How to Make the Case for Social Media

first_img Remember: This isn’t a crusade, it’s a learning experience for everyone. Make sure there IS a good case for your initiative and if it does fail, share and learn from what went wrong. There is no shame in gaining knowledge from mistakes – for you, or your boss. 1. Change the subject. If you’re having a debate over the value of social media, you’re having the wrong discussion. The discussion should be about your organization’s goals – with social media being the means, not the end. 2. Make it about what your boss already wants. Don’t position your idea as a social media initiative; frame it as your initiative to support your boss’s goals, in your boss’s language. Is donor retention a big concern for your Executive Director? Highlight how social media can help keep donors engaged. Does your board want more success stories to showcase? Underscore how social media can help make that happen. 3. Make it about the audience. A good way to depersonalize the debate over social media is to make it about your target audience’s preferences rather than a philosophical tug of war between you and said boss. 4. Sign your boss up to listen.Set up Google Alerts and TweetBeep (email alerts for Twitter mentions) for your boss, so she or he can see that there are already many discussions about your organization happening online. Once this apparent, two things are likely to happen. First, it will become clear that your organization no longer controls your message online – so worrying about social media causing a lack of control is not worth fearing. That day is already here. Second, it will be hard not to want to join those conversations online – which is what social engagement is all about. 5. Set some ground rules. Set a social media policy for your organization, so it’s clear how to respond to what you’re hearing – and what types of initiatives have internal support. 6. Start small. If you’re going to start a social media initiative, start small. Pinpoint where your supporters are and branch out from there. You don’t have to be an overnight social media expert – you just need to be a part of the conversations about your cause. 7. Set a clear goal.Just as with any other marketing effort, establish a specific, measurable goal so you can identify success. 8. Measure and report.Once you’ve identified your approach and have set a goal, ensure that you can track and measure your progress. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics and you can also track Web traffic back to your site through Google Analytics. Be sure to tie your results back to your social media efforts where possible with careful tracking. (This could mean using tracking codes on your donation pages, Google campaign tags or landing pages created specifically for your social media outreach.) Share every little bit of progress and give your boss credit for it! It’s clear that social media is an effective channel for establishing your nonprofit’s brand identity, championing your cause and engaging with current and would-be supporters. So, how do you make sure your organization is on board — especially your boss, executive director or board members? Here are eight tips for making the case for your next social media initiative: center_img Photo Source: Big Stock Photo Adapted from Nonprofit Marketing Blog.last_img read more

Hey Girl, I See What Your Nonprofit Is Doing

first_imgBy tapping into the #tigerblood hashtag, Zachary reported that tons of media outlets picked up on the story, resulting in a modest increase in blood donations.So what’s in it for you? Why should you consider making a meme? 1. Sure, memes can be just plain silly and fun, and but they can also humanize your nonprofit’s public image. Who doesn’t love an organization that embraces its humanity and sense of humor? 2. Memes can create connections and start conversations because of their two-prong premise: A meme is based on an aspect of popular culture and spread from person to person. 3. Memes give supporters an easy way to publicize and promote your cause. Once you create a meme, fans can quickly share it over email, social media, and their own websites.Want to create your own nonprofit meme to help build buzz for your cause? Check out our tips on using memes to spread your nonprofit’s message. (Image credit: National Wildlife Federation, Source: Avi Kaplan) You’ve seen them all over Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest: grumpycats,talking babies, even Ryan Gosling. Entertaining memes have exploded across the Internet. But have you also noticed an uptick in charitable memes, memes that are doing good? Many nonprofits are capitalizing on the popularity of memes to gain visibility and connect with new supporters.Nonprofits aren’t always great at piggybacking on the work of others, but that’s the key for a meme to take off. Senior Strategist Avi Kaplan of RAD Campaign has compiled some tip-top examples of nonprofit memes that worked because they borrowed a cultural phenomena, as did tech writer Zachary Sniderman.One of the best examples of nonprofit meme-jacking came from a 132-year-old organization, the American Red Cross. Capitalizing on Charlie Sheen’s 2011 outburst and proclamation to have drank tiger’s blood, the American Red Cross tweeted:We may not collect #tigerblood, but we know our donors & volunteers have fierce passion for doing good! #RedCrossMonth— American Red Cross (@RedCross)last_img read more

Is your nonprofit website open for business?

