2018 HSNCT sponsorship

NAQT HSNCT, NAQT SSNCT, PACE NSC, HSAPQ NASAT, and NAC are discussed here.

2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Important Bird Area » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:21 pm

naqt.com wrote:NAQT is pleased to announce that its 2018 High School National Championship Tournament will be presented by LetterOne, an investment firm dedicated to promoting team-based, innovative thought among entrepreneurs.


2018 HSNCT details
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby AKKOLADE » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:23 pm

LetterOne is founded and headed by Mikhail Fridman. He also co-founded Alfa-Group, which includes Alfa-Bank. Alfa-Bank is accused of having covert communication with the Trump Organization prior to the 2016 Presidential election.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:27 pm

Matt Weiner was right! The quizbowl leftist - Russia alliance is real!
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:57 am

On one hand, I'm always excited to see more money entering the quizbowl ecosystem; on the other hand, lmao are you kidding me
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Cheynem » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:04 am

What does sponsorship mean in this context? I assume they are providing money, but do they like get to distribute information or have a booth at these tournaments or something? Or just have their name put on a banner?
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:31 am

These are allegations. Regardless of whether the allegations are true or not, turning a sponsorship with real tangible benefits for quizbowl away because of politically motivated demands seems like a pretty bad look, especially if those political stances aren't ones that everyone in the community is inclined to agree with.


As an addendum - I suspect high school quizbowl is probably not as politically synchronous as college quizbowl, either.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Cheynem » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:48 am

I'm not recommending turning away sponsors; I'm just curious as to what the sponsorship relationship is. I would offer the same question if the sponsor was Pepsi or Amazon.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:02 pm

Cheynem wrote:I'm not recommending turning away sponsors; I'm just curious as to what the sponsorship relationship is. I would offer the same question if the sponsor was Pepsi or Amazon.


Oh, my mistake, the post wasn't directed in response to your questions - these seem very reasonable and relevant.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby AKKOLADE » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:54 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
These are allegations. Regardless of whether the allegations are true or not, turning a sponsorship with real tangible benefits for quizbowl away because of politically motivated demands seems like a pretty bad look, especially if those political stances aren't ones that everyone in the community is inclined to agree with.


As an addendum - I suspect high school quizbowl is probably not as politically synchronous as college quizbowl, either.

I presented well-known, easy to find information. People can draw their own conclusions. I think the conclusion that any source of money for quiz bowl, regardless of its background, is good is a bad conclusion to make.

There is also this 2007 Stratfor report on Fridman that was released by Wikileaks.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby merv1618 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:16 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
These are allegations. Regardless of whether the allegations are true or not, turning a sponsorship with real tangible benefits for quizbowl away because of politically motivated demands seems like a pretty bad look, especially if those political stances aren't ones that everyone in the community is inclined to agree with.


What's the source of this quote?
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Cheynem » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:51 pm

He's quoting himself from another thread.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:11 pm

I just wanted to make it clear that this agreement does not involve LetterOne acquiring any ownership of NAQT, or otherwise assuming control of NAQT; this is strictly a sponsorship agreement because LetterOne wanted to be associated with a prestigious form of academic competition.

Under this agreement, NAQT retains full editorial and administrative control over all its operations. In return for the sponsorship, these are potential changes to the 2018 ICT and HSNCT:

-LetterOne signage and branding will appear on tournament documents and in signage in public spaces at the tournament sites.

-Representatives of LetterOne will be present at the tournaments in an observational capacity. (They will not be involved in the running of the tournament itself.)

-We expect increased levels of media coverage for future ICTs and HSNCTs as a result of this agreement.

We're still working out the full details of how we'll use the financial support provided by LetterOne. Our plans include investing in growing public awareness of quiz bowl, improving the tournament experience for players, and increasing participation in the game nationwide. (The field expansion for the 2018 ICT is the first step in this program to be publicly announced.) Please let us know if you have any questions.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby i never see pigeons in wheeling » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:-We expect increased levels of media coverage for future ICTs and HSNCTs as a result of this agreement.


