2023 Coach-Mentor Pin

For those pin collectors out there.

From volunteer email:
" Get a free gift with purchase of your coach/mentor pin!
In celebration of Mentoring Month, receive a free FIRST ENERGIZE magnet with the purchase of a coach/mentor pin on the Volunteer Recognition Store. Snag your 2022-2023 FIRST ENERGIZE coach/mentor pin for your favorite mentor or for yourself. Our exclusive new ENERGIZE magnet will only be available as a free gift in January for Mentoring Month! Take a stroll down memory lane and peruse FIRST coach/mentor pins from seasons past, while supplies last. No gift code necessary, the free magnet will be automatically applied to your order when you purchase a coach/mentor pin in the month of January.

Grab your coach/mentor pins and free FIRST ENERGIZE magnet today!"


We have to purchase mentor pins now rather than having them mailed to us for free?


Yep. I believe this started last year (or might have been 21?).

Seems so silly to do ‘free gift with purchase’ instead of, you know, just mailing these pins out to the registered / completed consent form mentors on the TIMS database like they used to… Very likely, was just too costly to do vs. those who really want one will actually go and get one, so their merch vendor can do smaller item runs.

I’m always confused by the downsizing / removal of things that celebrate the existing community and the excellence contained within it. Coupled with the resurgence of things like “haha send us your funniest robot fails for tiktok!”, I’m really curious what the messaging intends to be for who FIRST is as a global robotics community.


I know for sure that the value a new mentor perceives from getting a pin and a note from FIRST thanking them for what they’re doing far outstrips the cost FIRST has to spend on it.

Recommendation if anyone with power is reading… get the word out to team leads and admins first. That way, if teams have budget, they might just be able to purchase them for their mentors to achieve the same effect.

boooooooooooo no pointing and laughing at fails. Especially other people’s fails.


Yeah, i have to say that cost saving those is a pretty darn questionable move. That’s really the most polite way I can put it.


Note that you only get one magnet regardless of how many pins you buy. So you’ll have to balance the value of each mentor buying their own at $8.99 each and getting their own magnet with buying in bulk at ~$1 - $3 each and sharing a single magnet.

I will say I’m also bummed FIRST doesn’t just send them out anymore. At the very least they could toss a handful in the KoP with the arbitrary number of season pins and alumni pins.

Or send them to events…

Be aware of the jump in shipping costs, too.
Purchasing in bulk seems at first glance to be an attractive offer, but gets less attractive when examined more closely.

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Of note, events also have to pay for year of service pins to provide to volunteers – events no longer get them automatically/included. Don’t worry, though, we all get the passports :roll_eyes:

Can’t remember when this shifted, but it’s the same idea. I’m sure enamel pins are more expensive than stickers, passports, wristbands, and some of the other promo items that travel “free” to events, but to the points in this thread, why would we stop celebrating the things people are actually into?

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I love how you can order 10 with free shipping but the 11th costs $12 in shipping. (hint: order 10 at a time)

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