Posts Tagged ‘Sports’


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A new ball game for Brazil’s Ronaldo

FT.com / Management
By Vincent Bevins
Published: May 5 2011 23:12 | Last updated: May 5 2011 23:12
Ronaldo
Off the bench: Ronaldo tackles business

On his way to a game between Brazil and Scotland at the Emirates Stadium in north London, Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is not wearing the national jersey that made him famous. Nor is he on the team bus. He is wearing a dark suit, seated in the private car of his new business partner, Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group.
Since retiring from the sport at the age of 34 this year, Ronaldo has been hoping his experiences and connections as an athlete will help him succeed with his new São Paulo-based sports marketing company, 9ine, which manages athletes’ images and develops sports advertising strategies for brands.
“I wasn’t just going to stop working, and I never wanted to be a coach or a manager,” he says. “But I wanted to take advantage of my connection with football . . . After all these years I have very good relationships with many of the biggest companies and lots of athletes.”
With Brazil’s plans to host the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, while experiencing a boom in consumption, it is a good time for Ronaldo to use those connections. The market for advertising in the country is growing faster than gross domestic product.
It is this timing and Ronaldo’s unique position that earned 9ine, named after his jersey number, the vote of confidence from Sir Martin’s WPP Group, which holds a 45 per cent stake in the company – Ronaldo also owns 45 per cent. “Economic growth [in Brazil] has been colossal, and there is a young population, strong new media and good internet penetration. Brazil is under-advertised and under-branded,” Sir Martin says. “We’re looking for new ways to connect with consumers in a tangible and emotional way, and working with Ronaldo is a really interesting opportunity for us.”
Brazilian sports stars have a mixed history entering the world of business. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, a former Olympic volleyball player, became a successful lawyer before heading the Brazilian Olympic Committee and bringing the games to Rio. Football legend Pelé headed a campaign for Viagra and now for the BM&FBovespa, the country’s multi-asset exchange, to convince Brazilians to invest.
It is difficult to overestimate Ronaldo’s status in his own country – boosted by the fact that he has a reputation for managing his fame with good humour, despite some famous personal scandals. But his touch will not necessarily turn 9ine into gold. “I generally think if a celebrity has a decent idea, they tend to believe that idea or business can become a great idea just because their name is behind it,” says Matt Delzell, account director at The Marketing Arm, an agency with significant sports operations based in the US. “Having celebrity stature helps in many cases, but the product or service ultimately has to be good for the business to flourish.”
In its first months, 9ine signed contracts to manage the images of up and coming Brazilian footballer Neymar, indoor-football celebrity Falcão, and world mixed martial arts champion Anderson Silva. On the corporate side, its first contract is with GlaxoSmithKline, for which 9ine will develop sports marketing strategies for consumer products.
Ronaldo’s own brand power is at work in establishing such connections, but he is also assisted by his friend, the São Paulo entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Buaiz, 9ine’s executive director, who holds the remaining 10 per cent of the company.

Ronaldo says he recognises that there is no easy transition for him between the two worlds, no matter how well he may be placed to connect with the right people. “My biggest difficulty so far is with strategic planning, which is what marketing and advertising really consist of. It’s for that reason that I’ve been studying so much – not so much in classes, but with my team here,” he says. “I suppose I will have the day-to-day life of a normal executive,” he adds, before pausing and smiling: “But maybe I won’t start so early in the morning. I’ll want to do some exercise first.”


>Is David Beckham’s Pepsi Clip Real or Fake?

:A new video — posted on Pepsi’s YouTube channel — shows soccer star David Beckham kicking three balls into three distant trash bins on a California beach. The video has caught the attention of Beckham’s fans as well as skeptics, who are discrediting the authenticity of the clip in comments on YouTube and on Diet Pepsi‘s Facebook Page.

Titled “Unbelievable David Beckham,” the 69-second video begins with Beckham playing with a soccer ball while holding a Diet Pepsi can. Then, the cameraman asks, “Hey, David, do you think you can hit that trash can over there? … How about all three of them?” Beckham, of course, confidently says yes and accomplishes the task while the cameraman reacts hysterically to each shot in the background.

As of Monday at noon, the clip had been viewed nearly 815,000. Pepsi posted the video on Thursday.

Do you think Beckham is this good or did he get some help from Pepsi’s video editing department? Put in your two cents in the comments below.

YouTube Video of the Day:

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Check it out on The MasterTech Blog

Sarah Palin’s Education

She majored in…sports journalism. And switched colleges six times in six years before graduating from the University of Idaho. No post-grad degrees. Excerpts from a story by Nicholas K. Geranios of the AP (italics mine):

There was no indication any (schools) were contacted as part of the background investigation of Palin by presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign.

According to a biography — “Sarah” by Kaylene Johnson — Palin and three friends went to the University of Hawaii at Hilo after graduation from high school in Alaska in 1982. But they left after a few weeks because of the constant rain there, the book said.