Can you clarify how this follows from receiving some financial backing and plastering LetterOne's name everywhere in exchange? What exactly will partnering with LetterOne do to effect this outcome?
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:41 pm

We will be working together with a marketing firm recommended by LetterOne in order to encourage media coverage of our national championships.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby tksaleija » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:46 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:We will be working together with a marketing firm recommended by LetterOne in order to encourage media coverage of our national championships.


Does this only include ICT and HSNCT?
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:00 pm

tksaleija wrote:Does this only include ICT and HSNCT?


The focus will be on the HSNCT and ICT, but it's possible there will be collateral publicity benefits for our other tournaments.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Friar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:15 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:I just wanted to make it clear that this agreement does not involve LetterOne acquiring any ownership of NAQT, or otherwise assuming control of NAQT


The latter does not follow from the former.

Important Bird Area wrote:this is strictly a sponsorship agreement because LetterOne wanted to be associated with a prestigious form of academic competition.


They want prestige? :capybara: 'em. Good corporate citizens should get quizbowl's prestige, and no others.

Important Bird Area wrote:Under this agreement, NAQT retains full editorial and administrative control over all its operations. In return for the sponsorship, these are potential changes to the 2018 ICT and HSNCT:

-LetterOne signage and branding will appear on tournament documents and in signage in public spaces at the tournament sites.


The signage and branding are the issue. The quizbowl community ought not to promote this business.

Since this branding effort certainly would not have occurred except for LetterOne's payment, it is quite incorrect to say that LetterOne is not exhibiting "control of NAQT" in a meaningful (rather than merely technical) way.

Important Bird Area wrote:-Representatives of LetterOne will be present at the tournaments in an observational capacity. (They will not be involved in the running of the tournament itself.)


This is quite intolerable. Welcoming monitors from the sponsor means -- among other things! -- functionally committing to an absence of question content that could be interpreted as critical of the sponsor or its associates, content that in principle makes up an appreciable part of the canon from current events to earth science.

Important Bird Area wrote:
-We expect increased levels of media coverage for future ICTs and HSNCTs as a result of this agreement.

We're still working out the full details of how we'll use the financial support provided by LetterOne.


Let's see you put 100% of it toward securing this country's election infrastructure against foreign interference.

Still not as good as just not taking this outfit's money, but better than the status quo, I suppose.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:30 pm

The Friar wrote:Good corporate citizens


"Good corporate citizens" are not a real thing. I'm not thrilled about corporations slapping their names on quizbowl tournaments, but I'm not necessarily more outraged that the sponsors are Russian oligarchs who interfere with democracy as opposed to American oligarchs who interfere with democracy.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Friar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:37 pm

Rococo A Go Go wrote:
The Friar wrote:Good corporate citizens


"Good corporate citizens" are not a real thing.


Then nobody should get to be a sponsor. That wasn't hard.

I would have called NAQT a pretty good corporate citizen until this news broke.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby merv1618 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:06 pm

The Friar wrote:
Important Bird Area wrote:I just wanted to make it clear that this agreement does not involve LetterOne acquiring any ownership of NAQT, or otherwise assuming control of NAQT


The latter does not follow from the former.

Important Bird Area wrote:this is strictly a sponsorship agreement because LetterOne wanted to be associated with a prestigious form of academic competition.


They want prestige? :capybara: 'em. Good corporate citizens should get quizbowl's prestige, and no others.

Important Bird Area wrote:Under this agreement, NAQT retains full editorial and administrative control over all its operations. In return for the sponsorship, these are potential changes to the 2018 ICT and HSNCT:

-LetterOne signage and branding will appear on tournament documents and in signage in public spaces at the tournament sites.


The signage and branding are the issue. The quizbowl community ought not to promote this business.

Since this branding effort certainly would not have occurred except for LetterOne's payment, it is quite incorrect to say that LetterOne is not exhibiting "control of NAQT" in a meaningful (rather than merely technical) way.

Important Bird Area wrote:-Representatives of LetterOne will be present at the tournaments in an observational capacity. (They will not be involved in the running of the tournament itself.)


This is quite intolerable. Welcoming monitors from the sponsor means -- among other things! -- functionally committing to an absence of question content that could be interpreted as critical of the sponsor or its associates, content that in principle makes up an appreciable part of the canon from current events to earth science.

