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    Dartplayer Dot Net :: View topic - Chris Mason Interview
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    Chris Mason Interview
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    chunky
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Chris Mason Interview Reply with quote

    Just picked up on an interview with Chris Mason. Apparently Chris is ready to quit darts, simply because of the finances. Without a sponsor, he is finding it extremely difficult to travel as much as he needs to compete with the "big boys". He has done very well in open events, without winning them, but a lot of the time, that is nowhere near enough.

    I feel this indicative of what I have said on other threads here on SEWA. It's OK for people to want much better first place money, but it's no good if it is at the expense of some of the lower placings. I have come in for a fair bit of criticism for suggesting that the payouts be compacted a little more, meaning that 8 or 16 players walk out of the tournament hall with a profit, as opposed to one or two making really good money, and the rest not even getting close to covering their expenses.

    Whether Chris quits or not, this should make people think a little more. Even though the PDC Prize money seems great, it really only is for the "top few", and that "top few" clearly doesn't include someone who is ranked a very creditable 18th at the moment. It's no good lining the pockets of half a dozen players, and leaving the rest to struggle for the scraps.

    Even though the financial situation as far as tournaments in the US is far different from that in the UK, it is all relative. Yes, we need to promote the "very" best, but if the top 20 players in the PDC aren't making money (considering how much prize money there is), then that really is sad.

    Unfortunately, top-heavy payouts can kill, particularly when there are three or four really dominant players. Sure, players like Phil and Barney should be rewarded for their efforts, but don't you think that players like Mason, Dudbridge, and others, merit some kind of decent reward also? If you're good enough to get into the World's Top 20, with all that money around, you deserve to make money.

    Over here, there's nothing wrong with Johnny, Ray, and Darin getting rewarded, but we need more players to be MAKING money. Don't give it all to the top two or four, as some suggest.

    If American tournaments started doing the same thing, sure, you'd make a handful of players very happy, but you would also see a bunch of excellent shooters forced out of the sport because the T8 or even T4 money wasn't enough to pay for their expenses. Is that what we want?

    I'm not prepared to get into further heated discussions about this; I simply thought that this story, and apparently one of the main reasons behind it, was worth sharing.

    Steve
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    dsm1mtm
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    It is unfortunate that someone who is top 18 in the world doesn't have a sponsorship. Perhaps history has something to do with it.
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Steve, is the interview available online? If so, please post a link, I'd like to read it.
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    chunky
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    It's at http://stuartpyke.com/ **link fixed** Unfortunately, I'm still having some bizarre computer problems, meaning that I can't access or link certain things. In fact, I was only able to access part of the interview on another forum.

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    chunky
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    dsm1mtm wrote:
    It is unfortunate that someone who is top 18 in the world doesn't have a sponsorship. Perhaps history has something to do with it.


    Maybe so, but it's still a sad reflection of the state of the game, when, even with all the money available, someone ranked as high as that makes (before expenses and taxes) less than 30,000 GBP in two years. That is really the point I am making.

    Of course, I spent most of the time from 1993 to 2003 in the World's Top 20, including much of that in the Top 10, and I still couldn't get a sponsorship.

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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    That's really too bad!

    Maybe I'm one of those looking at it wrong. I guess I don't know.

    Would it be better to even the pay out a bit more?

    Look at the Mid-Columbia we've been paying out $300 to first and about $30 to Top 8 but what would it do to change that?

    The top players want to earn something for their efforts so they look at 1st place payouts first, then look down the line from there. It felt good to get $90 for Top 4 though, so what can I say? It's a small event and maybe Top 8 is the right way to go, but perhaps raising that payout from $30 to say $50 which would be a profit of $18 but that means we have to cut $80 out of the rest.

    So:

    1st $300 or say $260
    2nd $150 or say $130
    3rd-4th $90 or say $80
    5th-8th $30 or maybe $50

    What would you prefer?
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: sponsorships Reply with quote

    It's hard to find a sponsor in darts unless you have rich relative with deep pockets. It's sad when a player with Chris' talent quiting the game because he can't even break even
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    PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Sad to hear that Chris might have to quit the game competitvely - what a fabulous talent. Guess that really does put the careers of many of the best darters here in this country as well as around the world in perspective. Sad

    I think that everyone is essentially on the same track on this one, just coming at it from different directions. Eric thinks we need more of a payout at the top....and we do! Chunky thinks we need more of a payout for all of the top finishers....and we do!

