KETBALL IS OUT OF BUSINESS
As a small entrepreneur I only had the funds to finance three periods in which we could actually play the most fun sport in the world:
Prototype 1, Valencia Spain, July 2007 till September 2007.
Prototype 2, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean, October 2008 till May 2009.
Prototype 3, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2013 till January 2015.
Ketball is and was something I consider as a 'life's work'. Never will i regard it other than the most fun sport i ever played. I know this also goes for the fast majority of the guys that had the chance to play it. Besides the playing times i consider the rest of the 10 years of my life i have spend on it as one of the most frustrating periods of my life. Local and country regulations, customs, doing business abroad, nothing but time and money consuming problems. But the thing that still bothers me the most is that, during the 1,5 years that prototype 2 was operational, i didn't manage to get any substantial investor nor a key figure from a big company, to come and watch the game with his own eyes. I tried everything, local money, big sports companies like Dunlop, Wilson, Nike, big soda's like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Guarana, beer brands like Heineken, Imbev, fitness companies, like the one that Richard Branson owns. 'Inspiring' rich guys, like Ricardo Semler, big hotel chains, local sports clubs, the big water parks, you name it. Believe it or not, not one, not a single person came to see it in Rio! I definitely suck at approaching these types, that's for sure..:-) Still i find it unbelievable that none of them took the time to just check it out in person.
There are three exceptions: Alfonso Lowenstein, the Argentinian billionaire that owns big hotels around the world and, after seeing it, offered me an expensive lease at a top location on Aruba (looking back, I should have done that). The other is the top management of Aruba’s Marriott. We had a handshake deal to implement it there that they had to break because of legal issues with head quarters. The third, Sergio Gallero, the owner of a big water park. After asking Ketball to come to his park it unfortunately went bankrupt.
All of them on Aruba, and none in Brazil. Funny story is that it probably didn't help that we named the game Ketball. In Portuguese that is pronounced 'ketjeboal', while 'boaketje' means blowjob. In short you could compare to a new sport that is called 'jobblow'. 🙂 That did explain the strange response we got out flyering at the beach (that also didn't work at all). I know, bad research, but it isn't easy doing this alone.
Now, since 2015, the game is over, you can't play this anywhere anymore. My money had run out and we had to quit. I feel though that we sunk with sights on the harbor. We had about 80 regular players at Novo Rio Country Clube (about all young male members of the club), while 150 would have been enough to keep that operation running.
I still can talk about it for hours, but for now it's simply over.