Marketing

Posted by Tom Wible, Coach on team #131, chaos, from central high school manchester and osram-sylvania.

Posted on 3/30/99 7:23 PM MST

I wish we didn’t have to do all this marketing. I became interested in FIRST as an engineering challenge. I am a little disappointed that we have to market ourselves to the judges and to other teams. Is this a sales convention? Just give us a good look and you’ll see how good we are. Remember, most teams will oversell themselves to get into the finals as an alliance. I for one will try to avoid all the marketing hype and go with the facts, and a good dose of common sense. Same reason I don’t generally buy from infomercials.
I still LOVE this contest though, oops celebration.

Tom Wible
Team 131

Posted by jake, Other on team #177, Bobcats Robotics, from South Windsor High and International Fuel Cells.

Posted on 3/30/99 7:54 PM MST

In Reply to: Marketing posted by Tom Wible on 3/30/99 7:23 PM MST:

I agree that there is too much marketing involved this year. The flaw that I am referring to is that the teams who have ranked high do not have the power that they once had. The power of seeding this year rests in the teams ranked after 16, because they are the ones who will determine how the competition will unfold. Is this right? I don’t think so. I think that the teams who have ranked high have earned the right to decide their own fate, they have earned to pick whomever they want. It just seams to me that the teams that are in real control of this competition are not the highest seeded teams, but the lower.

Does anybody else agree with this? This has been my main gripe of the year. It just seams to me that being number 1 used to mean a lot more than it does now.

-Jake

Posted by Mike Kulibaba, Student on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional and Johnson and Johnson.

Posted on 3/30/99 8:41 PM MST

In Reply to: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by jake on 3/30/99 7:54 PM MST:

All I know is it’s all about being number 1. In any competition I have been in, whether baseball, basketball soccer, school, etc. I have always want to be the best. Do the lower seeds have a bigger choice, of course they do but that in no way will make me think any less of the number one seed. even if you don’t win you still get that number one seed trophy that says to me no matter who your alliance partner was your robot was the best of the day. I would give anything to be the number one seed in Florida, even if we don’t win the whole thing.

Mikr Kulibaba TJ² team 88

Posted by Tom Vanderslice, Student on team #275, ORHS/AST/Hitachi, from Academy of Science and Technology and Hitachi.

Posted on 3/30/99 9:12 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by Mike Kulibaba on 3/30/99 8:41 PM MST:

: All I know is it’s all about being number 1. In any competition I have been in, whether baseball, basketball soccer, school, etc. I have always want to be the best. Do the lower seeds have a bigger choice, of course they do but that in no way will make me think any less of the number one seed. even if you don’t win you still get that number one seed trophy that says to me no matter who your alliance partner was your robot was the best of the day. I would give anything to be the number one seed in Florida, even if we don’t win the whole thing.

: Mikr Kulibaba TJ² team 88

I’m gonna have to disagree with you there. I’d be happy being the 221st seed if we got selected by a top team and won the tournament. In the end, I think it all comes down to the tournament, those are the ‘best robots of the day’.

Tom
Team 275

Posted by Mike Kulibaba, Student on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional and Johnson and Johnson.

Posted on 3/31/99 9:12 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by Tom Vanderslice on 3/30/99 9:12 PM MST:

3 teams may win the championship but in my mind I consider the team that finished in the top 16 and one the championing as the overall champion with his two alliance partners helping him get there. When my team was at NJ, we were the 6th seed going into our 7th match. I was thinking to myself: why don’t we just lose are next 3 matches so we can get picked by a great team and go on and win the championship.’ But then I thought to myself that this is unacceptable, I take it as a pleasure to be able to pick the 2 teams to go with as an alliance. I think if we had to get picked and then won the championship that it wouldn’t have the same meaning. Sure we won, but we needed help from team whatever to get here and we couldn’t do it on our own. Now Im not saying it’s a bad thing cause if we don’t make the top 16 and we do get picked I’ll be one of the happiest people in Florida, but it just won’t be the same against if we got to pick our two allaince partners.

Mike Kulibaba

Posted by Andy Grady, Coach on team #42, P.A.R.T.S, from Alvirne High School and Daniel Webster College.

Posted on 3/31/99 9:58 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by Mike Kulibaba on 3/31/99 9:12 AM MST:

I would have to disagree with Mike, I would feel just as good being picked instead of making the top 8. Making the top 8 is a good feat to acomplish, however, if you are picked, that means that other teams recognize your skills and ways and I would be honored to be on a team that was picked.
Good Luck to all,
Andy Grady, DWC/Alvirne

Posted by Mike Kulibaba, Student on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional and Johnson and Johnson.

