Loyalty To FIRST Sponsors?

So, I just finished a piece on product loyalty, and an old reoccurring thought of mine came up: Just how loyal are FIRST participants to the companies that sponsor them?

Now, I realize that this doesn’t fit in with every sponsor (ie: government sponsorship and the ones that don’t sell directly to the consumer), but out of curiosity…does FIRST sponsorship drive your purchasing decision at all?

Beyond that…should FIRST sponsorship drive our purchasing decision?

for me it is not a matter of loyalty but i gain exposure to companies that make products so when i am looking for “x” product i immediately think of the company that sponsors FIRST

the other question that goes along with this is if competing companies both sponsor teams (ie. Ford and GM) do you show loyalty to the company that sponsors the better FIRST team? :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that a lot of it is that if a sponsor is big enough in FIRST (GM, Ford, etc) their top competitor also seems to be sponsoring teams. But yes, if I use a product that I know is produced by a FIRST sponsor, so long as it is not significantly more expensive (I am a starving college kid afterall) I’ll buy their brand.

I’ve always tried to give back to people who give to me. When we were kids and had businesses sponsor our sports teams, I remember my parents always went to those places. Guess it rubbed off…

Most of our sponsors produce/supply industrial products/services, so I guess that they don’t really affect my daily life/buying habits. Although, we have a TV station that we did a non-FIRST related project for and they may sponsor us for FIRST this coming season. I started watching their station soon thereafter (mainly looking for clips of us). One of our other sponsors is a surplus electronics store that I usually shop at anyway.

My purchasing decisions are usually not affected by FIRST sponsorship.

Yep… that was my vote.

Basically all the sponsorships have done for me as a consumer is made me see something at the store or wherever, and say “Hey, they sponsor FIRST.”
If I like something a company makes, I will buy it, but I won’t rush right out and buy something just because they sponsor a FIRST team or multiple teams.
(Now if they marketed a consumer product with a FIRST logo on it in partnership with FIRST as a fundraiser, then I would run right out and buy it… but that’s another story.)
Speaking of… Shasta Water anyone? What’s the deal with that???

Anywho…
Then again, products or companies I haven’t heard of before, my first question to myself is usually “Hmm… I wonder if they sponsor a FIRST team” especially driving down the highway to other states.

I have seen lots of companies along the Mass Pike, and NJ Turnpike/Garden State Parkway and have asked myself that question when I saw their huge buildings.
Huge buildings usually equal big company = global business = big profits = bigger potential for a sponsorship.
Sometimes.

It does a bit. Any time I need to send a package, I tend to do it via FedEx, mainly because of their support of FIRST.

The preference extends to other things but only when I feel that the other choices are more or less comparable. There’s not much of a difference (in my mind at least) between the various shipping companies so I go with the one that does FIRST. However, I doubt that I’d buy a GM, Ford, or Diamler-Chrysler vehicle simply because they support FIRST. For something like a car, it’s too important to base it on something like that (to me).

Matt

Sure, but mostly its by total coincidence. I don’t want to make my life like NASCAR where I revolve my life around buying stuff from the people who support a raceteam, or in our case FIRST. Sure, if a product that has the same specs and is the same price, I would buy the one that supports FIRST before the one that doesn’t. However, it is nice knowing your money is going to something good.

My $0.02

I’ve joked before that I am GM Brainwashed :smiley:

However, I can’t say how much of that is due to four years on a GM sponsored team and how much is due to growing up in a GM family (At least four immediate family members have worked/do work for GM, nifty employee discount thing).

Other things, I’m often biased towards FIRST sponsors (ex - I need some lunch, I think I’ll buy from Restaurant A who donated to the team as opposed to Restaurant B who did not).

I love FIRST but I work too hard for my money to simply base it on a corporation’s involvement in my hobby. The quality of their product goes much farther in my book.

Not FIRST sponsors but my team sponsors I do. I get my tires and brakes put on at one of our sponsors. I ask our team members to let the sponsor know that their sponsorship helped bring them there. Milkshakes, tacos, suits, steaks, go carting, and printing yes I do, but cars, real estate, proctology, and jet engines ehhh not so much.

Quality, cost, function and features.

Wouldnt it be hypocritical to buy from a company that offers inferior products because they have bribed you (by giving money to your favorite ‘cause’)

esp around a program that is trying to advance engineering and science?

thats what engineering is all about - being the best in your field, and in your market

all things being equal I will support FIRST sponsors, but dont try to sell me junk and then play the sponsor card.

You have a proctologist as a sponsor??? How did that sales pitch go?

Must be a nice logo to slap on the robot.

We had to do something after the semifinals at Boilermaker.

Just kidding, We always tell our students to ask their doctors and dentists to be $250.00 sponsors and they took me serious. Then again some of our robots could use a proctologist. I just hope he keeps giving cash and not in-kind donations. :o

Of course! Without the sponsors, we wouldn’t exist!