Ford Sponsorship required data excessive

Can anyone here comment on why Ford is requiring so much student data for sponsorship consideration for the 2020 season? I get wanting to know # of students, ethnicity/grade/gender breakup, etc. People seem to care about these metrics WAY more than I do, and Ford wants to know where their money is going to. Fine. But some of the datapoints they are requiring are beyond excessive and downright creepy.

I should not be required to provide the home address, citizenship status, or phone number/email of under-aged students (or their parents) to a corporation. I don’t care what security they claim to have, companies are getting hacked all the time, and requiring this info is beyond concerning. Are we being payed by Ford for them to data-mine my team members and their families?

Additionally more than half my team is freshman/sophomores. They have no idea what they want to do for their career yet, much less what college they want to go to. That’s kinda why they joined the team; to figure it out. So asking what college they want/plan to attend is absurd.

Am I wrong?


I think your feelings on this are completely valid, and I feel for you. You should give them a call and ask why if possible. I think that asking for metrics like those is pretty creepy.


Is it possible to submit without the data?

Agreed. Providing anything beyond aggregate (anonymized) team demographic breakdown as a condition of team sponsorship is an immediate “no” for our team, no matter how much money is on the table.

Definitely agreed that you should try to talk to a human about the issue and negotiate some changes, they should still have time to modify/fix the application before the sponsorships are allocated.

@Technologyman00 even if it’s “optional”, there are many grants that treat “optional” fields as required to get any money awarded.


Here’s one of those times that lying is perfectly acceptable.


Home address and contact is just useless and a perfect example of gathering more data than you need. You’re definitely not wrong to call it out as that. I would ask people what they wanted to provide, and then when everyone says no thanks and you submit all that blank, you can attach a note saying something to the effect of “we were refused permission to share this data” or similar.

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I’m not sure if you’re speaking on behalf of Ford or not, but you’ve done a poor job communicating here. There is a genuine concern about this invasive data collection and here you are patronizing those inquiring.

Please try to remember what it is you are trying to represent and ensure you are doing so in a tasteful manner. The off-handed comments are really not necessary. Especially pertaining to delicate subject matters like the overzealous collection of personal information of minors.

Have some tact.


This seems like a scummy ultimatum to give to anyone, let alone a group of underaged students. I’m glad our sponsors don’t hold an attitude like that.


Are you suggesting that providing student information is a criteria that Ford uses in selection of which teams to sponsor?

I’m not sure that’s clear in the FAQ.

Also I’m not sure if this is legal, since Ford does not have verifiable consent from the parent / guardian.


Not to sound like a jerk (which is usually an indicator Im about to)

I don’t think you do understand the concerns. In fact, I think that the belief that “well other teams don’t care” is evidence you don’t understand the concerns in the least. While collecting information has become exceedingly normal in this country it still isn’t safe and too often I see people discount that risk and the cost associated with it. Do you believe that Ford will never suffer a data breach? What exactly are the terms associated with holding this data? Can you sell it to third parties? What about teams that allow younger students on the team? Do your data access policies account for the fact that there may be students under the age of 13 in the data set?

Why not simply collect generic demographic data about the students and collect contact information for adults on the team, it provides you a contact point to reach the students for scholarships and recruiting while removing many of the troublesome “we’re collecting tons of data on young kids” aspects.

Of course, I admit I’m a weirdo here and don’t like giving out more information than I need to… comes with having my entire life leaked by OPM because they didn’t follow their own standards for data storage.


I can think of better ways to invite students to apply scholarships than collecting their personal information, namely relaying messages through the lead mentor. This excessive collection of personal data is at best sketchy and at worst potentially illegal and really creepy.

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What a weird reason to have a thread necro’d.

While I’m not with the team I had these concerns about anymore so I can speak freely without fearing financial repercussions for the team (team came to a reasonable conclusion that provided info for our seniors while protecting our underclassmen), it appears my suspicions were validated. Yikes; this is a bad look for Ford.


Seeing that in the 4 days since he’s created his CD account, all he’s done is reply to threads about Ford sponsorships/grants, and since there is a Kurt Murray working for Ford Credit, I’m going to assume that he’s speaking on behalf of Ford.

I’m sorry, but i think you need to familiarize yourself with the definition of optional. “Left to one’s choice, not required or mandatory”. Saying something is optional and then telling a team that they if they don’t do it they may as well step aside and give someone else their spot is the literal opposite of optional.

And additionally, berating a team for having concerns about the safety and legality of sharing information of MINORS, and snarkily threatening to not consider said team for a sponsorship due to those reasons, in a program consisting of HIGH-SCHOOL and YOUNGER students is probably the dumbest thing you can be doing while representing your company.


If Ford’s trying to get teams to change their minds about this being creepy or not, it isn’t working. Datamining of teenagers (well anyone really but especially teenagers) is so creepy, and leaving sarcastic comments about it through an account that looks suspiciously like it’s speaking on behalf of the company doing so is not a good strategy. This is probably the weirdest reason I’ve seen a forum post necro’d ever.


it would appear (according to Rookie Team Help Request - Ford and GM Sponsorships - #5 by kmurra13) that they can speak officially on Ford’s behalf, and that they are directly involved with the sponsorship selection process.

I can also say that many of these questions are still being asked. And while I agree they should be optional, and your qualification for recieving the award should not depend on how much data is given, there seems to be no real way to police such a process. I know competition for the grant is high, lots of teams apply and many don’t receive it, even teams that have mentors that work at Ford’s have been denied. I would assume (hope) they would use the data to ensure they are helping teams that need it most, but since we can’t see the data (and there’s NO WAY we should) there’s no real way to police that either. So were left with no reassurances that the data is being used correctly or that is being secured correctly. And for many team, I’m sure, they are a majority sponsor. Without this sponsorship they may not be able to play. And without some kind of data, ford can’t be sure they’re giving it out to the most qualified teams. It is a sad situation.

I really wish instead of multiple people piling onto a rep from Ford, we would wait for Kurt to respond.


Pending his response and if there is a misunderstanding to cleaned up. I feel this may need to be reported to higher authorities.

I know FORD is a great sponsor (and I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt), but a fallout on the safety of minors is not something anyone wants to deal with.

I work for Ford, I DO NOT speak for Ford.

I’ve looked in the corporate directory and reached out to a couple people I believe are associated with Ford’s sponsorship of STEAM initiatives. Hopefully someone who can speak for Ford will respond.