Important Bird Area wrote:
-We expect increased levels of media coverage for future ICTs and HSNCTs as a result of this agreement.

We're still working out the full details of how we'll use the financial support provided by LetterOne.


Let's see you put 100% of it toward securing this country's election infrastructure against foreign interference.

Still not as good as just not taking this outfit's money, but better than the status quo, I suppose.


Gordon's 100% correct here, and I'm flabbergasted that NAQT would accept this sponsorship without a fully concrete plan of action for said money. Getting sponsored by Fridman's web isn't just some casual decision, nor even one which mostly lines up with expansion ideas you previously had. I don't think NAQT would publicly align with organizations such as the NRA, Church of Scientology, or Hamas, so I see no reason why you would jump in bed with LetterOne.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:04 pm

The Friar wrote:
Important Bird Area wrote:-Representatives of LetterOne will be present at the tournaments in an observational capacity. (They will not be involved in the running of the tournament itself.)


This is quite intolerable. Welcoming monitors from the sponsor means -- among other things! -- functionally committing to an absence of question content that could be interpreted as critical of the sponsor or its associates, content that in principle makes up an appreciable part of the canon from current events to earth science.


This does concern me, as someone who will likely be playing ICT and who enjoys buzzing on current events and earth science. Will NAQT be in any way changing question content, or instructing their writers or editors not to produce certain question content, based on the views of their corporate sponsors -- whether including additional questions on topics relevant to sponsorship or removing content which could cast a negative light on sponsors or to which sponsors object, and would they ever consider doing so for future sponsorship deals? Obviously, if NAQT is planning on adjusting any question content in any way, they've lost any legitimacy as a knowledge-testing organisation. If not, I don't have a problem with this -- I'd rather see LetterOne's money go to making quizbowl better than disrupting democracy or staying in some offshore bank account.

In fact, I think it's pretty cool that quizbowl has entered the public stream enough to be targeted by corporate sponsors -- many other academically-adjacent competitions I've entered, especially math competitions, are sponsored by various financial firms. I think it's unreasonable to hold NAQT responsible for the views of its corporate sponsors, since NAQT is receiving money from them, not the other way around. Don't get me wrong -- as you may have figured out from my posts in the politics section, I'm pretty liberal, and I think Fridman's contributions to rigging an election are deplorable. The fact that they are also giving money to quizbowl isn't going to change my opinion that they're treasonous :capybara:s. But, NAQT isn't making any claims about their political opinions; NAQT is just saying "hey this organization gave us some money, and in return we are publicizing the fact that they gave us money". As far as I'm concerned, that's a reasonable price to pay for the fact that there is now more money in the hands of an organization whose sole purpose is to enable quizbowl to occur, and less money in the hands of some faceless corporation.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Friar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:31 pm

CPiGuy wrote:
The Friar wrote:
Important Bird Area wrote:-Representatives of LetterOne will be present at the tournaments in an observational capacity. (They will not be involved in the running of the tournament itself.)


This is quite intolerable. Welcoming monitors from the sponsor means -- among other things! -- functionally committing to an absence of question content that could be interpreted as critical of the sponsor or its associates, content that in principle makes up an appreciable part of the canon from current events to earth science.


This does concern me, as someone who will likely be playing ICT and who enjoys buzzing on current events and earth science. Will NAQT be in any way changing question content, or instructing their writers or editors not to produce certain question content, based on the views of their corporate sponsors -- whether including additional questions on topics relevant to sponsorship or removing content which could cast a negative light on sponsors or to which sponsors object, and would they ever consider doing so for future sponsorship deals? Obviously, if NAQT is planning on adjusting any question content in any way, they've lost any legitimacy as a knowledge-testing organisation. If not, I don't have a problem with this -- I'd rather see LetterOne's money go to making quizbowl better than disrupting democracy or staying in some offshore bank account.


This is an embarrassingly naive take.

The set construction process is a black box to most of us; there is reason to think the sponsor will be more satisfied with output that avoids calling even a natural (for a quizbowl tournament with a current events distribution) level of attention to their misdeeds; there is no reason to imagine NAQT would simply tell the community if question content will differ from what it would have been in the absence of the arrangement (if that is even well-defined).

