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American Softball Association Regional Pro League—Information and Questions


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#1
NPF FAN

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http://americansba.com/

 

I talked briefly with Michael Chiaradio, CEO of the new ASA regional league yesterday, through Facebook IM, and told him about some of the concerns/questions some of us have about the new league.  He asked me for the link to this forum, and I encouraged him to join to specifically address those questions and concerns. It seemed as though he was open to this, and I'm hopeful he'll take this opportunity to really shed light on the ASBA: how the league will work, and how it plans to succeed in the future.


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#2
KCSoftball

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I am trying to withhold comment on the new league. I really, really hope it can pull it off. I see a lot of roadblocks in front of it that will have to be overcome!  So, ASBA, best of luck to you in your endeavor! 



#3
SpartanIlliniCub

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The NPF, in its current form, cannot survive past 2019 because two of its five teams are international teams and they will not stay in the NPF once the Olympics start.  I think a new softball league has a PRIME opportunity to make a splash and spring past the NPF as the premier pro fastpitch destination in 2019 or 2020. 

 

My advice: if you want to destroy the NPF and replace it with a new league, then focus on the draft.  Convince the current crop of draftees they are better served enrolling for the new league rather than the NPF, and they they should decline any NPF draft offers.  

 

It probably won't be too hard of a sales job to convince new players the NPF is on the ropes and they have a better chance at a successful career in the new league.  If you can accomplish that, plus maybe lure over one or two big NPF free agents, then the NPF is completely finished.



#4
KCSoftball

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Regarding the new  ASA Regional Pro League, let me play the "Devil's advocate" here.  Let me preface this by stating, I sincerely hope these people can pull this off. The softball players of America deserve a good pro league where a largue number of players can make decent money! A leaue that will not take advantage of it's players!

 

To start off, does it have the resources to pay its draftees $175,000 per team (the NPF salary cap)? The top players are not going to join if they don't have some type of guarantee they will make the type of money they can with the NPF! So far what I am seeing, the NPF is not that worried about it!

 

I see the new league is offering "shares" to players who sign up (heck I may sign up myself  :)).  But, those shares won't pay for the meals and essentials
these players need for the summer!

 

While it looks like the NPF will only be able to sign very few players (only 2 1/2 teams can "honestly" draft players) there will still be a lot of very good players out there. Can the new league sign the biggest names? It will need some to give it instant status!

 

Botton line is, I just don't know enough about the new league to really make judements this early! Like, what are its assets? Does it have enough money in the bank to finish the first season? Can it recruit big-time national sponsors?  Or even enough "little/medium-time" sponsors? Can it promote itself and its players nationally? Heck, Google American Softball Assocation and all you get is the ASA, the ASBA is not listed!  Can it make some stars in the league? Can the Mobile area support the league and its four teams?

 

I am pulling for it! So many question, so few answers!



#5
In-the-stands

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Heck, Google American Softball Assocation and all you get is the ASA, the ASBA is not listed! 

 

The use of "ASA" is a marketing misstep. Prior to its name change to US Softball, ASA was the acronym for the governing body of US softball as it relates to the WBSC (ISF).

 

Confusion of who you are at this stage is not something that a start-up needs.



#6
Michael Chiaradio

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http://americansba.com/

 

I talked briefly with Michael Chiaradio, CEO of the new ASA regional league yesterday, through Facebook IM, and told him about some of the concerns/questions some of us have about the new league.  He asked me for the link to this forum, and I encouraged him to join to specifically address those questions and concerns. It seemed as though he was open to this, and I'm hopeful he'll take this opportunity to really shed light on the ASA: how the league will work, and how it plans to succeed in the future. I would also suggest that, in the event he does join this forum to answer questions, that we use this topic thread to post any comments, concerns, or questions for him that you may have, so that he can answer them here instead of trying to reply under multiple topic headings.

 

Thank you for setting up the American Softball Association (ASBA) forum. I will be as active as I can—please direct more specific questions to asba.softball@gmail.com and we are all very grateful for the support of the Softball Community.



#7
Michael Chiaradio

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I am trying to withhold comment on the new league. I really, really hope it can pull it off. I see a lot of roadblocks in front of it that will have to be overcome!  So, ASBA, best of luck to you in your endeavor! 

 

Thank you - we will do our very best to earn your confidence and trust.



#8
Michael Chiaradio

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The NPF, in its current form, cannot survive past 2019 because two of its five teams are international teams and they will not stay in the NPF once the Olympics start.  I think a new softball league has a PRIME opportunity to make a splash and spring past the NPF as the premier pro fastpitch destination in 2019 or 2020. 