first_imgIs your nonprofit website sending the right message to potential donors? Year-end fundraising season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to clear away the cobwebs and roll out the welcome mat for prospective donors, volunteers, and those who may benefit from your work. If you haven’t updated your site in a while, you might give donors the impression that your organization is no longer active.Worried your site may say “move along” instead of “come on in”? Here are the top issues that can scare visitors away from your nonprofit website (and how to fix them).Broken linksThey’re not just aggravating and confusing for your website visitors, broken links can also be a big red flag for search engines like Google. Having internal links that don’t work or that don’t point to real content can affect how your site shows up in search.How to fix it: Most website platforms and content management systems have reporting that will show you the top pages that are returning an error. Taking a close look at your Google Analytics can help as well. Do some internal testing on your website to make sure all of your links are taking visitors where they should. Stale content Do you still have information about your “upcoming event” on your home page even though the “upcoming event” took place several months ago? Is the last post on your nonprofit’s blog from 2012? This is a surefire sign that no one in your organization is actually looking at your website. To your visitors, it says: we gave up.How to fix it: Make it someone’s responsibility to frequently review your website and do regular housekeeping. If you have a news feed or blog that shows up on your home page, make sure you’re adding new content frequently. If you don’t have a plan to add new items, remove these feeds from your pages. Dated designThis one is somewhat subjective, but there are certain hallmarks of an outdated web design: crazy animations, hard to read text (usually light text on dark background, or a veritable rainbow of font colors), randomly-placed images, to name a few. Geocities is dead. It’s time for your nonprofit website to move on to better things.How to fix it: A complete makeover would be nice, but if that’s not in the cards, focus on fixing the most egregious cosmetic issues within your current design and platform. Start with your key pages and branch out from there. Make it easy to read and remove anything that makes your site look like this. No contact informationThe lights may be on, but without obvious and current contact information, is anyone really home? Your contact details give people an easy way to ask questions and find out more, plus openly listing this information on your website is a sign of trust and transparency. How to fix it: Add your physical address, phone number, and a way to email you to the footer of your website. Place clear links to your “Contact Us” page within your site’s global navigation. No clear way to donateThis is the first thing I look for when I am asked to review an organization’s website, and it’s amazing how many nonprofits still don’t have a prominently placed donation button on every page of their website. Without a clear and highly visible way to donate, you’re effectively telling donors: we don’t need your money. How to fix it: Make your donate button big, bold, and above the fold of your website. Make sure your donate button actually says “Donate Now”, “Donate”, or “Give”. Fuzzy language won’t cut it here. Slow to loadOne Mississippi, two Mississippi … by three Mississippi your website better be finished loading, or most visitors will simply leave. It may not be fair, but people are impatient. They have better things to do than to wait for your carousel of images or Flash presentation to load. How to fix it: Start by confirming there are no technical problems with your website’s platform or hosting service. Then, take a hard look at your website’s key pages and see how you can streamline them by removing extraneous images, code, or other files that are bogging down your site. A reputable web developer can also provide suggestions for other improvements that can speed up your site. (Bonus: Decluttering your site will have a positive effect on potential donors, making it easy for them to figure out what it is you do and why they should care.) Not mobile friendlyWhen your nonprofit website is difficult to load (or completely dead) on a mobile device, you may as well not exist for that smartphone user. 56% of US adults are smartphone users, and they’re becoming more and more likely to read your emails and social media outreach on a mobile device. If your links take them to a site that’s non-functional on their phone, you’ve missed out on another opportunity to connect.How to fix it: You don’t need a complete overhaul to make your website more mobile friendly. Focus on a handful of key pages (think: home page, donation page, contact page, any other pages you point to regularly from emails or social media) and improve them with these 8 tips for making your nonprofit website mobile friendly. (Bonus: Most mobile-friendly website tweaks will improve usability overall.)What are your biggest website challenges? Have you made a recent change to your site that’s made a big difference? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

A New Look for Network for Good

first_imgThis is a blog post I’ve been looking forward to writing for some time now.Today I’m pleased to share the launch of our redesigned Network for Good website featuring a fresh new look that highlights our best resources and pulls them into one central location. You can now visit www.networkforgood.com to access (and search) all of our content, including our webinars, guides and templates, The Nonprofit Marketing Blog, and Fundraising 123 articles. You can also find updated information on Network for Good’s fundraising products and services and learn how to improve your strategy for connecting with individual donors.A big thanks to the amazing team here at Network for Good, who imagined, designed, built, and launched the site in record time. Our appreciation also goes out to our many advisors and testers (including our customers, partners, readers, and sector experts) who helped us refine our approach over the last several weeks.We’re excited about our new site, and we hope you find it easier to navigate and more useful than ever. I’d love to hear what you think—drop me a line and let me know your questions and feedback.last_img read more

Action on HIV and Maternal Health is Needed in Sub-Saharan Africa to End Preventable Maternal Mortality and Achieve an AIDS-Free Generation

first_imgPosted on December 1, 2013November 27, 2017By: Tamil Kendall, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Globally, HIV and complications of childbearing are the leading causes of death among women of reproductive age. The epicenter of poor maternal health outcomes associated with HIV is sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of pregnant women living with HIV reside. In this region, women with HIV are six to eight times more likely to die during pregnancy and the postpartum period than HIV-negative women, approximately a quarter of maternal deaths are due to HIV, and WHO estimates that maternal mortality has actually increased in eight countries with high HIV prevalence over the past 20 years. Addressing the intersections between HIV and maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa is necessary to make good on international and country commitments to end preventable maternal mortality and achieve an AIDS-free generation.Fortunately, we know what some of the problems are and how to address them:In 2012, only 49% of pregnant African women were tested for HIV—scaling-up voluntary HIV counseling and testing to reach 90% of women attending prenatal care is needed to support women to access treatment for their own health and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. African countries like Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia have shown it can be done.To achieve better outcomes coverage of interventions that can radically reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, such as provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART), malaria and tuberculosis screening and treatment, and family planning must increase through better integration of HIV and Maternal-Child Health (MCH) services.Too many pregnant and postpartum women either do not begin or drop out of HIV and MCH services. HIV stigma, disrespect and abuse, gender discrimination, and financial and geographic barriers are associated with low uptake and retention in care and treatment. Social support for pregnant and postpartum women and community mobilization to promote women’s health and rights can contribute to increased demand for and delivery of high-quality, respectful HIV and MCH services.Addressing maternal morbidity and mortality among women living with HIV and improving outcomes for all pregnant and postpartum women requires health system strengthening, integration of HIV and MCH services, and transformation of the social context.Research and evaluation is needed for better policy and programs. The forthcoming Research and Evaluation Agenda for Maternal Health and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa identifies three priorities:Clinical Questions about Maternal Mortality and HIV: What is the relationship between HIV infection and rates and causes of maternal morbidity and mortality? How can increased illness and death among women with HIV be prevented? How will new treatment guidelines and increased availability of ART for women living with HIV effect maternal and neonatal health outcomes?Integrating Health Service Delivery to Address Maternal Health and HIV: What are the most effective models for integrating HIV testing, treatment and care with antenatal, intrapartum, postpartum and family planning services? How can additional critical interventions—specifically screening and treatment for malaria and tuberculosis, postpartum family planning, and preconception counseling—be integrated into the continuum of HIV and MCH services while maintaining quality? What levels of staffing and mix of skills are needed to safely and effectively deliver integrated services?  How does service integration effect coverage, quality, retention and satisfaction of users and providers, and health outcomes?Transforming the Social Context to Improve Maternal Health: What are the effects of programs which reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination, disrespect and abuse in maternity care, and violence against women on uptake and retention in HIV and MCH services, adherence to antiretroviral treatment, disclosure of HIV status, and postpartum depression? How does increasing social support for pregnant and postpartum women and community mobilization to promote respectful, high-quality HIV and MCH services, effect maternal health outcomes?The 2013 World AIDS Day theme “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation” is a call for researchers, policymakers, healthcare providers and women living with HIV and their communities to redouble efforts to improve responses to HIV and maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa.Read the policy brief or visit the MHTF topic page on Maternal Health, HIV and AIDS for more resources.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

