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06-17-2003, 12:37 PM
I got tired of scrolling down through the New League thread to read about something completely unrelated: Pro Inline Hockey.
Let's continue here, OK? /wtimages/icons/cool.gif
Inline Hockey Central
06-17-2003, 01:19 PM
This is in reponse to MDE3's reply to me about hype:
Wow, I have just been completely owned by MDE3, not the first time though;-) All the things you said are great points, and I really have nothing to add.
06-17-2003, 01:56 PM
Thought it would be helpful to re-post MDE3's latest and greatest post:
May I ask where this "hype" should be generated? In what media? Among ourselves? Who talks about MLRH or PIHA or IHA, or WHRL yet outside the "community"? How may people even know it exists or what it is?
Not intended to belittle the concept of raising the awareness level, but there is so much more groundwork to do to "generate hype" at a national level - much of which takes money, that spending sums to have intercontinental games seems to me like an imprudent expenditure.
Could that same money not be used to take out ads in major newspapers and really generate some direct hype? Have some articles written for major sport magazines expounding the resurgence of inline hockey "breaking through" to the pro levels. Articles written about the sudden "explosion" of new leagues forming, incorporate part of the article from USA Hockey magazine about "exploding the myths about roller hockey". Get some media coverage for the sport in a major venue if we want to generate hype. Talk about National Playoffs with the best teams from the Western Division playing the best teams from the Eastern Division to give the sense of a true continental league.
If the WRHL league and IHA could be incorporated into the picture, then you can hype international play and growth as well - creating similar credibility - without having to spend nearly as much. There's a variety of ways to generate more hype for the money IMHO.
The industry as a whole needs to be made aware that the sport even exists at these elite levels - look at the reaction in here from people when Richard changed the post heading to "Professional Roller Hockey" - "what - there is pro roller hockey?"
Because so many of us are deeply involved with this sport and often through this board, we tend to see the sport through much different eyes than the average player or fan. We assume a level of awareness that is not out there because we talk daily about these issues in a very small community.
Obviously I am not opposed to creating hype, and generating credibility for the sport - that is a mandatory function of development. However it is equally important that all concerned fully grasp how limited the budgets are at this point and how important it is to spend these limited promotional funds effectively. For this sport to draw support, sponsors and investors, the most important issues will be "a love of the game, a belief in it's growth potential, and a vision of its financial viability" - not necessarily in that order. Promotions which address these issues will be the most effective in securing investors with the real capability of generating major support. If under close scrutiny a potential investor looks at money spent unwisely - he will immediately begin to lose confidence in the management leading the venture. A love of the game is not enough to draw the support that is needed, nor is creating a belief in it's growth potential. A cohesive, well-managed business plan developed out of these first two factors, promoting an easy to grasp, well defined product will go much further than casting money upon the waters in hopes of creating an illusion of prosperity and drawing in a few fish.
By having a growth plan that leaves local leagues the autonomy to earn money from their "sector" but still be part of a "National League" through some fair level of contribution, a much more appealing picture can be portrayed to potential investors on multiple levels.
The concept that one is getting in on the ground floor of a major development in a sport which has the vision to be both National and local, which allows players to play the same game and fans to expect the same thing wherever they view it, will be much more attractive than knowing one version of elite inline hockey has a couple of intercontinental games.
Also with a game plan like this - the elite levels of the sport can continue to draw new developers like Mr. Lefebvre, and Mr. Gulikaw expanding the sport in a controlled fashion, but allowing them to still focus on the local scene, not be saddled with major financial obligations (such as intercontinental travel) before they can support it. Their contributions to "the league" could be limited to a manageable "promotional fee" which in return would give them the stature of belonging to a widely accepted National League - piggy backing on it's national promotional programs.
Sorry about the "tirade," Mission, but I really want to use every opportunity to push a national Men's Elite/"Pro to be" program which has a viable and consolidated vision.
Inline Hockey Central
06-17-2003, 02:02 PM
Did you have to post it again Rich? Oh the humiliation. lol
06-17-2003, 07:03 PM
Hey Mission- Don't be so hard on yourself! Without your participation, MDE3's post may have never happened! And THAT would have been a shame - so may I personally thank you for your contribution to this most excellent thread!!
Excellent post MDE3. You've pretty much nailed it - now how do "we" accomplish it?
