SDN Blog

Stretch your fingers! The SDN IT Games are about to begin

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2016 in Community

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Crumble up some scrap paper, empty a coffee cup and grab some pencils. The fun and games of summer are about to begin!

We’re not talking about the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Sure, the Olympics might be exciting to watch on TV. But only highly accomplished athletes get the opportunity to compete on that global stage.

We’re talking about the SDN IT Games, which will give office workers and other business employees in the Sioux Falls region a good reason to stand up, step away from their work stations for few minutes to compete in fun games and help raise money for charity.

Three worthwhile organizations stand to be the beneficiaries of the fun: Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, the Children’s Home Society of South Dakota and the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls.

The winning team or individual in each of three competitions will decide which organization gets the first-place prize of $500. A total of $1,500 - $500 for each game - will be donated by SDN Communications, the leading provider of broadband connectivity and cybersecurity services to regional businesses.

SDN is also the official host of the IT Games. Any business is welcome to field a team or individuals, at no cost, to compete in three office-oriented games.

“We just want to have some summer fun,” says Nikki Gronli, a marketing specialist at SDN and the coordinator of the SDN IT Games. “They’re fun, easy games that anyone can participate in.”

The three made-up games are:

  • Beat the Buzzer: Participants will toss crumpled-up paper into a trash can. The target will be 10 steps away. Each contestant will shoot for 30 seconds.
  • Coffee Cup Relay: Teams with four members will compete by tossing office objects, such as paper clips or pens, into a coffee cup that will be four steps away. This is a timed event. The first player will shoot until he or she gets an object in the cup. Then the second player will have a turn.
  • Backup: Participants see how many pencils they can flip and catch with the same hand in a limited amount of time. Contestants will start with two pencils and add two more with each successful flip. Contestants have 30 seconds to catch and flip as many pencils as they can.

Entrants may see demonstrations of the games and get an explanation of rules on the SDN IT Games website. That is also the site where contestants will submit their entries, upload videos of their performances, check out competitors and follow the leaderboard.

Training is optional, but contestants might want to practice a little because their performance must be videotaped on a phone by a colleague for posting. Online viewers – even hecklers from a contestant’s own office – are invited to check out the videos.

On the upside, contestants will not be tested for caffeine use or sugar intake, and no advance physical training – other than finger stretches – should be necessary.

The games fit nicely with a current SDN marketing campaign.

“The thing we love about working with our advertising agency, Fresh Produce, is that they have talented, creative people always looking for the next best idea,” says Vernon Brown, vice president of marketing and community relations for SDN. “They pitched this concept to complement our current media campaign about how IT professionals can up their game by partnering with SDN. The IT Games are a great, fun fit.”

The IT Games begin July 21 and end Aug. 21. Winners are expected to be announced on Aug. 22. (Social media “likes” and “shares” will break any ties.) First-place finishers will get the glory, but swag also will be awarded to the second and third-place finishers.

The real winners will be charities that receive donations.

The games will be fun. So, organize a team and, if you’d like, give it a corny nickname. Arrange for someone to shoot video of your team’s performance and post it on the games’ website.

The main thing is to enjoy the friendly competition and become an UPTIME hero for one of the charities.

UPDATE: See The Results