When Watkins has been shown to have accessed the questions, we don't ask him, "Okay, but did you cheat?". His actions should in expectation compromise competitive integrity. We ban him.

When NAQT has taken payment for services from an outfit with a stake in covering up a lot of truths liable in principle to be aired due to the distribution... You figure it out.

CPiGuy wrote:I think it's unreasonable to hold NAQT responsible for the views of its corporate sponsors, since NAQT is receiving money from them, not the other way around. [...] NAQT isn't making any claims about their political opinions; NAQT is just saying "hey this organization gave us some money, and in return we are publicizing the fact that they gave us money". As far as I'm concerned, that's a reasonable price to pay for the fact that there is now more money in the hands of an organization whose sole purpose is to enable quizbowl to occur, and less money in the hands of some faceless corporation.


This is a continuation of an embarrassingly naive take.

No company makes this move unless benefits greater than the money they spent redound to them in expectation. Our own community and its organizations ought not to support this business in any form.

They want to be advertised. They gain something from being advertised at the price they propose to pay. When this outfit gains, it is a net loss to the world that is not offset by any amount of gain also accruing to quizbowl as we know it - we are not (and won't be) international power players, and they are.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:49 pm

LetterOne doesn't sell a product. They want exposure presumably because they want to attract people to work for them, and they think quizbowl is a good place to find such people. They're willing to pay some money for what is essentially a recruitment booth at ICT (if I'm interpreting NAQT's statements correctly). I have so far not seen any NAQT employees actively endorse LetterOne beyond simply describing what they do -- the only positive statements that NAQT has made towards LetterOne have been exclusively related to LetterOne's sponsorship of NAQT.

I think your comparison to Watkins is inappropriate, because it fails to account for the fact that Watkins cheating would have been in line with his presumed goal (win tournaments), while NAQT adjusting question content would not be in line with their presumed goal (produce quality quizbowl). Not only that, but accessing the questions is in itself cheating, whereas engaging in a sponsorship deal is not in itself adjusting questions -- do you think that if NAQT were to accept a sponsorship deal from, say, McDonalds, they would avoid mentioning the fact that fatty foods can cause health problems in any of their biology questions? If they accepted a sponsorship deal from D. E. Shaw, led by a major Hillary Clinton donor, do you think they would avoid questions which cast a negative light on the Democratic Party?

My point is, if Jeff (or some other NAQT higher-up) will publicly state that NAQT has not and will not change any question content or instruct its employees not to produce question content based on requests from sponsors (implicit or explicit), or even with the intention of making them more palatable to sponsor, I see no reason not to take such a statement at face value. If they won't guarantee those things, then yes, you're right, and their ability to run a tournament that accurately tests knowledge should be seriously questioned.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Friar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:15 am

CPiGuy wrote:LetterOne doesn't sell a product.


Every business sells a product eventually.

CPiGuy wrote:They want exposure presumably because they want to attract people to work for them, and they think quizbowl is a good place to find such people.


It is wrong to help this outfit recruit.

CPiGuy wrote:They're willing to pay some money for what is essentially a recruitment booth at ICT (if I'm interpreting NAQT's statements correctly). I have so far not seen any NAQT employees actively endorse LetterOne beyond simply describing what they do -- the only positive statements that NAQT has made towards LetterOne have been exclusively related to LetterOne's sponsorship of NAQT.


Running a recruitment booth for them absolutely entails presenting them in a positive light and providing a lot of real benefit to a nefarious outfit.

CPiGuy wrote:I think your comparison to Watkins is inappropriate, because it fails to account for the fact that Watkins cheating would have been in line with his presumed goal (win tournaments), while NAQT adjusting question content would not be in line with their presumed goal (produce quality quizbowl).


The naivety of your take is in continuing to presume the same goals for NAQT as you did, say, last year rather than updating your beliefs based on present evidence. [/quote]

CPiGuy wrote:Not only that, but accessing the questions is in itself cheating, whereas engaging in a sponsorship deal is not in itself adjusting questions


It was literally characterized as not necessarily cheating in the NAQT response to the event.

