An Ideal Invitation

Ideal National Championship

Nov 23, 2020

By David Gordon

With COVID interrupting our lives, IDEAL Electric was committed to continue with its IDEAL National initiative. The rationale was pretty straightforward – they wanted to continue to recognize electricians for their efforts and maintain the momentum they have created in recruiting the next generation of electricians.

While live competition was inhibited, IDEAL pivoted to and focused on the IDEAL National Invitations which involved 1000s of electricians and apprentices throughout the country.
The 2020 program was launched via the IDEAL National Championship website.

IDEAL launched the “Wired-to-Win” which was a unique educational reinforcement program where electricians and apprentices could “brush up on their code knowledge” and complete challenges and tests, submit videos and answer code questions to compete for cash prizes as well as git certificates from sponsors such as Little Giant Ladders and Duluth Trading Company.  There were categories for professionals as well as students.

Additionally, the IDEAL Champions Club is IDEAL’s contractor loyalty program which has 1000s of contractors, some of whom purchase materials to prepare for IDEAL National competition.

Ideal National Championship








2020 IDEAL National Championship Invitational

Through these two audiences, IDEAL held virtual competitions each month. Video submissions were reviewed by IDEAL’s staff and a third party for accuracy, safety, neatness and other criteria. Each month there a first, second and third place finisher was identified.

IDEAL also leveraged social media with regular posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. IDEAL now has over 55,000 followers on Facebook!

Looking to connect with the up and coming electricians, IDEAL worked with union and merit schools across the country. They asked for student  nominations and get the “best of the best” involved.
Various individuals, based upon installation performance and other metrics were then invited to participate in the IDEAL National Invitational, which will be presented on ESPN2 on Sunday, November 22 at 4:00pm EST. (and it is on ESPN Desportes).

According to its press release, “The competition brings together some of the top professionals, students and apprentices across the U.S. to showcase the exciting abilities of electrical professionals as they compete for a golden ticket to the 2021 national championship in Nashville, and the chance to compete for cash, prizes and the recognition as one of the best electricians in the world.”

Doug Sanford, SVP of IDEA Industries said “While the country is facing an expected shortage of over a million trade workers in the next decade, we are seeing a growing interest from Americans in joining the trades as the country comes together to rebuild our economy. Trade workers are the essential often unsung heroes who power our world. This competition celebrates the talent in our industry while also giving these professionals a platform to show off their skills and reward them for their hard work and dedication.”

Historically the IDEAL Nationals involves over 60,000 participants at over 1,000 live events. IDEAL was committed to keeping the event alive as part of its commitment to giving back to the industry.

The 2020 IDEAL National Championship Invitational assembled six of the nation’s top professional and student apprentice electricians for the televised invitational. Participants will be paired into three teams and will compete in four challenges, including a conduit door trace and cut, overhead service challenge, rough-in remodel and a wiring door code challenge.

The winning team will bypass the usual qualification process n 2021  and earn a free, ticket to the IDEAL 2021 National Championship in Nashville next December for a chance to win their share of over $600,000 in prize money, tools, gear and clothing.

In the words of Carmen Cardillo, General Manager, IDEAL Electrical. “We will continue to do what we can to honor, support and connect with the electrical trade through special televised invitationals, innovative digital competitions and our annual IDEAL National Championship.”

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