**FIRST EMAIL**/Exciting News from FTC

Greetings Teams:

FTC has just announced a new initiative that benefits FRC teams. If your FRC team supports the development of a new North American FTC team between Nov 1, 2010 and Mar 30, 2011 the FTC team will receive a $200 discount on the 2010-2011 season registration and the FRC team will receive a $500 credit on their 2012 FRC season registration (limited to the first 650 FTC teams, maximum 10 FTC teams per FRC team).

Help build the FIRST family! For more details go here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/content.aspx?id=18371.

Go Teams!

Oddly enough, even with a $700 net credit, it’s still far cheaper to start a VRC team than an FTC team, especially when it comes time to register for the World Championship. Regardless, I hope teams who can or plan to take advantage of this do so.

There’s probably something intelligent to say about whether or not this is a marketing move to push more FRC teams to start more expensive FTC teams over the much more economical option in VRC, but I can’t really find the words for that.

Free Market Economy: Why marketers try to make something seem like a good value when it might not be (and sometimes succeed, but mostly fail). Right now, VRC is winning the free market economy battle, so FTC is trying to catch up. The best troops in that battle: marketing departments. The worst opponents: disgruntled customers.

You know, this is exactly what I suggested in the FRC thread. FIRST should offer discounts for registration based on how many FLL / FTC / FRC teams you start, in graudation:
Teams Started:1________2_______3
FLL
_________$50_____$100_____$150
FTC____________$100____$200_____$300
FRC____________$400____$800_____$2000

FIRST just keeps cranking out more and more policies and speeches about starting new teams… It saddens me the disregard given to maintaining current teams.

Yes, it’s still starting new teams…but I think they’re on to something here.

FTC teams are much less resource-intensive to start and to continue than FRC teams. If an FRC team was on the fence before about helping to start another team (and thus invariably dividing their own resources to an extent), then the FTC opportunity can help the new squad get a chunk of the FIRST experience without putting themselves in as much of a lurch. If, over time, the new team amasses the resources of their own to step up to the big show, then great. If not, they’re still involved in FIRST at a level that would otherwise not be possible.

All team-sustaining worries aside, I see the upside here. (Whether it makes sense relative to competing in VRC I’ll leave to those more familiar with both competitions; I’ve been out of that loop for a couple of years.)

Tom,

I would agree with your table if it said ‘Teams started and still running 2 years later’ because I believe that starting unsustainable teams will only create bad experiances for most of those students and will not fulfill the ‘inspiration’ goals of FIRST.

That incentive money better be coming out of he FTC pot because if it’s coming out of my FRC entry fees, I’m gonna be upset.

No need to be upset as I believe that all of these growth and sustainability grants are not being funded by any team registration fees.

Doesn’t this do both? Spurs growth in the FIRST program that is easier to sustain while also supporting veteran FRC teams who help spur that growth. If you are or know of a veteran team that needs funds to help sustain the team, what better FIRST way then to help form new FTC teams with a grant to help them get started and then collect discounts on your future FRC registration.