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JN backs Racers’ Silent Auction to fund Grand Prix

first_img THREE-WEEK CAMP The auction pot was also sweetened with the opportunity to participate in a three-week Racers Summer camp slated for July 4-22 for athletes aged seven to 19 for $111,000. The camp package also includes accommodation and meals. Other items auctioned included a three-night stay at the Half Moon hotel for a minimum $75,000 bid, while vacationing at Secrets Resort and Spa went for the same price. Racers received a financial boost from Sunday’s auction to the tune of over $800,000, funds raised after admitting their club failed to acquire funds from the Government-run Sports Development Foundation (SDF). That, however, led them to try raising funds from the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica. Meanwhile, Racers boss Glen Mills lauded a JN video presentation dubbed Racers Track Club: The Vision, aired at Sunday’s reception. “This video highlights the aims and direction of our organisation, and we want our benefactors to appreciate how we see ourselves and the future of track and field in Jamaica,” Mills underlined. Racers Track Club showcased their universal sprinting excellence via an innovative and first-of-its-kind Mini-Museum and Silent Auction of running spikes, Puma T-shirts and track suits autographed by their leading stars during the colourful Jamaica National-organised event on Sunday night. Over 25 Olympic and World Championship medals were displayed. University of the West Indies-based Racers Track Club displayed authentic athletic memorabilia and autographed apparel and batons from the club’s local, regional and international track and field exploits at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Jamaica National’s general manager, Earl Jarrett, lauded Glen Mills’ Racers camp for contributing to Jamaica’s image as the ‘sprint capital of the world’. “Our sponsorship of the Grand Prix and hosting of the reception on May 1 is part of our continuing focus to support young athletes and to honour their achievements as we anticipate that they will be among future Jamaican athletes who will maintain the trailblazing standard set by others, some of whom will retire after the 2016 Olympics in Brazil,” Jarrett outlined. Sunday’s reception helped to raise funds and to promote the Racers Grand Prix, which is expected to host around 100 top athletes from some 10 countries, inside the National Stadium on June 11. Mega sprint star, Usain Bolt, who holds the double sprint world records and a total of six Olympic gold medals, saw two pairs of his illustrious Puma spikes fetch a whopping $130,000 and $150,000, respectively. The baton he and his Jamaica team carried while reigning supreme at last year’s IAAF World Championships went for $95,000. Warren Weir, a World and Olympic 200-metre medallist and an adidas-sponsored athlete, saw his spikes and body suit fetch minimum $60,000 and $50,000 each, while the second-fastest man of all time, Yohan Blake, also an adidas-sponsored athlete, had his spikes priced at a minimum of $50,000. Commonwealth Games 2014 gold medallist, Kemar Bailey-Cole, saw his framed photograph priced at $50,000 and his spikes for $55,000, alongside Olympian Michael Frater.last_img read more

World Cup 2018: Nigeria will beat Argentina, predicts Achilles the Cat

first_imgNigeria will beat Argentina and knock them out of FIFA World Cup 2018. This is what Achilles the cat predicted ahead of the crunch Group D match in St Petersburg.And in case you are wondering, Achilles has predicted the score of all three World Cup 2018 matches played at the venue.Argentina face a must-win situation against Nigeria to keep their hopes alive of reaching the round of 16. Runners-up in 2014, the Argentines qualified for the World Cup finals after Lionel Messi’s hat-trick against Equador in the final qualifying match last year.Achilles, who resides in the city’s Hermitage museum, was held aloft for photographers then placed on a table in front of two bowls of food marked with Nigeria and Argentina flags. After moments of deliberation, Achilles chose Nigeria, eating hungrily from the bowl.Argentina go into the game bottom of Group D and must win to have any hope of advancing to the knockout rounds. Even victory could see them exit the tournament if Iceland beat Croatia by enough goals.Achilles correctly forecast Iran beating Morocco, Russia beating Egypt and Brazil beating Costa Rica.If Achilles’ fourth prediction proves correct, Nigeria will qualify for the next round. A draw may also be enough for Nigeria depending on the outcome of Iceland’s match against Croatia.One of many cats to have lived at the Hermitage, once the imperial Winter Palace, Achilles previously predicted outcomes during the 2017 Confederations Cup.He is one of various animals testing their psychic credentials at the World Cup, including hippos Milya and Glyasik in Kaliningrad, Spartak the lemur in Yekaterinburg and Harry the otter in Sochi.advertisementThey are hoping to emulate Paul the octopus who became an international celebrity when he correctly forecast the outcome of Germany’s games at the 2010 World Cup and picked eventual winners Spain.Messi has looked far from his best in the two matches against Iceland and Croatia.There have been reports of rift and a mutiny in the Argentina camp. It is also believed Messi is unhappy with the coach and there are serious differences between the two.First goalless draw of World Cup 2018: There were xx goals in xx matches before 1998 champions France took on Denmark. It was billed as the better of the two final Group C matches:Midfielder Javier Mascherano denied reports that a rift had opened between the players and coach following their 3-0 World Cup drubbing by Croatia, saying the relationship between the two sides was totally normal.The relationship with the coach is totally normal,” said Mascherano.”Obviously, if we feel uncomfortable about anything, we let him know….and that goes for the players on the bench as well as the ones on the field,” he said at a press conference in Moscow.Mascherano said he had played under eight national team coaches in his Argentina career and none of them had complained afterwards that the players had picked the team.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

