Pro Paintball insiders have informed us that a secret paintball meeting took place on Thursday and Friday of last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. The meeting included representatives and decision makers from both the National Professional Paintball League and Paintball Sports Promotions.
Unfortunately we did not make it to Vegas in time to bug the rooms and tap the telephones. Bummer. However, our wonderful Pro Paintball insiders suggest a paintball league merger between the two leagues was the focus of the discussion. Further, the meeting was said to have been very positive and both groups were acting very cordial to one another. Representing the PSP was PSP CEO Lane Wright and league owners Dave ‘Youngblood’ DeHaan (DYE) and Billy Ceranski (KEE). Representing the NPPL was President Mike Peverill, NPPL Chief Operating Officer Chuck Hendsch, and Bart Yachimec (Edmonton Impact Team Owner and NPPL shareholder). Camille Lemanski from the PSP was also at the meeting. Over the last 10 years Camille has had the opportunity to work for both leagues and was able to mediate the discussion and provide notes for the both leagues at the end of the meeting. From the list of attendees, it is very apparent that this meeting was taken very seriously by everyone involved.
Pro Paintball insiders indicate that this meeting discussed concepts, formats, ideas each groups had and outlined a plan for going forward. Whats next? The leagues will be meeting with their respective board members and attempting to work out an initial agreement. There is an NPPL owners meeting scheduled for July 30th and we would imagine that is when the NPPL will discuss how they want to go forward. The goal of both the NPPL and PSP representatives is to work out an initial agreement by September, 2011. Otherwise, each league plans to go ahead with their plans for the 2012 season independent of the other.
Both leagues plan on finishing out the remainder of the 2011 season as scheduled.
A merger between leagues has been long sought as a holy grail of paintball. The combination of the NPPL marketing and the PSP event operation and a possible standardized format would help legitimize our game while reduce costly two-league expenditures from players, teams and manufactures. A unified front might be able to finally land out of industry sponsorship agreements, television broadcasts, an organized regional series, and who knows what else.
Historically speaking, the last serious merger meeting was held in 2008 between Pacific Paintball (old-NPPL owners) and the PSP. During the meeting in 2008, insiders indicated that the meeting was very positive and a tentative agreement had been reached. Why didn’t it work out? The creditors behind Pacific Paintball decided to file for bankruptcy due to the worsening economic conditions as the markets fell apart in the fall of 2008. So close, yet so far. Almost 4 years later everyone is back at the table and hopefully this time something comes of the negotiations. One can only hope, right?
What do you think about the possibilities of a merger? Does anyone know what other topics were discussed at the meeting?