 

My advice: if you want to destroy the NPF and replace it with a new league, then focus on the draft.  Convince the current crop of draftees they are better served enrolling for the new league rather than the NPF, and they they should decline any NPF draft offers.  

 

It probably won't be too hard of a sales job to convince new players the NPF is on the ropes and they have a better chance at a successful career in the new league.  If you can accomplish that, plus maybe lure over one or two big NPF free agents, then the NPF is completely finished.

 

Thank you for the advicethese are topics that haven't been discussed in meetings and we can assure you that we're making efforts on providing both a fan-friendly draft and an infiltration of top collegiate talent. Our Summer League Draft is June 6th. You can keep up with announcements surrounding the draft, player registrations, and much more on our Twitter and Facebook, @ASBAsoftball.



#9
Michael Chiaradio

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Reguarding the new  ASA Regional Pro League, let me play the "Devil's advocate" here.  Let me preface this by stating, I sincerely hope these people can pull this off. The softball players of America deserve a good pro league where a largue number of players can make decent money! A leaue that will not take advantage of it's players!

 

To start off, does it have the resources to pay its draftees $175,000 per team (the NPF salary cap)? The top players are not going to join if they don't have some type of guarantee they will make the type of money they can with the NPF! So far what I am seeing, the NPF is not that worried about it!

 

I see the new league is offering "shares" to players who sign up (heck I may sign up myself  :)).  But, those shares won't pay for the meals and essentials
these players need for the summer!

 

While it looks like the NPF will only be able to sign very few players (only 2 1/2 teams can "honestly" draft players) there will still be a lot of very good players out there. Can the new league sign the biggest names? It will need some to give it instant status!

 

Botton line is, I just don't know enough about the new league to really make judements this early! Like, what are its assets? Does it have enough money in the bank to finish the first season? Can it recruit big-time national sponsors?  Or even enough "little/medium-time" sponsors? Can it promote itself and its players nationally? Heck, Google American Softball Assocation and all you get is the ASA, the ASBA is not listed!  Can it make some stars in the league? Can the Mobile area support the league and its four teams?

 

I am pulling for it! So many question, so few answers!

 

Thank you for the well wishesthis means a lot to all of us! The truth is that many questions are still left unanswered and will remain so until...we actually launch. However, we do have some advantages that you overlook:

 

1. We don't "pay a salary," instead we use a revenue share systemso payroll expense will be in proportion to revenue.

 

2. Our travel and housing costs total a whopping $0.00.

 

3. Yes, we understand our ownership shares do not cover living expense costs (until they start paying a dividend), but we already know we are not going to appeal to every player. This movement is going to attract a certain type of PERSON, that's why we believe that future company officers, including the future CEO, are in this incoming player class. As I've said before, we call these first players PARTNER. They will direct this company for years to come and it will be soon that we, as a company, get behind them rather than they follow us. 

 

4. I've worked in smaller cities than Mobile and seen teams succeed. The city has been great in its welcome and gone to great lengths to ensure we can operate effectively this summer. Plus, we already know softball can be a draw in that region of the country. We believe players will make sector-comparable money with usin year oneand we bolster that with the promise of aggressive plans for growth/development.   

 

5. THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE WE HAVE = softball in the USA is the best brand of softball in the world!!! We allow players to be our driving force.



#10
Michael Chiaradio

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Heck, Google American Softball Assocation and all you get is the ASA, the ASBA is not listed! 

 

The use of "ASA" is a marketing misstep. Prior to its name change to US Softball, ASA was the acronym for the governing body of US softball as it relates to the WBSC (ISF).

 

Confusion of who you are at this stage is not something that a start-up needs.

 

ASBA* is actually the acronym. We are aware of the former USA Softball name and we are making every effort to establish and grow our brand—the ASBA !!!!! 

 

Former Ole Miss standout and NPF Champion, RT Cantillo, was our first registrant. Her belief in our system, along with ALL the players who have registered, attests to the fact that we are on the right path. You can see the full list of draft eligible players on our website: http://americansba.c...lg-player-body/



#11
SpartanIlliniCub

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The draft date for the ASBA is too late!  The NPF draft is on 4/24/18, and the ASBA draft is 6/6/18.  The ASBA has to try and win the draft war before the NPF's April draft. I checked out the ASBA's Twitter and see a few players have signed up for the inaugural ASBA draft. But what the ASBA needs is a big-splash name like Paige Parker to really get the wheels in motion.