4 Fundraising Ideas to Develop Your Fundraising Plan

first_img“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryEmbarking on a new year—whether it’s a calendar or fiscal year (or both!)—is always an opportunity for a fresh start.  After all, that’s why resolutions are written at the start of a new year.  New year. New goals.  It’s the same with writing a development plan for your nonprofit, which you can think of as a business plan for fundraising. It helps you develop the discipline of looking at what you’ve done well and where you need to improve, setting your sights for the year ahead, and mapping out what you will do to reach your goals. Simply put, it translates your wishes to goals.Let’s pause for a moment to think about the 30,000-foot view. Fundraising is not just about raising money. The core of our work as fundraisers is as relationship architects between our organizations and the donors who currently or, we hope will eventually, support us. Our goal is to create two-way conversations that are not transactional or circular exchanges of asking and receiving money. We know this isn’t sustainable in the long-term. A development plan is more than just a set of lists, calendars, and activities.  It’s a strategic compilation of all the ways you can connect and communicate with your donors which, if done effectively, leads to increased revenue. It’s a competitive market out there. There are 1.8 million nonprofits in the US with about 75,000 new ones registering with the IRS each year. If you feel like the room is getting crowded, so do our donors. What makes the difference to them is if they feel valued by you and connected to your organization. If not, they’ll go somewhere else to give.So, your development plan should focus on four key areas:1. Balancing your portfolio:If your funding generally comes from one source more than others, it’s time to think about how to rebalance things. This might mean looking at how to welcome more individual donors instead of relying primarily on foundations and/or corporations. It could also mean thinking about others ways to build donor relationships besides the one major gala or one major direct mail appeal you do each year. Putting all your eggs in the proverbial basket is not sustainable.2. Setting the stage for major gifts:Every organization no matter how small can, and should, be raising major gifts. A successful major gifts program does not focus on high net-worth individuals with no connection to your organization. In fact, you probably already know who your major (current and potential) donors are. Your next major gift will likely come from one of these donors who has the capacity and who has been supporting you for a long time (and not at particularly high levels) and may also have been involved as a volunteer. Carving out a little time for more personal interactions with these donors will help you qualify those who can make larger gifts down the road.3. Creating greater donor engagement:It’s easy to become complacent and think that just because donors have chosen to invest in our cause, they will unconditionally support us and that when we ask again they will give. Nonprofits on average lose more than 60% of their donors each year because they haven’t figured out the right way to connect with their donors. Good donor engagement involves a regular calendar of touchpoints, updates, and communications that highlights stories of successes, progress, results, and even failures and challenges. Donors want to see, feel, and touch the impact their gifts are having. They want a donor relationship and an exceptional donor experience. You are most likely already doing it without defining these activities in that way: annual reports, newsletters, special webinars hosted by your key program leadership, holiday and birthday cards are all examples of ways to leverage communications to enhance your relationships with your donors.4. Laying the foundation for tomorrow:Without question, your limited bandwidth should be focused on donor retention because once you lose the donors who already opted to give to you, it’s hard to get them back. That said, it is still important to plant the seeds for the next pipeline of donors to your organization. The best potential new donor names are people who self-identify in some way or who are connected in some way to you. Perhaps it’s through a sign-up on your website, following you on social media, attendance at an event, or a visitor book if prospective donors can visit your facilities. This is also a way board members and other volunteers can play a key role in introducing your organization to their networks.  Every follower, volunteer, and the new name that crosses your doorway should be considered a potential investor in your work. Welcome them.For more thoughts on how to propel your nonprofit forward, download our free Fundraising Plan eGuide or hire Network for Good personal fundraising coach to Building Stronger Donor Engagement and Raising More Money, as we explore this topic in greater detail.last_img read more

NFG Staff Profile: AJ Johnson

first_imgThe idea of being able to help someone attracts AJ to nonprofits. From an early age, she was involved with a Golden Retriever rescue organization and co-founded a satellite rescue facility. Working remote in Florida, you’ll find AJ at one of the awesome parks in Orlando, FL on her days off!“Nothing brings a smile to my face more than when I watch our customers have that “a-ha” moment in real time.”Q&A with AJ Johnson, Customer Success ManagerWhat do you do at Network for Good?I currently work as a Customer Success Specialist on the Welcome Team! I like to tell my customers that I’m a little bit like a driving instructor – I’m here to help them understand not only their product, but how the different components work together to help boost their fundraising. I get to work with folks for their first few months so that they’ll have a point of contact for their questions, and make sure I can provide them with the resources they’ll need to be successful after my time working with them ends.What is your experience with nonprofit organizations outside of Network for Good?I’ve always been involved with the nonprofit world one way or another. When I first heard about the 9/11 attacks, I immediately asked my parents how we’d be able to help the families who’d lost a loved one. After my family adopted a golden retriever from a small rescue while I was in middle school, we became involved enough to co-found our own rescue, using a network of volunteers, fosters, and transport specialists (#adoptdontshop, always!). I raised money through donations from my Bat Mitzvah for the rescue’s benefit, and I even ran their fledgling social media accounts for a while in high school! My passion has always been with the LGBTQ+ community, though, and I have volunteered with various queer organizations (and I do, to this day!). My focus has always been making sure people across the gender spectrum have access to safe, comfortable, and affordable medical care.What attracts you to nonprofits? I just love the concept of being able to do everything in your power to help someone. I’ve found motivation in helping those who maybe don’t even realize that they might need help, and I’ve found motivation in giving voices to those who maybe don’t have the capability to speak up. It’s that motivation that moves me to incorporate service in all parts of my life – work, play, and everything in between.What do you enjoy most about your work? Nothing brings a smile to my face more than when I watch our customers have that “aha!” moment when I’m on the phone with them. When everything clicks together for them, in that moment, it’s easy to see their excitement grow – they often are realizing exactly how they’ll be able to use the system to reach more donors with their message. Nonprofits are people’s passions, their hearts and souls, and being able to see it all click as they use their new system is just so fulfilling. I also love the exposure I get to nonprofits and causes that I’d never heard of – there are so many incredible people doing incredible things and it’s inspiring to see the kind of solutions people can find and the real magic they can do.What do you enjoy doing outside work? I live (and work remotely) about 30 miles south of Orlando, and I’m a huge adrenaline junkie, so on my days off, there’s a good chance you’ll find me at one of the theme parks in the area. I’ve got annual passes to Universal, Sea World, and Disney World, but I’ve always been a Disney kid at heart, so sometimes I’ll just go to the parks to grab a Mickey pretzel with cheese and people watch. Universal is great, too, for when I need a little Hogwarts magic to get through the weekend, and you’ll catch me most nights during the fall at their Halloween Horror Nights, hiding behind my partner from all of the scares! Sea World has become a recent favorite, though, because you can actually feed some of the little rays some anchovies, or watch the baby dolphins as they play tag and chase each other in the nursery. No matter which park I’m at, though, I’ll be somewhere near those roller coasters!Lightning RoundDream vacation? A full European adventure. I took Italian in high school and fell in love with the language, the culture, the architecture, the art – but if I’m headed on a dream trip, why only include one stop on the tour?Most recent book read? I’m currently reading Retta’s memoir “So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know” and I haven’t been able to stop laughing. She’s funny and poignant, and it goes so far beyond her time on Parks and Rec. I love to read though, and I’ve got over a thousand physical books at home – don’t even ask my about my Kindle.Last movie seen in movie theater? The last two have been Aladdin and Toy Story 4 – I wasn’t kidding about being a Disney kid!Theme song? “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” by Panic! At the Disco.Favorite color? Blue!All time favorite athlete? Right now, it’s Coco Gauff – she’s an honest-to-goodness inspiration. At fifteen, she’s competing in Wimbledon against her all-time hero – at fifteen, I think I was working part-time at a water park! She sets such an example for anyone who wants to follow their dreams, as cheesy as it sounds. Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

