STUDENTS: National University Championship: CALL FOR OPINION

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Jonathan may
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STUDENTS: National University Championship: CALL FOR OPINION

Post by Jonathan may » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:18 am

A national student competition will be run in the next 6 months with significant financial backing.

We are very unrestricted as to what we run, except for the following:

1. We need to encourage as many students as possible to attend
2. We need to make people go away feeling positive about the event even if they played rubbish all day

These are not the constraints of a normal tournament. And those who post here are also the TOP players, so please try to think more about what you would have wanted as an average novice player who wants to play but also have fun.

The following currently has been decided:

1. It will be a one-day event
2. It will have Singles, Doubles, and a Universities Cup
3. Entry will be free
4. It will be held in Cambridge
5. Prizes and trophies for 1st-3rd in all events, plus Highest Unranked/Novice and Highest Woman/Women's Pair in all events. (Time permitting and numbers permitting we may add one or more women's events).

Now, I want your opinions on what to add...

1. Free food and drinks
2. A few rented playstations
3. Good sound systems
4. Sofas and TV showing whatever football is on
5. Pool tables/quiz machines
6. Lots of freebies (tshirts etc)
7. More intense foos...?

And anything else you can think of. Plan this event for me... we can get pretty much what we want. But I should stress that although this would be a National University Championship, it absolutely HAS to be sponsor-friendly... keep that in mind!

All the best, post away.

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Post by The Doctor » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:13 am

This sounds outstanding, Jon.

I think it would be a good idea to focus the event wholly on table-football and not have any other amusement games (pool, quizzies etc) on site. No sideshows.

People could be kept busy by:

- singles and doubles expert challenges against non-student UK team players (wearing their kit) for prizes (entry is free for these once you have paid to enter the competition as a whole)

- other experts doling out advice

- lots of free food and drinks

- a dj playing foos-related music (Rods on Fire etc) or, failing that, fashionable music (would anyone do this for free?)

- reading the luvverly dan gallon newsletters - many copies for the occasion.

A free t-shirt on registration (sponsored by britfoos, with website details on it) would be good.

It would also be nice to send each player away with a 'goodie bag' full of everything they need to become a tournament player: a good ball, a wrap, a dvd of a proper game (even a game that they played during the tournament itself - would this be possible?), a list of t-f contacts, a leaflet with tricks and tactics explanations...so that they have no excuse not to make the leap to proper play.

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Post by PADDY. » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:16 am

Hi Jon

This sounds like a great idea.

But why just students, Why not promote this to the general public inviting new/novice/unranked players from around the UK?

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Re: STUDENTS: National University Championship: CALL FOR OPI

Post by Teeb » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:25 am

Some of my opinions:
Jon May wrote:1. Free food and drinks
I dont think people will care much about paying for drinks as long as they are cheap.
Jon May wrote: 2. A few rented playstations
I like this idea
Jon May wrote: 3. Good sound systems
As long as they're not too expensive.
Jon May wrote: 6. Lots of freebies (tshirts etc)
Freebies are always appreciated by students, maybe some sort of bag of free stuff that includes info about britfoos and future tournaments?
Jon May wrote: 7. More intense foos...?
Not sure, let the foos speak for itself.
Jon May wrote: And anything else you can think of.
A brand new t2000 torando for the winner?
:P

It does sound like an awesome idea, i'd expect a large turn-out of Warwick players.

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Post by jhk » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:32 am

Paddy/P'boro wrote:Hi Jon

This sounds like a great idea.

But why just students, Why not promote this to the general public inviting new/novice/unranked players from around the UK?
Probably coz a student exclusive event sends out the message to the students that it's perfect for them, so i guess it'll attract more students.
And on the sponsor's pint of view, they'd want Uni students for potential recruitment.

...

Anyway, v v v v nice idea Jon! Will ask other students about this and post some views later  :D
Last edited by jhk on Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jonathan may » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:36 am

Paddy/P'boro wrote:Hi Jon

This sounds like a great idea.

But why just students, Why not promote this to the general public inviting new/novice/unranked players from around the UK?
Lots of opinions so far - keep them rolling in!

The students represent the most "sponsorable" membership group of the UK scene. The sponsor is far keener on making an impact on the student audience to encourage graduate recruitment than on making a brand-related statement.