The registrar at Hawaii-Hilo has no record that she ever enrolled, school officials said Thursday.

Palin, then known as Sarah Louise Heath, and a friend then traveled to Honolulu and enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University, a private, nonsectarian school.

From Hawaii Pacific, Palin transferred to North Idaho College, a two-year school in Coeur d’Alene, about 30 miles east of Spokane. She attended the college as a general studies major for two semesters, in spring 1983 and fall 1983, spokeswoman Stacy Hudson said.

From North Idaho College, Palin transferred 70 miles south to the University of Idaho, the state’s flagship institution. She majored in journalism with an emphasis in broadcast news. She attended Idaho, whose mascot is the Vandals, from fall 1984 to spring 1985.

She then returned to Alaska to attend Matanuska-Susitna College in Palmer in fall 1985.

Then she returned to Idaho, for spring 1986, fall 1986 and spring 1987, when she graduated. Despite her journalism degree, she does not appear to have worked for the college newspaper or campus television station, school officials said. She worked briefly as a sportscaster for KTUU in Anchorage after she graduated college.

via Sarah Palin’s Education « Nah, Nope, Not Quite


US takes swing at Chavez golf remarks

By Barbara Miller for The World Today

Posted 8 hours 5 minutes ago

'Out of bounds': Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed golf as a bourgeois sport.

‘Out of bounds’: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed golf as a bourgeois sport. (Reuters: Jorge Silva)

Venezuela’s outspoken president, Hugo Chavez, has said that capitalism leads society straight to hell. Now apparently so does golf.

Mr Chavez has launched a stinging attack on the game which he says is bourgeois and for the lazy.

Golf, said Mr Chavez on national television, is a bourgeois sport and his government is reported to be moving to close down some of Venezuela’s best-known courses.

It is probably not entirely a coincidence that some of the courses in question are on prime land.

Mr Chavez has asked why the courses should be kept open so a small group of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois can play golf.

Golf-lovers around the world, however, are outraged.

“As the Department of State’s self-appointed ambassador at large for golf, I wish to protest the unwarranted attack by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on the game of golf,” said Philip J Crowley, the US State Department spokesman.

“The suggestion by Mr Chavez that golf, a truly global sport, is bourgeois is a mulligan.

“And once again Mr Chavez, one of the hemisphere’s most divisive figures, finds himself out of bounds.”

In his television broadcast, Mr Chavez also mocked the use by some golfers of carts to get them around the course.

This, he said, represented the laziness of players.

Jake Adams, a trainee professional at Manly Golf Club in Sydney, says he disagrees.

“If you’re 70-years-old and you’re playing three times a week, I think it’s a great goal to be able to go out and play 18 holes at that age,” he said.

“At Manly, it’s quite flat so we have a lot of older guys that do walk. But in saying that if you can go out and socialise and if it means you’re in a cart, I wouldn’t say you’re lazy.

“You’re out and about. You’re enjoying yourself, whether you’re walking or in a cart. I don’t think it makes a big difference.

“I use them to practice. I can double my time in practice and do it twice as fast in about two hours.

“I train three days a week on the beach in soft sand so I wouldn’t say I’m lazy.”

Tags: world-politics, golf, olympics-organising-committee, australia, nsw, manly-2095, united-states,venezuela


Federer Beats Roddick at Wimbledon for Record 15th Major Title


By Danielle Rossingh

July 5 (Bloomberg) — Roger Federer became the first man to win 15 major tennis titles, beating Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final that lasted more than four hours and finished on the winner’s only service break.

Federer defeated Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 16-14 on Centre Court at the All England Club to pass Pete Sampras in the Grand Slam record books. Federer will replace the injured Rafael Nadal of Spain at the top of the rankings on the ATP World Tour tomorrow.

Sampras watched the match from the stands, seated beside other former champions including Bjorn Borg. Federer acknowledged Sampras when the American arrived during a first- set changeover.

Federer threw his racket in the air as Roddick’s forehand flew out on the first match point. He had squandered six previous break points.

The 30-game final set marked the longest in tournament history. The previous record was 24 games in 1954.

The record-breaking win, following a difficult season in 2008 during which he lost his top ranking and Wimbledon crown to Nadal, leaves him as one of the world’s greatest athletes. The Swiss won his first French Open last month after losing three straight finals to Nadal, a Spaniard who was ousted in the fourth round in Paris this year and skipped Wimbledon because of knee injuries.

“His achievement is more difficult than what Tiger Woods has pulled off,” seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe said, comparing Federer with the world’s top-ranked golfer. “He’s running, he’s playing on different surfaces. Doesn’t Tiger just have to play on grass?”

The 27-year-old’s accomplishments brought praise from sportsmen across the world.

Worldwide Acclaim

“What he’s doing over there and what he’s done throughout his entire career has been pretty phenomenal, just his consistency in the slams, the biggest events, he’s always there,” said Woods, who regularly exchanges text messages with his Swiss friend.

