In an Experiential-Obsessed Marketplace, Surkus Uses Tech to Stand Out

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Experiences have flooded the marketplace. Whether they’re investing in pop-up stores or festivals, brands have recognized the major shift happening. The IPA Bellwether Report found that in the U.K., experiential marketing was the only area to experience significant growth in spend in 2017 besides internet marketing.Similarly, EventTrack found that American consumers gravitated toward the brands that gave them experiences to savor, with 74 percent reporting they were more likely to purchase from brands engaging them with experiences. In fact, 98 percent admitted they created social content when they participated in these experiences — and all of those who created content also shared content.The writing’s on the wall for companies that have paid attention. These experiences can be beneficial to brands of every type, and Surkus is determined to use technology to make experiential accessible.Abandoning the Spray-and-Pray ModelSurkus classifies three major areas as experiential: branding experiential (such as pop-ups), ticketed experiences (such as concerts or festivals), and immersive experiences (such as VR). In working with brands that launch experiences in every category, Surkus focuses on making the strongest matches it can between its members and its clients.It does that through technology. The brand’s platform uses an algorithm to identify the right audience members for each experience being offered. By curating a group that’s expressed interest in a certain subject or a similar brand, Surkus pinpoints the members who will feel excited about the opportunity.That translates to a win for Surkus’ client companies. Surkus’ focus on targeting the right audience makes both attendance and engagement possible. Clients can ask for a variety of engagements — social content, surveys, market research — with Surkus enabling communication between clients and members throughout every point of a campaign.“We don’t need to complicate things, but simplify them,” explains Stephen George, Surkus’ CEO. “We want to make sure the right audience is attending and engaging, and we know the little things are our clients’ entire objective in working with us. It doesn’t have to be complex.”Capitalizing on What They’ve GotSurkus’ knowledge of where members are at every touchpoint is valuable: By tracking members’ locations and activity, the platform can nudge them and offer reminders. The platform, designed for Instagram posts, can point out that a member, still at an event, just took 50 photos and should post one of them. If the member exited the venue, the client can ask questions to get real-time feedback on how the installation or product played in front of its audience.“It’s important to be able to time our interactions and engagements correctly,” George says. “In the moment, members shouldn’t be interrupted so they can absorb the experience. But there hasn’t been an easy way to transfer instantaneous reactions. Brands don’t want to target people when they walk in or when they’re in the middle of a performance — they’re not going to get very good information.”But good information is there for the taking. George points to concerts as an example: If a concert producer spent the majority of his budget on the closing act and the grand finale fireworks, but 40 percent of concertgoers left two hours before the encore, Surkus can provide that data to the producer so he can reconsider where he’s spending his money. While Surkus’ goal with members is to provide them with compelling experiences, the brand’s focus for clients is driving long-term value.“If brands have already planned out the production of their events and are wasting money at certain times, we need to be able to tell them,” George explains. “They may be able to restructure the production to use the same layout of money but increase engagement. And the longer we can keep people engaged, the more ancillary revenue that drives — but there’s also a better experience because there’s no lag in the event itself.”Bringing Experiential to the MassesTechnology has made things more affordable, particularly through automation. Surkus itself thrives on this fact: While a PR agency helping with experiential activations can handle 20 clients at one time, Surkus can work with 10,000. “Bodies just aren’t as efficient as our algorithm,” George says.This sheer volume helps every activation under Surkus’ umbrella — as its base grows, so does its data collection. This enables Surkus to give first-timers a head start by giving them insight into what’s worked well for similar types of events or which types of audience members responded best. But, as George says, that data becomes more meaningful as clients repeatedly work with Surkus to launch experiences; the brand can provide continuous data on who engaged or took actions so constant tweaks can occur.The affordability and ease created by technology hasn’t completely trickled down, and George says that’s created a misconception that lingers among small brands. “There’s a perception that events have to be grandiose, multimillion-dollar affairs that only global brands can afford,” he says. “It can be a small mom-and-pop retailer with a pop-up event, and that can be just as enticing as Under Armour launching a $1 million activation at its store. The point is targeting the people who will respond.”Brands from small businesses to international conglomerates should be fitting experiential into their budgets, regardless of the size. While attention is paid to experiences offered by Netflix, Anheuser-Busch, or LiveNation, anyone can do it, George points out, and platforms like Surkus enable the same types of results for brands of every size.Smaller brands that refuse to invest in experiential, in fact, will run into a universal problem: ad blockers and other tools that allow consumers to bypass marketing. With people skipping commercials regularly and billboards simply not having the reach they should for their cost, experiential has become a more affordable way to stick in consumers’ minds. Surkus’ platform offers a la carte services, allowing clients to determine what’s most important in terms of engagement and what fits within their budget. Getting one attendee to walk through the door at an event can cost as little as $3. After an era of spray-and-pray advertising, with money sprinkled everywhere, experiential can result in reverse sticker shock.What’s NextBringing experiential to the masses also means expanding markets, and that’s next on Surkus’ agenda. George, the former co-founder and head of operations for Groupon, says the Los Angeles-based business launched in Boston last month and is “relaunching” in San Francisco in October.“A lot of our markets in the past grew organically, but now we’re announcing launches in targeted areas — we’re highly dedicated to these new markets,” George says. The brand also has an eye on global growth and serving its clients in any market they’re operating in; beyond its office in Hong Kong, Surkus plans to expand to Singapore in the next few months.That reinforces the company’s belief that experiential isn’t necessarily what people think it is — and it’s not outside anyone’s reach. By incorporating technology to make experiential activations more affordable and accessible, Surkus just may have found a way to bring personalized experiences to the masses. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Tags:#branding#customer experience#CX#event marketing#experiential marketing#festival#marketing#pop-up shop How Data Analytics Can Save Lives AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Related Posts last_img read more

