Correct use of FIRST terms - use them, love them!

In the slew of great letters sent to officials on the FIRST forums was a note from John Marichony, Chief Marketing Officer at FIRST. It can be viewed in its entirety here:

There are some things in here to remember as you start to craft your team’s message in 2007:

Response to the homework assignment has been phenomenal. In a very few instances, names of FIRST programs have not been used exactly as they are intended. Here are FIRST’s preferred, recommended, and requested ways to refer to our programs:

The organization is FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, often referred to as FIRST, or FIRST (without italics). We try always to use italics. You are not “required” to do so.

FIRST’s original program is called the FIRST Robotics Competition. We do not refer to it or the organization as “FIRST Robotics.” In writing, we will provide the full name, then the acronym, and then refer to the program later in the copy as “FRC.” Example: FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

Next, FIRST created the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), which we NEVER EVER refer to as “LEGO League.” Also, just FYI, when you have two LEGO bricks, you say “I have two LEGO,” not “I have two LEGOs.”

Most recently, we created the FIRST Vex Challenge (FVC). We NEVER EVER refer to the program as “Vex.” We do say that participants in the program us the “Vex Robotic Design System.”

Hope that helps. Thanks for all your fabulous work and contributions.


John Marchiony
Chief Marketing Officer, FIRST

So, as you write and speak about all the great things you are doing this season - don’t forget to use correct terminology! The more consistent the message, the clearer it will stick in the heads of those we wish to help us grow the program.


Thank you for posting this–it really does get irritating when folks completely butcher it, especially in writing.

(Can this get a sticky, by chance?)

Also, just FYI, when you have two LEGO bricks, you say “I have two LEGO,” not “I have two LEGOs.”

Another common plural of LEGO, which has been accepted by the LEGO users community would be “I have two LEGO bricks”.
(If you really want to make yourself sound plural or have OCD and NEED to have an S present somewhere.)

Just thought I would throw that out there from one LEGO Maniac and FRC member to others of the *FIRST and *LEGO community.

Isn’t the English language and the new rules it makes every day fun? :rolleyes: :smiley: :yikes: :stuck_out_tongue:

Great post Jess, everyone in any aspect of *FIRST *should read this!!
*Note for The Game Manual writers of '08 - Add this to it!


And with many teams now considering a trip to Atlanta, may I point out that it is NOT “The Nationals”? It hasn’t been for many years. It is an international event and is comprised of:
The FIRST Robotics Competition Championship Event
The FIRST Vex Challenge World Championships
The FIRST LEGO League World Festival
The FIRST Robotics Conference (which encompasses all programs).

And more recently, the FIRST Vex Challenge has been renamed to the FIRST Tech Challenge.

Don’t forget “Gracious Professionalism”

well, since the thread has been resurrected…let me add…

It’s not the “Vex program”. Vex is the common name used for the robotics design platform. “FIRST Tech Challenge” is the name for the FIRST program.

FIRST Tech Challenge (or FTC) has 4 levels of tournaments - Local or League Tournaments; Qualifying Tournaments which allow winning teams to compete in their nearest Championship Tournament. A Championship Tournament is akin to the FRC Regionals. And the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships.

Along that same line, please remember that the term FIRST encompasses ALL programs (FRC, FTC, and FLL). Since FRC was the first FIRST program, a lot of folks have a tendency to call FRC FIRST. They are NOT equal.

And let’s not forget JFLL!

I really didn’t know it mattered.

How you present yourself always matters, especially in writing.

I just noticed this on the FIRST website:

At the very bottom of each page it says
© US FIRST (Foundation for the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

although just above that it says
FIRST: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

Has anyone seen the Foundation nomenclature before? I don’t recall hearing that anywhere.

I found it on the liability forms in the first paragraph, emphasis mine:

This is a Consent and Release of Rights in favor of the United States Foundation For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
, and its officers, directors, employees, and assigns (“FIRST”), as well as entities designated and approved to assist FIRST in
managing, contracting, sponsoring, hosting, conducting, evaluating or publicizing (including individuals and entities working with FIRST in
print, publication, television, broadcast or video media) FIRST’s programs (“FIRST’s Cooperating Entities”) including any and all FIRST
Place, the FIRST LEGO® League (“FLL”), Junior FIRST LEGO League (“JFLL”) FIRST Tech Challenge (“FTC”), and FIRST Robotics
Competition (“FRC”) Events (the “FIRST Events”). As used below, “Participant” shall mean any individual, student, mentor, teacher, or
volunteer involved in a FIRST event. In consideration of the acceptance of my participation in one or more FIRST Events, I agree to the

I beleive the foundation nomenclature is from the original incorporation documents or the initial IRS 501.c.3 application. That would be FIRST’s legal name. The other is the more common name they us and what is the mark they are protecting. It’s similar to FedEx (Federal Express Corporation) or UPS (United Parcel Service). It’s my understanding that changing that legal name is not easy.

Right, except there doesn’t seem to be any question that FedEx is an abbreviation for Federal Express and UPS is an abbreviation for United Parcel Service. Seems that there is some discrepancy about what the letters in the acronym “FIRST” represent.
If the CMO is going to publish a document concerning the “preferred, recommended, and requested ways to refer to our programs” in great detail (including the name of the organization), I would think it should be consistent or at least note the difference between the legal name and the preferred name.

Thisis even more important to note now with this year’s Dean’s Homework assignment.

JFLL is now Jr.FLL :smiley:

As an avid Lego builder, I always say "I made this out of x legos. Just putting it out there.

Right from the lego box:

“Dear Parents and Children
The word LEGO® is a brand name and is very special to all of us in the LEGO Group Companies. We would sincerely like your help in keeping it special. Please always refer to our bricks as ‘LEGO Bricks or Toys’ and not ‘LEGOS.’ By doing so, you will be helping to protect and preserve a brand of which we are very proud and that stands for quality the world over. Thank you!”

This seems definitive…