Federer cemented his place in the history one month after he won his sole Roland Garros championship to tie Sampras’s 14 major victories. The American, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, hailed the Swiss as “the greatest ever” after that match, which made Federer only the sixth man to win each Grand Slam tournament — Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. opens.

“It’s an unbelievable effort to have 15 Grand Slam titles,” Rod Laver, who won all four majors in one year in 1962 and 1969, told reporters at the All England Club before the final. “And, of course, Pete Sampras has got 14, which was an unbelievable effort right there.”

‘Best of Era’

Breaking the record makes Federer “the best of his era,” said Laver, who doesn’t like to compare different times because of equipment changes and different playing styles. “It’s amazing what sort of shots he can come with from impossible positions.”

Federer’s victory in Paris lifted the weight of expectation off his shoulders, nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova said.

“The monkey is off his back,” she told a press conference in London. “From now on, everything is a bonus. It’s going to be fun to see him play the way he wants to play.”

“He’s an all-time great,” Bud Collins, a broadcaster and tennis historian for more than 40 years, said in an interview at Wimbledon the day before the men’s final. Like Laver, Collins won’t compare players from different eras.

At Roland Garros, Federer took advantage of Nadal’s early exit against Robin Soderling of Sweden. The Spaniard had stopped Federer in Paris in the previous four years, while he also took his Wimbledon crown last year in a five-set final that took 4 hours, 48 minutes and was called by McEnroe the greatest he’d ever seen.

Tears Fall

In August, Nadal ended Federer’s record 237-week run at the top of the rankings and again beat the Swiss in a five-set final at the Australian Open at the beginning of this season. That defeat left Federer in tears during the award ceremony.

Federer still needs to get the upper hand over his nemesis, Nadal, to be considered the greatest of all time, Collins said. The Spaniard has won 13 of their 20 matches.

Federer’s run to 15 major titles started six years ago at Wimbledon.

“There are milestone wins that you’ll never forget,” Federer told reporters at Wimbledon the day before the final. “One of them was obviously my first Wimbledon victory here in 2003.”

Another milestone was becoming No. 1 in the world in 2004 after winning the Australian Open.

“It was a wonderful feeling, like feeling on top of the world,” he said.

Slam Streaks

Federer played in a record 20th Grand Slam final, breaking the record he shared with Ivan Lendl. He’s also made 21 consecutive major semifinals. That record probably never will be broken, other players say.

“The consistency in the big tournaments is ridiculous,” said Andy Murray of Britain, who lost in the semifinals to Roddick. “No one will ever match that.”

Federer’s victory robbed Roddick of a chance to end America’s longest Grand Slam drought in the men’s game since tennis admitted professionals in 1968. Wimbledon is the 23rd major since Roddick triumphed at the 2003 U.S. Open and no American man has won one since. Andre Agassi had been the only other American male to reach a major final since then, losing to Federer at the 2005 U.S. Open.

Betting Favorite

Federer was the 1-8 favorite to win his sixth Wimbledon title at British bookmakers Ladbrokes, with Roddick at 9-2. Federer’s odds mean a winning 8 pound bet returns 1 pound and the original wager.

His historic run isn’t over just yet.

The Swiss, who is expecting his first child with his wife, Mirka Vavrinec, this summer, wants to compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

“Mirka’s dream was always that our child can see me play as well,” Federer said. “I have to play a few more years just because of Mirka. The 2012 Olympics here at Wimbledon is something I’m going to be a part of.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh at the All England Club through the London sports desk at drossingh@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: July 5, 2009 13:38 EDT


November 2, 2008

Play Magazine Preview

Score Another One for Putin

By ANDREW MEIER

ON A CHILL FRIDAY NIGHT IN OCTOBER with seconds left to play in the most anticipated hockey game of a young season, tied three goals apiece, Avangard Omsk, the pride of southwestern Siberia, and Atlant Mytishchi, an upstart from the Moscow suburbs, have players from seven countries on the ice — young men whose hometowns stretch from Canada to Kazakhstan. This is professional hockey in Russia now, at its best. And across the land of the old Soviet sports machine, whether the place is a rink, soccer pitch or basketball court, the scene repeats itself: few countries better reflect the newest face of globalization in sports. In Russia, foreigners round out the pro teams — legionery, legionnaires, they call them, with a mix of awe and disdain. In Omsk, the transcontinental gap matters little. With more than 10,000 fans screaming at the top of their lungs, communication is rendered moot. As the final seconds tick by, and both clubs express a level of hustle, stick work and hunger worthy of any match in North America, one man towers above all others: Jaromir Jagr. In Omsk, a black-collar city of 1.2 million souls, where the oil flares burn all night, marking the edge of town and the promise of the future, Jagr, the superstar who until midsummer reigned as the captain of the New York Rangers and a winner of nearly every trophy in the National Hockey League, now rules what he calls “the big ice.”

via Play Magazine Preview – Score Another One for Putin – NYTimes.com





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