Heat claims a life in Gujarat

first_imgWith mercury hovering above 43 degree C in most of Gujarat, the State is witnessing intense heat wave conditions that have claimed one life and affected hundreds in Ahmedabad and other towns.One person died of heatstroke in Ahmedabad city on Monday while 518 cases of heatstroke, dehydration, fluctuations in blood pressure, anxiety were reported in hospitals across the State.Multiple complaintsAccording to the State emergency services, 2,368 persons have been affected by the excessive heat conditions since the beginning of May in Ahmedabad alone. “People are coming in to complain of dehydration, stroke, vomiting, chest and stomach pain and nose and ear bleeding,” a senior staff member for the emergency medical centre told The Hindu.“We are witnessing intense heat wave conditions with dry weather across the State, except for a few places in south Gujarat. Hundreds of patients are pouring in with heat-related illnesses,” a senior doctor of Ahmedabad civil hospital said.Another senior doctor from the city said the bulk of the patients were senior citizens, children and daily wage earners who were exposed to sun due to their work requirements.Orange alertThe Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has issued an orange alert as part of its heat action plan that has been prepared and implemented with the help of experts from the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Gandhinagar.“We have alerted the citizens to take precautions, minimise exposure to sun between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and remain hydrated during the day,” a senior official of the civic body said. “As per the met department’s prediction, heat wave conditions will continue for another week in the State,” he said.Meanwhile, a sudden change in the wind pattern on Tuesday brought in humidity. “Owing to change in wind direction, the relative humidity has become quite high in the State. In coastal areas, it is around 70-80% while in inland parts, it was 70%,” said Jayanta Sarkar, senior meteorologist of Met office in Ahmedabad.last_img read more

Gays parade their pride in Delhi’s heart

first_imgTheir faces were unmasked.And the pride was stronger than ever.The third edition of the gay pride parade – the first after consensual homosexual relationships were decriminalised in the country – in the Capital on Sunday was an unusual display of confidence by the lesbian-gaybisexual-transgender (LGTB) community.Clad in rainbow colours and dancing to the sound of drums, the gathering marched from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar in Central Delhi with a different inclination.This time, they were celebrating their sexuality as against the previous years when they marched to assert their rights and protest against the criminalisation of samesex relationship.In July, last year, the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgment revoking the controversial Section 377 of the Indian penal code that criminalised same-sex relationship.”I do not know or care about how social acceptance has changed after the high court verdict. But yes, I have changed. I feel more confident and I know that I am not doing anything wrong since the law of the land does not have a problem with it,” said Pooja (18), a student who wished to be identified just by her first name.”The judgment was a clarion call and asserted what we have been fighting for years now. But, I am a little disappointed by the turnout at the parade. I expected more to turn up to celebrate the anniversary,” said Vineet Trikha (30), a communication trainee who was there at the parade.The strongest evidence of the (slow but sure) change in the attitude of society towards the LGTB community was the presence of family members at the parade.advertisementWhile some made a proud proclamation of their support to their homosexual members of the family, others chose to stay on the sidelines and do the same tacitly.”My grandson is gay and he has the right to live his life the way he wants. I am an educated woman and I absolutely have no problem with it,” said Rani Sharma (65), who accompanied her grandson Sambhav Kumar Sharma to the parade and sported a placard making proud proclamation of his sexuality.”There was an initial shock. But he is a good boy and we have eventually come to accept this. Though our relatives still don’t know, I am here to support my child and his participation in the parade. I wasn’t here last year and I’ve come at my wife’s behest,” said a 45-year-old father on condition of anonymity.last_img read more

Spain honours visit of Chinas Xi inks business deals

first_imgMADRID — Spain has rolled out the red carpet for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is seeking global allies amid souring trade clashes with Washington.Xi and King Felipe VI have reviewed Spain’s guard of honour at the Royal Palace in the Spanish capital while Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan and Spanish Queen Letizia observed the ceremony from a podium.Xi is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez later Wednesday and both will preside over the signing of around 20 government and business agreements, including a deal to export on-the-bone legs of Iberian ham to the Chinese market.The Chinese leader follows his two-day visit to Spain by flying to Argentina on Thursday for a G-20 leaders’ summit the next day, and visits to Panama and Portugal until Dec. 5.The Associated Presslast_img read more

USA scraps Iran oil sanction waivers on India, 7 others

first_imgWashington DC: In a move that could have implications on India’s energy security, US President Donald Trump on Monday decided not to grant sanctions exemptions to any oil customers of Iran, further squeezing Tehran’s top export commodity. “President Donald J. Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May. This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe US re-imposed sanctions on Iran last November, after President Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The US’ move which is seen as an escalation of President Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” on Iran comes after it last year gave temporary 180-days waiver to eight countries, including India, China, Turkey and Japan among others. As a result of this decision all countries including India would have to bring down its import of oil from Iran by May 2. Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have already heavily reduced their oil imports from Iran. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of 2017-18 fiscal). The US, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s great energy producers, along with its friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied, Sanders said. “We have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” she said. In a statement, Sanders said the Trump Administration and its allies are determined to sustain and expand the maximum economic pressure campaign against Iran to end the regime’s destabilising activity threatening the United States, its partners and allies, and security in the Middle East. “The President’s decision to eliminate all SREs follows the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, demonstrating the US’ commitment to disrupting Iran’s terror network and changing the regime’s malign behaviour. We welcome the support of our friends and allies for this effort,” Sanders said. China and India are currently the largest importers of Iranian oil. If they don’t go along with Trump’s demands, that could cause tensions in both bilateral relationships and spill over into other issues, like trade, the Washington Post reported.last_img read more

