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Am Open signs Diablo
by Bill Mills
In the midst of the excitement of World Cup, Team Effort Events made a significant announcement. The 2002 International Amateur Open would have a new major sponsor, Diablo paintballs.
2002 will represent the 12th year for the International Amateur Open produced under the experienced guidance of Debra Krischke and the staff of Team Effort Events. In it's first year, California Magnum paintballs was the major sponsor, followed by Zap Paintballs for the following 10 years. 32 Degrees joined Zap for a joint sponsorship in 2001. A few weeks prior to World Cup all three parties (Zap, 32 Degrees and Team Effort Events) announced that the long standing sponsorship would not be renewed for 2002.
At a press conference in Celebration, FL Debra and Ryan Krischke confirmed what many in paintball suspected would happen. Diablo Paintballs stepped in to become the event's major sponsor. They were joined by Dick's Sporting Goods, a chain of more than 125 regional sporting goods stores, which will serve as the tournament's presenting sponsor (Dick's Sporting Goods presents The Diablo International Open).
This new alliance is meant to do more than merely provide financial support. Diablo is bringing aboard the tournament promoting and playing expertise of Dan Bonebrake, Paul Bollenbach and Steve Rabakoff. In addition to working at Diablo/Diablo-Direct these three are experienced professional paintball players and successful tournament promoters in their own right. A planned new feature for the Diablo International Amateur Open is the Nation's Cup, in which teams representing each of a number of nations will compete for top prize. The Nations Cup will be the first time that professional paintball players have been allowed at the IAO. This format will bring the excitement of pro level paintball without pitting the pros against newer amateurs on the field. It has not yet been decided whether the American team will be an all star dream team, or an existing pro team chosen on the basis of having won the NPPL series or World Cup.
Dick's Sporting goods plans to bring
their marketing power to the table. Over 40 weeks each year, Dick's
places advertising inserts in over 15 million US newspapers. It is
planned that some of these inserts will include advertising for the Diablo
International Open. Based on her experience launching the Spyder
Cup with wide based marketing Krischke is expecting that Dick's support
will bring in many, many new players who will get their first taste of
tournament paintball at the 2002 Diablo International Amateur Open.
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