CPiGuy wrote:do you think that if NAQT were to accept a sponsorship deal from, say, McDonalds, they would avoid mentioning the fact that fatty foods can cause health problems in any of their biology questions? If they accepted a sponsorship deal from D. E. Shaw, led by a major Hillary Clinton donor, do you think they would avoid questions which cast a negative light on the Democratic Party?


What is those outfits' track record?

CPiGuy wrote:My point is, if Jeff (or some other NAQT higher-up) will publicly state that NAQT has not and will not change any question content or instruct its employees not to produce question content based on requests from sponsors (implicit or explicit), or even with the intention of making them more palatable to sponsor, I see no reason not to take such a statement at face value. If they won't guarantee those things, then yes, you're right, and their ability to run a tournament that accurately tests knowledge should be seriously questioned.


There is no reason to imagine such a guarantee would be any less probable if true than if false, because there is no difference in NAQT's incentives when faced with whether to say it in either case. Such an assurance is of precisely no informational value (by Bayes' rule).

Let me note before going to sleep that the potential for distortion of question content is an example of a
specific thing that could (and, in expectation, should) go wrong due to this arrangement, not by any means the extent of the reasons it is a bad decision that should be reversed.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Important Bird Area » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:42 pm

LetterOne will have no influence on the content of NAQT questions. If representatives from LetterOne attend NAQT events, they will hear the questions at the same time as the players do. We have instructed our writers and editors that this sponsorship deal should not affect their work, and we want to assure the community that we would reject any effort to compromise our editorial independence.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Friar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:12 pm

Important Bird Area wrote:LetterOne will have no influence on the content of NAQT questions. If representatives from LetterOne attend NAQT events, they will hear the questions at the same time as the players do. We have instructed our writers and editors that this sponsorship deal should not affect their work, and we want to assure the community that we would reject any effort to compromise our editorial independence.


There is no way to independently verify this assertion, there is no reason to imagine that influence from your sponsor on the set could only occur through overt prior restraint as suggested above, and (as ignored above despite my repeatedly emphasizing otherwise) effects on question content are merely a single concrete expected symptom of the problem you have gotten yourselves into, not the problem itself.

Cancel this sponsorship arrangement.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby matthewspatrick » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:27 pm

The Friar wrote:I would have called NAQT a pretty good corporate citizen until this news broke.


So in other words, up until now, you trusted the NAQT crew to generally do the right thing. In the absence of any evidence that these people you've known for years have done anything wrong yet, maybe that would merit a little benefit of the doubt unless such evidence emerges. But maybe that's just me.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Victor Prieto » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:12 pm

The Friar wrote:
Important Bird Area wrote:LetterOne will have no influence on the content of NAQT questions. If representatives from LetterOne attend NAQT events, they will hear the questions at the same time as the players do. We have instructed our writers and editors that this sponsorship deal should not affect their work, and we want to assure the community that we would reject any effort to compromise our editorial independence.


There is no way to independently verify this assertion, there is no reason to imagine that influence from your sponsor on the set could only occur through overt prior restraint as suggested above, and (as ignored above despite my repeatedly emphasizing otherwise) effects on question content are merely a single concrete expected symptom of the problem you have gotten yourselves into, not the problem itself.


...there are literally thousands of players and coaches and moderators who will hear almost every word of the set, so if there's anything odd (or missing) in the set content, it will likely be noticed, especially since now everyone's looking closely. Yeah, I guess there's no way to confirm the statement "the sponsor will not have advance access to the questions," but as long as the questions are not impacted by this sponsorship, I'm not convinced by your repeated emphasizing that this sponsorship is bad for quizbowl or America.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Borel hierarchy » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:15 pm

i demand all ict editors and writers just admit the jig is up already and that ur gonna make all of the science biased towards the russia
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby matthewspatrick » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:23 pm

Borel hierarchy wrote:i demand all ict editors and writers just admit the jig is up already and that ur gonna make all of the science biased towards the russia


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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Sarod Nori » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:13 am

Before I start, I wish to state that the views expressed below are mine only and do not constitute an official position of Okemos quiz bowl.

