Negotiation tactics

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Negotiation tactics

Post  turboeli on Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:17 am

I should preface this by saying that I am not a pro player, having only qualified for the Pro Tour twice in 1995. I have done event coverage at many Japanese Grand Prix and a Pro Tour or two and write for SCG.

If the player's union wants to get serious about getting more money back for the Pro Tour as well as increasing the amount of support for tournaments and the Magic community that Wizards provides, then the union needs to get professional.

Wizards is tightening the purse right now and attempting to raise revenue with advertising on their main site, yes. But if you are paying attention to the global financial markets, that makes sense. The Nikkei is tanking, Chinese labor markets are facing shortages, and Hasbro's bottom line isn't looking all that great.

Link

I'd suggest taking a look at this story for some of the summaries of the toy industry. (Note: The New York Times website is free but requires registration.) Hasbro is inexorably tied to the international labor market, meaning that Wizards is also linked. Wizards itself has major ties to the toymaking industry, with products like D&D Minis, Axis and Allies Minis, and others. Does higher plastics costs have anything to do with that? I would guess so. If anything, the Wizards people should be doing more to convince Hasbro management and stockholders that they need more funds to keep profitability up. And we as a community can take action to influence this.

I would seriously suggest considering a group investment of pooling funds together to have a group representative buy some stock in Hasbro and attend stockholder meetings. They should come with some handouts and charts and be able to talk to other attendees and make a case for increasing the PT payout as being a better course of action for the company as a whole. You want to get the attention of Hasbro? That's a way to do it. But the people who go to the meeting absolutely have to do their homework, know business, and research Hasbro from the top to the bottom. They also have to be able to present their ideas quickly and effectively. And one rep at a shareholder's meeting isn't nearly as persuasive as four or five. You need to have a team of people in there.

This is a tactic out of business management and labor relations. You want to have a player's union? Well, in that case you need to address the issues from an actual union's standpoint and use real business world tactics for optimal results.

Eli Kaplan

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Re: Negotiation tactics

Post  Luke on Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:52 am

This is a very interesting threat.

I wholeheartedly agree with this guy!

Despite the thread about HAS shares, I feel that being a stockholder or whatever amount of the company entitles you to at least voice some kind of an opinion in a much more regarded fashion.
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Re: Negotiation tactics

Post  turboeli on Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:51 am

I didn't want to post anything that was threatening to Wizards or any other party. That isn't my intention. Rather, I am suggesting a vehicle for implementing policy. There's a definite downside in that it's leapfrogging Wizards to give input directly to the people who craft budgeting decisions. Wizards can make appeals to Pawtucket, and they have a clear, loud voice, but they have to communicate to stockholders through the filter of the head ofice. And that puts a lot of responsibility in their hands. The Players Union isn't going to succeed in the goal of getting more funds for Organized Play by lobbying Wizards. Wizards would love to have more money in their budget, I'm sure. (Though it does increase pressure and demand to perform. But those demands are already preexisting.)

Last year's Hasbro stockholder meeting was in May. If they follow a similar schedule, then there's a three month window for the union to get organized.

There are quite a few prerequisites to implementation of such a plan.

1. You have to have people who understand the details of the corporate history, stock market and dividend structure. You have to request information to be sent to you. That is, you can request an invitation to the stockholder's meeting, but there are conditions that may have to be met in order to attend.

2. You have to have enough money to pony up to have a voice at the stockholder meeting. Whose responsibility is it to do this?

3. You have to be able to follow Hasbro's rules for stockholders. That may include keeping proprietary company information confidential. There may be a conflict of interest between holding stock and having access to confidential information and sharing that information with the Union.

4. You have to be able to have reps who can communicate with other shareholders and convince them of the right path to take on this issue. That entails a lot of communicative skill.

These are all questions that need to be addressed if such a policy were to be implemented by the Union.

I am not going to be in attendance at Kuala Lumpur, which is a shame, considering I'm two or so hours' flight away. I'm in Japan for the time being.

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