Posted on 3/31/99 2:27 PM MST

In Reply to: Picking versus being picked posted by Andy Grady on 3/31/99 9:58 AM MST:

That was just my opinion, i take alot of pride in being one of the top 8 teams or top 16 teams whatever it my be. I would never knock the fact that the teams that get picked are better or just as good as my team but I take a special priviledge in being in the top whatever. I agree with you both, that most people won’t care if they are picked or if they pick and they win, but like most times I’m not like everyone else! Good luck to you guys and everyone else in Florida.

Mike Kulibaba Team 88

Posted by Daniel, Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M Gunn Senior High School and NASA Ames.

Posted on 3/31/99 2:58 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Picking versus being picked posted by Mike Kulibaba on 3/31/99 2:27 PM MST:

Last year in Florida my team seeded 6th. I can’t say how proud I was. I had this lightness in my stomach for the whole night! It felt GOOD. Similarly, this year, it should feel good to be one of the top seeds. Of course it’s an honor to be able to score the most points!

 You have a right to feel proud!

You also have a right to feel proud this year for getting picked by a top 16 team. Although the main goal is to win it all, it’s definitely a landmark achievement to be a top 16 seeded team. In no way does that make getting picked a lesser position. Some robots are designed to be picked simply because of a unique playing strategy…

In other words, Mike put it pretty well.

-Daniel

Posted by Tom Vanderslice, Student on team #275, ORHS/AST/Hitachi, from Academy of Science and Technology and Hitachi.

Posted on 3/31/99 7:17 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Picking versus being picked posted by Daniel on 3/31/99 2:58 PM MST:

: Last year in Florida my team seeded 6th. I can’t say how proud I was. I had this lightness in my stomach for the whole night! It felt GOOD. Similarly, this year, it should feel good to be one of the top seeds. Of course it’s an honor to be able to score the most points!

: You have a right to feel proud!

: You also have a right to feel proud this year for getting picked by a top 16 team. Although the main goal is to win it all, it’s definitely a landmark achievement to be a top 16 seeded team. In no way does that make getting picked a lesser position. Some robots are designed to be picked simply because of a unique playing strategy…

: In other words, Mike put it pretty well.

: -Daniel

Yes, I’m sure there are many teams (well I don’t know how many, but we’re one…and I’ve heard of a few others…and I’m sure there are plenty more) whose strategies are designed to be picked as alliance partners. It is very unlikely at nationals that a robot designed to be defensive will be a top 8/16/whatever number it is team b/c even if they win every match…they simply won’t have enough qualifying points…so in no way is being picked a lesser position…but…(there’s always a but isn’t there)…being in the top 8/16 is also a GREAT accomplishment…I’d love to be there…but I’d be happy just being in the elimination rounds.

Tom

Posted by Reuben Hintz, Student on team #53 from Eleanor Roosevelt HS.

Posted on 3/31/99 7:25 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Picking versus being picked posted by Daniel on 3/31/99 2:58 PM MST:

Heck, I wouldn’t mind either one! Its interesting though how being one of the top seeds and getting picked are two very different things. At Philly the top seeds were mostly low-key teams that just went out there and got points while the teams that got picked were more flashy (like Delphi). Oh yeah, the top three seeds got knocked out in the first round at Philly too.

Posted by Jason, Coach on team #252/254, Bay Bombers/Cheesy Poofs, from Broadway High and NASA Ames.

Posted on 3/31/99 11:39 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by Mike Kulibaba on 3/31/99 9:12 AM MST:

Mike,

Speaking from experience, our team has both finished in the top 8 and picked an allie & we finished 12th and were picked by the 4th seed for an alliance. I can not guarantee it, but I think I can speak for most playoff teams in saying that once the elimination rounds started there was absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between the seeded 8 and those they picked. No alliance could move on in the quarter’s, semi’s, or finals without each team contributing & doing well. It is truly a teamwork accomplishment once the elimination rounds start, and neither robot can succeed without the other.

Trust me, our students have talked about it, and they honestly feel no more and no less pride in either situation - AND they don’t look at either of schools we were allied with any differently (the one who picked us, or the one we picked). No matter how you make it to the elimination rounds, you’re robot has to have been well built & performed well to make it - so everyteam who makes it deserves it. If you are able to experience it both ways, I think you will agree.

