Donnerstag, 19. Januar 2012

I Need A Dollar

Today I turned on my laptop to check out the www for some pool news. And guess what: I found some very interesting one. The BCA, Billiard Congress of America, launched a call to all the industry out there to support their „send pro to pro (international) events“ program. With a $1'000 you are in and can call yourself „Official Contributors“.

So this blog is called realpooltalk and if you don't like to hear the „other“ truth you might want to exit now.

To be honest, the first thing that happened after I read the articles on AZBilliards was me having a big smile on my face. On one hand I mentioned in previous blogs the lack of activity by the BCA as the governing body of the American pool. On the other hand the details of the articles made me think of the „CEO quality“ inside the BCA itself as an organization.

Let me add the articles so everybody is updated on the topic:

2012 Official Contributor to International Competition Opportunity Overview
The Billiard Congress of America is requesting the support of association member companies who recognize the significance of supporting international competition.

As the North American representative to the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), the Billiard Congress of America is the governing body for cue sports in North America. As such, the Billiard Congress of America plays an active role in international competition, including the player selection process for international events, rules and specifications issues, supporting and overseeing international events in North America and participating in timely topics paramount to the sports and the industry.

In the future, the Billiard Congress of America would also like to identify strategies for providing American player travel stipends for international events.

Partnership Opportunity: Demonstrate your company's support of international competition by supporting the Billiard Congress of America's membership in the WPA.

(read all...)

I really think it's time that the BCA is trying to find a way to support their pros. The pros that pull junior players into the world of pool. Pros that are icons and pros that dedicate(d) themselves to a sport due to their love towards this wonderful game. They travel around the globe hoping to perform well enough to finance their next trips.

That the BCA is behind on tasks is a sure thing. The Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan, Iran and Qatar, European countries like the Netherlands, Croatia, Austria and many more send their players to the World Championships (WC), paying for their hotel expenses, airfares and sometimes even add some pocket money for the trip in the name of their countries. That big pool nations like the USA and Germany is not able to provide the same treatment for their representatives is a shame! I have to add that most European countries are also supporting their players 100% when they play under the national flag at the European Championships (EC) which usually cost each federation somewhere between $20'000-80'000 per year (all categories; girls, pupils, juniors, women, men, seniors and wheelchair). So the costs for the Wcs is just an add on the list.
“But how do they all do that” you might be wondering right now. It's not about how they do it, it's about how the BCA is NOT DOING it. The biggest pool nation in Europe is Germany with around 40'000 pool players. This includes all players that actually join any kind of competitive pool event. Other countries like Switzerland have somewhere around 200 players. They all manage it, some better than the other, to have a business concept to get the money together for the mentioned positions (WCs and EC) in the budget.

But let's do some math at this point:
An average WC per player costs around $1'500-2'000 for the airfare, $250 for the entry fee and about $500 (double rooms). There are WC in 8ball, 9ball and 10ball, so three events per year. That equals costs of $2'500 x 3 (events) = $7'500 per player. So if the BCA wants to send only three players to all events they would need to get at least 23 companies to sign up for this contribution offer because none of them will pay more than asked, that's for sure.

… CSI has also committed $1,000 towards the BCA goal.
Please see press release in news column on front page.

This compliments what CSI as been preaching for a long time.
Who else will step forward?

Mark Griffin


On one side I think: well, which company wouldn't pay 1K for that? If I was a registered company with my blog I probably would do it since it's maybe the cheapest way to be a sponsor of the pro squad of a whole pool nation! On the other side I just have to question the value of the product I am investing in. Companies invest, they don't donate money. They want exposure and ads so they can refinance their invest to at least a certain percentage. It doesn't have to be money that comes back. Sponsorships are always tough to valuate. But why would I invest in a product that is valuated so small by it's owner? Let's have Andy Roddick call a serious company asking for $5'000 in sponsorship – answer: no, thanks. Let him ask the same company for $5mio – answer: let's talk about it.
To me this action by the BCA is comparable with a guy on the intersection asking for a dollar! Some give one to feel good for the rest of the day. Most people ignore him. Some people have pity and some people think “he should have been doing his homework”!

As I did question the WPA I questioned the BCA a few times in the last 2 years. This “governing” body of the biggest pool nation in the world seems to be run by a board that tries to avoid work: “We need money to support our pros?... Let's find people that give it to us”. That's not a solution. Sponsorships money should be an add for a federation and not the base on which something is built. The BCA has so many players, pool halls and industry contacts – they should definitely be able to raise a system with which they have enough cash flow that allows them to finance the pros. But to reach anything like that you NEED TO WORK! You can not just sell your ad space, hoping for good and pat yourself on the back. You need to build up assets and a system that is stable and sustainable without being reliant on the generosity of the industry itself. Once you reached this goal the time has come to strive for more... but that's a long way to go!

Side notes:

I also wonder when the BCA is actually also posting this “great news” on their website. They must have known before AZBilliards did... right? ;)

Is the money the industry puts in the pro players restricted to the male pros? Who would get the subsidy? To which events? Do the players have a code of conduct?

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