Use of Chlorhexidine to Save Newborn Lives: Making People Aware Through Mass Media

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 17, 2015October 13, 2016By: Leela Khanal, Project Director, Chlorhexidine Navi Care Program,
 JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference holds for us a unique opportunity to come together and think of how to reach the sustainable development goal of ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths. One such way is by preventing neonatal infections using chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care. But just implementing interventions may not be enough; communication to providers and mothers can enhance uptake and effectiveness of these interventions to save lives.JSI’s Chlorhexidine cord care program (CNCP) is supporting the Government of Nepal to scale up the use of chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care. Chlorhexidine is applied on the umbilical cord stump immediately after cord cutting for both facility and home born babies. One three-gram chlorhexidine tube is distributed to a pregnant women either during her antenatal visit to a health facility or by her local Female Community Health Volunteer during the 8th month of pregnancy, with proper counseling.To increase awareness among the community people and thus improve demand and good practice, a behavior change communication program has been designed and implemented. The communication initiative, which started in September 2015 and will continue until September 2017, will use a variety of strategies to create demand for chlorhexidine. This social behavior change communication (SBCC) campaign will initiate message dissemination about the value of this low-cost chlorhexidine gel from both national and local radio and television stations.During the first 3 months of the SBCC campaign, messages about chlorhexidine application (both for health facilities and the community births) are being broadcast as public announcements from mainstream television channels. Messages have been placed during prime time news bulletins on Kantipur Television and popular programs on Nepal Television in order to reach a mass audience throughout the country. Radio airings of ad spots have also been placed with stations having a wide listenership; Kantipur FM and Image FM, with a priority given to reaching remote geographies and achieving effective coverage of targeted women, pregnant women, FCHVs and health workers. Branding of chlorhexidine (Navi Malam) has been incorporated into the sponsored radio programs that are very popular in remote locations, ensuring great coverage of messages.Realizing the strength of local and community FM stations in Nepal, JSI has emphasized mobilization of local FM stations in 30 districts during the first phase, to increase access to the chlorhexidine message in remote areas, not covered by national broadcasting. Other implementing partners—Save the Children, One Heart Worldwide, Care Nepal and ADRA—are also supporting the airing of chlorhexidine radio messages from local FM stations in 22 additional districts. JSI will do monitoring of these interventions and evaluate at the end of three months, based on a media monitoring and evaluation plan. Based on results of the monitoring and evaluation the way forward for the remaining period of time will be decided. A detailed broadcasting schedule of Radio and TV spots has been prepared and shared with the partners.Photo: “Testing newborn reflexes” © 2013 Rob Tinworth/Possible, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Share this:last_img read more

Jamaican Independence Ball for Manhattan Saturday

first_img This year’s proceeds will provide full scholarships for needy students to attend the University of the West Indies This prestigious event will bring together just over 1,500 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Professor Stephen C. Vasciannie will be the guest speaker Story Highlights Jamaica’s independence celebrations in the New York tri-state area will come to a climax on Saturday, August 17, when the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation, Inc (JICFI) stages the annual Independence Ball in commemoration of Jamaica’s 51st year of independence.This prestigious event will bring together just over 1,500 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica at the New York Hilton Hotel in downtown Manhattan, where the island’s colors, and music will be on display.The ball, which is being held under the distinguished patronage of the Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Herman G. LaMont will have as its special guest speaker, Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Professor Stephen C. Vasciannie.  Noted Jamaican actress Sheryl-Lee Ralph will compere the event.Two distinguished Jamaicans, Heather Foster, Office of Public Engagement at the White House, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Answorth A. Allen, along with Irie Jam Media, will be honored this year. Patrons to this year’s ball will dance to music provided by the Fabulous Five Band.Speaking at the media launch held at the Jamaican Consulate in New York, Chairperson of the JICFI, Paulette Willoughby said that over the years, proceeds from the ball have been used to support several organisations.Among them are the New York City Rescue Mission, Good Shepherd Foundation, Early Childhood Foundation, Ward Theatre Foundation, Boys’ Town Foundation, Alpha Boys’ House, American Foundation of the University of the West Indies (AFUWI), American Cancer Society, Mission for the Poor and Mustard Seed Communities.Ms. Willoughby informed that this year’s proceeds will provide full scholarships for needy students to attend the University of the West Indies, as well as support for an early childhood institution.The JICFI, a non-profit organisation, dedicated to celebrating Jamaica’s independence, seeks to bring together Jamaicans in the Diaspora to a signature ball, held in New York annually. The gala will showcase Jamaica’s food and culture.Contact: Derrick Scottlast_img read more