    I don't think we can short either end of the spectrum and expect to be both fair and successful. And therein lies the problem, because there isn't enough money here in America to support both ends very well. But someone or some group needs to figure out a way or darts will continue to just be a fun past time here. And as Chunky pointed out, even in the Mecca of England, they don't have the formula down yet. Darts is a skill sport - no two ways about it - and especially in the longer format that everyone wants, there will be very few accidents. The best players will win pretty much all the time. We have several hundred very good players in this country, and were all of them to play, it would get very very exclusive up there at the top 8 positions. I think a lot of people would quit playing simply because they had no chance at the top 32, let alone the top 8, and virtually no chance of making money if the cost of tournaments went to where it needs to be to provide the money for payoffs at both ends.

    Regardless what people say, I don't believe it is a simple problem with a simple solution. I wish it was.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I´ve read the article as well and was astonished, that such a player as Chris Mason has such a problem to find a sponsor.

    Some might argue that it is his behaviour, I don´t indend to judge this.
    He might be a difficult person, but other good players might be that as well, but he really is a good player.

    I agree with Steve, that somehow the present system has some flaws.
    If you want Pro dart players and there is enough money, you should share out this money so that not only the top ten players are able to live by playing darts.
    I can´t see the money is as much a problem in the UK as it is in US, there is a lot of money in those PDC tournaments, but if the top 1 player is a millionaire and the top 18 player thinks about giving up his sport, because he can´t find a sponsor something is wrong.

    And I think, Erik, to even the pay out definitely would help, though it might be not as simple.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I think that, eventually, there needs to be a pay-structure like other types of sports have where all of the contestants get SOMETHING, but those with the highest point totals at the end of the season get a big bonus.

    That way it keeps the competitors going to each event, but the best still get the larger rewards later.

    Obviously this is an approach more suited to the PDC and not for each individual event.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Fwiw, that link doesn't work for me. Brings up some domain registration (site.)

    What are people expecting sponsors to pay, and pay for? They're in it for ROI, plain and simple. Or are we talking about finding sugar-daddy's so that someone can play darts for a living? If so then I want in! Cool Players with big name recognition and marketability are going to get the support endorsements just like any sport. I don't know Chris Mason but is sponsoring him going to bring bigger sales to the sponsor? More paying attendance at a ticketed match? More public good will with the visibility? Is there more visibility beyond the immediate match (i.e., television?). Basically, what's in it for the sponsor? Are there other types of sponsors that may appeal to the demographics of the rest of us who still need to work for a living? Something beyond dart suppliers or beverage makers? What's going to take the sponsorship beyond the core of dartists? That's what needs to be resolved, and once that's figured out then sponsors will start to line up. Unless there's somewhere a queue of avid fans lining up to get good seats at a $3,500 tournament that I haven't heard about ....
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Chris talks about it here:

    http://www.starsofdarts.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7047
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    The first link doesn't appear to be registered for me either and the last one requires me to become a member...

    I take it the interview isn't anywhere that the general public can view it?
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    Skizrock
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    http://stuartpyke.com/
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    click on this:

    http://www.stuartpyke.com/
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    FYI - Those URL's both resolve to the same site (which DOES come up), so I'll go see if I can find the interview.

    Thx! Wink
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    chunky
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Barjo, my original post was not meant to question the lack of personal sponsorships, but to highlight the fact that even with all the money in PDC events these days, players who are ranked among the very best in the world struggle to make it on prize money alone. I do feel that there is something wrong with tournament payouts if that is the case.

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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    barjo wrote:
    Fwiw, that link doesn't work for me. Brings up some domain registration (site.)

