The Blog

Thoughts and Comments

This post discusses a variety of subjects — the first one being the recent SOM publicity. I believe all publicity is good for the sports simulation game industry. I saw where the SOM marathon got attention from USA Today, and I heard that CNN had something on it over the weekend. While I wish it was APBA instead of SOM, I must confess that I don’t know how enjoyable a 54 hour marathon of ANYTHING is.

I do agree with Steve Gardner of USA Today that simulation games are more enjoyable than fantasy games, and simulation games are better than video games. The playing field is level for simulation game play versus video play where hand eye coordination skills are needed. If anyone has contact info for Steve Gardner, please send it to me at jherson@apbagames.com.

APBA Blog Marketing Survey
I read with interest the responses to APBA blog’s survey on how to market APBA. I believe the answer is the APBA community sharing its experiences. Recording you league draft, opening a set of cards, playing a game, and recording your championship series or your award banquet. Below is the YouTube.com video Sports One Two Three Rolls You’re Out from the New York Times. This is a four and a half minute video taken at the 2009 APBA convention. Players include a seven year old, a teenager, a woman, and many men. This video is the best type of publicity for APBA. One dad talks about playing APBA with his seven year old in order to spend more time with him—this is the type of publicity APBA needs to appeal to younger fans and get former fans reengaged. Here is the New York Times video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raQePo73wZE.

New Website
So what is APBA going to do to use the power of the APBA community to attract new fans, young and old? First, I signed a contract today for a complete redesign of the APBA website, excluding the store. The goal is to have the new site up and running by August 1st. This project, which will not affect the current website, will have three main areas: (1) archives, (2) the APBA story and (3) leagues.

The nostalgic archives section will be the place to go for all things historical APBA. I want to have digital copies of the old mailings from APBA including sample cards, brochures, great team mailings and single season mailings. I would also like to offer articles from the APBA Journal. These articles are available on at least one other website. I would appreciate if the new journal owner would contact me to discuss this. Long term plans for the archives include a library of APBA cards and a master player checklist.

The second section is the APBA story. What APBA is? What is a simulation game? The differences between a simulation game, video and fantasy games. This section will have new downloadable brochures and instruction booklets. The key element of this section will be video: Video of game play, instructional how-to videos, draft videos, and any other videos showing the APBA experience. Videos for any of APBA’s games are welcomed.

The third section is the league section. Every two weeks or so, APBA will honor an APBA League on the home page. This section will allow leagues to share their story and their playing history. The first leagues honored will the Transcontinental Baseball League. Why? They sent me their baseball annual that triggered this idea. You can send me info about your league as we rotate the leagues honored. There will be annual awards for all participating leagues for best publications, website, video and pennant races, etc.

When we first relocated to Georgia, we focused on customer service and printing card sets. Now it is time to increase the size of the APBA community. Your help is needed to make the new website as robust as possible.

What’s Going On

  • These are exciting times at APBA. We have started beta testing the release version of APBA Computer Baseball 5.75. This test period is only 30 days. 
  • The Hockey Franchise All Star set was released yesterday. 
  • Within the next two weeks, all the golf card sets will be offered only as cards—no more tearing apart sheets for golf. 
  • The 2011-12 hockey set will be available late June/early July. Again, this is a card product only. 
  • 2011 Pro Football will be available late July/early August. 2011 football is a card set—no more tearing 160 sheets of cards apart. 
  • We are working on the 1903 baseball set as the next new season release. 
  • The baseball reprints will continue until we have offered all the seasons. I’ve changed my mind and decided to reprint the Negro League set that APBA offered in the 1980s. This set will be available in July.

One last thing: If you know anyone that works at either GM Global Marketing or Budweiser marketing, please call me at 800-334-2722.

John