Who is the guarantor allowing big bank frauds asks Priyanka

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked the government on Friday over an RBI report showing bank frauds have gone up by 15 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19, asking who is the guarantor allowing such “big bank frauds”.The number of cases of frauds reported by banks saw a jump of 15 per cent year-on-year basis in 2018-19, with the amount involved increasing by 73.8 per cent in the year, the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report showed. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In FY19, banking sector reported 6,801 frauds involving Rs 71,542.93 crore as against 5,916 cases involving Rs 41,167.04 crore reported in 2017-18. “Country’s biggest banking institution RBI is saying that bank frauds are increasing right under the nose of the government. In 2018-19, this theft has increased,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. “Banks have been duped of Rs 72,000 crore. But, who is the guarantor who is allowing such big bank frauds to occur,” the Congress general secretary asked. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KCongress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hit out at the government over the rising number of bank frauds. “‘Loot & Scoot’ in ‘New India’ as a complicit BJP govt looks the other way and common man is taxed!” he said. Congress urges govt to declare financial emergency in countryNew Delhi: The Congress on Friday demanded that a financial emergency be declared in the country and a white paper be released on the “shrinking economy and rising frauds”. Congress spokespersons Jaiveer Shergill and Gaurav Vallabh accused the BJP government of destroying the credibility of the country’s economy and banking system and demanded that it should declare the names of wilful defaulters, along with the details of their non-performing assets (NPAs). “The Congress demands that a financial emergency should be declared in the country,” Shergill told a press conference here. “We reiterate that the BJP government should release a white paper on the shrinking economy and rising frauds,” he said. “It is getting clearer by the day that the country is heading towards a major recessionary phase. This is a classic case of recession under expansionary trends, as whenever there are three continuous quarters of growth recession (reduction in growth quarter-on-quarter), the chances of slipping into a full-blown recession are significantly higher,” Vallabh said. He added that once the June 2019 quarter numbers were announced, it would be clear that India was witnessing a reduction in growth for five consecutive quarters. Vallabh said the problems that this phenomenon put forth were that natural recovery did not occur and the country had to solely rely on monetary policy actions, while the short-term stimulus remained short-term and only helped in assuaging wounds. “The questions we want to ask the government are what is its response to the prolonged reduction in growth? Does it have any clue of what is actually wrong and who’s responsible for the same,” Shergill said. As a responsible opposition, the Congress wanted the government to immediately issue a white paper on the state of economy, he added. “Rather than a band-aid approach, we want substantial solution to this state of the economy,” the Congress spokesperson said, wondering why the government would not accept that the country was witnessing a recession and it would only be revived when a private and public investment cycle would start in the economy. Shergill alleged a “systematic decimation of the economy” with a worsening distress in the farm sector, factories and finance, adding that only frauds, fake promises and aggression on the system were rampant in the country under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) rule. He also alleged that frauds in the banking system shot up by 74 per cent to Rs 71,543 crore in the 2018-19 financial year, compared to frauds worth Rs 41,167 crore committed in the 2017-18 financial year. “RBI data has revealed that 27,125 cases of bank frauds of a whopping Rs 1.74 lakh crore (Rs 1,74,753 lakh crore) were reported in the past five years. Is this amount similar to recapitalisation of banks? Why, suddenly now, so many cases of frauds are out? Is it an indirect way of looting taxpayers’ money?,” the Congress spokesperson asked.last_img read more

Stars To Take Part In Reel Stories Real Lives Event For MPTF

first_imgThe entertainment industry will join together for the 4th Annual Reel Stories, Real Lives (RSRL) event benefiting MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) later this week.The evening will celebrate the Next Generation of entertainment industry leaders, and share the extraordinary stories of those who have benefited from the services provided by MPTF.Kate Bosworth, Lizzy Caplan, Tony Goldwyn, Tobey Maguire, Amanda Peet, and more will read powerful stories of industry members who have benefitted from MPTF’s services over the years, written by some of Hollywood’s leading feature and television writers including Bill Dubuque, Jason Fuchs, Jason Hall, John Hoffman and Beau Willimon. For the first time ever, a special tribute will be given to Kevin Spacey in honor of his dedication to MPTF.The evening is generously supported by UCLA Health, Cadillac, and Delta Air Lines.For over 90 years, MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) has served as a beacon of hope for entertainment industry members in their time of need. As a charitable organization, MPTF provides financial assistance and services essential to the well-being of the community and is a leader in the development and implementation of services and programs for seniors and those who care for them. MPTF is supported by the generosity of corporate donors and fellow entertainment industry members who contribute their time and money because they believe in the critical importance of Hollywood Helping Hollywood.WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015WHERE: MILK Studios Hollywood855 N. Cahuenga Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90038Find out more about the event here.last_img read more

BC judge approves Victorias plastic bag bylaw going into effect in July

first_imgVICTORIA – The mayor of Victoria is hailing a court victory allowing the city to enact a bylaw that will prohibit grocery stores from offering or selling plastic bags to shoppers.Lisa Helps says in a news release that the B.C. Supreme Court decision represents an important step in moving away from unsustainable business practices that create high volumes of waste from single-use plastic bags.The Canadian Plastic Bag Association challenged the bylaw, saying it amounts to an environmental regulation that the city does not have the power to enact without provincial approval.Justice Nathan Smith says the bylaw is characterized as a business regulation and even though some councillors may have been motivated by broad concerns for the environment, they were considering ways in which discarded plastic bags impact municipal facilities and services.The bylaw that goes into effect in July calls on businesses to charge customers 15 cents for a paper bag and $1 for a reusable bag, but small paper bags used for items such as bulk foods, meat, bakery goods and plants would still be free.Fees will increase in July 2019 to 25 cents for a paper bag and $2 for a reusable bag.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the fees increase in January 2019.last_img read more