Mehbooba leads protest march against suspension of LoC trade

first_imgSrinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday led a protest march of her party activists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district against the suspension of cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade and ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). The protest march was taken out from Town Hall Pulwama to deputy commissioner’s office. Mehbooba demanded the revocation of the decision to suspend the cross-LoC trade and sought immediate release of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik from custody. She also sought revocation of ban on JeI and an end to the ban on civilian traffic on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. Malik is not in good health. I want to tell the Government of India that if God forbid, his health worsens, then the situation here will deteriorate further which will be very difficult to control. Our fight is against militants, but you should not harass their families, she told reporters.last_img read more

Samsung still has time to correct its foldable dream

first_imgNew Delhi: Just when the industry through innovation in the smartphone business had hit stagnation, Samsung wowed us with its first foldable device “Galaxy Fold,” worth a whopping $2,000. A super-premium phone that took almost a decade in the making and opens like a book when unfolded, shouted everything next-generation. However, the expectations took a beating when reports of the Galaxy Fold issues surfaced. The units given to international tech reviewers encountered display distortion and screen flickering issues, forcing the South Korean giant to postpone its launch in Hong Kong and Shanghai on April 23 and 24 respectively, and issue a recall of review units. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year The big question lingers: Will the “Foldgate” make a dent in Samsung’s image like the Galaxy Note 7 with exploding batteries did in 2016? According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), the smartphone major has been mature and pragmatic enough by postponing its launch and sorting out all the issues before its general availiability. “All said, for Samsung, there is no race for first past the post with its foldable smartphone. It is more imperative for the company to focus on not delivering a flawed product, but rather ensuring highest consumer experience when the device goes on sales,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Defending its devices just days before its roll-out, a Samsung spokesperson assured that the firm would “thoroughly inspect” the units. According to market research firm Gartner, foldable phones would make up 5 per cent of high-end phones sales by 2023 with around 30 million units. According to Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Principal Analyst of market research firm techARC, from a technology-rich company like Samsung, “one would expect things out only after reliability of desired levels are achieved”. The Galaxy Fold is expected to be priced around Rs 1,40,790 in India. “Nevertheless, the lab and real-world conditions play differently. I don’t see it as a big issue as the product has not exchanged hands with consumers yet. They have time to correct this aberration,” Kawoosa told IANS. Some units of the Galaxy Fold, which became the first phone with a foldable OLED display, is encountering two primary issues: the foldable screen seems to have a layer of protective layer that is similar to a cheap screen film. Several units reportedly failed after the layer was taken off. Few other screens failed because the hinge exposed areas which allowed debris to get inside of the display, thus, damaging the unit. “We expect that users will use a foldable phone as they do their regular smartphone, picking it up hundreds of times a day, unfolding it sporadically and typing on its plastic screen, which may scratch quickly depending on the way it folds,” Roberta Cozza, Research Director at Gartner had earlier said. However, according to market research firm techARC, this is primarily a material issue than a design. “I think till the time it’s a plastic-based screen, the chances of such mishaps remain high. I would certainly like to see a glass display, that too from credible makers like Corning, to have a reliable foldable screen,” stressed Kawoosa. Moreover, there’s no denying that the second-generation of foldable devices would be better that the experimental and ambitious first generation iterations. “The first generation of an innovation is always experimental, and which over successive iterations achieves perfection. Let’s’face it. The Galaxy Fold was just a mistake in timing. It does not take away anything from its manufacturing capabilities,” Ram noted.last_img read more

Pitroda’s comments expose Cong’s mindset, Modi govt punished anti-Sikh riots accused: Amit Shah

first_imgNew Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah has slammed the Congress over its leader Sam Pitroda’s “so what” remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying they have “exposed” its mindset and asserted it is under the Narendra Modi government that culprits were punished and families of victims compensated. “Thousands of Sikhs were killed mercilessly. The then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi justified it. No one was punished. Manmohan Singh was made (by the Congress) to apologise. What Sam Pitroda has said exposes the Congress’ mindset,” he told PTI. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework On Thursday, Pitroda, had dismissed questions about 1984 riots, saying “hua to hua” (so what), triggering a political furore that led to Congress president Rahul Gandhi denouncing his comments followed by an apology from him on Friday. Shah spoke to PTI before Pitroda tendered the apology. The BJP president said several Congress governments at the Centre did little to go after those behind the communal violence and added that they were punished by the Modi government. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen The riots, which had left thousands of Sikhs dead, remain an emotive issue, especially in Delhi, which was the worst affected city, and Punjab, where the community live in very large numbers. The BJP has sought to corner the Congress over the carnage, as both Delhi and Punjab head for the Lok Sabha polls. Elections in the national capital will take place on Sunday and in Punjab on May 19. To a question about the BJP’s controversial decision to field Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal, Shah strongly defended the decision. He said she may be still an accused but the conspiracy she has been charged with has already been rejected by courts in other cases of terror in which right wing Hindutva elements were blamed. Accusing the Congress of manufacturing “fake Hindu terror” cases to defame Hindus for its “vote bank” politics, Shah said courts have already rejected the theory and the BJP’s decision to field Thakur was the saffron party’s “satyagrah” against the opposition party. Thakur has been pitted against veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh. Targeting the Congress, Shah said people – allegedly linked to terrorist outfit LeT- arrested in Samjhauta train blast case were released by the UPA government and compensated as well, after investigators later claimed that Hindutva elements were behind the terror. A court, however, acquitted all accused, including Hindutva activist Swami Aseemanand. Shah expressed confidence that the BJP will win more than 282 seats it had won in 2014, saying its number of seats and victory margins will increase with the party set to do well in regions where it had been traditionally weak.last_img read more

