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Getting Buggy some publicity - Buggy Alumni Association

Getting Buggy some publicity

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jixson
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Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby jixson » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:18 pm

In the Pusher Eligibility Rules thread, Carleton said, "I think the real question here is why does the school hate buggy when it is arguably the best thing about CMU?", probably one of the first things in that thread that everyone can agree on. I may be wrong about this, but if we convince the school that Buggy is something that can make them look better, they'd be a little more supportive. Let's be honest, the only thing CMU seems to care about is their image to the rest of the world. If we can get Buggy out there to the public, could we accomplish this? There were those rumblings about someone from ESPN coming to raceday to do a report, did that ever go through? I know one of the points in BAA's mission statement is to raise awareness in the greater Pittsburgh area, but if the orgs and Sweepstakes can pool their resources with BAA, maybe we can reach a wider audience.

I dunno, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that most people I've talked to agree that Buggy is one of the most unique and amazing things going on at any college, it's a shame that CMU doesn't appear to feel the same way. I would be interested in working to change their mind. Maybe this is just the wishful thinking of a naive undergrad.

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Jerry
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Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby Jerry » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:50 pm

I agree 100% on raising general awareness of buggy - I've been doing TASTE (take a student to eat, for prospective kids) all month and it's practically all I can talk about. It's amazing how many of my classmates at CMU have no idea at all what buggy is - even among the MechE's! I think the current orgs all promote it about as much as they can - but raising awareness to how easy it is to get involved, and making it easier and/or more feasible for a bunch of motivated students/brothers/etc. to start their own team, would be ideal for the sport.

Just some random ideas - the BAA renting a billboard on some highway in Pittsburgh with a shiny poster advertising raceday (showing a buggy in the chute or something) with dates and a website link? (For the month leading up to raceday) That could probably get plenty of people to check it out. Raising awareness in Pittsburgh especially would be great.

Also the ESPN rumor might actually have some grounds in reality. I don't think anything happened this raceday, but I've been cc'd on some preliminary communications. Getting buggy exposure on a national level would basically be the coolest thing ever.

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Carl Nott
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Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby Carl Nott » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:03 pm

I dunno if we'd be able to get casual fans interested or involved on a year-to-year basis (and, honestly, it would kind of freak me out to see an ESPN segment on buggy).

But.

I'm sure we could work something out where we invited folks from relevant industries to campus to spend some time talking to students about buggy. That would raise awareness of buggy within corporate circles and on campus ('Where are you going?' 'Buggy thing.' 'Oh, that get-up-at-3am shit? Are you building another perpetual stupidity machine?' 'Actually, meeting with engineers from Boeing and NASA. Oops, accidentally dropped one of my resumes.').

Would be fun to get a buggy on the course at Akron too, and it would help with exposure I'd think.

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Stratis
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Real Name: Chris Stratis
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Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby Stratis » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:10 pm

Let's kick your TASTE talking up a notch - how about getting Sleeping Bag Weekend-ers a chance to push while they're visiting campus? I vaguely recall someone saying that (years ago) they got to push buggy on their sleeping bag weekend.

Seriously, if I had gotten to push a buggy while I was deciding what school to attend you can bet that would have given CMU a big boost. Plus I would have obsessed about the sport from one year earlier.

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Carl Nott
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Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby Carl Nott » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:17 pm

Yeah, I bagged with two SDC mechanics and went out to push practice. Was, simply, the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

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Mackin
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2nd Organization: KDR
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Real Name: Mike Mackin

Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby Mackin » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:38 pm


shafeeq
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Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby shafeeq » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:04 pm

I don't remember who was telling me about the interview with a random student this year that went something like:

Q: "What do you think of the buggy races?"
A: (horrified) "Oh no, I don't do that sort of thing!"

Certainly, the average CMU student has changed over time, and
Buggy has the reputation of a vice that will eat all your spare time and distract from your all-important academics.

With Booth, every so often you run into someone, say "hey, gotta go work on the booth, come along and kill an hour" and they get sucked in. And booth is easier for a mob of people with ordinary skills to get useful work done. I get the feeling the *SA's do booth as much for the hell of it than the drive of competition - you don't see them getting rowdy when they lose despite the effort they put in. And you can lose and still have an awesome booth.

When I try to explain buggy to people from other schools, what comes to mind is a macho willy-waving contest for jock fratboys. Sure, a few independents play too, but to outside observers, Spirit, Fringe & SDC are easily mistaken for Greek houses. And to that extent, the forces that turn some students off of the Greeks, I think may be turning them off of buggy.

The engineering nerds of the 70's & 80's played with carbureators or whatever before they came here, the engineering nerds of today played with computer stuff before getting here, so maybe there's less of a "holy crap this is awesome!" about the mechanical side of buggy the first time they see it. And if you do get into it, you find that doing well in buggy demands perfection, but in your classes, you can get an A for effort.

Probably doesn't help that the steady progress of buggy technology has made it so that it's harder to grasp that there's more to it than just sticking 3 wheels on a teardrop.

aepibuggy
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Graduation Year: 2008
Real Name: Bryan Arsham
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby aepibuggy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:19 pm

Back when I was a Sophomore/Junior (4-5 years ago), Carnegie Mellon had an "activities fair", of some variety, for admitted students. One of our brothers (buggy chair my freshman year) worked in Admissions. Every time this activities fair would go on, him and I would carry Camo over to Rangos and put it on display. If I remember correctly, at least once there was a TV playing raceday video from one of the past years right next to the table.

During my time sitting at the table, we had quite a few people come up, not only to ask about buggy, but also indicating their intention of getting involved with it if/when they came to CMU. I personally loaded a couple of people into Camo, and I remember seeing at least 1 person who I loaded in on campus the following year (though it wasn't until later that this was pointed out, and I don't know if she ever ended up driving for anyone).

I don't know if this still happens, as I haven't done it in about 5 years. But it would be nice if buggy were on display like that.

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abordick
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Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby abordick » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:37 pm

We were interviewed by a freelance writer for ESPN who was recently hired. We (Me, Tom Wood and Chris Shellhammer) spoke to her. She is hoping to get either a Magazine, ESPNU or short video exposure. She is former SDC. Wood knew her when she pushed.

I don't expect much to come of it, but it would be fun.

ab

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Elmo Zoneball
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Graduation Year: 1979
Location: Bottom of Flagstaff, watching the chute, collecting samples...

Re: Getting Buggy some publicity

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:31 pm

Rule #1 of PR: Start small and build on success:

Begin by taking the Free Roll report each week during each semester, and have it put in the Tartan under it's own byline.

The week before Freeroll start, a general intro/FAQ about buggy would be published, followed by the usual weekly Roll report, with photos (or a subset of them.) This would begin to familiarize students what orgs are involved with it, what it is about, who the players are, which buggy is which, etc.

Emphasis should be placed on luring inquisitive students out to watch Mini-Raceday in the fall, so they get some flavor of what Sweepstakes is all about.

Forget about being featured on Speed Channel or ESPN anytime soon, and concentrate on getting more interest out of the student body. That's what really matters in the long run.

A link from the Tartan column could lead readers to the BAA site, for further in depth details an analysis and commentary by the various people who hang out here and comment on Freerolls, as well as pics and videos.

In concert with this, I recommend the BAA site set up a prominent link to the the "top ten" Buggy stories, pics, and videos -- these should be of the "Holy Sh*t! I can't believe they did that" variety, to further rope them into joining our obsession.

That's a simple start to better PR and generating buzz and interest in Sweepstakes, and it really doesn't involve more work than is already being done on a volunteer basis.
"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."


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