By Van Adams, Player Engagement Insider
During the summer of 2016, the Associated Press released The Top 100 College Football Programs Over The Last 100 Years ranked on a statistical point system – not by popularity. Tress Way, punter for the Washington Redskins, thought it would be fun to test his teammates’ knowledge by asking them to name the top-10 programs from the list while filling in some downtime during the Redskins’ training camp. The trivia question quickly gained momentum catching on with a few coaches and others in the Redskins organization. Some of the guys followed Way around as he asked other guys the same question, eager to hear how many they could name correctly.
“Nobody got a perfect score. A couple of the guys named eight or nine right,” Way said. “What people loved is that it wasn't opinion based, it was statistically based and there were multiple answers. It gave people the opportunity to give answers they knew and see how well they could do.”
After this question was exhausted, Way came up with more questions. Soon, trivia became a popular post-meeting activity and a fun, yet competitive, way to pass the time while traveling to away games.
This past off-season, Way went to work on fully developing What’s Your Bid. New to product launches and the administrative steps involved in establishing a start-up, Way enlisted the help of trusted advisors to help guide him through the process.
The company, Way Fun Games, aptly named by Way’s mother-in-law, is led by three of Way’s best friends from college who lend their expertise in three distinct business areas: sales, finance, and marketing. It was Ben, Way’s Sooner football teammate who heads up marketing efforts for the company, who suggested a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the concept. The Kickstarter campaign surpassed its fundraising goal of $50,000 by 113% and sold more than 500 units.
What’s Your Bid is a hybrid of Family Feud and Trivial Pursuit with elements of the card game Spades. The game can be played one-on-one or in teams of two to eight people. Players alternate giving answers to earn points for their team and each team bids on how many answers they think they can get right. If they fall short, they are penalized and the other team can steal points. The first team to reach 30 wins.
For example, the question on the table is Name The Top 10 Selling Flavors Of Ice Cream In The United States. The team bids on how many of the 10 flavors they think they can answer correctly. Teammates are allowed to confer with one another on how many flavors they think they would get right, but they are not allowed to share the answers until they start guessing as a team. This is the part that gets the adrenaline pumping and requires a bit of strategy. As Way points out, he’s seen many teams go down for an overambitious bid.
“One team member may know 10 different ice cream flavors. The question becomes are they on the list, and are you and your other teammates thinking of the same flavors,” Way said. “One person may name cookie dough, the other person was also thinking cookie dough but now has to think of another flavor. One miss and your team is out. The opposing team can now jump in and give a correct answer and steal points.”
“Let’s say the team bids five and answers all five correctly. There are still five more answers out there,” Way said. “The other team can opt for the rebuttal stage where they have the opportunity to bid on how many of those five remaining answers they can name in 30 seconds. If they miss, same rules apply, the other team collects the points.”
Way credits his wife, Brianna, a former college soccer and softball player at Oklahoma, for expanding his thought process regarding the game questions. Her reaction to a few of the questions he shared with her early on was the impetus for the five What’s Your Bid categories: Geography/History, Science/Animals, Food/Drink, Sports/Entertainment and Statistics.
“The questions are statistically based so instead of an opinion based question like ‘what are the best fast food burger chains’ where people vote based on personal preference, the question would be ‘what are the six fast food burger chains that have the most US locations’,” Tress said. “It’s a game everyone can play. Questions are not too hard and not too easy. It’s competitive and a lot of fun for everyone.”
Growing up, game night was popular in the Way household. At an early age Way would be the one to explain the official rules to everyone and then change them to make things more interesting for everyone.
“We were a big Trivial Pursuit family and really enjoyed playing any game where you could keep score,” Way said. “Games like Catch Phrase played with a large group of people where everyone got to hang out and spend time together, which is really what I wanted to do with this game.”
“Everything is centered around a screen now – video games and social media. My favorite thing in the world is to have everybody together hanging out at the house and for everybody to have fun,” Way said. “While traveling this off-season, instead of napping or listening to music on the plane, I was journaling. I would sit there and come up with more games.”
With three more game concepts in the pipeline and the launch of What’s Your Bid underway, Way spends his spare time pursuing his passion for games. People who supported the Kickstarter campaign can expect to receive the board game around Thanksgiving, just in time to usher in the holiday season. Anyone interested in getting in on the fun can visit WhatsYourBidGame.com for news and updates on the game.
Van Adams is an award-winning entrepreneur and small business owner with expertise in sports business and business development. Over the last decade, she has represented a number of iconic sports celebrities and executed marketing campaigns for their personal celebrity and/or business ventures. An advocate for women in business, Van is the creator and producer of Gathering on the Greens, a women’s golf initiative, and serves as President of the Board of Directors for the NYC Metro Chapter of Women in Sports and Events where she oversees programming and strategy. Van is an adjunct professor and frequently conducts workshops for the small business & sports business communities. She spends her spare time in a test kitchen baking or on a golf course working on her short game. VanAdamsSports.com