06-17-2003, 07:05 PM
I get the feeling MDE3 is always on the hunt for my posts to completly prove me wrong anymore, but if it helps roller hockey, I'll continue;-) lol
get all the GM's of MLRH on the phone and start the lobbying process using all your obviously talented wiles. I'm sure I have only voiced what many feel, but caught up in the immediate details of another pending season it is very easy for those of influence to just let this slide as "a project bigger than they need at this time".
There is a move afoot already to this end - maybe get plugged in and voice your support. Promote a special meeting or conference call between owners and GM"s to start the ball rolling - find out what has been going on behind the scenes. Write emails - come out in support in here - as a GM of MLRH.
I'm very good at suggesting how others can work harder lol.
06-17-2003, 07:15 PM
Little sensitive, are we???? Just kidding!!!!
Hey, let's face it: any time you or I or anyone posts an idea/opinion, someone's gonna have an opposing idea/opinion. Only through discussion and debate do we further our understanding - sometimes cementing our original opinion, sometimes changing it. Either way, IT'S ALL GOOD!!!!!
It's nothing personal /wtimages/icons/smile.gif; sometimes I just need a small step to help my aging bones up onto the soap box. Actually from here I can almost see Danny.
06-17-2003, 07:26 PM
You're so right about the "big picture" seeming too big to tackle but, when broken down into those "baby steps" it suddenly seems possible....hmmmm.....interesting....very interesting....
The good news is there is already some momentum. This is the time to begin to push the process. Ego's will have to be put on hold of course for things to gell, but a clear sense of common purpose can go a long way to overcome this. (Am I beginning to sound like a fortune cookie - or is it just me?)
06-17-2003, 07:57 PM
06-17-2003, 10:24 PM
dude, I was just playing around. Just ask Rich, I goof off a lot here;-) :P
06-17-2003, 10:25 PM
Ahh the legendary soap box. Danny gets way up on his soapbox sometimes ~_^
06-17-2003, 10:47 PM
Roller Hockey will continue to flounder because the personalities can't work together. In 1999 RHI killed MLRH to get teams back in their league. Yoder started his own league because he doesn't like Raue's idea of checking. Buffalo Wings want to play in the summer. Wilmington won't play MLRH because they don't like some of the owners. Marple hates the Riot so they force them out. People in Michigan don't want to travel. Now someone in Canada wants his own league for some unknown reason.
All these people could work together, then we would have the start of something. But it will never happen because each wants to be in charge and have it their way.
It isn't just money, but someone with money could force all these personalities to work together. If all the forces would work together, you would have an elite league with 20 good teams tomorrow. As for me, I'm not a betting man, but I would bet the barn that these people will never come together.
06-17-2003, 11:52 PM
What team from Wilmington? The only one you could mean is Delaware Blue Diamond if your talking about DE. Just wondering because I live in Wilm. DE and travel to Marple for my games. If so I dont believe that they didnt enter because of the owners. There were other circumstances.
Its just not fun unless you stand in front of it!
06-18-2003, 08:26 AM
In a way I totally agree. I think that in order to get a "real" pro league going again, everyone needs to work together. I believe everytime an elite league starts up, its hurting the chances of a real pro league being started. It's just more competition for a pro league to over-come, making it harder. However, with all these elite leagues, it's creating an awareness for our sport.
I think in order to get a real pro league up and running again, it's going to have to take everyone comming together, working together, to achieve the one common goal of having a pro league.
06-18-2003, 11:08 AM
Man! the negativity here is killing me! Lighten up would you!
Of all your summations in there, the only one I can say for sure you are wrong on was "Marple forcing the Riot out." Didn't even remotely happen that way. I know as I was directly involved with that whole ugly mess. I can not speak to your other assertions.
I know we all have very different view points in here, and that is a good thing as it makes us all rethink our own positions, but, I can't recall a single post from you that was even remotely positive, remotely "how about this solution".
You obviously have passion and love of the sport, how 'bout putting that to use and joining the debate instead of just lobbing in grenades from the outside?
Williamsburg Warriors, MLRH AAA
Ben - thanks for speaking for most of us in here - saves me "tirade time" which can best be spent on more positive things.
