Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

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  • Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

    I think that the Foundation should immediately stop giving the $7000 to $9000 per year to the CFC, since the CFC can now survive without it.

    Instead, they should spend the money each year on producing chess promotional items and sending them out to all the chess clubs in Canada. Each item should have the CFC logo and website marked on it and also have the individual club logo (which every club could develop, if they do not already have one) and website (if there is one) on it. Prizes could include snazzy posters (one targeted to kids and another to men (with a guy playing an attractive woman with 5 other attractive people watching the game) and brochures and other printed material (all professionally done); pens, key chains, mugs, chess books, etc. Chess is obviously a male-centric game so spice it up a little with the poster targeting men.

    Each club must agree to use these items ONLY as prizes for simuls. These simuls must occur in public spaces like shopping malls, parks, public art shows (artists love the game), university commons rooms, high schools or public schools, exhibitions like CNE in Toronto or the Landsdown Park exhibition in Ottawa and not be internal simuls that only draw existing members. Each club would sign a written agreement to this effect. They would also agree to take pictures and write an article on the event and provide this information to the CFC office for posting on the web site. They would also agree to send this article and pictures to their local papers and radio stations which will more than likely run the story in their paper or station.

    In the simuls, prizes would be given out to winners, drawers, youngest kid, oldest player, best female, best person wearing a red shirt, etc. i.e lots of prizes.

    The public loves simuls; I think that they are by far the best way to promote the game. Provide the prizes and the clubs will do the rest.

  • #2
    Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

    Originally posted by Paul Beckwith View Post
    I think that the Foundation should immediately stop giving the $7000 to $9000 per year to the CFC, since the CFC can now survive without it.
    Your whole plan can be implemented by the same CFC. or maybe by different CFC :D

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

      Just an additional thought...

      Chess players have an awful habit of seeing everything in black and white, for obvious reasons. Cognitive behaviour therapists (CBT) would have a field day with them...

      For example: Dismantle the foundation versus keep it alive? Lets have a huge polarized debate for months on the topic.

      Or...

      Acknowledge that this is the wrong question to ask. How about redirecting the funds that it provides each year to the CFC and using them for the above promotion. A sustainable promotion since these funds are interest generated funds that preserve the capital. Try it for a few years and see what happens. The Pro and Con sides may not all be happy but it seems like a compromise.

      Nothing wrong with a little grey thinking for a change instead of all-or-nothing....

      Other key points.
      1) Do not send money to clubs, it tends to disappear. Only send the trinkets...
      2) Proper useage of said trinkets can be monitored, since if there is no article on the event there probably was no event.
      3) Keep this promotion independent of the office. Have someone connected with the foundation create a budget, source the materials, and remember to account for postage costs. That way the Foundation runs the marketing/promotion show.

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      • #4
        Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

        Originally posted by Paul Beckwith View Post
        ...
        Paul, would you take charge in implementing all this?

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        • #5
          Public Relations Coordinator - New Executive Position

          Michael von Keitz and I will shortly be filing a motion with the CFC Secretary to institute a new position in the CFC Exective - " Public Relations Coordinator ":

          8C. The Public Relations Coordinator will be responsible for promoting the image of the CFC and for promoting chess generally to the public. As such the Public Relations Coordinator will, among other things:

          - work with chess clubs and organizers across Canada to raise the profile of the CFC and chess generally;
          - work with the editor of the Canadian Chess News E-newsletter to develop content that is club specific;
          - work with the Canadian Chess News editor and celebrity chess commentators to develop paid content that raises the profile of the e-newsletter and the CFC and chess generally.
          - deal with mainstream media to promote significant chess news, such as Canadian Chess Champions, a new Canadian GM, major tournaments like the Can. Closed, Canadian Open, Can. Women’s Closed, CYCC, etc., the various benefits accruing from playing chess and other positive aspects of the chess culture.

          We hope this will bring a new energy in the CFC to chess promotion.

          Bob

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

            Originally posted by Paul Beckwith View Post
            I think that the Foundation should immediately stop giving the $7000 to $9000 per year to the CFC, since the CFC can now survive without it.

            Instead, they...
            "they"? Exactly who are "they"? Who are "the Foundation"? Are they the newest race of beings on Star Trek: The iPatch Generation?


            Originally posted by Paul Beckwith View Post
            ...should spend the money each year on producing chess promotional items and sending them out to all the chess clubs in Canada. Each item should have the CFC logo and website marked on it and also have the individual club logo (which every club could develop, if they do not already have one) and website (if there is one) on it. Prizes could include snazzy posters (one targeted to kids and another to men (with a guy playing an attractive woman with 5 other attractive people watching the game) and brochures and other printed material (all professionally done); pens, key chains, mugs, chess books, etc. Chess is obviously a male-centric game so spice it up a little with the poster targeting men.