While I disgree with you that one robot in a winning alliance would feel more pride or accomplishment than the other, I might (don’t know since we weren’t involved) agree with your theory in terms of the new 3 team alliances. I don’t know if we would really feel equal to our partners if they won the National unless our robot did compete in at least one of the rounds in the finals. Don’t get me wrong, we would LOVE to be picked by someone in Florida (and we think we have a lot to offer), but I just hope everyteam gets a chance to compete without one being left out - because then I might see your opinion coming in to play.

Just a perspective on the picker or pickee discussion.

See you all in Florida

Team 252

Posted by John Haney, Engineer on team #158, Cobras, from Great Oaks/Live Oaks Campus and SDRC.

Posted on 3/31/99 8:56 AM MST

In Reply to: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by jake on 3/30/99 7:54 PM MST:

Jake, you are right. ‘being number 1 used to mean a lot more than
it does now.’ But, I believe that is by design. The FIRST events
are competitions not tournaments. What is the different? A tournament
is a series of elimination contests with the intent of producing a
champion. A competition is a series of contests which allows teams to
test their skills and to see how they measure up against their peers.
A tournament is about winning and losing. A competition is about doing
your best.

Just my 2 cents,

John - Team 158

Posted by Jeff Burch, Engineer on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Delco Electronics Systems.

Posted on 3/31/99 1:13 PM MST

In Reply to: The Competitions Major Flaw… posted by jake on 3/30/99 7:54 PM MST:

I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you say the top seeds don’t have ‘the power they once had.’ What power did they have last year? The right to play the worst seeded teams on Saturday theoretically increasing their chance to win and move on. This year the top seeded teams are GUARANTEED a spot in the elimination rounds.

Not only that, the top seeded teams that make the cut have all the rest of the teams to chose from and convince to be their partner. Teams that don’t make the cut have only the top seeded teams to market themselves to.

I think most people would agree that they would rather be a top seeded team with an automatic spot in the quarter finals than a team that must depend on being picked. Yes, these top seeded teams must market themselves to attract the better teams, but teams that didn’t make the cut must also do some aggressive marketing, and without the comfort of knowing that they’ve made it to the eliminations.

Posted by Andy Grady, Coach on team #42, P.A.R.T.S, from Alvirne High School and Daniel Webster College.

Posted on 3/30/99 9:18 PM MST

In Reply to: Marketing posted by Tom Wible on 3/30/99 7:23 PM MST:

Unfortunately i think marketing, or lack there of, kills some teams chances. Not to be barking up my own pole here but i sincerely felt that my team this year was a very good, top 8 capable team who had a few bad breaks and didn’t quite make it. I thought for sure that we would be picked because our robot could get the job done. Unfortunatly our robot didn’t look the best, it didn’t have a big name behind it, and it wasn’t flashy. Because of this i feel we were not picked. This is something that we can’t do anything about, and it is in the eyes of the teams to be able to see teams similar to my team who have good solid robots that get the job done, yet are not known well or have a flashy paint job. Of course I could be wrong.
Good Luck to all,
Andy Grady, DWC/Alvirne

Posted by Jon, Engineer on team #190, Gompei, from Mass Academy of Math and Science and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Posted on 3/31/99 12:24 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: Marketing posted by Andy Grady on 3/30/99 9:18 PM MST:

: Unfortunately i think marketing, or lack there of, kills some teams chances. Not to be barking up my own pole here but i sincerely felt that my team this year was a very good, top 8 capable team who had a few bad breaks and didn’t quite make it. I thought for sure that we would be picked because our robot could get the job done. Unfortunatly our robot didn’t look the best, it didn’t have a big name behind it, and it wasn’t flashy. Because of this i feel we were not picked. This is something that we can’t do anything about, and it is in the eyes of the teams to be able to see teams similar to my team who have good solid robots that get the job done, yet are not known well or have a flashy paint job. Of course I could be wrong.
: Good Luck to all,
: Andy Grady, DWC/Alvirne

I know that lots of teams have dedicated intelligence gathering groups and stats people and i think that they will be touring the pits and watching the matches en masse in order to scout out their future allies/enemies and along the way to watch for potential teammates.