There are definitely other opportunities for wider sponsorship if we can make a success of this event. For the time being, however, it is absolutely essential that we keep the event tightly-focused on the key concerns of the current sponsor.

I should stress - this event *will definitely happen* - it's just a question of making 100% sure it is a resounding success, generating many many more sponsorship opportunities for the future.

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Post by PADDY. » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:45 am

Jon May wrote:
Paddy/P'boro wrote:Hi Jon

This sounds like a great idea.

But why just students, Why not promote this to the general public inviting new/novice/unranked players from around the UK?
Lots of opinions so far - keep them rolling in!

The students represent the most "sponsorable" membership group of the UK scene. The sponsor is far keener on making an impact on the student audience to encourage graduate recruitment than on making a brand-related statement.

There are definitely other opportunities for wider sponsorship if we can make a success of this event. For the time being, however, it is absolutely essential that we keep the event tightly-focused on the key concerns of the current sponsor.

I should stress - this event *will definitely happen* - it's just a question of making 100% sure it is a resounding success, generating many many more sponsorship opportunities for the future.
Thanks for the reply Jon

This is a huge step forward for table-soccer in the UK

Well done!

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Post by Mike A » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:46 am

If money is no issue, I imagine that many students will be in need of transport assistance. Laying on a few minbuses or coaches might increase participation.

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Post by The Doctor » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:52 am

Mebbe the sponsor could give away branded balls and wraps to competitors.

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Post by Mogwai » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:10 pm

My suggestions (similar to AR-G's):

1. Big group stages (7 or 8 in a group) = lots of short games, higher chance of n00bs nicking a game, lots of chance to meet people.

2. No DE and no Swiss. Keep it simple.

3. Don't start it too early (1-2pm start) to give lazy/hungover a chance to get there without the effort of getting up in the wee hours.

4. Exhibition/practice tables: have a timetable of top players showing exciting skills: aerials, snakes, tic tacs, multiball

5. TV with foos videos showing.

My Opinions:
1. Free food and drinks
Always good. Free buffet and free water/soft drinks. You'll run out of free booze if you put that on! A bar onsite is essential though.

2. A few rented playstations 4. Sofas and TV showing whatever football is on 5. Pool tables/quiz machines

I would go with no. Put the focus on foos skills.

3. Good sound systems
Good but not essential.

6. Lots of freebies (tshirts etc)
If you have spare cash put it into this and food. Goody bags a great idea.

7. More intense foos...?
No make it as fun a day as poss! The good students will all get their fix from National tourneys, this is a great chance to get in new blood.

Great idea Jon, good luck with it.

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Post by Boris » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:02 pm

This does sound like a great idea, and making a success of it would bring lasting benefits to the UK game, and hopefully make this an annual event.

A free T-shirt with the britfoos address on it is a must - getting our message out should be as much a priority as keeping the sponsor(s) happy.

If there is space, human table-football (like a bouncy castle with rods) is a fun idea, and there are plenty of people who could provide this.

I'd treat womens events as an essential part, not a bolt-on option, with similar prizes available to the 'open' events to make it attractive and maximise turnout.

Qualification for UK Championships to top 3 (treat as if an open competition).

Playstations and the ilk might be a good idea, but only a few people can be 'serviced' at any one time, better to have something more football-related (e.g. penalty competition).

Celebs!!!

Show Inside Foos videos on a big screen.

Showcase for ITSF tables - have a selection from all brands who are willing to provide these FOC/stalls etc.

This should give a boost to club membership schemes/more Uni societies - a 'how to form a club/society' pamphlet.

Member recruitment to BFA/player registrations etc.

I agree with Dave M's suggestion as to formats - large groups, short games, with either SKO or modified DKO (winner of losers bracket takes 3rd place, WB final=grand final for 1st & 2nd).  SKO plate competition for non-qualifiers.

Good idea to offer tables as prizes, and prizes in kind rather than cash.

Consider entry restrictions (e.g. No-Pro) to stop Warwickites from winning absolutely everything and putting other Unis off.

Rules/Refereeing workshops

Expert challenges and skills workshops are a no-brainer.

Which tables are you looking to use?  G? T? or multitable?

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Post by DTG » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:06 pm

Personally I couldn't imagine any travelling to this event so you'll only really be getting Cambridge studnets. Perhaps if this event was a success there could be a university tour to promote the game amongst students across the country.