Rethinking The NFLs Rooney Rule For More Diversity At The Top

As word spread quickly in January 2007 that Mike Tomlin would be the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, no one needed to explain the significance of the move to Steve Jackson. Then a safeties coach with the Washington Redskins, Jackson was among the many African-American assistants rooting for Tomlin to get the job. Just a few years earlier, Tomlin, who had just completed his first season as the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator, probably wouldn’t have been on the short list for one of the most prestigious coaching gigs in professional sports. But under the Rooney Rule, times were changing.“For me, that’s the one that really stood out,” said Jackson, now the Tennessee Titans’ assistant secondary coach. “It was the Steelers. That’s one of those jobs that everyone looks at. And he wasn’t the leading candidate when he walked in for the interview, but he got in that room and he made his case. That’s what we all want: just to have a real chance to compete for the job. A lot of us [black coaches] looked at that and said, ‘Yeah.’”There’s no debating that the Rooney Rule has had a positive impact on the NFL. By providing owners with the first leaguewide tool to make hiring potentially more inclusive, the NFL took a significant step toward changing its culture. The rule continues to be expanded, and major corporations have followed the league’s lead. But in a workplace in which the overwhelming majority of players are African-American, the NFL has many more opportunities to strengthen the rule and further increase diversity in its management ranks.In place since 2003 for head coaches and expanded in 2009 to include general manager jobs and equivalent front-office positions, the rule — named after Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and onetime head of the league’s diversity committee — mandates that an NFL team must interview at least one minority candidate for these jobs. The rule, however, has two fatal flaws: the temptation to substitute sham interviews in place of a search for real diversity, and coordinator-level positions, a crucial step to head-coaching jobs, are not under the umbrella.The NFL did recently expand the rule again to include women: For all executive openings in the commissioner’s office, a woman must be interviewed. The San Francisco 49ers were the first team to formally adopt the practice, but the same flaws still apply.But the league did provide a blueprint for corporate America to improve its poor hiring record when it comes to diversity. Facebook, Pinterest, Intel, Xerox and Amazon are among the major companies that have instituted their own version of the rule. Even the Pentagon has explored using some form of the rule to diversify its officer corps.“The Rooney Rule really has become the best practice for diversity and inclusion,” said Robert Gulliver, the NFL’s executive vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer. “The Rooney Rule is all about access and opportunity, and it’s exciting to see where we are now after having the Rooney Rule in place for 12 years when you look at what the Rooney Rule has delivered.”In the 12 seasons before the rule was instituted, the NFL had only six non-white head coaches. In 12 seasons under the rule, the league has added 14 head coaches of color. From the NFL’s standpoint, there were other encouraging numbers last season regarding diversity. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida found that:At the start of last season, there were six head coaches of color, one more than in 2014. In 2011, the NFL had an all-time high of eight head coaches of color.There were seven African-American general managers in 2015 and for the ninth consecutive year, there were at least five general managers of color.Eight of the last 18 Super Bowl teams have had either an African-American head coach or general manager.Clearly, minorities have made modest strides in filling leadership positions. The problem is, there are 32 NFL teams. Even at its highest point, minority representation among coaches was a meager 25 percent. Almost 68 percent of the NFL’s players are African-American, but there are no African-American team presidents, and only one team president of color. Although the NFL received an A grade for overall racial-hiring practices from Central Florida, only 19.4 percent of the league’s professional positions — front-office and business-operations personnel — were filled by “people of color” in 2015. The numbers tell the story: There’s still plenty of work to do.Jeremi Duru wrote the book on the Rooney Rule. Literally. In Advancing The Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL, Duru masterfully details the history of the process that resulted in the rule. Duru, a law professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, agrees that the rule is not perfect, but “the whole idea of it is to prompt kind of a culture change in the league,” he said. “It’s not that the outcome of each particular interviewing season is going to vindicate the rule, but rather that the rule will put in place the sense that, in order to be the best, you have to think broadly. It’s the idea that in order to succeed and be competitive, you have to look at a deep pool of candidates.”One of the biggest criticisms of the rule is that it hasn’t effected change fast enough. For the rule to have been in place so long, some African-American commentators have argued, the NFL should have many more minorities in the highest-ranking positions. “It’s extremely difficult to eradicate a long-standing problem quickly,” Duru said. “The Emancipation Proclamation itself isn’t going to be a panacea. But it creates a culture where there’s no longer lawful slavery, and where we start to see progress, slowly but surely.“In the end in the NFL, hopefully, the idea is that it really becomes clear that the best coaches come from all sorts of different places. And if you think broadly about coaching and you slow down and take time with your hire, you’re going to find yourself with the best outcome. It’s not a consequence of the rule itself, but of the culture that the rule has ushered in.”Unfortunately for the NFL, the public perception is that sham interviews are integral to the league’s culture. Invariably each season, rumors have swirled that some teams interviewed African-American candidates only to comply with the rule. In January, the timing and execution of the Philadelphia Eagles’ hiring of new coach Doug Pederson raised questions about whether they had violated the spirit of the rule. The Eagles interviewed Duce Staley, a former Philadelphia player and current assistant coach on the team. Staley had never been a coordinator and only served as a position coach for three seasons. To many league observers, it appeared the Eagles had skirted the rule by interviewing an in-house candidate who obviously lacked the experience to be a head coach.That’s where the Fritz Pollard Alliance comes in. Together with the league’s front office, they determine whether a team’s interview process is legitimate. In the first year of the rule, commissioner Roger Goodell’s predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, fined former Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen $200,000 for “failing to discharge his duties” under the rule.Although the specter of fines should serve as a deterrent to teams violating the rule, there’s another step the league could take to ensure compliance besides the removal of draft picks: require teams to provide transcripts of interviews with minority candidates. That way, the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the commissioner’s office could judge for themselves whether teams adhered to the spirit of the rule.“The Rooney Rule requires that there be a meaningful interview of a person of color, not just an interview,” Duru said. “Any mechanism that can be used to ensure an interview that is meaningful should be on the table.”However, among NFL decision-makers, there’s no momentum for detailed transcripts to become part of the process. “What is important is getting interview feedback,” the NFL’s Gulliver said. “We really do find that getting feedback, getting candidate feedback, on what worked and what didn’t work, and what can even be better the next time, will help candidates as they continue their quests to become a head coach or a general manager.”That being said, covering more potential candidates under the rule would seem to be a logical next step. Generally, coordinators have the most responsibility among assistant coaches. Owners often pluck coordinators from successful teams to become head coaches. If there were more minority coordinators in the pipeline, theoretically, there would be more minorities in the applicant pool for head coaching positions. The Rooney Rule does nothing to address that basic fact.In response to the NFL’s horrible hiring record after the 2012 season (eight head coaches and seven general managers were fired; 15 white guys were hired), the Fritz Pollard Alliance proposed that coordinator-level and team president positions should be covered under the rule. The NFL rejected the proposal, but in 2013 the league did restart the Career Development Symposium, which previously ran from 1998-2008.The commissioner’s office requested that teams send two representatives, including at least one person of color, who aspire to be general managers and head coaches, to a three-day program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Besides networking with decision-makers from throughout the league, participants honed their interview skills through presentations and panel discussions. (In March, the league had its first Women’s Career Development Symposium.)But remember: Last season, the league had only six head coaches of color and seven African-American general managers. Obviously, the Career Development Symposium didn’t hobble efforts to improve minority hiring — but how much did it help? It just seems that including coordinator positions under the rule could be another major turning point in the ongoing struggle to level the playing field.In ESPN The Magazine’s Feb. 8 Super Bowl 50 Issue, senior writer Mina Kimes wrote that white position coaches and assistants are more than twice as likely to be promoted to coordinator than their African-American counterparts, according to research from professors at Georgetown, George Washington, Emory and Iowa State University. Moreover, those promotions occur regardless of the white coaches’ performance, experience and coaching background. The data shouldn’t be ignored.The Titans’ Jackson is a 13-year NFL assistant. Despite his experience, Jackson knows it’s downright impossible to make the leap from an assistant coach to a head coach without first being a coordinator.“There’s always a network, an inner circle, and then there are others,” he said. “And if you’re in the others, you have to do everything you can to get in the door.”The argument against expanding the rule to include coordinator positions is that head coaches should be allowed to pick their staffs without any restrictions on interviewing. There may be something to that.During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Brian Stewart directed the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. If coordinators are covered under the rule, Stewart envisions the potential for conflict. “That would be rough,” said Stewart, now a college coach at Nebraska who works with defensive backs. “You really have to leave picking those guys [coordinators] to the head coaches. They have to be allowed to choose their own people.“That’s one of the benefits of reaching the level of head coach. And if you don’t let them interview only the guys they want to interview, it could really open up a can of worms when you talk about relationships on the staff. If guys feel like a coordinator didn’t get the job the right way, there could be a lot of resentment from all the other assistants. It could be a problem. It could be a big problem.”Of course, there’s often resistance to change. When the rule was instituted, many within the league suggested head coaches wouldn’t have credibility if they were hired as a result of the process. But who would argue that great coaches such as Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Tomlin and Carolina Panthers’ Ron Rivera lack credibility? The Steelers’ pick of Tomlin worked out spectacularly.The Rooney Rule is still evolving and growing pains are part of the process. But with the NFL on the right track, it’s definitely not time to slow down. Editor’s note: Tuesday was opening day at The Undefeated, a new ESPN website that explores the intersections of race, sports and culture. In an introductory letter, Kevin Merida, its editor-in-chief, says the site won’t shrink from covering challenging subjects with a mix of original reporting, innovative storytelling, provocative commentary, must-see video, narratives and investigations. At FiveThirtyEight, we’re so excited at having a new sibling that we’ve been running several of The Undefeated’s articles on our site this week — including the one that follows here — and we have big plans for partnerships in the future. More stories from The Undefeated:Serena: The embodiment of it all by LZ GrandersonDon’t believe the fairy-tale mythology that sports promote by Domonique FoxworthWill my 2-year-old nephew end up like Michael Brown? by Wendi Thomas read more

