|New Concept in Football Contests Provides Offshore Books With Measure of
Salvation during Difficult Period
With all the creative energy being expended by all the folks trying to build a
better mousetrap, it is inevitable that someone will actually succeed.
And if there is an industry in dire need of better mousetraps, it is the
offshore sports betting industry, which is actually experiencing contractions in
some sectors rather than expansion. Ruthless competition, the exorbitant cost of
marketing and attracting new customers, and the futility of most
client-retention programs is changing the perception of the future from rosy to
rocky for many operators. Add to the mix ongoing legal problems inflicted by the
U.S. government and harassment in transferring funds by financial institutions,
and it is clear that growth is being stunted.
So, we are delighted to be the harbinger of good news for beleaguered
offshore sportsbooks. Addressing the critical area of cost-effectively gaining
new clients and boosting cash flow, a successful web entrepreneur has created a
marketing tool he believes is a win-win deal for all concerned. Is his
innovative product a panacea for all the industry's woes? No, but it goes a long
way toward fixing several immediate serious and chronic problems.
The solution, advanced by James Martin, president of YourWebPress.com, is to
make available a variety of competitive, entertaining fee-based football (and
other sports) handicapping tournaments which will attract large numbers of
bettors. The contests are designed to return a large amount of the funds to
winners, less expenses and operating costs. All of the technical aspects of
running these contests are solved for the sportsbook. Martin said, “These games
are ready to run by basically just plugging in (Plug-N-Play) one of
YourWebPress.com’s preconfigured servers and the sportsbooks can immediately
start reaping benefits. The Playemall.com contest software engine would handle
all aspects of administering and grading the contests, which would be run on
participating sportsbooks’ websites.”
The skill-based football contests, which involve picking winners against the
spread and weighting each selection, player vs. player fantasy props, etc.,
would be offered in up to three different entry fee formats. Total prize money
would be dependent upon the number of entries. The decision to make the contests
fee-based rather than free was based on an intention to avoid attracting a
preponderance of freebie hunters and to seek casual bettors who will become
Although unable to offer the contests to U.S.-based websites which cater to
sports wagering, the tournaments under the name Playemall.com will be made
available to select offshore books. The books will use the contests to attract
new business, give existing customers an exciting new betting option, and
increase cash flow.
“We have been running these games for a couple of years as promotional
products for radio stations, media outlets and as promotions for some
companies,” explained Martin. “We have had as many as 2,000 people playing for a
free dinner and a tee shirt. People love to play these games. Our product will
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 huge untapped market for the offshore gaming
industry. Players can play multiple entries and games can be set up for bettors
to play each other in tournament formats.”
New contests would be offered each week, hosted by the participating
sportsbooks. Prizes would be awarded to players by placing the proceeds in their
accounts at the respective sportsbook.
Currently there are several variations of the contests 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 makes these contests highly desirable to bettors, and increases the ability
of participating books to draw fresh new players every week as well as fund new
accounts in their books.
How far along is this venture? Martin currently has tentative agreements with
two highly respected sportsbooks to get in on the ground floor to showcase and
launch the Playemall.com tournaments. After an appropriate trial run, new books
will be added. Martin anticipates offering the contests selectively to a number
of prestigious, deep-pocketed and well managed shops.
However, given the urgency to get the contests available to bettors during
the peak football betting season, Martin is seeking an investor to provide funds
to expedite the sales and marketing process. His exemplary track record in
running a business is illustrated in the growth and success of YourWebPress.com,
which he started in 1995 as a one-man operation providing dial-up Internet and
Web publishing services.
Today, YourWebPress.com is a builder of Internet-based Content Management
Systems, site building tools, databases, gaming products and other Web-based
technologies. Currently it has over 200 customers in six states.
“In 2004, YourWebPress.com was designated by the Arkansas Capital Corp. as
one of the seven best technologies in the state to invest in. Also we were
chosen by Funding Post Magazine a National publication, as one of the top 50 top
start-up companies in America, selected from over 400 entries in their Pitch
Across America competition,” Martin noted.
Any sportsbooks interested in looking to participate in the Playemall.com
tournaments should email Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at
1-866-930-9303 or 1-870-974-0414 to obtain a password to view a demo of the
product. Similarly, anyone wishing to explore an equity position in this venture
should use the same contact info.
Sportsbook Scene believes these weekly contests, which offer appealing cash
prizes and instant gratification to players, could be a strong advantage for
books which post them at their websites. Certainly it is a fresh, dynamic
approach in seeking to add new players to sportsbook rosters by giving those who
haven’t as yet ventured offshore a temptation to check it 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 George W. Bush. We
wouldn’t dream of poaching on New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s territory.
We’re talking about the ongoing saga in the nation’s capital that has more to do
with x’s on diagramming a football play than on a ballot.
Since gad-zillionaire Daniel Snyder took ownership of one of the NFL’s
storied franchises, the Washington Redskins, the application of huge amounts
money and ego to the coaching position has not yielded anything resembling even
marginal return on investment. Essentially, Snyder has labored a mountain and,
for the third time, apparently produced a mouse.