    What are people expecting sponsors to pay, and pay for? They're in it for ROI, plain and simple. Or are we talking about finding sugar-daddy's so that someone can play darts for a living? If so then I want in! Cool Players with big name recognition and marketability are going to get the support endorsements just like any sport. I don't know Chris Mason but is sponsoring him going to bring bigger sales to the sponsor? More paying attendance at a ticketed match? More public good will with the visibility? Is there more visibility beyond the immediate match (i.e., television?). Basically, what's in it for the sponsor? Are there other types of sponsors that may appeal to the demographics of the rest of us who still need to work for a living? Something beyond dart suppliers or beverage makers? What's going to take the sponsorship beyond the core of dartists? That's what needs to be resolved, and once that's figured out then sponsors will start to line up. Unless there's somewhere a queue of avid fans lining up to get good seats at a $3,500 tournament that I haven't heard about ....
    I think you are on the right track . . . visibility . . . I mean I don't even know who sponsors Raymond Barneveld . . . I'd have to look it up. It's not as painfully obvious as it should be. As far as I can tell it's just event sponsors and Barney Rubble that sponsor Raymond. The sponsors name should be on the back of their shirts, not their own names.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Chunky, though I didn't address payouts my comments on sponsorships apply to personal sponsorships as well as sponsorship of events or the sport in general. Payouts may seem skewed to favor some, but they're often the ones bringing in the money too. I'd love to see a more equitable payout system though I have no idea what that means. I think of struggling to make the money round only to get $2 less than my entry fee - very frustrating. But if the winner is paid less to compensate the runners up, then it seems less attractive to the better players. I think ultimately sponsorship success in this area is going to depend on the ability to grow the popularity of the sport. Build it and they will come.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    chunky wrote:
    Barjo, my original post was not meant to question the lack of personal sponsorships, but to highlight the fact that even with all the money in PDC events these days, players who are ranked among the very best in the world struggle to make it on prize money alone. I do feel that there is something wrong with tournament payouts if that is the case.

    Steve


    I do agree with this Steve, but a certain guy on the PDC board wants to get rid of everybody but top 16 anyway so that payouts wont be a problem then. Leaving one dictatorship for another.

    You know as well as me and anyone else half clued up they'll never change the payout. People moan at Bobby George for labelling PDC as 'Phils Dart Club' but its definately true.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Barry_French wrote:
    I do agree with this Steve, but a certain guy on the PDC board wants to get rid of everybody but top 16 anyway so that payouts wont be a problem then. Leaving one dictatorship for another.


    Funny, isn't it, Baz? They want people to join, they want to take their money, and then when everybody has committed themselves, they want to dump them... Actually, I knew something like this would come.

    When the PDC (or then WDC) was first formed, although we took plenty of abuse for having so few ("hand-picked", they used to say in error and jealousy) players, we used to pride ourselves on it not being a "closed shop"; everyone was welcome. We went solely on Rankings. There were no invitations or Wild Cards; everyone was equal, and had an equal chance. Look how things have changed...

    I hate to say it, but this is a prime example of how money can ruin sport. Sure, we want more money, but when too much goes to too few, people start feeling "used", and rightly so.

    You know, people still think I'm stupid for wanting to play in the World Masters and Lakeside World Championship instead of committing to the PDPA and the North American tour!

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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    chunky wrote:
    Funny, isn't it, Baz? They want people to join, they want to take their money, and then when everybody has committed themselves, they want to dump them... Actually, I knew something like this would come.

    When the PDC (or then WDC) was first formed, although we took plenty of abuse for having so few ("hand-picked", they used to say in error and jealousy) players, we used to pride ourselves on it not being a "closed shop"; everyone was welcome. We went solely on Rankings. There were no invitations or Wild Cards; everyone was equal, and had an equal chance. Look how things have changed...

    I hate to say it, but this is a prime example of how money can ruin sport. Sure, we want more money, but when too much goes to too few, people start feeling "used", and rightly so.

    You know, people still think I'm stupid for wanting to play in the World Masters and Lakeside World Championship instead of committing to the PDPA and the North American tour!

    Steve


    They had to open the shop door so they could syphon any potential talent. Its my opinion that now they have young players (in dart terms) like Colin Osbourne, Mick McGowan, Barrie Bates, Ady lewis, james Wade and on and on and on, they do not want any more players.

