Buzz Daly Sportsbook Scene

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Sportsbook Scene, by Buzz Daly
October 12, 2004
 
 
 
New Concept in Football Contests Provides OffshoreBooks

With Measure of Salvation during DifficultPeriod

With all the creative energy being expended byall the folks trying to build a better mousetrap, it is inevitablethat someone will actually succeed.

And if there is an industry in dire need of bettermousetraps, it is the offshore sports betting industry, whichis actually experiencing contractions in some sectors rather thanexpansion. Ruthless competition, the exorbitant cost of marketingand attracting new customers, and the futility of most client-retentionprograms is changing the perception of the future from rosy torocky for many operators. Add to the mix ongoing legal problemsinflicted by the U.S. government and harassment in transferringfunds by financial institutions, and it is clear that growth isbeing stunted.

So, we are delighted to be the harbinger of goodnews for beleaguered offshore sportsbooks. Addressing the criticalarea of cost-effectively gaining new clients and boosting cashflow, a successful web entrepreneur has created a marketing toolhe believes is a win-win deal for all concerned. Is his innovativeproduct a panacea for all the industry’s woes? No, but it goesa long way toward fixing several immediate serious and chronicproblems.

The solution, advanced by James Martin, presidentof YourWebPress.com, is to make available a variety of competitive,entertaining fee-based football (and other sports) handicappingtournaments which will attract large numbers of bettors. The contestsare designed to return a large amount of the funds to winners,less expenses and operating costs. All of the technical aspectsof running these contests are solved for the sportsbook. Martinsaid, “These games are ready to run by basically just pluggingin (Plug-N-Play) one of YourWebPress.com’s preconfiguredservers and the sportsbooks can immediately start reaping benefits.The Playemall.com contest software engine would handle all aspectsof administering and grading the contests, which would be runon participating sportsbooks’ websites.”

The skill-based football contests, which involvepicking winners against the spread and weighting each selection,player vs. player fantasy props, etc., would be offered in upto three different entry fee formats. Total prize money wouldbe dependent upon the number of entries. The decision to makethe contests fee-based rather than free was based on an intentionto avoid attracting a preponderance of freebie hunters and toseek casual bettors who will become loyal players.

Although unable to offer the contests to U.S.-basedwebsites which cater to sports wagering, the tournaments underthe name Playemall.com will be made available to select offshorebooks. The books will use the contests to attract new business,give existing customers an exciting new betting option, and increasecash flow.

“We have been running these games for a coupleof years as promotional products for radio stations, media outletsand as promotions for some companies,” explained Martin.“We have had as many as 2,000 people playing for a free dinnerand a tee shirt. People love to play these games. Our productwill provide a gambling opportunity for a guy that wants to bet$25 and play 20 games with a chance to win big. This is a hugeuntapped market for the offshore gaming industry. Players canplay multiple entries and games can be set up for bettors to playeach other in tournament formats.”

New contests would be offered each week, hostedby the participating sportsbooks. Prizes would be awarded to playersby placing the proceeds in their accounts at the respective sportsbook.

Currently there are several variations of thecontests for football as well as games for basketball and golf.Playemall.com also has games for baseball and NASCAR in development.The relative low cost of playing and the chance to win big makesthese contests highly desirable to bettors, and increases theability of participating books to draw fresh new players everyweek as well as fund new accounts in their books.

How far along is this venture? Martin currentlyhas tentative agreements with two highly respected sportsbooksto get in on the ground floor to showcase and launch the Playemall.comtournaments. After an appropriate trial run, new books will beadded. Martin anticipates offering the contests selectively toa number of prestigious, deep-pocketed and well managed shops.

However, given the urgency to get the contestsavailable to bettors during the peak football betting season,Martin is seeking an investor to provide funds to expedite thesales and marketing process. His exemplary track record in runninga business is illustrated in the growth and success of YourWebPress.com,which he started in 1995 as a one-man operation providing dial-upInternet and Web publishing services.

Today, YourWebPress.com is a builder of Internet-basedContent Management Systems, site building tools, databases, gamingproducts and other Web-based technologies. Currently it has over200 customers in six states.

“In 2004, YourWebPress.com was designatedby the Arkansas Capital Corp. as one of the seven best technologiesin the state to invest in. Also we were chosen by Funding PostMagazine a National publication, as one of the top 50 top start-upcompanies in America, selected from over 400 entries in theirPitch Across America competition,” Martin noted.

Any sportsbooks interested in looking to participatein the Playemall.com tournaments should email Martin at jmartin@isiar.netor call him at 1-866-930-9303 or 1-870-974-0414 to obtain a passwordto view a demo of the product. Similarly, anyone wishing to explorean equity position in this venture should use the same contactinfo.

Sportsbook Scene believes these weekly contests,which offer appealing cash prizes and instant gratification toplayers, could be a strong advantage for books which post themat their websites. Certainly it is a fresh, dynamic approach inseeking to add new players to sportsbook rosters by giving thosewho haven’t as yet ventured offshore a temptation to checkit out.

Another Coaching Icon Bites the Dust …

Or Are We Too Fast to Pull the Trigger?

 
The emperor has no clothes. No, we’re not referring to GeorgeW. Bush. We wouldn’t dream of poaching on New York Timescolumnist Maureen Dowd’s territory. We’re talking aboutthe ongoing saga in the nation’s capital that has more todo with x’s on diagramming a football play than on a ballot.

