Ultimate Stern Pinball Fan - hear from the finalists...& voters

There is some debate about the Ultimate Stern Pinball Fan contest. Makes sense. Big prize up for grabs at www.ultimatesternpinballfan.com
Let’s get the views of those participating…and even voting. Send me a note here (on the Facebook group Pinball Profile or message me or @pinballprofile on Twitter), and we’ll record YOUR thoughts on the Pinball Profile podcast. We’ll put them on a podcast by the end of next week. I will not make any judgement, only offer an audio venue for all the participants and any voters. Contact me by Sunday, Dec. 4 and we’ll make arrangements to let YOUR voice be heard. Should be fun!

So far (already) 3 finalists have come aboard. Let me know and this will be broadcast on the Pinball Profile podcast next week.

Make that 4 finalists now. Who else wants to chat about this?

I don’t do FB or Twitter so will thought-dump here. Seems that for the amount of effort contestants are putting into this, Stern should pay down more levels. Switch GC to a Pro game instead of Premium and pay down remaining 19 spots with parts/merchandise/trinkets…

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what are you defining as “effort?” The effort I’m most noticing is the cheating via incognito/private browser settings and VPNs. I predict there will be a massive vote scrub come 12/16, IPs are logged and whois lookups are performed.

Just my two cents…
You’re more than welcome to cover whatever you’d like on your podcast. I think the profiles you’ve done in the past are interesting.

But in this case, I have zero interest in listening to this topic or giving Stern even more publicity than they’re already getting for a poorly operated contest.


Whoever came up with the website was incompetent. The voting page is completely unusable from iOS, and I can vote as many times as I like by using a private browser page or VPN (or any other number of work-arounds).

I was also surprised to see the IFPA giving one of the contestants front-page coverage. Maybe a tad inappropriate?

Not sure whether this would make for interesting podcast topic. It might be interesting if it at least touches on the problems with entire idea, such as having a “vote” that is basically a popularity contest, and the complete failure to do anything to weed out fraudulent votes.




Thanks for the comment and for listening, Snailman! Just got the confirmation from iTunes, that it will be available there soon (days)!

I completely respect your choice to not listen to this topic/podcast. There will be many different variety of people on the Pinball Profile podcasts, and I’m sure not all of them will be of interest to everyone. This topic seems to be getting a lot of attention, so I thought I’d offer this format for those in the contest, and those that want to voice their opinion. We’ll see how it goes.

All the best!

yeah, I thought the IFPA thing was inappropriate too. I think the fraudulent votes will be dealt with at the end of the contest.

I think that’ll happen if it serves Stern’s needs. If not, not so much.

I meant the effort people put in their entries - pics and setup, etc. Not promoting shenanigans or ballot stuffing. I assume Stern’s voting methodology is not immune to typical online ballot-stuffing? I didn’t look closely at the voting page… but just read the rest of the comments here, yea sounds like a CF :slight_smile: Stern Army idea was pretty good, this one not so much.


The contest kinda makes me wonder who really is the ultimate Stern fan. Like if there was a psychic that could know the true answer. Lol, I would probably be a finalist.

gotcha. They publicly told me they were taking it seriously. They said they’re working with the voting site vendor to accomplish this. Agree. These kind of contests never really work. Even if you could remove the vote-stuffing, it really boils down to who has the biggest support network. I think a predetermined panel of judges would have worked best.


Fishing for likes, followers, eyeballs. It’s not about quality these days, just head count. Gag. Heck, take a random group of vendors from the AMOA show and let them judge; at least they’re into marketing games and would be independent [vs. Stern staff]. But for now, the entrants have to play by the rules as set by Stern, so votes it is.


It is pretty obvious this was never about rewarding the ‘biggest fan’ whatever that is. It was a social network campaign that cost them something like $3k (or whatever it is they spend to make a machine) and to hire judges or conscript their own people would not make any sense for this campaign. The whole point is to make people aware of Stern. It was always about their brand getting in front of maximum people. It started with the twitter hashtags and it ends with a “vote” which they know is about the people marketing themselves. When it comes down to it, they spent next to nothing and got a whole bunch of people working to promote them. Yeah vote stuffing is BS but it happens and hopefully they can catch it, but for them it was never about finding the true Ultimate Fan, it was about paying peanuts for marketing and I would say they succeeded.


Why would they scrub votes? The more voting that is allowed the better it is for stern, because more voting means more pleading from participants, and thus more publicity. They would be nuts to do anything besides quietly looking the other way. Remember the goal of this is not to run a contest that is as fair as possible, it is to get stern’s name into people’s feeds as often as possible.


right, which is why they will wait until the end to do so. They’ve addressed the issue publicly on Facebook.

While brand awareness is certainly the objective, I think they will want to make it appear as fair as possible to the core customer base who are the main participants. I suspect the guy currently in front will lose at least half his votes. There is a whole thread on the Canadian pinball forum discussing helping him cheat.

How do you justify the use of the word cheating? Can you point to the contest rule being violated?

Voting like it’s baseball’s All-Star game… :slight_smile: figures Cincy would be a pioneer

yes, section 10.