EC announces dates Delhi goes to polls on May 12

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission on Sunday announced that Delhi will go to polls on May 12 in the sixth phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, all the eyes will be set on May 23 when the votes will be counted. The last general elections in 2014 were held in nine phases and residents of the National Capital Territory cast their votes during the third phase on April 10.With the Model Code of Conduct coming into play, the regulatory body also announced that advertising restrictions set out in the Election Manual are to include social media platforms. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsBharatiya Janata Party, Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party and Congress had fielded their candidates on all seven Lok Sabha seats in 2014. All India Trinamool Congress fought on five seats. The BJP took over all the seven constituencies in Delhi, electing Parvesh Verma, Udit Raj, Maheish Girri, Manoj Tiwari, Ramesh Bidhuri, Meenakshi Lekhi, and Harsh Vardhan to the Lower House. AAP has already announced six of its candidates for the Delhi seats, except West Delhi constituency for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Following the tradition of disclosing candidate lists in the last minute, BJP has not yet come out with their list of candidates. No other party has as of now announced their candidates for the capital city fight. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIn a tweet after the EC announcement, Arvind Kejriwal said: “Ultimately back to We the people -the real power of our democracy. Time to throw out the most dictatorial and anti-federal govt in the history of India. Time to seek answers on demonetisation, jobs, destruction of traders n destroying brotherhood amongst different communities.” In order to ensure safe and fair elections, the Election Cell of Delhi Police has made provisions for DCPs in all districts to review arms licence holders and criminal records in their respective jurisdictions if necessary. They will also be tracking illegal cash transactions or any distribution of illegal liquor or any other items suspected to influence the voters. In addition, the police might also be having as many as 178 flying squads to keep tabs during the polls in Delhi. Police sources have also told the Millennium Post that district DCPs have asked concerned ACPs and SHOs to conduct a thorough verification of election booths and submit the report to them as soon as possible.last_img read more

Seoul cancels permit for new Japanese embassy building

first_imgSeoul: Authorities in Seoul have cancelled the permit for a new Japanese embassy building citing construction delays, local officials said Wednesday, with relations between South Korea and Tokyo strained by historical disputes. The neighbours are both democracies, market economies and US allies faced with an increasingly assertive China and the long-running threat of nuclear-armed North Korea. But their own ties have remained icy for years due to bitter rows stemming from Japan’s brutal 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula, with forced labour and wartime sex slavery key examples. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USA statue of a “comfort woman” symbolising the Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels mostly during World War II stands across the road from the embassy plot. Since 1992 campaigners have held weekly rallies at the site to demand a “full, heartfelt apology” for wartime sex slavery from Tokyo. The 1,382th such gathering took place Wednesday, with activists surrounding the statue. The previous embassy building was demolished some years ago, with staff moving into offices in the neighbouring high-rises, and the plot is now a patch of bare earth behind a high wall, vines growing through the surrounding barbed wire. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsCity authorities gave permission for a new six-storey building in 2015, the year Seoul and Tokyo signed a controversial deal to settle the wartime sex slavery issue. But construction — which under South Korean law must start within a year of a permit being received — was repeatedly delayed. Japan argues that the “comfort women” statue is against the 2015 bilateral agreement, under which Tokyo offered an apology and a one-billion yen payment. But South Korean President Moon Jae-in said last year that the deal had been signed by his ousted predecessor Park Geun-hye without consulting the Korean victims and disbanded a foundation set up with the Japanese funds. An official at the Jongno Ward Office in Seoul said: “We had a meeting with Japanese officials in February, and they said they will accept the revocation of the permit as they cannot start the construction work due to circumstances in their home country.”last_img read more

3 cops 2 land mafia members booked for conspiring against property dealer

first_imgGhaziabad: Ghaziabad police have booked five persons including a chowki in-charge under Loni border police station, one head constable, a constable and two land mafiyas for allegedly plotting a conspiracy by registering fake rape case against a property dealer pressurising him to settle down a land dispute. Cops said that the victim alleged police officials to work in collaboration with the land mafiyas.According to police, the accused were identified as sub-inspector Ashutosh Tarar, head constable Vijay Kumar, constable Javed and two land mafiyas Rakesh Khurana and Parvinder. A senior police officer said that Ashutosh is a chowki in-charge of Inderpuri police post under Loni border police station jurisdiction. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesAs per reports, property dealer Nawab Ali Saifi, a resident of Lakshmi Garden colony in Loni border area of Ghaziabad filed a complaint of getting harassed by police after they filed a fake rape case against him. “Rakesh Khurana and Parvinder are two land mafiyas who have acquired a number of government owned as well as private properties. A complaint regarding such illegal activities was made by me against both the accused which are already under investigation by the commissioner Meerut zone. The accused persons, in order to take revenge, joined a few police officials when them to plot a conspiracy against me,” said Nawab. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarHe further said that the accused persons pulled a woman into their plan whom they sent to his house to lure him but they failed. “On the morning of 23 March 2019, the accused persons sent a woman to my house who posed as a plot buyer but we just had a few minutes conversation regarding the property and I asked her to come some other day as I was busy in a family function. Later in evening, the chowki in-charge called me and threatened that the woman has filed a rape case against me. When I reached police station, the woman denied of her allegations in front of police but the police officials kept on threatening me and filed a fake rape case against me on April 5. Since then the police officials are demanding money to settle the matter and threatening me and my family with death consequences if I do not settle the matter,” alleged Nawab. “Based on complaint received, an FIR has been registered against five persons under the IPC sections of 384 (Punishment for extortion), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and section 7 and 15 under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. We are also investigating the role of woman who was also roped in the plan by accused persons,” said Upendra Kumar Agarwal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ghaziabad.last_img read more

