It has been all go since our last update on Diogo's build up to his first round game v Peter Wright. Here is what has been happening.
Letter From Barry
Companies spend thousands trying to get your attention with their email titles to try and encourage you to click on the link. Barry Hearn, master marketer that he is doesn't have any issues like that. When an email arrives that says in the subject line: Letter From Barry Hearn you don't think twice about clicking on it.
As some of you know I am a DRA registered agent, as we manage the darting affairs of Diogo. The letter went out to all Tour Card Holders, World Championship Qualifiers and DRA Agents. In it were reminders of how the PDC would like the game played in the true spirit of sport and pointing out that gamesmanship would not be tolerated. I think we are all behind that one!
Other "housekeeping" matters mentioned were reminding players of their media commitments, to deal with social media wisely and to remind everyone what was acceptable logo wise on shirts.
Then Barry hit us with the big news that has been "gossiped" about for the past 6 months; the abolition of tournament fees for Players Championship events as well as UK Open qualifiers and European Tour Events.
This is excellent news for players on a number of levels. No sport should discourage participation because of money and no sportsman should be taken advantage of by unscrupulous sponsors because the player can't afford the costs of competing. This plan should give more power to the player and that is a good thing. The only sponsors or agents that need to be concerned are the ones that aren't offering a fair deal!
I also had a very thorough players' brief come through for the World Championships. Diogo and I went through it when he popped down on Thursday. It has it all covered. Details of the official PDC Hotel. Playing format, tie break rules and prize money is all in there.
Details of what is acceptable shirt wise, where sponsor patches can go (with a very neat little diagram to help with that). There are a number of Player Obligations too; arrival times, media commitments and the rules of what you can and can't do behind the scenes.
There was also a PDC Player Profile to fill out for the programme - Nickname, favourite other sport, you know the stuff! Anyway, that is all done and sorted.
We have had a great response to our call for sponsors to go on Diogo's shirt. After a couple of blind alleys, David Lynn from Wallingford Glass & Glazing Ltd came on board to join Catherine from Catdromeda Accountant Services who have been involved right from the start of Diogo's rise up the rankings. We are also delighted to say that the 4th and final (possibly) patch has gone over the weekend and we will be announcing details of that sponsor very shortly.
There may be an opportunity to have patch on Diogo's arm on his match shirt so do get in touch if that may be of interest.
Is Diogo the only darts player to receive any form of coaching from his management team? Probably! It was our video analysis service that got Diogo on the road again when he was on the verge of quitting darts as his form had dipped dramatically. We studied the video and Diogo went away and worked his socks off and got his form back.
There have been a few small tweaks since then, he is also on his second set of darts and after Thursday when we took this Video
he is throwing better than he has ever done! It is so valuable to have the videos of all his visits down to us and fascinating to see how his throw has evolved.
The World Championships start on Thursday and Diogo and I will be there to suss out how everything operates. This is all part of his preparation so come a week on Thursday The Alexandra Palace will be like a second home to Diogo, the motto for the game V Peter Wright, is no surprises! Except for the result of course