Since gad-zillionaire Daniel Snyder took ownership of one of theNFL’s storied franchises, the Washington Redskins, the applicationof huge amounts money and ego to the coaching position has notyielded anything resembling even marginal return on investment.Essentially, Snyder has labored a mountain and, for the thirdtime, apparently produced a mouse.

We’ll not belabor his earlier failures, MartySchottenheimer and Steve Spurrier. But we don’t cut him anyslack for dipping into the coaching barrel and coming up witha sure fire, can’t miss highly respected and uncommonly successfulretread, Joe Gibbs.

The same dynamics were in play when he made hisother misfires. Instead of seeking a deserving, ambitious, ready-to-take-it-to-the-next-levelcoach, Snyder once again dipped into his seemingly bottomlessvault of money and plucked a guy who looks better on paper thanthe sidelines.

Only the most dedicated curmudgeon or misanthropecould find anything negative to say about Joe Gibbs, whose tenureas Redskins head coach from 1981 was eminently successful. Hewon three Super Bowls in four appearances and compiled a winningpercentage of .683, best among his peers with more than 125 wins.A few writers raised the issue that perhaps he was out of touchwith the NFL today, but then glossed it over by giving assurancesthat that was not the case.

Gibbs bowed out of the NFL on a high note, andentered the world of NASCAR where he enjoyed equal success. Ahumongous salary and title of team president lured him back tothe coaching wars.

We hope we do not fall in to the category of politicallycorrect sycophants who proffer praise just to make sure they havea seat on the bandwagon. We were dubious about Gibbs’ chancesfor success when he went out and got a veteran quarterback whoobviously was past his prime to be Washington’s field general.

Mark Brunell enjoyed a fine career leading JacksonvilleJaguars from being an expansion team to the playoffs and was aproductive quarterback. But like all who rely on their physicalattributes, Brunell could not escape the ravages of being a targetfor defensive behemoths and advancing age, the relentless anduniversal enemy of athletes.

We don’t blame Brunell for being human, butGibbs takes the fall for cloudy judgment. Building a team arounda leader whose mutual development is in synch is a standard objective.But apparently Gibbs felt he needed a veteran QB to get his programacross.

After celebrating his return after an 11 yearabsence, Gibbs won his first regular season game by beating thehapless Tampa Bay Buccs. Since then, the ‘Skins have staggeredto a 0-4 record, with little relief on the horizon.

Despite having all the advantages that Snyder’smoney can buy, including experts who have nothing to do but scrutinizeopportunities during games for coaching challenges, the wheelsare coming off the team much as they did under Marty and Steve.With all of Snyder’s money, you’d think somebody inhis organization would have counseled him to spend it on a betterQB than 34-year-old Brunell.

Even backup Patrick Ramsey could be an improvementover Brunell. Last year he showed talent and toughness, then seemedto exhibit a lack of growth during the exhibition season. Hismobility isn’t much better than Brunell’s, but at leasthis better days are in front of him. Without an improved offensiveline, anyone the Redskins line up behind center is going to beNFL cannon fodder.

Watching TV close-ups of Gibbs during times ofpressure reveals a deer-in-the-headlights countenance. The quizzicaland bewildered looks on his face as captured by TV are disappointing.Neither he nor his coaches seem to know the fine points of clockmanagement, as in more than one game he has wasted time outs ontrivial matters and not had them when he needed to conserve preciousseconds.

Watching his hand-picked quarterback is painful,as it is obvious Brunell is only a shadow of his former self.Sure, he has moments when he looks good, we’re not suggestinghe is washed up. Just saying he is at a time of his career whenholding a clipboard on the sidelines would be a more productiveuse of his talents.

Meanwhile, the coaching staff has taken one ofthe NFL’s brightest offensive megastars, Clinton Portis andreduced him to three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust guy. Anyone whosaw him play his first two years with Denver knows that for allthe credit its offensive line gets for helping their running backsput up eye popping performances, Portis was quite capable of doingit on his own. Taking a swing pass and turning a routine fiveyard play into a 40 or 50 yard gallop was his specialty.

Gibbs was joined by a cadre of old time coaches,including Joe Bugel, who is revered as a line coach, but who failedmiserably as a head coach. He is best remembered for an epic seriesof downs when he coached the Arizona Cardinals and tried to pushthe ball in from inside the one yard line, for an entire seriesusing the same futile off tackle play.

Yes, we realize it is too early to count him out.Joe Gibbs is smart and should know how to turn things around inWashington. The question is <I style=”mso-bidi-font-style:normal”>will he, before Snyder — notorious for his impatience– seeks another savior with impeccable credentials, at leastby the owner’s standards.

Before signing off, kudos to a coach who seemsto be the poster boy for barbs and criticism, the Rams’ MikeMartz. Reportedly his outsize ego and deficient coaching skillsare his Achilles heel. Maybe, but last Sunday guiding a come backfrom a 27-10 deficit against a highly touted Seattle Seahawksteam, coached by an over-hyped coaching “genius” MikeHolgren is not an insignificant accomplishment.

Unlike coaches who don’t know how to playwith a big lead, Martz is always applying pressure. The remarkablecomeback on the road certainly raised his stock, at least amongbettors.

The little victory jig spontaneously performedby Martz as the game winning td pass was completed in the endzone was priceless. Give us a guy who wears his emotions on hissleeves, as opposed to the overly inhibited coaches who thinkTom Landry’s weekly homage to a statue performance on thesidelines several decades ago is still the correct standard.

Please send questions, comments, etc., to buzzdaly@aol.com

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