What Happened At The 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

FiveThirtyEight’s delegation made the pilgrimage to this year’s Sloan conference, a kind of mecca for anyone who’s obsessed with sports, data and retelling how they first felt when they read “Moneyball.” We updated all of Friday and Saturday from Boston, where Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and our own Nate Silver roamed the halls. Read on for highlights from the weekend. CORRECTION (Feb 28, 9:47 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the ages of Sam Hafetz and Jonah White. Saturday, Feb. 28 4:05 p.m. Friday, Feb 27, 2:20 p.m.The panel: “Basketball Analytics: Push the Tempo”The panelists: Shane Battier, Mike Zarren, Sue Bird, Mike D’Antoni, Pablo TorreAre basketball teams now so saturated with data and analytics that it’s hard to use them for a competitive advantage?Mike Zarren, assistant general manager for the Boston Celtics, raised an interesting point about what qualifies as analytics in an analytics age. “If I know how well a player slept last night, is that analytics?” The breadth of topics discussed — injuries, biometrics, pace, traditional positions, rest, incentives, shot selection, team chemistry — reveal what a truly broad spectrum of questions and answers fall under the umbrella of basketball analytics. However the field is defined, it all serves the same master: talent. Shane Battier, the poster boy for the adoption of analytic ideas at the player level, summed up the mission perfectly: “It’s about creating space to allow talent to do what they do.”Zarren returned to a well-worn focus at this conference — communication of insights — and defended that arena as the place where a competitive advantage still exists: “You have to use it, it has to affect the decisions you make. I don’t think there is a saturation of that yet.” — Ian Levy Friday, Feb 27, 11:55 a.m.Daryl Morey has been as instrumental to the rise of the Sloan conference as he has been to the rise of the Houston Rockets. Morey, the general manager of the Rockets, has steered the team to third place in the Western conference — behind MVP-candidate James Harden, whom he acquired in a now-legendary 2012 trade — and helped start the Sloan conference in 2007. At Sloan on Friday, I boxed him out to ask a few questions about advanced basketball analytics, specifically player-tracking data from companies like STATS’ SportVU technology. While he can’t divulge the details of the Rockets’ private statistics, Morey’s remarks about the publicly available numbers are especially insightful because the Rockets are one of the most stats-savvy teams — not just in the NBA, but in all of sports. — Andrew FlowersAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/flowers_morey.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Friday, Feb 27, 12:21 p.m.The Panel: “Valuing Franchises: How Sports Teams Break the DCF”The Panelists: Lyle Ayes, Aswath Damodaran, Joe McNulty, Randy Vataha, Abe Madkour (moderator)The recent sales of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers for over $2 billion have opened up a new paradigm in sports franchise valuations. As shocking as the price of those transactions may have been, the mood at this Sloan panel was buoyant. In fact, panelists seemed to be most worried about prices getting so high that billionaires would be priced out of the market. As Lyle Ayes, managing director of the investment bank Evercore’s sports advisory practice said, “how many people can pay $4 billion for an asset?”Panelists thought the seemingly inexorable rise in franchise valuations was driven by the increasing value of media and content rights. Aswath Damodaran, an NYU professor who focuses on valuation (and FiveThirtyEight contributor), commented that across the entertainment industry, owning content is becoming king. Ayes cited the NBA’s massive new TV deal as evidence of this trend. He noted that advertisers put a large premium on live content like sports because viewers are relatively captive during the event. Interestingly, none of the panel members thought that a team’s performance had a large impact on valuation. The most important factor, according to the panel, was metro area population and GDP. The New York Knicks can command significantly more from their local TV rights for bad basketball than the San Antonio Spurs can command for good.Despite the increase in the real earnings of teams as media deals improve, panelists (with the exception of Ayes), broadly agreed that sports franchises still do not make sense as actual businesses. While they are relatively low-risk and uncorrelated with other potential investments, almost any analysis of the current cash flows — or lack thereof — will not find them to be great investments. As Damodaran noted, the supply of franchises is relatively fixed, while demand has been growing. The panelists did not see this dynamic changing any time soon. — John Ezekowitz Saturday, Feb. 28, 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:50 a.m.There are bold-faced names headlining the ninth annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, sure. But for academics like myself the real action is in the research paper contest, where academics and researchers are hoping to create the kinds of insights that the bold-faced names one day treat as gospel. For these researchers, Sloan marks the culmination of what can be more than a year’s worth of work. The stakes are high: top prize is $20,000, with second place worth $10,000. For some of the PhD students submitting papers, that may equal their annual salary.But until now, the mechanics of how this contest is judged have largely been cloudy (see an overview of the 2015 contest here, or my personal experience submitting a paper to the 2014 contest here). On Friday, conference co-lead Paul Campbell helped clarify how Sloan makes its picks. “We try to be consistent about what we solicit,” said Campbell. “We kind of have our perspective on the validity of the method, and making sure that the academic and mathematical rigor is there. Also, do the results make sense?”The 2015 research paper contest began back in September, when Campbell and this year’s judging committee, comprised of various MIT student organizers and academic advisers, received 189 abstracts. Of that total, 68 were invited to turn in a formal paper for submission in mid-December. Paper submissions were placed into one of four tracks: basketball, baseball, other sports or the business of sport. The top two submitted papers from each track were given the opportunity to present at this year’s conference. In addition, 11 papers were given a poster in the halls of the convention center.Each of the eight finalists were allotted a 20-minute presentation on Friday. The judging committee identified the top presentation in each of the four categories based on a 50-50 split of the presentation itself and the originating paper.