NWA in turmoil, annual meetings canceled
Sep 8, 2012 - by Dr. Jerry Wiseman
As new licensee agreements are sent out by the Bruce Tharpe led NWA there has been backlash and a sort of civil unrest among members/affiliates/associates to the point of a vote was held that will see paying of annual dues will be suspended and reports are that the annual meetings have been canceled until all pending lawsuits have been settled.
A motion to postpone and suspend dues was passed and many in the NWA are unhappy with a number of terms and conditions of the new licensee agreements that were sent out to members and associates. Of those that are raising the most concern are…
8. Referee Shirts. In an effort to achieve a uniform look, all Licensees will require their referees to wear an “Official NWA Referee Shirt” and require their referees to purchase shirts from NWA headquarters. Licensees will not allow their referees to wear blue jeans. All NWA-licensed referees shall wear either black pants (or black jeans) and/or white pants (or white jeans). Referee shirts shall be worn tucked in at all times. Referees are not to wear wrist-watches in the ring.
Promoters are concerned that they will have to buy shirts from NWA headquarters exclusively and there is no indication as to what price they will have to pay nor how many shirts they will have to buy at one time.
9. Merchandise. Licensee is free to produce and sell its own merchandise, however merchandise containing the NWA logo, including but not limited to caps and t-shirts, must be ordered from NWA Headquarters. Licensee agrees to maintain an inventory of NWA-licensed merchandise for sale at all Licensee-promoted live events.
Again, promoters are concerned about having to buy and maintain an inventory without knowing how much it will cost or how much inventory will need to be kept on hand. Promoters are also concerned that there will be an additional fee for using the NWA logo on their regional merchandise.
10. Licensing Fee. In exchange for the benefit of promoting professional wrestling matches under the NWA brand, Licensees are required to pay the NWA a $300 annual fee (due on or before 12:00am midnight on October 1 of every year).
23. Geographic Area of Licensing Agreement. The geographic area contemplated by this licensing agreement encompasses: Licensee expressly agrees not to promote / present NWA-branded events outside the geographic restriction contained in this agreement.
Members, associates and affiliates have been assigned specific areas to promote in but some promote spot show within a 100 mile radius. According to the new agreement if they were to promote a spot show in a town 30-40 miles from their assigned town they would have to pay an additional $300 fee to promote that town and receive permission from the NWA before doing so.
Moreover the NWA will no longer allow members/affiliates/associates to run fair shows which had been a major source of income and exposure for the brand for many promoters.
At any time the NWA can come into any town an run their own show without notifying the affiliate promoter which is to say the NWA “owns” every town and the members/affiliates/associates merely rent the privilege of running the town from Bruce Tharpe.
20. You.Tube Posting of NWA Content. Licensees must obtain prior written approval from the NWA before any video material (including but not limited to wrestling matches, interviews, promos, angles, etc.) before posting any such material on the internet for free such as on You.Tube or similar websites. First priority to posting this type of material should be the NWA Official website, www.nwawrestling.org.
The wording for this varies a little depending on if you are a member or an associate, members can post to YouTube without prior approval but associates must have prior approval from the NWA. Any material submitted to the NWA, according to yet another provision, becomes property of the NWA for use as they see fit so one would be giving up all rights to their own material which is another cause for concern for many.
And as an aside, to further placate the ego of R. Bruce Tharpe is has been said in the agreement that at the onset of any NWA branded show that it should be announced that this is an NWA sponsored event R. Bruce Tharpe President and if you have TV you must announce it is an NWA sponsored show R. Bruce Tharpe President.
Many current members/affiliates/associates are balking at moving forward with Tharpe and his officers until the case has been settled and at this point the earliest that can happen is at the end of September when the next hearings are scheduled. There are a number of motions set to be heard with rumors of more filings to come which could see this case continued until the first of next year leaving the National Wrestling Alliance in a state of turmoil.
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