How Google Searches Can Predict Hockey Ticket Sales
How Google Searches Can Predict Hockey Ticket Sales

As you can see, there’s a strong correlation. Nine of the 10 most popular teams based on Google searches also ranked in the top 10 in ticket sales this season, the exception being the Philadelphia Flyers.Further, there are huge differences in ticket sales between the top and bottom teams. Whereas fans spent only $27 million on Florida Panthers tickets this season, they shelled out more than $184 million (in U.S. dollars) to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play.Most of the differences are based on discrepancies in ticket prices rather than attendance. The NHL is a terrific live-spectator experience — I say this as someone who spends way too much on Rangers tickets — and most NHL teams can sell out their arenas if they charge the right price. But the right price varies. Whereas the average ticket cost $236 in Toronto, it was $74 in Tampa.The relationship is even clearer if we chart the data:You’ll notice that there are some diminishing returns to having more fans in your area.3I’ve used a logarithmic curve to fit the data, which tracks it more closely than a linear fit. Perhaps this is because there are only so many good seats available for each game or because larger markets like Toronto and New York have more non-hockey substitutes for the fan’s entertainment dollar.Still, the correlation is clear, and very strong. The size of the fan base, based on Google searches, accounts for 81 percent of the differences in ticket sales.4The 81 percent figure reflects the coefficient of determination of the regression line.You could undoubtedly do a bit better still by accounting for other factors, like how well the team has played recently. The on-ice success of the Chicago Blackhawks may explain why they do so well at the box office, for instance.But there aren’t a lot of exceptions, and there aren’t a lot of favorable precedents for a hockey team in Las Vegas. The Nashville Predators are a comparative success story — they’re a very good team that’s made some inroads in a highly non-traditional hockey market. And yet, while the Preds are usually selling out their rink, fans are paying comparatively little for tickets. So Nashville ranked just 24th in NHL ticket spending this year, and the Predators have barely been breaking even financially.Several other teams in non-traditional hockey markets — the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers, for instance — are losing money. And most of them play in metro areas with considerably larger populations than Las Vegas.When should you be skeptical of Google Trends data? Sometimes ambiguities of language can cause problems. (Do you mean Kenny Rogers the singer or Kenny Rogers the pitcher?) And as the complexity of the analysis increases, so can the potential for error. It proved to be more difficult than Google expected to determine which searches predicted flu outbreaks, for example — although that was more an issue of flawed analysis than faulty data.In this case, though, Google is just stating the obvious: Putting an NHL team in a small market in the middle of the desert isn’t a good gamble. You may have doubts, as some readers did, about whether Google searches are a reliable way to predict that an NHL expansion team would struggle in Las Vegas. But it’s actually a pretty good way to forecast this kind of thing, and there’s another way to prove it:It turns out that there’s a strong relationship between Google searches and an NHL team’s bottom line. How often fans are Googling the term “NHL” in a metro area reliably predicts how much they’re spending on hockey tickets.In the chart below, I’ve estimated how much fans spent on tickets at each NHL arena during the past regular season. The process is simple: I just took total home attendance and multiplied it by the average ticket price.1The average ticket price is estimated based on a 50/50 blend of face-value and resale-market prices. For face-value prices, I used data from Team Marketing Report. For resale prices, I used data from TiqIQ, averaging prices from the start of the 2014-15 season and its most recent report in February. Then I compared ticket spending against the estimated number of NHL fans in each market based on Google search traffic.2The only new wrinkle: I subdivided fans between the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils based on the relative Google search volume for each team in the New York metro area. The Rangers are more popular than the other teams and capture more than half of New York’s hockey fan base. I did the same in the Los Angeles area; the LA Kings are more popular than the Anaheim Ducks. read more