            Each club must agree to use these items ONLY as prizes for simuls. These simuls must occur in public spaces like shopping malls, parks, public art shows (artists love the game), university commons rooms, high schools or public schools, exhibitions like CNE in Toronto or the Landsdown Park exhibition in Ottawa and not be internal simuls that only draw existing members. Each club would sign a written agreement to this effect. They would also agree to take pictures and write an article on the event and provide this information to the CFC office for posting on the web site. They would also agree to send this article and pictures to their local papers and radio stations which will more than likely run the story in their paper or station.

            In the simuls, prizes would be given out to winners, drawers, youngest kid, oldest player, best female, best person wearing a red shirt, etc. i.e lots of prizes.

            The public loves simuls; I think that they are by far the best way to promote the game. Provide the prizes and the clubs will do the rest.

            Pretty snazzy ideas, which probably means they'll be shot down. I could see that this should definitely achieve one goal: increasing new membership. The question then becomes, how to retain that new membership, and that leads to a thread of a few weeks ago in which I argued that to keep these newbies for a long period of time, it might be a good idea to provide chess960 events in parallel with chess events.

            Now, I don't want people to think I'm religious on this idea. As I told Kevin Pacey, I love standard chess and am not out to displace it. But Kevin and perhaps others seem to think it's a zero sum game, if you elevate chess960 you must bring down standard chess. Paul, I'm just wondering your take on this, and if you don't see chess960 as something that would retain these newbies (specifically, the ones that get discouraged when they realize they can't progress in standard chess because they are so far behind the curve on openings), what WOULD you see retaining them?

            Chess has had past spurts of growth, only to see membership come back down to previous baseline levels. If we're going to GROW membership, we also need to RETAIN membership. Why not provide an alternative to standard chess, that is not too radically different, but that provides an outlet for those who find out they are "opening deprived"?
            Only the rushing is heard...
            Onward flies the bird.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

              Simuls would seem to be a good way of popularizing chess, but there are so many attendant issues!
              First, kids would have to know what chess IS. This means instruction in the schools, since their parents probably wouldn't have enough time or detailed knowledge to teach them properly. And this would also mean the involvement of Chess and Math!
              Chess 'n Math has lots of experience in this area but it is a private organization run by one individual, albeit a very enthusiastic one, namely Larry Bevand. It would thus seem critical that the CFC and Larry get together and see what can be jointly done in the way of instruction!
              And this leads to yet another issue - the selling of instructional chess material and sets and clocks and books and software. This is a ready way of generating revenue, but who is to receive the money? Larry or the CFC or both? Another problem to be resolved or re-resolved!
              The CFC has been losing money big time for the last several years and is now in desperate or semi-desperate straits. As a former long-time chess player and briefly an instructor for Chess 'n Math, it seems to me that these are issues that must be resolved NOW before the CFC can really get back on its feet.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

                Originally posted by Peter Bokhout View Post
                Simuls would seem to be a good way of popularizing chess, but there are so many attendant issues!
                First, kids would have to know what chess IS. This means instruction in the schools, since their parents probably wouldn't have enough time or detailed knowledge to teach them properly. And this would also mean the involvement of Chess and Math!
                Chess 'n Math has lots of experience in this area but it is a private organization run by one individual, albeit a very enthusiastic one, namely Larry Bevand. It would thus seem critical that the CFC and Larry get together and see what can be jointly done in the way of instruction!
                And this leads to yet another issue - the selling of instructional chess material and sets and clocks and books and software. This is a ready way of generating revenue, but who is to receive the money? Larry or the CFC or both? Another problem to be resolved or re-resolved!
                The CFC has been losing money big time for the last several years and is now in desperate or semi-desperate straits. As a former long-time chess player and briefly an instructor for Chess 'n Math, it seems to me that these are issues that must be resolved NOW before the CFC can really get back on its feet.
                Way too much thinking here, Peter. The kids already know what Chess is, and many already know the basics. Run a simul, they will come. A few club members and some Passport to Chess Phamphlets and some patience is all you need to spark interest in a kid.

                Great ideas Paul.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

                  I would vote for Paul Beckwith as Public Relations Coordinator. He seems to be quite enthusiastic and motivated.
                  His budget would have to be part of the overall (balanced) CFC budget which includes the income from the Foundation. As the CFC Treasurer is currently working up the 2010-2011 budget, Paul's concept might take a bit of time to implement.
                  Paul Leblanc
                  CFC Rating Auditor
                  Treasurer Chess Foundation of Canada

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Chess Promotion: New Role for the Foundation

                    Another thread is debating CFC fees rising or falling $3. A rise of $3 for 2000 members would raise $6,000 per year. On top of $7000 to $9000 from the foundation, this would raise the marketing budget to $13,000 to $15,000 per year, a very healthy start.

                    Perhaps Kevin could ask a different question in his poll: Would members support a $3 rise in fees with all the funds (matched by the foundation) going to supporting the clubs across the country with prizes for their simuls?

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