem with valuation.
> > >
> > > When someone pays a discounted package price, my guess is that they're
> > > still paying an amount above manufacturer's cost. So, what gives the
> > > sponsor the right to expect "work" in return for this discount? Player
> > > sponsorships of this type should really be similar to buying ad space on
> > > a bus.
> > >
> > > The racquet companies have begun applying undo pressures, imo, in a
> > > unethical effort to turn their "walking billboards" into "unpaid
> > > employees" for their company. So where are the employee benefits?
> > >
> > > Now, here's the twist.
> > >
> > > The problems began, imo, not with the sponsors themselves but with peer
> > > pressure amongst the sponsored players, the kind of peer pressure I've
> > > been reading for years, all over the internet.
> > >
> > > "Do your demo nights...give clinics...be a good ambassador for your
> > > company."
> > >
> > > IE, the sponsoring companies are riding a wave of peer pressure.
> > >
> > > It's basically volunteerism, and there's nothing really wrong with it,
> > > but it's getting out of hand when people are being (openly) critical of
> > > others for not doing enough.
> > >
> > > Get real folks...IT'S NOT THEIR JOB.
> > >
> > > Sponsored players of this type are just supposed to be billboards for
> > > the sport. As such, they're harmless. To then link the sad state of the
> > > sport to what sponsored players are, or are not, doing, is
> > > unconscionable. To then place undo pressures upon others to do more for
> > > their sponsor (ie, for the sport) is also unconscionable. It's the
> > > sponsors' problem to police their contractees as they see fit, not the
> > > "Judy's." Sorry, Brian.
> > >
> > > I want to make one last point regarding sponsorships and the pros.
> > > There's been blatant peer pressure expressed, amongst the pros
> > > themselves, that other pros aren't "earning" their sponsorship, that
> > > they're not doing the clinics or whatever and that's why they're not
> > > being offered good contracts. Well, that's total B.S. and those "Judys"
> > > should shut up too. Painting any accomplished player as being lazy does
> > > no one any good. The real problem is, imo, that the sponsors simply
> > > don't have the money to spend. That's the state of the sport today. It's
> > > the sport today's pros have inherited. They certainly didn't create the
> > > situation themselves. The answer, in other words, lies elsewhere.
> > >
> > > Kids are so impressionable, and adults are so irresponsible sometimes.
> > > The combination, in this case, borders on exploitation. Is it or isn't
> > > it?
> > >
> > > arch