06-18-2003, 11:22 AM
06-18-2003, 12:00 PM
Inline Hockey America
06-18-2003, 12:05 PM
Responding to Mike (via Richard's repost):
Talking about generating "hype": When trying to get a new product out to the masses, what is the first thing that you see large biz do? They hand it to the small group of people who have access to the "eyeballs" of the rest of the target audience. Some Examples? New movies are released to who first? movie critics who then write reviews that we all get to read. New car? automotive reporters get their hands on pre-release models so _they_ can write reviews that can build our desire. New software? same thing.... See the pattern there?
So when talking about trying to get some "cred" for MLRH, I think it is much more cost effective for 4 or 5 teams to spend approx $5k ea on a coast to coast swing instead of buying a single run ad in a national publication. That "ad" will cost min $15k, closer to $40-$45k if it has a million plus subs. In order to be effective, you have to have that ad out there for more than 1 run, more like 3. By doing our East vs West games, not only are we playing games, but we are telling the sporting press, we have the capability of doing this. And that is HUGE. Again, it is cool when the team from Virginia plays the team from Pennsylvania, but it is darn impressive when the team from Virginia plays the team from California. The sporting press isn't dumb, they know the cost of plane tix, hotels & ground transportation. And with two phone calls they can know within 10% the operating budgets of our teams and leagues. So those games play very well with them.
As far a "having articles written" in the sporting press. That only happens if the sportswriter thinks it is a good story and if he can convince his editor. Now, last season, for all its warts, the MLRH didn't do so bad in that respect. Hockey Biz News did a several page story on us. I was interviewed by ESPN mag about the MLRH (I don't thank that one published but the fact that they called accounts for something). Face Off mag has interviewed me twice and devotes 4 pages each issue to the MLRH. I'm pretty sure they have done stories on the Bullets and Marple as well. Granted, Face Off is a (mostly) Euro mag, but, if that continues, it will translate to some more US mainstream press. Just this month's American Hockey has this on the cover "Dispelling the Inline Myth: Ice Coaches Warm up to the Merits of Inline Hockey." That is their lead story.
Now I'm not vain enough to even remotely think that the above press is because I flew my boys out to play Joy's, however, I know that the fact that there is currently a roller league that is doing that for regular season games, opened some eyes in the sportswriter world. If IHA, WHRL and Speed Hockey come through you are going to see even more of this kind of press. And _that_ will result in far more fan "mind share" (as the marketing pukes like to call it) than buying ads. And once there are clammoring fans, anything the leagues do is news, so more press coverage results.
As far as budgets go, I'm quite familier with them. I have a very solid idea of what it take to equip, promote and travel a 20 man squad in this league. And that is not a trivial undertaking. It costs some serious money. And the costs are going to do nothing but go up. As the market forces come to bear, the barns are going to have to be bigger which makes your promo budget bigger. That strain is going to reduce the number of "close" (distance) games as teams in smaller markets fall away, which is going to make the travel budget grow. And don't forget player wages and support personnel costs. What all of this sums up is that if your budget is broken now, trying to do a one time $5-6k shot, you seriously need to to make a tough choice on what it is you want to do. What we are trying to do is not "Mommy is in the parking lot with the mini van roller hockey." We are trying to build a professional, national level, roller hockey league. Like any new construction, it will cost $$$
Man, this is another long one <sigh> Mike I think we both agree of much of the same things, and our few differences are more in details than in scope. I'm definately glad to have you in this forum and I look forward to getting a chance to sit down and chit chat over beers at the end of August.
Williamsburg Warriors, MLRH AAA
Me too Ben as far as agreeing goes. I really want to see the sport grow and will leave the nitty gritty details of how to spend your hard fought earnings to you who actually have to generate the money. My concern is that you are indeed getting the promotional leverage you describe because so few are actually exposed to the information.
If the media becomes faced with the news of new and "competing leagues" - at least in their eyes - the impact of these trips may also be diminished in a media rush(we can always hope) to write a more negative story about the splintered efforts to generate a pro roller hockey league. It would seem to have more impact to create an image about the soaring demand for "pro/elite inline hockey" which has resulted in the formation of an expanded National version of MLRH incorporating x number of new teams in divisions created from Canada and the Central USA ( i know I am jumping the gun a bit here - just writers fantasy time)
But truly as far as including the "newbies" in some form of controlled expansion, I think that could really help the sport along - opening up fan bases, and player bases in areas maybe more hungry than some of our more saturated back yards. I know there is at least desire for more extensive discussion on some kind of united effort, so hopefully some of this wind will at least serve to fan the flames.