Jabari Parker Named Prep Hoops Player of the Year

Jabari Parker, the Chicago high school player of Mormon faith who selected Duke over a plethora of colleges, was named the Morgan Wootten Male Player of the Year during a news conference Monday at the Ronald McDonald House.“It’s a big-time (honor),” Parker said of the award. “I always dreamed about being amongst the ranks of especially Chicago players, but now I can say nationwide. Hopefully, I can take this and give myself a little bit motivation.”Parker, whom ESPN ranks as the No. 2 senior in the country, helped guide Simeon Career Academy to its fourth consecutive Illinois state championship in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday. He had 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds in the Wolverines’ state title victory. He also had 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 15 rebounds in the team’s semifinal win.Parker averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds during his senior year after battling a foot injury early in the season. He averaged 21.7 points during the team’s seven playoff victories.The Wootten award is named after the former DeMatha High School (Hyattsville, Md.) coaching legend and given to the McDonald’s All-American who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership and exemplifies the values of being a student-athlete in the classroom and the community. McDonald’s established the award in Wootten’s name to pay tribute to his achievements as a teacher and coach.Taya Reimer, a guard/forward and Notre Dame recruit from Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind., won the girls’ Wootten award.Parker, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was among six finalists for the award. The other finalists included Archbishop Mitty power forward Aaron Gordon (uncommitted), William B. Travis guards Aaron Harrison (Kentucky) and Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Montverde Academy center  Dakari Johnson (Kentucky) and Huntington Prep forward Andrew Wiggins (uncommitted). All six players are ranked among the top 11 players in ESPN’s Class of 2013 rankings.Parker committed to Duke over BYU, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford on Dec. 20.As a junior, Parker was named the Team USA basketball 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, the Gatorade national player of the year and Illinois’ Mr. Basketball.Parker will be presented with the Wootten award on April 2 during the McDonald’s All-American Game festivities and will play in the April 3 McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. CST. read more

