London, UK -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/22/2008 -- The event organisers, Pure Rush Promotions, in liaison with Extreme Mayhem, last week made the difficult decision to delay the European 5 Man Paintball Championships until 2008.
After months of preparation and hard work, planning, promoting and marketing the event, this was a painful conclusion brought about by, in the end, the harsh reality that only 20 UK teams were in a position to commit. While the response from Europe was notably stronger than last year, teams essentially fund Paintball Tournaments, and had the event proceeded with less than 40 teams, not only would it have undermined credibility in the Euro 5 Man competition, it would have resulted in a substantial financial loss.
Warren Maxwell of Pure Rush Promotions said “with the backing and support of Ex Mayhem and one4one TV, the strongest marketing campaign to date, supported by PGi, local media and all our partners, an excellent prize purse plus a stadium-full of spectators and entertainments, we had every confidence of delivering an exceptional ‘land-mark’ tournament. The Euro 5 Man has been well supported over the last 5 years and in 2005 44 teams participated.
Our initial conclusion was that holding the Euro 5 Man at the end of the season might have been a misjudgement – and this may still be true, however over recent weeks we have personally called every UK team on our database and we are faced with a worryingly long list of teams that have completely disbanded, or teams short of members and/or funding. In addition key paintball brands that are most active in team sponsorship failed, for whatever reasons, to really get behind the Euro 5 Man this year and we clearly need to understand why. We are of course bitterly disappointed but certainly not beaten”.
These observations are echoed in hard statistics provided by The Millennium Series, Europe’s top tournament series. UK team participation has steadily declined by over 30% in the last 4 years with only 50 UK teams in the 2007 season, compared to no less than 112 French teams. Even more telling: national team support is obviously strongest when their country hosts that leg of the series, and French teams consistently account for +40% of all teams playing when the series hits French soil, however here in the England, UK team participation dropped from 39% in 2006 to an alarming 29.7% in 2007!
Duncan Farber said “it is clear that while the UK is reputedly Europe’s biggest paintball-playing nation, the competitive side of the sport is suffering a decline. We must also conclude that the cost of participation is a significant factor. While we support regional leagues and indeed the Super League concept (encouraging migration from woodland to tournament paintball at grass-roots level) as best we can, it remains a critical challenge to also retain teams and in this respect the established tournament leagues here in the UK clearly have a job on their hands.
The cost of league tournament participation is, in general terms, evidently too high to be sustainable, particularly with so much historic reliance upon sponsorship, and we are working closely with Pure Rush to rework the financial model. It’s clearly important to draw paintball into the wider extreme sports arena, diminish the cost of team participation and generate funding revenue’s elsewhere. As a one-off stand-alone event, the Euro 5 Man championship is the perfect testing ground”.
Pure Rush and Extreme Mayhem would like to thank the event sponsors, the teams who never wavered and everyone who gave such generous support this year, including (in no particular order) The Scottish Warriors, The Ghurkhas, Jewson, Warped Sports, Raw State, Manic, Regency Marquees, PGi, one4one TV, Viledge, Draxxus, Ex Time, Paintball Kit Magazine, Paramina, Funtrak, and Juggling Inferno.
Spectators who purchased tickets to attend the event will be contacted and fully refunded, and all paintball teams have been informed.