Luminaire - As the universe holds its collective breath on the first weekend of this years Alliance Tournament, the Federation's massive leisure industry is forecasting record profits for the close of the current financial quarter. Huge quantities of ISK have already been spent by consumers who are intent on using the event as an excuse to throw the grandest and most extravagant of parties.
In previous years, the Tournament only drew the enthusiasm and support of a minority audience consisting primarily of other capsuleers, but it would seem that this year interest in the competition has spread like wildfire to many regular, planet-bound citizens across the Federation.
Agrastyn Kues, Chief Coordinator of Public Relations for the Bank of Luminaire in the Essence region, had this to say: “Well, it is no surprise to us that an event of this magnitude is generating so much interest in the public domain, and we are pleased that our support of the event as a major sponsor has led to the generation of so much business and investment inside the Federation's borders.”
Egonics Inc. have recorded massive sales of their Special Edition Tournament Egone, which has already sold out on pre-order, even though it is initially tied to the subscription to Championship-only broadcasts. The package includes an option to unblock the music broadcast after the Tournament final, but Egonics has successfully banked on public interest in the event to sell out of subscriptions to the full package.
The initial demand was in fact so great that Egonics struggled to keep both their physical and their virtual shelves stocked, and a source within the company has confirmed that they were forced to employ an extra thirty-two thousand technicians at production centres (such as their massive factory in Blameston) to keep up. The company recently announced that they have also installed a new wide-band transmitter in Uphene, at an estimated cost of 163 billion ISK in anticipation of the additional bandwidth requirements that the Tournament media streams will require.
The billions of people preparing to watch the event will of course be looking to quench their thirst, and the major brands in the drinks business have already begun massive advertising campaigns to win over the Tournament audience.
The Quafe Company seem to be doing well and have reported that their pre-Tournament sales are up by at least 12% from the same period last year. Riesves Boricon, Assistant Marketing Director at Quafe, was in a buoyant mood yesterday when in a press release he stated: “We were expecting a surge in sales, but this year's figures are unprecedented. It seems that this time around Tournament fever is gripping the whole universe! Our distribution freighters have been working non-stop for weeks now simply trying to keep up, and our crews are certainly enjoying the overtime. Hopefully it will calm down closer to the Event as people get their refrigerators stocked - otherwise our staff won't have time to catch any of the matches themselves!”
More cynical critics have noted that Quafe's sales may have been boosted by the clever use of Capsuleer imagery on the packaging of their products, which include collectible, limited edition cans, bottles and cartons which sport team colours and list the profiles and statistics of many of this year's competitors.
It isn’t just the major corporations who are cashing in this year. The owners of small bars and taverns across the Federation have been investing in new entertainment arrays and stocking up on consumables. Many believe that massive screens that place the viewer at the heart of the action will draw their clientèle into supporting and following the Tournament throughout the season.
Jenville Argaund, the owner of a small bar at The Scope Development Studio in Orvolle, has even taken on extra staff in anticipation; “I have employed an extra twenty girls to ensure that every need of my customers is attended to, and I am hoping that every employee and resident on this station will come by to watch the match, have a drink, and stay on afterwards for additional entertainment. The new array may have cost me a fortune, but I expect to recoup every single ISK, and more besides. What better way to relax after a hard day at work than down the bar watching Capsuleers duel against a jaw-dropping backdrop of glittering stars!”