With that being said, I seriously question how this sponsorship helps NAQT in any way. Yes, the DI field was expanded and yes, NAQT probably wouldn't have done so without a sponsorship but is this really the best we can do? Has NAQT really stooped so far as to accept money from Russian oligarchs? Is there really no other company that would have sponsored ICT/HSNCT? A venture capital firm (or at least that's what they claim to do on their website) doesn't recruit high schoolers, no matter how talented they are at quiz bowl, because they're high schoolers. I don't think anyone at LetterOne seriously intends to recruit at HSNCT, which raises the question of why they decided to sponsor HSNCT this year.

This obviously isn't a form of charity, since I don't believe a Russian oligarch would be willing to part with his money in order to help some random event. A sponsorship is a method using which a company essentially pays for positive PR. After a cursory glance at the LetterOne homepage, I see something called the "LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award." This appears to be akin to what LetterOne is trying to do with HSNCT/ICT. In exchange for sponsoring a tournament, this company can exclaim to the world that it has helped these great academically-focused individuals carry out their dream as a doctor/lawyer/[insert major here]. Even though anybody at HSNCT or ICT will be perfectly fine without LetterOne, this sponsorship lets them claim credit for other people's achievements and use this positive PR to, perhaps, hide their nefarious transactions.

In return for this boost of positive PR, NAQT receives nothing that it couldn't have received elsewhere. NHBB is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the History Channel. While it's likely easy for NHBB, a history-based event, to be sponsored by history-oriented companies, I'm sure there are plenty of companies that can enable NAQT to expand the ICT field without also basically being a front company for shady business dealings. I don't care if random companies get positive PR from quiz bowl, but if those companies are run by Russian oligarchs, I have very big issues. I don't want to go into an interview and be asked why my name is associated with some guy that allegedly had something to do with the Russian effort to influence the 2016 election, and I can't imagine anyone that would be thrilled to be asked this question.

I joined quiz bowl because it seemed fun, and have stayed because I have fallen in love with it. Quiz bowl is great because it's free of outside intervention; it's the one place we have to get away from the busy lives we all lead in order to sit down and (generally) have a good time without being forced to think about politics or the news cycle or anything other than quiz bowl. This sponsorship runs contrary to any of the principles that have made quiz bowl what it is today and I urge NAQT to find a new sponsor for HSNCT and ICT that is not associated so closely with Russian oligarchs.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby nsb2 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:57 pm

A false-statements case has been filed by the FBI against the son-in-law of a LetterOne board member.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-20/skadden-arps-lawyer-is-charged-with-role-in-u-s-russia-probe
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby 1.82 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:06 pm

nsb2 wrote:A false-statements case has been filed by the FBI against the son-in-law of a LetterOne board member.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-20/skadden-arps-lawyer-is-charged-with-role-in-u-s-russia-probe


What do you think about this?
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby nsb2 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:18 am

If this is referring to me, I have been against this sponsorship from the beginning. Every news story I read about Russian interference and Alfa Group makes me more dissatisfied with it -- especially this one, since an individual with a known connection to LetterOne has been charged.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:27 pm

Everyone's hands are bloody - there's no corporation out there that won't have some tie to death, decay, etc. that's how accumulation works these days..
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Granny Soberer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:29 pm

The Stately Rhododendron wrote:Everyone's hands are bloody - there's no corporation out there that won't have some tie to death, decay, etc. that's how accumulation works these days..

"no ethical consumption under capitalism" is fewer words
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby El Salvadoreno » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:49 pm

The Stately Rhododendron wrote:Everyone's hands are bloody - there's no corporation out there that won't have some tie to death, decay, etc. that's how accumulation works these days..


That may be true, but most are not tied to a federal investigation into election interference. NAQT should just end the sponsorship before it comes back to bite them.
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Re: 2018 HSNCT sponsorship

Postby Big Y » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:11 pm

My advice is to judge a company based on a few factors, which I have put in order from most to least important:
1) What the company does
2) How the company reacts when employees do something bad and whether it is proactive in this regard
3) What the CEO does
4) What board members do if the actions of the board members is extremely bad

Generally speaking, I do not think it is a good idea to judge a company based on the actions of a son-in-law of a board member.

EDIT: I generally would only care about employee actions when they are on the clock, whereas the actions of CEOs and board members can always count.
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