    What confuses me to this day is that the PDC pride themselves on being better than the BDO, and Mr Hearn has tried to drag them through the mud, yet he makes 'deals' to get their best players and treats them better and hypes them more than anybody else in PDC. What a laughable situation.

    From what I've been told by some who started playing PDC a couple of years ago, its the UK Open and the amount of new faces it brings that has prevented the PDC from turning completely stale.

    The PDC are investing in Holland, yet the World Darts Trophy was (until a day or two ago) never a certainty and the BDO side of things has gone downhill - their Premier League set up by Ad Schoofs got ditched, and the IDL was a disaster waiting to happen. They should do what people have suggested, tap into the Asian market a little more. Darts was great when Barney was a world champion for the first time, I get the feeling it is now on the decline, and not the hotbed people say it once was. Why i don't know. But attendances are poor to live events and the TV coverage isnt as professional as what MatchroomSport do with the PDC.



    As far as money goes, its a difficult one because Ray and Phil are ahead of everybody in terms of skill. They deserve all that they get because they are great.

    But they (PDC and Sky) dont realise that there are 30 other world class players and even more waiting to earn that title themselves! The hype machine is revitalising spectator darts but ruining darts for the players. Perhaps not too similar to the BDO split.

    Money talks [can't say that here!] walks
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Barry_French wrote:
    Its my opinion that now they have young players (in dart terms) like Colin Osbourne, Mick McGowan, Barrie Bates, Ady lewis, james Wade and on and on and on, they do not want any more players.


    That's an interesting philosophy - yet plausible. Perhaps they don't want any more players now, unless they're Dutch of course. Still, it was once the Americans that they wanted, so I wonder what will happen when they tire of the Dutch...

    Quote:
    Mr Hearn has tried to drag them through the mud, yet he makes 'deals' to get their best players and treats them better and hypes them more than anybody else in PDC.


    That really is something that irks me, too.

    Quote:
    its the UK Open and the amount of new faces it brings that has prevented the PDC from turning completely stale.


    Understandable, but obviously, there are certain new faces they want, and certain old faces they want also.

    Quote:
    I get the feeling it is now on the decline, and not the hotbed people say it once was. Why i don't know.


    Too much politics, too much favoritism, too much crap going on.

    Quote:
    As far as money goes, its a difficult one because Ray and Phil are ahead of everybody in terms of skill. They deserve all that they get because they are great.


    I agree 100%.

    Quote:
    But they (PDC and Sky) dont realise that there are 30 other world class players and even more waiting to earn that title themselves!


    That is the exact point behind me starting this thread, and unfortunately, I know that Sky do have a major say in things.

    Quote:
    The hype machine is revitalising spectator darts but ruining darts for the players. Perhaps not too similar to the BDO split.


    That 's the thing; the players are the ones who are having to deal with the crap. The PDC used to revolve around the players, now they are just political pawns.

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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    What do you think will happen when the players start a UNION? That is a word no one likes, but it usually works in relation to the lesser getting screwed. You think they would drop everyone that joined? Well, that is where the players are in charge, or should be. They are the ones bringing in the names. Most folks won't go to a live event due to knowing that they will eventually be watching Phil or Raymond in the end. Kirk Shepherd, the guy I played first round of the UK Open, had a great crowd behind him. Moreso than Phil actually. Even though they booed me after I won, it was great to hear them cheering him on. I think new players will bring new spectators. Look at the WSOD and the US Open, I think there was a pretty good crowd there for that and believe if someone from the US would have gotten on stage the place would have been packed.
    Just my thoughts.
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    RogerCarter wrote:
    What do you think will happen when the players start a UNION?


    We already have one - the PDPA. The problem I always found though, is that most of the players can't (or won't) look at the overall picture; they are only interested in themselves. Remember, I've been to a lot of PDPA meetings, and I took a lot of crap from other players. You know I will have my say!

    Quote:
    You think they would drop everyone that joined? Well, that is where the players are in charge, or should be.


    I agree, but I do fear that even though there is unrest within the association, many will be scared of losing what they have now (ie one certain individual who at least gives them POTENTIAL earnings), which will result in a loss of TV, and of course, major tournament sponsors.

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