Have some fun, and count the number of Newman-esque related issues in this article. It's as though the writer was trying to put together an article that captures every example of all that is wrong with this league, the people who join, and the "management" style of the Kitchen Czar.
I went ahead and bolded a few of the more obvious myriad issues in the article (really, could have just highlighted every quote from Clueless Joe - who admonishes these two for not being successful with no money on Staten Island, while his OWN team with budgets in 6 figures crashed and burned in only two seasons in the most basketball-crazed state in the country); feel free to add your own.....
http://www.silive.com/sports/index.ssf/ ... _to_r.html
Staten Island Vipers look to rebound
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 9:02 PM
By Ernie Palladino/Staten Island Advance
The Staten Island Vipers of the American Basketball Association have a 4-4 record and a competitive group of players.
They also have a marketing problem.
That has led to a financial shortfall which, if not resolved in the near future, could turn the Vipers' 2011-2012 inaugural season into its last.
"It's tough," said Kyle Brereton, who co-owns the Vipers with former St. Peter's Girls" HS star Ayanna Phillip. "But the group we've put together is looking at the bigger picture."
That picture is not exactly being projected on an IMAX screen, but a much more modest stage with small goals. Difficulty in making expenses -- the betrothed couple has its life savings tied up in this venture -- has put the Vipers' future in peril, though Brereton said he and Phillip are committed to finishing the 11 remaining games on the schedule.
That begins Sunday at 6 p.m. against the NYC Thunder at the Bernikow JCC in Sea View.
"We're going to get through this," Brereton said.
But Brereton admitted it will be a struggle. The ledger stands about $15,000 below sea level. Sponsorship has been slow in coming. Players and coaches haven't been paid, and at least one of its two featured stars, Lawrence Borha, could be leaving for a contract in Europe.
The other, Zaire Taylor, missed last week's game for personal reasons, but could return for this game.
The team hasn't practiced as a unit for two weeks, owing much to the difficulty in securing a home court. Initial plans to play the bulk of their home games at the College of Staten Island gym have been scrapped for now in favor of the JCC, which offered less expensive rates for hosting the games. Brereton still has hopes of holding the last few games at CSI.
"The main financial thing is paying for the venues," Brereton said. "We're going to stay here (at JCC) for a while and build up some revenue. But we're planning on playing our last five or six games at CSI, just to go out with a bang and let everybody know we're still here and that everything's going to be all right."
Attendance has dropped off significantly, from 320 at the Dec. 5 opener against Connecticut, to 250 at the Fast-Break Basketball Center in Tottenville, to 85 last week at the JCC.
"We have a fan base, but it's tough with the venue because a lot of people don't know where we're playing."
That's where the marketing aspect comes in. ABA teams, according to the league's CEO Joe Newman, either sink or swim. The league will not step in to take over a financially floundering squad as the NBA did with the New Orleans Hornets.
It is therefore incumbent upon each team to take up the ABA's marketing plan and run with its four-fold model -- ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandising, and media.
With limited financial resources and even more limited front-office manpower, the Vipers haven't performed the kind of outreach Newman would have hoped for.
"It's one thing to put a basketball team on the court," Newman said. "It's another to follow the business model. I tell them, if you open up a McDonald's and don't have French fries and Coke, it doesn't matter how many hamburgers you have. You're not going to be successful.
"You have a responsibility to do everything, not just a few things."
Newman said he hasn't heard of any impending disasters from Phillip and Brereton, but did indicate he expected a better marketing effort after they formed the franchise in near-record time.
He said marketing the team properly would solve all the Vipers' financial woes.
"For a team not to be successful on Staten Island following the ABA plan is sort of silly because it's a closed, tight market," Newman said. "Professional basketball at an affordable price (tickets go from $12, $8 and $5) is a terrific product in a place like Staten Island, where everybody is in after 6 o'clock.
"I'd hate to see a team not being successful in a great area like Staten Island. I'm putting extreme pressure on them to follow the plan."
Brereton, meanwhile, plans to keep plugging along. Tim Jennings, a star at Gardner-Webb and a former teammate of Brereton's, is planning to join the team soon. And they still have a solid Staten Island core that includes former Jaques Award winner John Baiano of St. Peter's and Curtis standout Angel Branch.
"I'm actually close friends with Marsha Blount, the president of the Jersey Express," Brereton said. "They've been around seven years now. She said the first year was tough, but after that first season everything started rolling along fine, and she's got no complaints.
"Hopefully everything comes together. We just want to finish the season strong and get prepared for next year. Get everything going, get the expenses going so we don't have this for next season."