#12
NPF FAN

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Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I'm sure more will be coming.


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#13
fastpitchfan

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Thank you for the well wishesthis means a lot to all of us! The truth is that many questions are still left unanswered and will remain so until...we actually launch. However, we do have some advantages that you overlook:

 

1. We don't "pay a salary," instead we use a revenue share systemso payroll expense will be in proportion to revenue.

 

2. Our travel and housing costs total a whopping $0.00.

 

3. Yes, we understand our ownership shares do not cover living expense costs (until they start paying a dividend), but we already know we are not going to appeal to every player. This movement is going to attract a certain type of PERSON, that's why we believe that future company officers, including the future CEO, are in this incoming player class. As I've said before, we call these first players PARTNER. They will direct this company for years to come and it will be soon that we, as a company, get behind them rather than they follow us.

 

I am inspired by your business model—I truly believe it WILL work.  The conventional model for decades has been to buy a franchise, spend more money than you make in order to expand your fanbase, and hope you break even before the money runs out.  For so many (nearly all) owners, that never happened.

 

The NPF's recent solution (which is not a bad one) is to tap into international Olympic funds, turning the league into something of a training ground for the Games. However, as Spartan has pointed out, that money train will chug down the track only as long as Olympic softball does (unlikely after 2020).

 

The main advantage of the ASBA model is that it is focused on keeping overhead costs low, so future expansion isn't a prerequisite (although if it happens, as many of us believe it will, so much the better).  Giving players a stake in the company also incentivizes them to PROMOTE the league, something KCSoftball has advocated for years.

 

Good luck to the ASBA, full speed ahead!!!



#14
Michael Chiaradio

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The draft date for the ASBA is too late!  The NPF draft is on 4/24/18, and the ASBA draft is 6/6/18.  The ASBA has to try and win the draft war before the NPF's April draft. I checked out the ASBA's Twitter and see a few players have signed up for the inaugural ASBA draft. But what the ASBA needs is a big-splash name like Paige Parker to really get the wheels in motion.

Or... the NPF Draft is too early? We invited Paige Parker and many other elite collegiate players but, as is the case with all players, her career path is her prerogative. We can only hope that she sees our vision. With that being said, the state of professional softball in this country ensures we will have some of the best players in the world - just look at our early registrants! If we are effective in the management of our early-stage revenue, players will be knocking at our door instead of us knocking at theirs. My point is, regardless of the draft date, our on-field product will far exceed our league's governance and, besides.... I thought there was an advantage to "last licks!"



#15
Michael Chiaradio

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Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. I'm sure more will be coming.

You are very welcome. This league was created for the fans and players. Before I am some "big-shot" officer or executive in the softball sector - I am first an enormous FAN of the game! A disruptive business model is only such when coupled with customer adoption. We will do our best to keep an ear to the ground and create a product that is to the pleasure of the softball fan. 



#16
Michael Chiaradio

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Thank you for the well wishesthis means a lot to all of us! The truth is that many questions are still left unanswered and will remain so until...we actually launch. However, we do have some advantages that you overlook:

 

1. We don't "pay a salary," instead we use a revenue share systemso payroll expense will be in proportion to revenue.

 

2. Our travel and housing costs total a whopping $0.00.

 

3. Yes, we understand our ownership shares do not cover living expense costs (until they start paying a dividend), but we already know we are not going to appeal to every player. This movement is going to attract a certain type of PERSON, that's why we believe that future company officers, including the future CEO, are in this incoming player class. As I've said before, we call these first players PARTNER. They will direct this company for years to come and it will be soon that we, as a company, get behind them rather than they follow us.

 

I am inspired by your business model—I truly believe it WILL work.  The conventional model for decades has been to buy a franchise, spend more money than you make in order to expand your fanbase, and hope you break even before the money runs out.  For so many (nearly all) owners, that never happened.

 

The NPF's recent solution (which is not a bad one) is to tap into international Olympic funds, turning the league into something of a training ground for the Games. However, as Spartan has pointed out, that money train will chug down the track only as long as Olympic softball does (unlikely after 2020).

 

The main advantage of the ASBA model is that it is focused on keeping overhead costs low, so future expansion isn't a prerequisite (although if it happens, as many of us believe it will, so much the better).  Giving players a stake in the company also incentivizes them to PROMOTE the league, something KCSoftball has advocated for years.

 

Good luck to the ASBA, full speed ahead!!!

 

Thank you for the support and words of encouragement. Rate of growth is difficult to forecast but, rest assured, all our decisions are made in the interest of expansion. 






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