Board Room News – Spring 2021
A society and darts are making swift progress toward some form of normality need only to look at the activity emanating from darts’ boardrooms, and head muckety-muck’s offices. New ranges are being prepared, production plans are being laid down and opinions are being sought from almost every corner. Perhaps the most obvious indicator comes in what we term ‘the transfer market’.
The snapping up of new talent or those who may have made a step change during 2020, in addition the retention of ‘brand assets’ seems a weekly event currently. As good as new. Usually, when football fans hear these words it means upcoming disappointment in the next transfer window. However, the extension of Jonny Clayton’s contract could indeed be the equivalent of signing a major winner. The popular Welshman represents a tribute to Red Dragon’s ability to nurture ‘homegrown’ talent and maximize its potential. Gary Anderson extending his arrangements with Unicorn, for a further five years, seems to confirm a steady as she goes approach from the grand old lady of darts.
The management sector has seen the likes of Adam Gawlas join TSMC whilst Micheal Smith has joined the reassuring arms of Darting Promotions. Whilst others are shedding players or holding their horses, the West Midlands area is fast becoming a stronghold in this area of the darts ecosystem. TSMC has a phenomenal group of major winning talent (see cover story) and along with Darting Promotions are seeing the rewards from a player-centred approach.
On a Mission:
Mission darts have stepped up their player involvement. Since their launch in 2019 Mission had seemed to concentrate on reproducing popular models and focusing heavily on what could be described as premium generic ranges. Late in 2020, they seemed to switch approach and move into the player-endorsed equipment market. Wayne Mardle gave them a star name/ ambassador and the signature of breakthrough star Alan Soutar may signify a new boldness. The Boardroom team will be keeping a close eye on the insurgent brand.
MODUS has stepped forward again to initiate a new innovative series of live darts events. Their ‘Live League’ is full of star names and performances are beginning to match. Fallon Sherrock, Martin Adams, Richie Burnett and our own Colin Osborne make regular appearances and seem to be relishing new opportunities. When, in 1995, Barry Hearn talked of 250 hours a year of TV darts many mocked the bold pronouncement. Across all platforms even that figure now seems almost derisory. As he steps into retirement even ‘Uncle Barry’ might be impressed.
Thank you, sir.
Featured Image: Barry Hearn (PDC)
Original article appeared in Issue 574 of Darts World magazine.
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