My team has done it in the last regionals even though we are far from making the top 8. Sometimes asking other teams questions about their robots makes them wonder about your own and then you can show them your many features…
this marketing thing kinda forces teams to go out and talk to other teams…
just a thought,
jon

Posted by Peter VanWylen, Student on team #107, Team ROBOTICS, from Holland Christian High School and Metal Flow Corp…

Posted on 4/7/99 11:39 AM MST

In Reply to: Marketing posted by Tom Wible on 3/30/99 7:23 PM MST:

Marketing to Judges:
I also agree that there is too much marketing. Many teams went out and passed out ‘awards’ too every team:

‘TEAM X congratulates you for winning the Team X ________ award’

Our team left with 5 or 6 of these rather meaningless ‘awards.’ The reason why they are meaningless: Team X is really just trying to get the real Sportsmanship award. Judges just love that kind of thing. So, when the judge walks up and starts talking, ‘SO what special things has your team done…?’ All of the sudden a couple students pop out of nowhere and start showing some of the awards that they gave to other teams. The Judges think: ‘What good sports!!’
Really, the Team X creativity award doesn’t do much other than earn Team X the official sportsmanship award.

I understand that I am being somewhat stereotypical here. There might be some teams out there that do this for more that marketing to the judges, but atleast a lot of them were.

Marketing to other teams:
There is also too much inter-team marketing. By the end of the Great Lakes regional, our pit was littered with quite a few nice looking adds for Team X:

-Team X can climb the puck
-Team X can grab the pole
-We have a very reliable lift mechanism
-We excell in DEFENSE!

REMEMBER TEAM X: reliable, fast, and capable!!!

Really Team X can waste as much paper as they see fit, but IF we were in the top 8 seeds, would we really listen to your advertisment?
Please, these can become rather annoying, and they don’t help your chances much at all.

Sorry to all the Team X’s that I may have offended. Even our team considered doing these things, so I know how tempting these can be.

Good luck in FL to all,
-Peter

Posted by Raul, Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

Posted on 4/7/99 12:11 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Marketing posted by Peter VanWylen on 4/7/99 11:39 AM MST:

Watch out Tom; you may get a couple of other awards:

  • most intense post :slight_smile:
  • having the guts to say exactly what you feel :slight_smile:

o o
(___)

Raul

Posted by Tom Wible, Coach on team #131, chaos, from central high school manchester and osram-sylvania.

Posted on 4/7/99 8:10 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Marketing posted by Raul on 4/7/99 12:11 PM MST:

Thanks, (I think) for your reply. I’ve always been one to err on the side of self expression over being PC. (One of my faults)
Just to reverse my previous comment, I’d like to say this:
TEAM 131 C.H.A.O.S:
UTC REGIONALS-#1 SEED ON FRIDAY
#1 SEED UNTIL FINAL MATCH ON SATURDAY
#2 SEED BY TIE BREAKER
OUR DRIVETRAIN CAN AND DID PUSH THE PUCK AND TWO OPPOSING ROBOTS INTO A CORNER
OUR ROBOT DOES EVERYTHING(FOR REAL)
WE WERE ONE OF THE MOST FEARED TEAMS IN HARTFORD! (I THINK)
DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, CHECK US OUT, I WILL GIVE ANYONE WHO COMES BY OUR PIT A FULL TOUR.

How’s that for some advertising!
Tom (Big Mouth) Wible
Team 131

Posted by Raul, Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling HS and Motorola.

Posted on 4/8/99 6:32 AM MST

In Reply to: Here’s some marketing for ya! posted by Tom Wible on 4/7/99 8:10 PM MST:

I’m so confused! I meant to say Peter, to whom I was replying, will get the awards, not Tom.

Anyway, I’m not sure how much marketing I want to do either. I prefer to let the robot’s performance speak for itself. I will answer anyone’s questions; but I will not go out of my way to brag about our robot’s capabilities. When the judges come over we have the students do all the talking.

What bothers me more than marketing is when a team exaggerates about their capabilities. If you know your robot can only hold 5 floppies reliably, then don’t say you can hold 8 or 10! This can have an impact on the strategy used.

In conclusion, I agree with Peter that I would like to see for myself rather than get a pamphlet.

Raul

Posted by Mike King, Other on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 4/7/99 4:41 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Marketing posted by Peter VanWylen on 4/7/99 11:39 AM MST:

: Marketing to Judges:
:
: Marketing to other teams:
: There is also too much inter-team marketing. By the end of the Great Lakes regional, our pit was littered with quite a few nice looking adds for Team X:

: -Team X can climb the puck
: -Team X can grab the pole
: -We have a very reliable lift mechanism
: -We excell in DEFENSE!

: REMEMBER TEAM X: reliable, fast, and capable!!!

:

Can Team X pick floppies off the floor and will they be at flordia.

(warning, the preceding statement was a joke and should be taken as such)

Mike :slight_smile: