Thursday, 10 February 2011

If you shake a tree sponsors will just fall out

I'm following some of the discussion concerning the decision by the organising team headed by Malcolm Pein to withdraw their offer of hosting the 2012 World Championship Match. I actually don't have an opinion on who's fault it is, as I suspect it is just a case of two sides looking for different outcomes, and negotiations couldn't bring them together.
What I am seeing however is a group of comments that somehow believe that (a) there are sponsors just waiting in the wings to pour millions of dollars into chess but (b) chess administrators are somehow driving them away. Now as someone who has spent a lot of time looking for sponsorship for chess events I'm pretty sure I would have noticed these millionaires lurking in the shadows. I've certainly noticed the millionaires who have said "not for me", "doesn't fit the companies profile", or "we have other sponsorship priorities", as they are pretty thick on the ground, but not the other sort.
So my advice to those wondering why organisers cannot find sponsors, or why tournaments don't seem to attract the worlds number 1,2,3 etc is to walk a mile in their shoes. But before you do, be prepared to pound a lot of leather.

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