I don't think free food is essential, but sensible pricing is a must.
I think people here are right when they say that distracting from the foos with other entertainments is a bad idea. If there's too much going on they may end up remembering the day for reasons other than foos which would entirely defeat the point.

The goodie bag is definitely a great idea but it must have worthwhile content. Handing out wraps and balls is fine, but, in my opinion, of limited use. There should definitely be a foos DVD in there and a flyer with relevant foos info on there (the webite, foosing venues, upcoming tournaments) and the latest issue of the newsletter too.

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Post by Bundy Volume 1 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:22 pm

This sounds awesome!
But i do agree with david, getting those who don't already travel to tournaments to spend the money to get to Cambridge will be hard. Just how much money is floating about? could travel be subsidised? If it could be made as cheep as possible then attendance would greatly increase. I'd struggle to find people up at Liverpool to spend a fair bit of money to come down, but i know several would give it a go if it cost very little etc

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Post by Jonathan may » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:29 pm

Well...

1. Entry is free
2. Prize money and prizes will be large (and will probably go WAY beyond 3rd, consider it a typo above)
3. It's a one-dayer so theoretically no staying over

We could easily justify running buses from Oxford and Warwick. Running subsidised transport from further would require a commitment from northern (or other) universities to send considerable contingents.

But I don't understand why this would be a problem! Surely if enough people want to come from the North you just hire a minibus and organize your own transport. You're already paying NO entry fees and NO hotel costs, with potentially free food and drink and large prizes. Do I really need to lay on a bus too?

Would you like your tuition fees subsidized as well?

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Post by The Doctor » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:41 pm

DTG wrote: balls...of limited use.
Have you tried playing table-football without a ball? It sucks big-time.

Giving out the odd good quality ball might be good as ppl who play on open(able) tables can stick it in and see how much better the game is with a magic ball than with the eggs they might be used to.

Also, they might fiddle with it in public, drawing interest from strangers.

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Post by Pete F » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:03 pm

Which universities are you hoping to attract, other than those who already have a contingent attending national tournaments?

It would be well publicised at Oxford, Cambridge and Warwick, probably Keele as well, but I'm not sure which other institutions have a big enough scene to warrant a cohort of attendees.  Cardiff?  Edinburgh?

It's a great idea but you might end up with what is effectively a national tournament - just minus any players who aren't students any more.

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Post by The Doctor » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:34 pm

Boris wrote:but only a few people can be 'serviced' at any one time
Does anyone think the thought of Jon May servicing them would make them come?

Re getting other unis to turn up - mebbe some kind of promotional spot in a magazine or on radio could be wangled? Or: create a 'plate' competition that would exclude the usual suspects (Oxf, Cam, War) and send posters to all universities advertising possibility of big money for n00bs.

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Post by Boris » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:12 pm

The tournament would need promoting via NUS and student newspapers nationwide, as well as individual letters to all social and sports secretaries at individual SUs.

Might I suggest someone volunteers as a transport coordinator, so that where there are unis on a particular route participants could share a coach coming from the furthest, or cars could be filled.

As someone said earlier, a fair start time (e.g. 2pm) would give people time to arrive and not discriminate too much against students from the north or west of the country.

I do agree that a university 'tour' would be more effective in raising the profile generally, both of the game and the sponsor.  A hire-van with two players and four tables could do it, one for ECs and the others for the uni championship, staying in travelodges/travel inns and doing a different uni each day/evening.  Winners could then get travel costs paid to attend the National Championships.

There are 47 Universities with student populations over 20000, 20 in the 15-20k range, and 28 in the 10-15k range.   Getting round all 95 would take about 6 months, doing 4 evenings a week on average.  It would need a full-time admin and professional PR.  Taking everything into account, it could probably be done for about £1200 per uni (allowing £1k pw for retaining a PR company and £400 per uni prize package) or £600 per uni without retained PR or prize packages, based on 3-4 'gigs' per week and people being employed on fixed-term contracts to do the job.

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Post by Chaz » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:22 pm

- Students love free stuff
- Students love free stuff they can keep
- Maybe you could arrange transport from unis? Liase with the unis to arrange something efficient and cheap for them.
.

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Post by Chaz » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:24 pm

Almost forgot!!!! Should really be said:

WELL DONE JON! AGAIN!!!
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