BMS ends sponsorship of teams

Bad day to be sponsered by BMS. They just dropped all the teams.

I’m so sorry to hear that. Let us know if you need anything, Shaun.

lol a $6000 sponser

This…sucks. Did they give a reason? How many teams did they support?

It’s sad to see companies drop teams, especially major sponsors. If there’s any information that comes up that would help, I’ll be sure to let you know.


Fixed it for you

I know they sponsored a lot of central NJ teams…1089 and 293 are the only others I can think of off the top of my head

2180, 1923 and 2590 as well, I believe. 228 in CT is also a BMS team, but I’m not sure if this is just a localized thing.

Shaun, let us know if you need some assistance. I’m sure you guys will manage.

I’m not sure what influenced the decision, their stock seems to be doing comparatively well…

On the bright side, you’ve got a good couple of months to find a replacement.

Let me know if there’s anything that I can do to help.

9 by my count: 25, 228, 293, 1089, 1403, 1807, 1923, 2180, and 2590.

Sorry to hear this. This happened to my team last year, our corporate sponsor ITT dropped us and it put us in a hole, but we did a bunch of fundraisers and made a sponsors packet to set out to get new ones. Let me know if theres anything i can do to help

Really sorry to hear this. It’s always a shame when multi-team sponsors drop off.
I know a couple of the teams personally that are sponsored by BMS, and it’s upsetting to see them loose such a major sponsor.

I’ll add in my own willingness to help out teams affected by this in any way I can.

What’s really unfortunate is that I can point to all of these teams having multiple successful seasons with their machines and/or being a strong team in all aspects and now all of them have to go out in an FRC-heavy region and go replace an upper-tier sponsor.

At least they did’t pull the rug out in November and all of these teams have the potential to start new relationships with companies looking to support something as awesome as FIRST.

And hey, I’ve been in a position on a team where we had enough for registration, the kit, and whatever was in our pockets and finished second and fourth at our events.

Analyze, adjust, anticipate. Don’t panic.

I’m checking with BMS on the status of our sponsorship, but as of right now, I haven’t heard any info from them.

How did you hear they are dropping all team sponsorships?

If they are dropping sponsorships, does anyone have any advice on how to make that money up?

We got a letter to days ago.


What you DO have is time. Time to find some new sponsors, time to run some fund raisers, time to hit up parents and relatives.

There is a danger in having one major, consistent sponsor: It gets teams out of the habit of fundraising. But I assure, it can be done. Better to have six $1000 sponsors than one #6k sponsor. Or maybe 60 $100 sponsors…

We pull in over $2k on each of our car washes (we run 2 a year). The trick is pre-selling the tickets. Each student gets a book of 10 tickets ($5 per ticket) and needs to return with $50 in hand. There is a prize for the most tickets sold, too. Sure, some kids can’t sell 10 tickets, but they need to understand that they need to try hard.
2 carwashes Shaun and you are 2/3 there…**

How can I help?

This is very true, we have gotten very lazy with raising money. It will be fun to get the team moving this summer looking for new sponsors.

As weird as this sounds, it might be a good thing for the team in the long run. You all are extremely lucky to have been notified now rather than closer to build.

Losing that 6K should push kids on the team to not only make up that 6k, but also to push past just raising 6K and really start gathering funds for more situations like this. Maybe make it a goal to raise 10K total instead of just the 6K you lost. This can be done with multiple simple fundraisers + large fundraisers such as dinners + really pushing your kids to go out and get multiple smaller sponsors.

Some perspective: 11 lost a long standing $10K sponsor in November and had to analyze how to save money and stay within budget with two robots two districts + a regional. But things like this just keep teams prepared and aware of what the real world can be like. The lesson that this might teach teams is to never be comfortable with their financial situations and to always fundraise on top of sponsor donations. Analyze your budgets: are you really using every penny to the best of your abilities? Are there ways you can save money on materials? Find lower cost vendors, find material donors, find a different construction method maybe? All I have to say is that I love the district system because of things like this.

Best of luck, PM me if you need assistance with fundraisers.

We received our letter today.

I’ll echo the same sentiments above - diversifying your sponsor base is the best way to insulate your team from the loss of a major sponsor. Our Finance and Marketing subteams represent about 30% of our student members, and they work nearly year round following new leads, keeping in touch with existing sponsors, and running fundraisers.

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet - this isn’t necessarily the end of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s involvement with FIRST. The letter indicated that it was due to a reduction in the community outreach budget, and that those funds may be restored/available in some way for the 2014-2015 season.

BMS (and Fred Egenolf) have been a fantastic supporter of our team and many others in the area. We certainly wouldn’t be where we are today without their support. They were our major corporate sponsor starting in the 2010 season, as we transitioned off the NASA rookie/2nd year grants. Hopefully we’ll see BMS logos on robots again in the 2015 season.

LEGO Camps have been very productive in raising funds, specially during the summer. Usually charge $75 to $100 per student. Usually need $2,000 in donated LEGO Mind storm kits to get started.