Editorial

Our Lancaster Polo Buyout

April 1, 2014
RIP Lancaster

RIP Lancaster

We couldn’t be happier to announce that as of next Monday, April 7th, Lancaster Polo will become a part of 3-2-1 Polo! After long negotiations with Lancaster Polo’s owner and Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Kabik, we will be buying out Lancaster Polo. Kabik will become a Staff Writer for 3-2-1 Polo reporting on East coast matters and beyond. To get Kabik to sign onto the deal, 3-2-1 Polo has agreed to send him to the 2015 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Champions in Montpelier, France to cover the event for our website. When asked for a word on the buyout for this post, Kabik said “Hey, at least I can afford to go to worlds now!”

Every week it seems that Lancaster Polo pushes out better and better content, so much so that we saw them surpassing 3-2-1 Polo as the leading site for hardcourt journalism. We felt that the best thing for our site, in the long run, was to have Matthew Kabik join our staff. After the move to Portland and bouncing between a couple jobs, it’s become increasingly harder to consistently put out fresh content. With the addition of Kabik to the staff, we will be able to publish original and compelling articles on a more regular basis. Not only that, but with a reporter on the East coast, we will be able to cover more tournaments this coming season. We’re very excited to have Kabik’s content writing skills in our arsenal.

As mentioned above, Lancaster will not officially become part of 3-2-1 Polo until next Monday. This will give us time to transfer over all the old content from Lancaster, before the blog will be directly linked to ours. We don’t want Matthew Kabik’s fantastic work to be lost, so you’ll be able to find all the articles on our website.

We are so excited for this and I hope you guys are too. Mark this day on your calendar, it’s going to be a monumental in the future of bike polo coverage! Welcome to the team Matthew Kabik, let’s kick some bike polo journalistic butt!

Hot Tip

Your Guide To Getting Sponsors

March 5, 2014
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I was asked to do a little write up on how to get sponsors for your club/team. I assume this is due to my perceived super powers in attracting big names like Pabst, Great Lakes Distillery, Panaracer, Nomad World Pub, Griessmeyer Law, and Milwaukee Bicycle Co. See what I did there…

Lesson 1: Always mention your sponsors whenever you can. That’s what they pay for (either through product or cash) so don’t be shy about saying their name.

Lesson 2: You are too late already. If you are reading this in March 2014 it is too late for most sponsors to help you out this year. Most companies set their advertising/sponsor budgets in September-November for the upcoming year. That being said, a sponsor still might be willing or able to come on mid seasons, so be welcoming to smaller donations. Don’t turn away anyone who wants to help you (see also Lesson 9).

Lesson 3: Start with folks you know. You think I just sent an email to info@pabstblueribbon.com and they said “Sure, we will give you money and product”? Umm nope! I knew the rep in our city and I asked him nicely. He has since left and we have been passed on to each new rep to work with because we built a good relationship with the company through the years. So if you are a socially awkward introvert, maybe someone else in your club should do the schmoozing.

Lesson 4: Know your ask ahead of time. Did you read the GQ article on the Beavers? The Sram guy asked Dillman what he wanted and he wasn’t ready with an answer. Now I love Bri Bri and he probably didn’t expect Sram to ask that question so straight forward, but that leads to the next lesson…

Lesson 5: Be ready to strike a deal at any time. You never know who you’ll run into or who is interested in sponsoring you, so be ready all the time. Which again leads into next lesson…

Lesson 6: Make the ask appropriate for who you’re asking. Don’t ask your local bar for a $5000 sponsorship right off the bat; they will think you’re crazy, or worse…dumb. Now, they may be willing to go big for you, but let them offer to do that. In direct opposition to what I just said “if they don’t say ‘No’ you aren’t asking for enough.”

Lesson 7: Start Local. I know we travel around the globe playing this game, but only a few companies are going to be interested in reaching the person in Japan who follows your club on Facebook. Most clubs have the biggest impact and exposure locally. So go after those local bars, bike companies and shops, or law firms that are in your town before calling up Chris King.

Lesson 8: Keep in touch and send them a Year in Review letter. This should include what events you attended and how you placed, how many hits your webpage got, and maybe a short funny or cool story or two. This will help in making the ask for them to stay with you for another year of support as well. Don’t just do it at the end of the year; keep in touch throughout the year by sending them pics of your club and others with their product. Be sure to show them how you used their money in the shot.

