Kickball in the City

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

At least someone gets privileges

I remember an American Express ad campaign that featured the "Membership has privileges" slogan as its centerpiece. Being in kickball can kind of be like that. When you go to the bar with a bunch of other sweaty alcoholics after games and people not with the league try to infiltrate their is an immediate "they are not one of us" mentality that takes over. It's good in some ways, it keeps the unwanteds off of the females and it helps to give people a sense of belonging. Not so good because it is often the genesis of beer muscle fights. But what other privileges are there?

Well, cheap beer is one. Due to the vast amounts of crappy beer consumed, kickballers get a nice reduction in pitcher prices at most bars. Usually there are food and rail drink specials as well. DC Kickball and NAKID have also gotten some non-rail drink specials.

Cheap or free parties three times a season is another. It's nice to be able to pay either nothing (my preference, as NAKID does) or little (as WAKA and DC Kickball do) and be able to drink for usually 3-4 hours. Non-members always have to pay more. So that's another privilege.

However, in looking over the three main leagues in DC one should have a huge advantage over the others in privileges - via partnerships - than the others. I speak of course of the Kash guys and WAKA. One of the major draws for belonging to a "national organization" is that they usually offer far greater benefits than smaller competing places. This should especially be true if the organization going to charge you more to belong to it. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Looking over the Kash guy's sponsor list I see Mikasa, the guys who provide their kickballs. That sponsorship doesn't make the kickballs any cheaper to buy through WAKA. In fact, if you buy a WAKA kickball in a store it's actually cheaper than buying it on their website. No privileges there. Game Time Travel is another sponsor. Any looking on Expedia or Travelocity though will usually get you cheaper rates than they (called Lame Time by some 'ballers) find you. Not much of a privilege.

Next I find Umm, ok. I click on it and you have to fill out a form to find out what the discount is. I'm sure Shonika is a fine person, but this seems like those damn faxes I get incessantly offering me great discounts if I buy through them instead a real Cingular dealer. Shady to say the least. I'm not sure much cheaper than if I negotiated a deal on my own. And actually, it doesn't tell you what she actually does on her site. Creepy privileges there. Last there is someone named Amy Walsh who has a company named Kickball Media Works. I have no idea what she does. I think they bought from her and promised to giver a link. Only privilege is for Amy there.

Oh yeah, there is also Miller Light, the sponsor beer in DC. Well, we all get privileges from that one, as I mentioned before.

I thought about this because I got an email from a WAKA rep that sent me a flier:

I thought, "Well, this is something". Except it only works if you are going with someone. It will save me $5, which is a beer and a tip. Beggars can't be choosers though so it's okay. Then I went on the Lindy Promo website and found their flier:

Hmm. Okay, so if I go alone and use the Lindy flier I save money and I can pre-register and not have to wait in line. I wondered why this part was left off the WAKA flier. Then it dawned on me: Use the WAKA flier, that Kash guys get a kickback. Register online and save yourself some time and money and they get nothing. Same thing with Shonika, they get a cut. I called Game Time, same thing there too.

At least they stayed true to the beer sponsor and removed the Bud and Bud Light logos from the flier, though they are still pimping a competing beer. I wonder if this will impact the amount they get from Miller Lite next year...

I don't begrudge the Kash guys making money, but how about negotiating sponsorships that actually benefit customers too? Like some place to be cleats or knee high socks. I have detailed before why they can't get national sponsorships with Nike, et al. but something with all of their alleged kickball might would be nice. What's the sense of playing more money to be a "World Kickball Champion" if you can't at least get something out of it?

But then, the Kash guys do get theirs. I guess our membership does get privileges - just not for us.


  • Actually, even Amazon sells WAKA-logo kickballs cheaper than at the WAKA store. Only by $.20, but point remains.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:58 PM  

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