06-18-2003, 11:33 PM
If you were part of forcing the Riot out, how can you claim that people in roller hockey will work together when you can't even work with the owners in your own league?
06-19-2003, 04:08 PM
I'm sorry, you must have misread me. I did not force the Riot out. Jamie & Marple did not force the Riot out. Nobody in the MLRH forced the Riot out. The Riot management chose a course of action that caused the Riot to lose its MLRH AAA franchise.
Here is a little fable that may help: Little Sam has a sister named Sue. Sam sees Sue stick her hand in the cookie jar. Sam also sees his Mom catch Sue in the act and spank Sue and send her to bed with no dinner. Little Sam tells his Mom, "I want to get some cookies." Mom says "Not till after dinner." Little Sam says "No, I want cookies now, and I'm going to reach into the jar and get them!" Mom calmly replied "Sam, if you reach into the cookie jar and I'm going to send you to your room with no dinner just like I did to your sister. That is the rule, no cookies till after dinner" Sam decided that he wanted the cookies bad enough so he stuck his hand into the cookie jar even after his mother's warning. His mother calmly took the cookie from Sam's hand and sent him to his room with no dinner. End of story.
I can not make it any clearer than that. Nobody forced the Riot to do anything. The Riot management made a choice knowing full well what the reprecussion would be. End of Story.
Williamsburg Warriors, MLRH AAA
06-19-2003, 04:23 PM
Thanks for the calm and measured post. I appreciate it.
Inline Hockey Central
06-19-2003, 04:26 PM
This is the sort of argument that should be taken off-line unless you have facts that you can bring to bear on your argument and that are worthy of sharing with IHC's readership. To make charges without backup, to me, is simply a personal attack, and they will not be permitted on Inline Hockey Central. Thank you.
Inline Hockey Central
06-19-2003, 09:14 PM
Hey Uncle Ben can you read me a bed time story. That was a great explanation!!!
Its just not fun unless you stand in front of it!
As a RIOT fan I checked their website and it said they're "Reorganizing".
06-22-2003, 09:21 AM
My point is, the people involved in roller can't or won't work together, and that is a fact. You may not want to hear it, but that's the way it is.
I know for a fact that Yoder does not want the Riot involved it PIHA, because Puscian told me he called Yoder 3 times and asked about it the first year and Yoder would not give him any information about PIHA.
I have heard Jamie say in public that he does not want the Riot in his building.
I was next to the door when Domi came off and told the Riot players that Marple would send the Riot home in an Ambulance when they played again (sorry this is not an exact quote). I saw the replay of the intentional crosschecks to the head of Riot Players in slow motion, one of the fans had a cam-corder at the game.
And if you don't like the way I put things, then meet me on the sands of Iraq where my brother died to give everyone the right to say what they want.
But since you people don't want to hear the truth, I will take my interest elsewhere. You don't want to hear from me so you won't.
It isn't that we do not want to hear from you - it's just that we would like to hear something positive from you. No matter what is posted on any subject you always seem to feel that the author is wrong, that no efforts made will ever work, - basically that there is no hope for any future endeavours. If you could at least explain why you are always so negative or suggest some way to make things work - I think people would be much more positive in their responses to you.
06-22-2003, 09:01 PM
I think your Message Board handle says a lot. It appears you have a "death wish" for any league that doesn't somehow meet your standards.
Inline hockey does have lots of issues that need to be dealt with. But your way is not the way to achieve success.
All the "inside dirt" you mentioned is irrelevant. What's relevant is that there are a lot of people in the sport who are trying, in their own best ways, to grow inline hockey. Despite the mistakes they might make, they put their names and reputations on the line to do their best.
If they can't please someone who posts anonymously on a Web site, why should they care?
Who are you? What have you done to grow the sport? What are your ideas to improve it? I'd love to hear them, and I'm sure the rest of IHC's readers would be open to hearing those ideas as well.
If your brother died in the sands of Iraq, I'm very sorry to hear that. I was against the war from the start. But it has nothing to do with roller hockey, and nothing to do with free speech in America.
Lighten up and talk roller hockey. That's what this site is about.
Inline Hockey Central
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