Beside The Points For Thursday April 26 2018

Things That Caught My EyeDraft Day!It’s the first day of the NFL draft, meaning that enormous financial concerns are about to publicly gamble in prime time television, which is always pretty cool. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the top running back prospect in this year’s draft and will likely go very early in the evening. But a team betting on a workhorse running back isn’t always the sure bet it was once considered. From 2006 to 2015, there were only three running backs drafted in the top five, and to some extent they never really panned out for their teams. Since then, we’ve had the phenomenal Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott going each at 4th. Barkley could join them if he joins the Giants at No. 2 or Browns at No. 4. [FiveThirtyEight]‘The Blind Side’ is overIn the aftermath of “The Blind Side,” which extolled the virtues of the left tackle position and lead to a commensurate skyrocketing to the value of those players, teams appeared to undervalue guards compared to tackles. In the 32-team era, 62 tackles were drafted in the first round of the draft compared to 14 guards. That may be changing, since 2013 the total value of draft picks for left tackles has been essentially in free fall since the post-2006 highs. [FiveThirtyEight]Oldest sport adapts to new realitiesThe International Association of Athletics Federations, which governs the world of track and field, will implement new regulations regarding testosterone levels for elite female athletes. Most women have testosterone levels ranging from 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per liter, while most men have 7.7 to 29.4 nanomoles per liter. The regulations — which will undoubtably fuel controversy from literally every angle, and that’s okay — will impact women who have testosterone levels above 5.0 nanomoles per liter, and would require them to choose between hormone therapy, not competing internationally, or competing against men. [The New York Times]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Winnipeg, city of miseryA new calculation for the quantified metropolitan sports misery score that counts not only the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL but also the MLS and Canadian Football League puts the Canadian city of Winnipeg over perennial sports drought cities like Cincinnati and Buffalo to have the most yearning-for-a-win fans. [The 10 and 3]Tsunami of corruptionA draft report published Wednesday by the Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis follows up on earlier investigations from the BBC and BuzzFeed to find evidence of match-fixing in the sport, particularly at lower levels. The report found 20 unnamed high-level players who lost at least one suspicious match from 2005 to 2008. [BuzzFeed]World Cup getting called from statesideFox Sports is rolling out details about its play calling teams for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Given the lack of an American presence at the cup — the United States failed to qualify — Fox elected to pare back its footprint in Russia proper and will have only one of five announced crews actually in Russia. [World Soccer Talk, The Associated Press]Big Number(s)161.4Looking at a stat called five-year approximate value, the hoarde of valuable draft picks held by the Cleveland Browns is truly formidable. Overall, the Browns have a total draft expected value of 161.4, which is head and shoulders above their nearest competitors, the Bills (124.3), Colts (122.1) and Broncos (116.4). The Browns are poised for a guaranteed consequential couple of days, for better or for worse. [The Washington Post]Leaks from Slack: neil:MLB Now talking about 8 teams currently being on pace for 100+ losses…. wonder how that compares to other seasons via something more rigorous like Elo?natesilver:we have two teams projected for 100+, and 2 more for 99plus one at 97 and one at 95seems like a lot for this early in the seasonneil:TankFest ’18Predictions NBA See more NBA predictions All newsletters Oh, and don’t forgetThe past few weeks of the Overwatch League have been outstanding We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe read more

Football Dwayne Haskins selected as No 15 overall pick by Washington in

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) calls out a play in the first half of the Rose Bowl Game featuring Ohio State and Washington. Ohio State won 28-23. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorFor the first time since Art Schlichter in 1982, an Ohio State quarterback was selected in the first round of the NFL draft.Former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been selected with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.Haskins was the second Buckeye taken in the draft, after former defensive end Nick Bosa went No. 2 overall to San Francisco 49ers. He’s the first Ohio State quarterback to be drafted since Cardale Jones was picked in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills in 2016.Haskins is the first first-round selection hailing from the Big Ten since Kerry Collins was selected No. 5 overall out of Penn State by the Carolina Panthers in 1995. Haskins set Ohio State’s new single-season record for passing yards with 4,831, completion percentage with 70 percent (minimum 100 attempts) and touchdowns with 50, earning an invitation to New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist. He also set the single-game passing yards record, throwing for 499 against Northwestern in the 2018 Big Ten title game, and tied the record for touchdowns with six on two different occasions.Under Haskins, the Ohio State offense finished No. 2 nationally in yards per game (535.7) and No. 2 in passing yards per game (358.7).Haskins declared for the NFL draft in the weeks following Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win against Washington. read more

Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world if

first_imgThe Austrian defender David Alaba has showered his former manager Pep Guardiola with praises, for introducing a new way of playing to the world.Bayern Munich left-back David Alaba affirms that Guardiola has brought to bare a new style of football at Bayern.“He meant a lot to me, I learned a lot from working with him. I knew that I could make a lot of decisions [on the pitch] and I guess he’s one of the best coaches in the world, if not the best.” Alaba said via Goal“He brought a new style of football – not only to our team but to the world. We improved. We learned a lot about football and the way we played.“When we won the championship … the style of football that we played was great.”jose mourinhoMourinho knows why City and Liverpool are so far ahead George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Jose Mourinho knows why Manchester City and Liverpool are so far ahead of everyone else in the Premier League.In an interview with the Telegraph,…Guardiola left for Manchester City in July 2016, where he led the team to the Premier League title last season.Alaba, though, believes that City could have got more out of a surprising Champions League quarter-final exit to Liverpool last season.“They won the championship in England in a really good way,” the 26-year-old said.“He’s doing a great job. He was unlucky in that Champions League [quarter]-final against Liverpool.”Guardiola managed Alaba at Bayern between 2013 and 2016, winning the Bundesliga title in all three campaigns he was in charge. Prior to his time as Bayern’s coach, Guardiola as Barcelona team manager, led the team through a perpetual victory parade, winning more than a dozen trophies in four years.last_img read more

Genoa aims for a victory today

first_imgThe team’s manager Davide Ballardini says that the match against Sassuolo will be exceptional and he’s trying to overcome any obstacle to get a winGenoa started their season with a good 2-1 victory against Empoli last season.And manager Davide Ballardini wants to continue on the winning patch when his team plays against Sassuolo today.But Sassuolo has not been defeated in two matches played so far in the 2018-2019 Italian Lega Serie A season.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“It is not easy to play against teams that have a smart trequartista in the side, like Empoli or Sassuolo,” he told Football Italia.“You need to stay tight and take it in turns to close him down, possibly with a central midfielder dropping deep. It’s important to play as a team, focused on both attacking and defending together.”“The win against Empoli was satisfying and we feel the fans have confidence in us, but it’s just the beginning. Kouame and Piatek are extraordinarily interesting, while Gianluca Lapadula never holds back and gives such a big contribution to the team,” he added.“It is a strong club that maintained the team’s identity with players who have been there for many years. That makes them a pleasing and rare exception in Italian football.”last_img read more

Masters departure hailed as timely Opposition Bar Council Member speak

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, June 3, 2016 – The choir of voices across the TCI about the departure of now former Director of Public Prosecutions, John Masters is akin to the famous song from the Wizard of Oz when the wicked witch was killed.  Masters had obviously built an infamous reputation that spawned battle headlines and which seemed to pit him against his staff, the leader of the Opposition, members of the Bar Association and even a newspaper Editor in Chief.Very early into his tenure problems emerged as Masters was accused of selectively hiring consultants, demoting and transferring and demoralizing staff.  Opposition Leader and Attorney Sharlene Robinson had a lot to say today upon learning that John Masters resigned and has left the Turks and Caicos.Hon Sharlene Robinson, PDM Leader;  “I am hoping that what we can get is full clarity, especially for those persons reputations where he accused them of certain things in particular the acting DPP. Where we can get something from the In integrity Commissioner or the Governor’s Office to say there was nothing untoward why this person was let go or suspended.   So that at the end of the day, this period does not follow those persons.  I think Angela Brooks deserves that, there was never an investigation that caused her to be put on administrative leave, and I think it’s important that the governor, or the integrity commission, whomever certainly puts that out there.”The Governor’s Office this morning confirmed to Magnetic Media the exit of Masters who had been under investigation for these alleged misdeeds in office.  Mark Fulford, attorney and partner at F Chambers Law firm last week called for the DPP to resign, today he too expressed ‘good riddance’ sentiments. “I was also of the view, that the DPP had lost the confidence of his staff, due to the investigations being carried out by the Integrity Commission among many other things taking place in his office.  It was therefore for these reasons, that I had called for the DPP to do the honorable thing, and step down, from office.  Today it came to my attention, that the DPP has heeded my call, and has tendered his resignation.”Masters, who is originally from Australia and had worked 27 years in the UK and the Cayman Islands started on in the Turks and Caicos’ DPP job in April 2015; he reportedly left the country without any notice to staff yesterday.last_img read more

TCIG completes PreAssessment Training in preparation for its Mutual Evaluation Assessment by

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, October 24, 2017 – Providenciales – The Turks and Caicos Islands has undertaken Pre-Assessment Training in preparation for its Mutual Evaluation Assessment by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) procedures that requires each country’s money laundering and terrorist financing risks to be assessed.    The mutual evaluations process is the mechanism used to conduct assessments.  The Pre-Assessment Training is a requirement in the mutual evaluation process.The assessment of the effectiveness of the legislative and regulatory infrastructure of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ financial sector has started by the delivery of a Technical Compliance Questionnaire which was received July 20, 2017 and to which the TCI responded on October 17, 2017.    Another desk-based assessment whereby the TCI will have to provide to CFTAF Secretariat responses on the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering and combating of terrorism framework (AML/CFT) will have to be submitted.   This will be followed by a two-week On-site evaluation by a CFATF assessment team early next year which will be followed by the publication of the Mutual Evaluation Report.Around fifty stakeholders and representatives from both the public and private sectors convened for a three-day workshop at the Sands Resort in Providenciales on 18-20th of October 2017.    The workshop facilitated provision of comprehensive information needed for the country to prepare for all the stages of the assessment process.   The training was divided into two sections with the first two days being geared towards the public sector and the last day for the private sector.Announcing the completion of the Pre-Assessment Training, Chair of the lead agency, the Anti-money laundering Committee (AMLC), Attorney General Hon. Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles OBE said: “National cooperation and coordination are the keys to a successful outcome.   This is major step in the preparation process here in the Turks and Caicos Islands which provides stakeholders with the necessary understanding of the Mutual Evaluation process, particularly the On-site visit.   It will assist the country in being prepared to receive the Assessment Team and create awareness of the demands of the process.”The Hon. Attorney  General also expressed special thanks to CFATF Deputy Executive Director Mr. Carlos Acosta and Legal Advisor Mr. Rommel St. Hill who led the training sessions.   The TCI is also very grateful to the Government of Canada that facilitated the CFATF’s attendance and conduct of this training.For more information on the Mutual Evaluation Assessment process, please contact the TCI Attorney General’s Chamber.Press Release: TCIG Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Bahamas Reports to UN Human Rights FNM Govt plans to Amend Nationality

