This years MWSRA regional show in Madison, Wisconsin may have been considered slow by previous years standards with the changing dates of SIA, was for at least one night just as rowdy as ever.
The Madison show, like most regional shows, is usually void of the typical hoopla associated with the bigger industry tradeshows–no movie premiers or after parties. In a territory that is traditionally not the leader in sales or hype it is easy for the retailers and reps to get the tail end of the stick. But, for the past three years Nixon has offered up ice, beer, pizza, a puck and the whole damn stick in a way for those attending the show to come together and settle some year long gripes between reps and shops.
The Nixon Broomball Challenge pits reps against retailers in a battle for bragging rights in a friendly (no rules) game of broomball held on the same ice used by the Madison State University Badgers Hockey Team.
Line sheets and order forms were put aside for sticks and muscle, and after a while it became obvious that rep-retailer relations were about to reach a whole new level as drunken contestants spent the night chasing a tiny rubber ball around the ice in their skate shoes, slamming one another down to the ice and into the boards (repeatedly) and cramming as much pizza and beer into their stomachs before the buzzer sounded.
“With retailers from Minneapolis to Chicago trash talking two months ahead of time we all knew it was gonna be a tough fight” stated Nixon’s Regional Marketing Manager Will Redd. ” Whenever you bring 100 people together, feed them alcohol and pizza, and give them the ability to beat up their friends it’s hard not to have fun with it”. All and all it was fun and with a few black eyes the stories went on for a good couple weeks. In the end after the brawls and several tequila “penalty shots” it was the reps who walked away victorious with a score of 10 – 7.
“It’s always a great way to beat up on your rep, physically rather than just over pricing,” says Chris Bachman, Owner, Shred Shop
“Well, when you get the chance to beat the shit out of your retailers andget them wasted beyond recognition, it really seems to boost sales,” says Nixon / Fourstar Rep Steve Wikner. “There were lots of memorable moments. Pettis throwing the Broomball Ball at Bartos face and breaking his nose, Dawn ‘the penalty shot girl’ making people puke on the ice. Goodtimes equals goodsales !!”