Contest, Product

And The PoloPack Winner Is…

April 17, 2014
PoloPack Winner

Thank you all for participating in this contest, and thank you all even more for supporting us and Black Star Bags! A huge shout out to Black Star Bags for helping us out with this contest. If you are not lucky enough to be the winner, be sure to hit them up and pick up your own today. They are officially for sale NOW, starting at only $210. Hit up PoloPacks@gmail.com to pick one up!

Anyway, here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! After two days of Swiss rounds and double elimination bracket on the third day, the winner of the win-it-before-you-can-buy-it PoloPack from Black Star Bags is…

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Alias Seiichi Tagami of Washington, DC!
PoloPack WinnerCongratulations Alias!

Editorial

Heckling Hardcourt – Vol. 4

April 15, 2014

HecklingHardcourt

Crowd-sourcing Your Competitive Vacation

One of the best aspects of the polo community is the generous nature of its members. In general folks don’t have a lot to give but are willing to give what they can, and that rules, but it’s beginning to feel like folks are taking advantage of our willingness to give.

Typically, when people are looking to raise money to travel or host an event, they do some type of fundraiser. The San Francisco Bike Messenger Association does a couple of bake sales in the panhandle each year to raise money for their annual alleycat weekend. Other people get some prizes donated and host a raffle to raise money. Hell, even selling some shirts to raise money to get to a tournament is rad because all of these way to raise money require effort. Raising money to travel to tournaments is hard, but our supportive community usually jumps at the effort to help out and, maybe, get some schaw in return for the hard efforts.

As internet crowd-sourcing becomes more and more popular for everyone’s bullshit company ideas (http://yourkickstartersucks.tumblr.com/), more polo teams and individuals are asking for donations to fund their trip to a polo tournament. Something really rubs me the wrong way about folks just expecting people to give them money for nothing in return except their own good time at their competitive vacation. Although, admittedly, the one exception I have to this (sorry Aaron) is Crusher of Lancaster Polo. That dude provides us with great content and reports about bike polo, and shit I feel guilty for not donating yet!

The rest of you, get it together. Asking people to fund something and not at least giving them a patch, shirt, or anything is kinda like breaking rule number one of polo in the crowdfunding world; especially considering the helpful and willingness nature of the polo community. So all you rule number one breakers out there, I’m calling you out!

With that said, if anyone wants a Les Femmes Des Crem shirt to help us get to Ladies Army 666, holla! (soooo shameless)

Sam

Contest, Product

Win a Black Star Bags Polo Pack!

April 2, 2014
Black Star 321 Polo Contest

Black Star 321 Polo Contest

For nearly a month now we have been posting teaser pictures on Instagram of the first hardcourt bike polo specific equipment bag coming from Black Star Bags. Now, just a week before the Polo Pack’s official release, we are proud to team up with Black Star Bags to allow one lucky winner the opportunity to own it before anyone can buy it!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is three small things:

  1. Head over to our Facebook page and give it a ‘like’.
  2. Share our Facebook post of the above photo.
  3. Go to Black Star Bags’ Facebook page and give them a like

If and only if you complete these three steps before 11:59 pm on April 16, 2014 then you could be a winner! This contest is open to hardcourt polo players worldwide, BUT sadly we will only be able to offer free shipping to players in the lower 48 states in the USA. So, if you live outside of the lower 48 and enter the contest, then you are entering an agreement to pay shipping to get the bag to your foreign doorstep.

Interested in the contest and want to learn some more about the Polo Pack? Here are some of it’s features!

  • Mallet holsters on both the left and right side that easily hold 2 mallets each.
  • Exterior mesh with bungee to hold your smellables (gloves and shoes, pee-yew! ).
  • Interior ball pocket that can fit balls for all weather conditions.
  • Large water bottle pocket for long hot days.
  • Exterior easy access U-Lock holster.
  • Carabiner fence attachment that keeps your bag accessible.
  • Interior personables pocket with “stash” slot.
  • 1000 denier Cordura nylon exterior.
  • Heavy duty VCP floating interior.
  • Custom contoured dual-foam strap system
  • Compression straps
  • Black Star’s shooting star designed back foam.
  • Blinky light clip and Reflective patch. Safety first!
  • Expandable flap straps for those long weekenders.

BOOM! Soon you are going to see this bag everywhere, so be one of the first to own the Polo Pack by Black Star Bags.

Polo Pack Black Star 1  Polo Pack Black Star 3  Polo Pack Black Star 2

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