Political Roundup March for Our Lives Protests and Reaction And Trump Administration
Political Roundup March for Our Lives Protests and Reaction And Trump Administration

first_imgIt’s time again for the Houston Matters weekly political roundup with analysis of national, state, and local political stories — with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.Today, we discuss last weekend’s (March 24),  ‘March for Our Lives’ student protests and reaction, Stormy Daniels’ appearance on 60 Minutes, the Trump administration’s decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats, and highlights from Wednesday morning’s (March 28) Houston City Council meeting. Our panel of experts this week includes Jay Aiyer from Texas Southern University and co-host of Houston Public Media’s Party Politics podcast, and David Branham, professor of political science at the University of Houston-Downtown. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /22:33 Listen Xlast_img read more

Spotify to Enable Artists to Upload Music Themselves
Spotify to Enable Artists to Upload Music Themselves

first_img Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Asked about the safeguards in place, Anoliefo stressed that the feature is currently in beta, and that all of the company’s monitoring technology is in place — both in terms of content and potential copyright-infringement — and that its rules are clearly laid out in its terms of service. According to the announcement (currently on the company’s blog), “You’ll see a preview of exactly how things will appear to listeners before you hit submit. And even after your music goes live, you’ll be in full control of your metadata with simple and quick edits. Just like releasing through any other partner, you’ll get paid when fans stream your music on Spotify. Your recording royalties will hit your bank account automatically each month, and you’ll see a clear report of how much your streams are earning right next to the other insights you already get from Spotify for Artists.” (Check out the feature here.)The feature is free, and no limits are set on how much music an artist can upload.“We’ve tried to make it as simple and transparent as possible,” says Kene Anoliefo, the company’s Senior Product Lead, Creator Marketplace. “Artists can log in whenever they like and add song files, cover art, metadata and all that, and then hit ‘upload,’ and they can make changes after it goes live. We’ve also added a lot of transparency to royalties — artists can track their history in the dashboard and even see estimates for future payments, which can help them to plan and budget.”That, of course, puts much more responsibility on the artist for actually understanding how royalties work, no matter how simple the platform may seem. Joe Conyers, co-founder and GM of digital-rights management platform Songtrust and VP Technology of Downtown Music Publishing, says, “While it’s great to see more flexibility for the independent community to make decisions about independent licensing, the fact is this is still only one part of being fully DIY. Independent creators still need to collect thousands of types of royalties. This move will not include songwriter and publishing royalties which many independent creators and businesses continue to fail to collect from Spotify.”Kevin Breuner, VP of marketing at CD Baby, added, “At CD Baby, we have been managing relationships with artists for 20 years, especially artists who are emerging or wanting to reach a global market. We’ve built a community through a rich set of educational resources on our blog and podcast, and at our annual conference. These relationships are about a lot more than pushing files to a service. It’s easy to create an interface. It’s not so easy to deal with over 30,000 incoming contacts each month from a huge variety of artists of all backgrounds, genres, ages, and stages in their career, as we do.” UPDATED: Those of us who have never uploaded music to Spotify may not know that it doesn’t really work like, say, Facebook or a blog or even Soundcloud — an artist must go through a distributor or aggregator to have their music added to the platform.Well, those days will soon be over: The company today announced a new feature — currently in beta — that enables independent artists to upload their music directly to the platform via Spotify for Artists (see the landing page above). The company has already tested the feature with a few hundreds U.S.-based independent artists — including Noname, Michael Brun, VIAA, and Hot Shade — who gave their feedback, and in the coming weeks they will be inviting more — “make sure to join our mailing list so you’ll be the first to know about any new announcements,” the company stresses.last_img read more