We’ll not belabor his earlier failures, Marty Schottenheimer and Steve
Spurrier. But we don’t cut him any slack for dipping into the coaching barrel
and coming up with a sure fire, can’t miss highly respected and uncommonly
successful retread, Joe Gibbs.
The same dynamics were in play when he made his other misfires. Instead of
seeking a deserving, ambitious, ready-to-take-it-to-the-next-level coach, Snyder
once again dipped into his seemingly bottomless vault of money and plucked a guy
who looks better on paper than the sidelines.
Only the most dedicated curmudgeon or misanthrope could find anything
negative to say about Joe Gibbs, whose tenure as Redskins head coach from 1981
was eminently successful. He won three Super Bowls in four appearances and
compiled a winning percentage of .683, best among his peers with more than 125
wins. A few writers raised the issue that perhaps he was out of touch with the
NFL today, but then glossed it over by giving assurances that that was not the
Gibbs bowed out of the NFL on a high note, and entered the world of NASCAR
where he enjoyed equal success. A humongous salary and title of team president
lured him back to the coaching wars.
We hope we do not fall in to the category of politically correct sycophants
who proffer praise just to make sure they have a seat on the bandwagon. We were
dubious about Gibbs’ chances for success when he went out and got a veteran
quarterback who obviously was past his prime to be Washington’s field general.
Mark Brunell enjoyed a fine career leading Jacksonville Jaguars from being an
expansion team to the playoffs and was a productive quarterback. But like all
who rely on their physical attributes, Brunell could not escape the ravages of
being a target for defensive behemoths and advancing age, the relentless and
universal enemy of athletes.
We don’t blame Brunell for being human, but Gibbs takes the fall for cloudy
judgment. Building a team around a leader whose mutual development is in synch
is a standard objective. But apparently Gibbs felt he needed a veteran QB to get
his program across.
After celebrating his return after an 11 year absence, Gibbs won his first
regular season game by beating the hapless Tampa Bay Buccs. Since then, the
‘Skins have staggered to a 0-4 record, with little relief on the horizon.
Despite having all the advantages that Snyder’s money can buy, including
experts who have nothing to do but scrutinize opportunities during games for
coaching challenges, the wheels are coming off the team much as they did under
Marty and Steve. With all of Snyder’s money, you’d think somebody in his
organization would have counseled him to spend it on a better QB than
Even backup Patrick Ramsey could be an improvement over Brunell. Last year he
showed talent and toughness, then seemed to exhibit a lack of growth during the
exhibition season. His mobility isn’t much better than Brunell’s, but at least
his better days are in front of him. Without an improved offensive line, anyone
the Redskins line up behind center is going to be NFL cannon fodder.
Watching TV close-ups of Gibbs during times of pressure reveals a
deer-in-the-headlights countenance. The quizzical and bewildered looks on his
face as captured by TV are disappointing. Neither he nor his coaches seem to
know the fine points of clock management, as in more than one game he has wasted
time outs on trivial matters and not had them when he needed to conserve
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 suggesting he is washed up. Just saying he is at a time of his career when
holding a clipboard on the sidelines would be a more productive use of his
Meanwhile, the coaching staff has taken one of the NFL’s brightest offensive
megastars, Clinton Portis and reduced him to three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust
guy. Anyone who saw him play his first two years with Denver knows that for all
the credit its offensive line gets for helping their running backs put up eye
popping performances, Portis was quite capable of doing it on his own. Taking a
swing pass and turning a routine five yard play into a 40 or 50 yard gallop was
Gibbs was joined by a cadre of old time coaches, including Joe Bugel, who is
revered as a line coach, but who failed miserably as a head coach. He is best
remembered for an epic series of downs when he coached the Arizona Cardinals and
tried to push the ball in from inside the one yard line, for an entire series
using 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 in Washington. The question is will he,
before Snyder -- notorious for his impatience -- seeks another savior with
impeccable credentials, at least by the owner’s standards.
Before signing off, kudos to a coach who seems to be the poster boy for barbs
and criticism, the Rams’ Mike Martz. Reportedly his outsize ego and deficient
coaching skills are his Achilles heel. Maybe, but last Sunday guiding a come
back from a 27-10 deficit against a highly touted Seattle Seahawks team, coached
by an over-hyped coaching “genius” Mike Holgren is not an insignificant
Unlike coaches who don’t know how to play with a big lead, Martz is always
applying pressure. The remarkable comeback on the road certainly raised his
stock, at least among bettors.
The little victory jig spontaneously performed by Martz as the game winning
td pass was completed in the end zone was priceless. Give us a guy who wears his
emotions on his sleeves, as opposed to the overly inhibited coaches who think
Tom Landry’s weekly homage to a statue performance on the sidelines several
decades ago is still the correct standard.
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06/23/03 | 02/03/03 | 01/27/03