Vehicle: The New York Times
By: Quentin Hardy
Intel to End Sponsorship Of Science Contest
Company/ Business Involved: Intel, Science Talent Search
According to Quentin Hardy’s article “Intel to End Sponsorship Of Science Contest”, published in the New York Times on September 9, 2015, the world’s largest producer of semi-conductors, Intel, is withdrawing its support of the Science Talent Search. The search is the most prestigious science and math competition for high school students in the United States, bringing 40 finalists to Washington to meet government and industry leaders. The work exhibited in this contest represents America’s educational competitiveness and national priorities, making headlines nationally and bringing great attention to the necessity of the STEM fields.
This news coverage about Intel’s decision is largely negative. For Intel to support the contest is roughly $6 million a year – only about 0.01 percent of Intel’s $55.6 billion in revenue last year – and it generates a significant impact. Hardy even has a former Intel CEO, Craig Barrett, quoted saying he was “surprised and a little disappointed by Intel’s decision”.
The story is informing the audience that Intel’s interests have shifted, most likely upsetting those involved with the contest. They will continue to grant support to a different international contest until the end of their contractual terms until 2019, but after then Intel will have no bounds to supporting any talent or technology contests. However, the contests that Intel is leaving behind still hold attractiveness to other companies, so funding is not an issue.
PR folks should be looking into where Intel is directing those funds instead. They need to turn around the story and have Intel reach out to other companies to replace their funding, so they aren’t depicted as leaving the contests and scholarships in the dust. Then, Intel needs to make public where precisely they are allocating their money and give explicit reasoning for the transition.
I believe a press release drove this story. The premise of the article is based on a factual, public statement that Intel was withdrawing their sponsorship, which most likely led to further research and interviewing of Intel, as well as the science contest. This could have been a PR stunt on behalf of the science contest. Representatives could be seeking attention from other corporations who might be interested in contributing to the contest funds or replacing Intel’s sponsorship.