Thanks to the earth-shattering, sport redefining move made by Paul McBeth just last year, the disc golf offseason has become a bit of a thing.
Now, instead of just waiting to see who’s throwing what off the first tee in Scottsdale, we are being treated to dramatic pieces of cinema such as this:
The sheer emotional smack of that video is overwhelming. It’s a gut punch that rivals even the most well-produced piece of Olympic backstory coverage, and it certainly didn’t have the same budget as those network-created vignettes.
This is what the offseason has become: Drama. Not in the high-school vernacular sense of the word, but rather the literal, expansive definition. It’s another chapter in the lore of this golden age of disc golf, and I dare say that this moment will have a more profound impact on the game, long-term, than even Paul McBeth’s 4-year, million dollar deal.
And here’s why: Paige Pierce made a statement that only she could make.
Pablo got his dinero last year, and many of us could feel the earth shifting under our feet. Disc Golf was going to change, and quickly. Would it become the Paul versus the rest of the sport in the eyes of the media and the fans? Or would it open the floodgates for the rest of these #vanlife heroes of ours?
Paige Pierce just tore the floodgate off the hinges and, incredibly, she told Smashboxx that she went into Discraft asking for the same deal that Paul got.
Full stop. Paige Pierce just straight up did that. If there was anyone out there who wasn’t rooting for Pierce in 2019, they’ll be flexing in that new PP gear by the end of the year.
And while Paige didn’t get fiscally explicit during that announcement interview over at SmashBoxx, she did explain that she has essentially taken control of her branding and image in full, with Discraft handling the logistics aspect of that business. In essence, Paige is going to get to make her own PP-branded apparel and merchandise, and Discraft is going to help her sell it.
So now, Paige is not only a 5X world champ who went in asking for a million bucks, Discraft has given her an opportunity to run her own PP empire through their conduit. Pierce isn’t just an athlete anymore, no; she is fast becoming a role model whose resumé includes professional athlete and entrepreneur.
And here is where the gravity of this situation really hits us: Has any deal other than Paul’s had the same hype behind it? Absolutely not. Ricky back to Innova was what it was, sure, but Paige isn’t just switching sponsors, she’s building something entirely else altogether.
It’s simply unprecedented in disc golf, and this sponsor-personality partnership may very well become the preferred business model of our sport’s future.