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#UnitedStates, January 23, 2018 – New York City – The FNM Administration plans to even the law when it comes to the nationality of children born to Bahamians, the Attorney General during his report to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations last week said that what a 2016 referendum failed to do for equity’s sake, the Minnis Administration will do when it amends The Bahamas Nationality Act.“The minor child of a Bahamian male or female, wherever born, in or out of wedlock, will be entitled to be registered as a Bahamian upon application by the parents.”There have been mixed reactions to the presentation by Bahamas Attorney General, Carl Bethel who led a delegation at the Universal periodic review in Geneva, Switzerland.  The AG’s legal posture and comments on behalf of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas as it relates to hot button issues like marital rape and equality for transgender residents of The Bahamas was met with some backlash but equally interesting was his comments on how The Bahamas will now aim to deal with ‘statelessness’.“The Government plans to introduce an Independent Review Committee chaired by a retired Chief Justice, to review all pending applications for citizenship in an effort to clear the enormous backlog that currently exists, allowing those applicants who qualify for citizenship to receive and enjoy the citizenship promised by the constitution.  The committee will make recommendations in all cases to the immigration board and the minister, which recommendations will ordinarily be followed, unless there are compelling reasons of National Security or public safety.”While the Attorney General on Jan 17 2018 reported on progresses like criminal cases more quickly reaching trial stage, cut down from a year to two months, he also reported on challenges including improvements necessary at the migrant detention center and highlighted areas where Bahamians were not culturally or democratically prepared to budge.   Among them: capital punishment, the death penalty will stay as Bahamians see it as lawful though an execution has not happened in 17 years … and corporal punishment which will remain legal within schools and homes once reasonably carried out.#MagneticMediaNews#BahamasNationalityAct#IndependentReviewCommittee Related Items:#BahamasNationalityAct, #IndependentReviewCommittee, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more

TCI Ministry of Tourism Honors Mrs Tina Fenimore

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, March 14, 2018 – Grand Turk – The Ministry of Tourism in commemoration of Women’s International Day 2018 under the theme “Press for Progress”; Minister of Tourism, Hon. Ralph Higgs along with staff paid tribute to Mrs. Tina Fenimore for her immeasurable contribution not only to tourism but national development.  Mrs. Fenimore was the first local, female hotelier on the Island of Grand Turk and instrumental in both the Grand Turk and Providenciales Chambers of Commerce.Her dreams turning the Turks and Caicos Islands into a tourism destination is truly seen today.  Her actions were a part of the engine that still assists in driving the local economy; The business provided employment for a number of residents and saw countless guests.  Mrs. Fenimore mentored and trained many local employees, allowing for direct socio-economic injection to the community.  She also operated a travel agency, T & C Travel, along with other tourism related businesses since the early 70’s through 90’s.Minister, Hon. Higgs commented; “It is an honor and pleasure to recognize Mrs. Fenimore for her unselfish contribution to the tourism industry, she has always been a champion for our destination since its modern infancy.  She has historically promoted the Turks and Caicos, which we are grateful for; especially today.  We are happy to highlight the accomplishment of women in the various sectors as their efforts have paved the way for the empowerment of women in leadership across every sphere.”There are many women, past and present who have played key roles in developing our tourism industry.  The sustained growth over the years is testament to their ingenuity and involvement.  The Turks and Caicos Islands is truly a place of gender equality as women play leading roles at the executive level.  As we pay special recognition to accomplished women, we must be mindful of young aspiring women who seek to follow their lead in breaking through glass ceilings.Let us thank God for all he has given as we reflect on all accomplishments of women throughout the country; the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime and Gaming extend best wishes to the hardworking women across the globe for a Happy International Women’s day!Release: TCIG Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Inter Vs PSV is the most important match since my leadership

first_imgAhead of Champions League match between Inter and PSV, Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti responded to questions from journalists at the Suning Training Centre.Spalletti said during a Press conference as quoted in club’s website, that the match with PSV is the most important ever since he joined the club as a coach.“This match is the most important one since I’ve been here and it represents the next step that follows on from Lazio vs. Inter on 20 May. Since I’ve been here, we’ve got the points and put in the performances that we needed.”“ Now, we’re here to play for a spot in the last 16 on the final day of the group stage. We’re all aware of the importance of this game, the players are working really well.”Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“We know that qualification won’t just depend on our result but I’d imagine that those at Barcelona would be offended if we continue to doubt their professionalism. They’re a serious club with real professionals, we can’t look at their game.”“ We need to only focus on the PSV game and it’s important to remember that they were in a higher pot of the draw than us.”“Inter certainly hasn’t lost a sense of conviction even if we showed some small lapses in concentration in the last game over the course of the 90 minutes.”“ We’ve played really strong teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus of late and we’ve played on an equal footing. Today, the difference between us and teams of that standard is consistency over the course of an entire season.”last_img read more