We received a response from Betty Pariso regarding our questions on their media policy for the upcoming Europa show in Atlantic City, New Jersey and it was the same form letter that has been floating around the various websites in the industry. So we decided to take it practically line-by-line and came up with some interesting theories…none that bode well for anyone except for the organizations and promoters. So that means that you – the fans – will once again get the short end of the stick. But the majority of the show sponsors are also taking it on the chin, as well.
Her e-mail began with:
Let me first clarify that we are not banning all press from our Europa Games. However, we are being selective as to who receive [sic] the limited number of press passes.
Totally understandable and nothing to argue about there. It is the Pariso’s show and therefore they can approve or deny any requests for credentials that they choose to.
The Europa Games are IFBB sanctioned events, and we will always welcome Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines in our press pit. The Europa Games are also NPC sanctioned events, and the NPC regularly send [sic] a representative to cover our shows.
All three of those are regulars at each and every bodybuilding show and obviously should be.
The Europa Games has a partnership in place with Muscular Development, and they are on the approved media list.
MD should also be an automatic approval, as they are in the same category with FLEX. But keep in mind the ‘partnership’ part for later.
We also encourage the local TV and print media outlets in each city to obtain media passes.
Not so sure how many Atlantic City newspaper scribes and/or news reporters are vying for a seat to a bodybuilding show, but it makes total business sense to want some additional coverage from outside of the industry – but not at the expense of a legitimate bodybuilding media outlet. Mrs. Pariso did say that there were a ‘limited number of press passes’ available. A columnist from the Nucky Thompson News taking in the freak show may not be a better choice than Dave Palumbo from RX Muscle, to put it kindly.
In addition, Vision Star Entertainment has acquired a media outlet which will has [sic] exclusive rights to our Europa Games content.
Here’s where it begins to get a little dicey. If the Parisos choose to use their DBA media company (Vision Star Entertainment, which they also own) as the exclusive rights holder to their competitions, that’s all well and good. But what exactly does that entail, especially when it is followed up with:
We have moved in this direction for a several of reasons… [sic] among the top is that we have contractual agreements with our sponsors, and we want to make sure that we are honoring those contracts in regards to title sponsors financially supporting the Europa Games.
No sponsors, no show. There is a need to make the ones who put the money up happy. But this line is ambiguous at best. If a supplement company is one of those sponsors, wouldn’t they welcome as many outlets (especially in the industry and places that cater to the same demographic) as possible to be there covering the show?
In the past, the on-line [sic] websites that have posted the results of our event have not considered these agreements and it has become a concern for the Europa Games.
Now it is clarified a bit. The websites that she is apparently referring to are online bodybuilding media outlets – such as RX Muscle. And said ‘sponsors’ is really just one – Muscular Development – who apparently were slower in getting the results posted than Palumbo and company in the past. Should RX be punished because they are more efficient? Or because they don’t have deep pockets like MD to be a fellow show sponsor?
Another objective is to be the first to post the results of our own events, and this will also guarantee that the title sponsors who are financially supporting the event get recognition. Therefore at this time we are limiting press passes that might hinder these objectives.
Who is the benefactor of that objective and where are these results being posted? Vision Star? MD? NPC News Online? In reality, the title sponsors (other than MD) are not getting as much of a bang for their buck than they could or should with everyone who cannot afford to have their logo on the stage banners being shut out.
If you are not from one of the ‘automatic’ outlets (which apparently MD is not in that short list) or fork over large amounts of money as a title sponsor, you will not see the inside of the venue at any of the four annual Europa IFBB shows without a ticket.
There are certainly objectives being hindered, as Mrs. Pariso said. Just not the same ones that she is listing.
Photo by Dennis Ong