Sponsorships, pitfals and all thing in between

It’s out of your control. Your managers might have a pool on how many times you’ll clock out early this year. Your insurance company is certainly betting they won’t have to pay out more than you pay them. Your bank is betting you’ll pay your bills or they’ll take your stuff.
I’m betting you think it’s generally icky but you can’t be bothered enough to do something about it.

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Those discussions are all irrelevant. I enter into loans or employment voluntarily and I can always get out of a job or sell or pay off a loan. I did not authorize mybookie or anyone else to make vig off a wager on my efforts or my name.

It’s pretty clear from the article that was a reference to the betting line not being profitable, in the estimation of the person writing the article. In other words, the line set by the bookie was too high and not a good bet. It had nothing at all to do with the player himself.

No other participants in sporting events have any say in the matter either.

You can contact MyBookie and opt out, in which case you will be moved to the field.


I mean aren’t the betting lines set by mybookie, who is also authoring that take?

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They also bank on the bonus rollover requirements

So your logic is those are OK because you don’t have to participate.
Simply apply that same logic to this situation. Your problem is solved without affecting anyone else.

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I’m fine with any sponsorship short of human trafficking.

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Pretty much.

Sponsorship is the lifeblood of any sport, and its the only way we can break the current bargain basement pinball tournament model of “two days in a depressing hotel breakout room with a $600 payout for first place with nobody watching” rut we find our “why arent we on espn?!” sport mired in.

Do we find ourself in that rut? Is anyone disappointed it’s not on ESPN? I get hoping it might be some day, but is anyone honestly thinking “damn, this sucks, this hobby of mine that’s so fun isn’t on TV, this stinks?”


To be clear, I don’t have a strong opinion either way on betting. I just wonder how anyone thinks pinball is in a “rut?” Its similarly or not to other “sports” doesn’t seem like the only metric we should measure it by.

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I’m not entirely convinced that the average viewer would find pinball interesting. Cornhole, darts, sumo and the other things they show outside of the big 5 US sports are at least easily understood and a bit more physical, at least on the surface, than pinball. They also show the person playing the sport whereas in pinball the camera would be on the playfield almost all the time. I think from a pure ratings standpoint ESPN made the right call.


The ref to espn is more akin to the holy land of “tv level money”. With tv air time comes more exposure, more ad dollars, etc and bigger sponsorship investments.

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Which means what, though?

Exposure to a bigger and new audience.

We’re all here because we love pinball, but we’re also getting older. Without exposure to a new, younger audience then pinball will die with the rest of us.

I think we’re seeing a great resurgence at the moment. There are some staggeringly talented young players that have found this hobby, and the growth of pinball manufacturing also suggests things are heading in the right direction.

If pinball is truly hoping to be labelled as a sport, then sports betting, for all its downsides, is just part of that. You don’t have to love it, but it’s just another sign that things are going the right direction in my opinion


Sure, and I think that’s pretty normal. Lines get set then the PR department gets going and drums up articles about it. Maybe the action they’re getting isn’t what they want so they try to steer it a certain way.

It means (or could mean) a lot of things…

  • people who dedicate their lives to this, might be able to afford things outside of ramen noodles
  • actual pro level players, who can do this full time
  • thereby increasing incentive for others to try and follow that model (thereby increasing participation, revenue to operators and manufacturers, etc)
  • large tournament organizers not having to make the choice between what’s cheap/easy/“doable” vs what would be badass/entertaining/actually engaging
  • getting away from the model of organizers doing it out of love/emotion, and actually potentially being compensated for their time/energy/ideas

There is a funding problem in pinball in general. Anything that seeds money into that is a great thing IMO!



Instead of a dark, depressing hotel breakout room, tournaments held in theaters, ballrooms, arenas, stadiums.

Instead of tournaments being completely self funded by players; production, infrastructure, and prizes could be funded all or in part by sponsors and ticket sales, opening up possibilities to make everything more exciting, lively, and lucrative.

Instead of a few stragglers and family members watching the last rounds of a tournament at 6pm Sunday live, actual paying spectators cheering on finalists.

Instead of zero production values live, all circuit-Sized events could have stages, jumbo trons, light shows, pro sound and more.

Proper funding to ensure that high quality streaming teams with high quality gear can consistently broadcast all large tournaments

Sing with me!:

Imagine there’s some excitement
It’s easy if you try

A little elbow room, and some hype
Prize packages that are high

Imagine all the players, ranked in USA Today

Oh ohhhhh, oh. You may say I’m a dreamer.

But I’m not the only one.

Maybe some day you’ll join us.

And we can all make this all a lot more fun.


What are my personal odds? I am obviously worse than the field.

In order to fill those arenas you need a lot more tournaments in hotel breakout rooms, arcades, community centers etc. in order to develop a player and fan base.