Lesson 9: Be creative in your partnerships. Don’t be mad when they won’t give you cash, maybe they can offer other services. This Is called “in-kind” donations. Maybe they can give you tons of beer, get your jerseys printed for cheap, or offer up a free rental space to host a fundraiser. Be open and willing to work out deals for things other than cash.

Lesson 10: Don’t have competing sponsors. You know how you hear “Rogain; the official men’s hair regrowth product of Major League Baseball” etc. For instance, we had approached New Belgium Brewing about some partnerships but they were concerned about our partnership with Pabst. Although Pabst and I saw it as not really being in competition since they’re different types of beer, New Belgium felt that beer was beer. This is not to say you can’t approach competitors or mention you might be talking to one of their competitors, that’s just business, but be wary so you don’t lose both opportunities because you got greedy.

Lesson 11: None of what I said will help you. Each city, club, potential sponsor is different. These are just some things I have learned over the years.

I hope this helps your club and the sport grow. Good luck!

– Captain Jake
Milwaukee Bike Polo

Product

Canadian Goon Guard

March 3, 2014
Goon Guard

Goon Guard

Let’s face it, v-brakes are out and disc brakes are in.

With players taking the sport more and more seriously, there is no room for taking time off, especially for weather. We all know God Hates Bike Polo, so if you want to show off all 100% of your skills at a tournament, you have to run disc brakes. You wont be able to find yourself in a tournament final if the clouds start pissing downward and you’re running anything but disc brakes.

While disc brakes can be a literal life saver in poor weather conditions, they do come with one huge set back: the rotor. Until the day comes when humans can make a rotor that is lightweight and indestructible, we are stuck adding a guard to our forks to protect our rotors.

The newest guard on the market comes to us from a Canuck known for being a beast on the team Big Country. Henry Norris has been a metal fabricator for the last five years at Pyramid Metal Works, and after not feeling satisfied with the current guards on the market, decided to put his skills to good use. From his skills, we now have the Goon Guard.

These corrosive resistant stainless steel guards will be laser cut for precision and TIG welded for strength. Norris told us that the Goon Guard was designed in such a way that “in the event of a large impact it will bend before it transmits the force of that impact to your disc tab and fork.” After the guard absorbs the impact, it can easily be realigned. This can happen many times without it affecting the strength of the metal.

This guard will only run you $65! If you’re interested in picking up a Goon Guard, or if you have any more questions about it, hit up Henry Norris via email at henry@pyramidmetalworks.com. To stay up to date with the progress of the Goon Guard, follow @pyramidmetalworks on Instagram.

Video

Bike Polo Hits Bucharest

February 28, 2014
bucharest bike polo

For a final-day-of-the-work-week treat, we have a great little edit from Bucharest, Romania. I love hearing about new clubs popping up in cities all over the world, especially when they show us what it’s like to play where they live. Enjoy Bucharest and enjoy the video!

 

Editorial

Heckling Hardcourt – Vol. 3

February 27, 2014
HecklingHardcourt

HecklingHardcourt

Heckle Fodder
Ironically, I couldn’t really appreciate the hilarious amount of shit talking potential between the Americans and the Canadians until I lived in Australia. The Aussies know their smack talking, and can out heckle the rest of us scumbags by FAAAAAR, and out chant us too (if you have yet to hear one of Jordie’s super catchy chants you are missing out).  What fuels the Australian heckles more than anything are their neighbors to the East, New Zealand. They poke fun at the Kiwi accent in a way that is ridiculous magical, which can only be summed up by this image:
cat-riding-a-fire-breathing-unicorn-16414-1280x800Photo from Krista Carlson’s Facebook (she knows how to internet)

It was here that I discovered that the Aussies are to the Kiwi’s as Mericans are to Canucks, and that I have been missing out on some quality heckling. Now it’s time to put in some serious homework, or heckle practice if you will, before I head to Toronto for Ladies Army. I know I’m behind the times when it comes to many movies, but in celebration of Beer Week one of my favorite local theatres played Strange Brew. Admittedly, I am ashamed to say I had never seen it.  My beard shrieked in horror, once he found out, insisting we go watch it.
strange-brew-original

Now I know what I have been missing my whole life, and probably need to watch a few more times to fully get my fake hoser accent down. Since I have a lot of love for my neighbors in the North, there is no better way to show it then working on my Canadian Call.

See you Jerks soon.

- Sam