“We have an idea of what the best analytically rigorous paper is, but we want to see if it is presented well. It’s an equal weighting with [the presentation] and the paper,” said Campbell. The four papers still in the running for the top prize, are:Baseball: Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattBasketball: Counterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryOther Sports: Assessing the productivity of NHL players using in-game win probabilities by Stephen PettigrewBusiness of Sports: Diamonds on the Line: Profits Through Investment Gaming by Clayton Graham.Those four finalists are given an additional 10 minutes with which to make their case, this time in front of a larger and more general audience, including Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and FiveThirtyEight’s own Nate Silver.Those judges, according to Campbell, are asked to judge by something different than the last committee. “Which of these [papers] seems like the most applicable or potentially transformative within the industry?” $20,000 rides on the answer. — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:00 p.m.The session: “Analytics of the Tommy John Injury Epidemic”The speaker: Glenn FleisigWe’re in the midst of an epidemic of elbow injuries among major league pitchers. Twenty-five percent of current MLB pitchers have had an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”) and 15 percent of minor league pitchers have undergone the procedure. Over the last decade, the problem has trickled down to high school and little league players. In 1990, none of the baseball players coming to the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center clinic Tommy John surgery were kids. Today, one third of them are high school age or younger, said Fleisig, the research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute.What’s to blame for the epidemic of torn elbow ligaments? Are more players getting hurt? Or are we just better at diagnosing these injuries? Are doctors more willing to do the procedure? Or are patients more eager to have it?The answer, said Fleisig, is all of the above. Some players assume they should go in for surgery at the first sign of elbow pain, just “to get it over,” but that’s the wrong attitude. Best case scenario, the surgery can return a player to the career trajectory he was on before he got injured, but it won’t improve performance and not every player makes it back to play, Fleisig said.About 80 percent of major league players who get Tommy John surgeries make it back to the mound, but only two thirds of those who undergo the procedure make it back and stay there.Most elbow ligament injuries occur due to overuse. During the middle part of the pitch when the elbow is held upright at a right angle, the joint experiences severe torque. “It’s like holding a string with five 12-pound bowling balls,” Fleisig said. (That’s why doping raises the risk of an elbow injury — “If you’re on the juice you’re making your muscles too strong for your tendons and ligaments to handle.”)There’s a common notion that curveballs are dangerous, but the research doesn’t bear that out, Fleisig said. “We expected the curveball to have more torque than the fastball, but it turns out it has less.”Four things determine which players get injured — biomechanics, how much a player pitches, training and recovery. “It’s not one of these things or the other, it’s all of them,” Fleisig said.Wear and tear on the elbow is one of the most important factors, and when Fleisig’s group followed a group of 500 kids over a ten-year period, they found that pitching more than 100 competitive innings more than tripled the risk of needing a Tommy John surgery. Likewise, more than 80 pitches per game quadrupled the risk of injury, and kids who pitched when fatigued had 36 times the risk of having surgery.In an effort to cut the rates of elbow injuries among young pitchers, Fleisig and his colleagues have teamed with Major League Baseball to create Pitch Smart, age-appropriate guidelines to avoid injury. Suggestions include limits on the number of pitches thrown and not pitching when fatigued. “The best computer we have is right here,” Fleisig told me, pointing to his head. — Christie Aschwanden Friday, Feb. 27, 6:10 p.m.Walking into a conference at Sloan today I walked by yet another guy in a sports coat — and then did a double take, because this guy’s blazer sleeves were rolled up…and he was a 13 year-old. There are some teenagers running around Sloan but none looked younger than Sam Hafetz and his friends, Manu Hurskovitz, 14, and Jonah White, 14. After calling their parents for permission (hi, Mr. Hurskovitz!), I dragged them to our podcast table. There, Jody Avirgan asked what brought them to Sloan (it’s their second year attending), why they love sports analytics, and what they’d do if they became GMs of the Celtics. — Chadwick MatlinAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/kidsatsloan.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Friday, Feb. 27, 4:43 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: Growing Soccer with Don Garber”The panelists: Don Garber, Grant WahlMLB and MLS share two letters and the pickle of how to balance tradition and innovation. Baseball’s struggle comes from within, as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred showed earlier Friday. Major League Soccer isn’t as conflicted about changing rules and trying new technologies, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. Its burden, unlike MLB’s, is its peripheral place in a global game.Garber said he wanted goal-line review technology, extra time put on scoreboards (instead of only a ref with a “Timex that probably cost 20 bucks” knowing how much time remains) and a whole lot more. “If I were king, we would have instant replay, we would have cameras on our players, we would be putting them on goalposts.” He’d put a microphone on the field. Players would wear GoPro cameras. He watched hockey players wear GoPros at the NHL All-Star Game and thought it was cool.But Garber can’t have all those things. Other sports’ U.S. pro leagues just need to get the owners to agree, but MLS needs the approval of IFAB, the International Football Association Board — or, as Garber called it, the International Federation of Somebody Who Has Something To Do With the Rules That’s Not Me. Garber’s message to IFAB: “Let us be the Guinea pigs.” He worries that the world’s most popular sport could lose its lead “just because of our structure. We should be able to use the power of our influence to lead.” — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb 27, 4:35 p.m.At last year’s Sloan conference, Dean Oliver was our ESPN colleague, leading analytics at the Stats & Info Group. This year, he’s here as the Sacramento Kings’ director of player personnel and analytics. I spotted him Friday huddled with a few of his peers from other NBA franchises. Oliver has been in the sports analytics business for three decades, and has seen it grow from a field wrestling with a lack of data to one with more data than it knows what to do with. He spoke with me about the similarities in working for teams and working for sports media, and about what it takes for a franchise to succeed at using analytics. — Carl Bialik Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:46 p.m.The panel: “Beating the Shift: Baseball Analytics in the Age of Big Data”The panelists: Sandy Alderson, Dan Brooks, Dave Cameron, Ben Lindbergh, Jonah KeriSloan’s flagship baseball panel largely focused on teams’ reactions to sabermetric findings. Alderson, the general manager of the New York Mets, spoke about the proliferation of defensive shifts, and how it has led to changes in the way certain players are valued — specifically right-handed power hitters.Along the same lines, no discussion of baseball analytics would be complete without some mention of strike zone analysis and catcher pitch-framing metrics. Despite the volume of research on the subject in recent years, the consensus of the group was that the market may still not be properly valuing catchers who “steal” strikes on the edge of the strike zone at a higher rate than their peers. Then again, part of that may relate to a theory that pitch-framing is a taught skill. (We’d have liked to hear more thoughts about how umpires doing better at calling an accurate strike zone has led to baseball’s aforementioned drop in run-scoring.)Finally, Keri asked the panel their thoughts about wins above replacement (WAR). The panel agreed WAR was a valuable framework, even if its individual parts can always stand to be improved. For his part, Alderson confirmed that teams use at least some version of it, even with its imperfections, because the idea of creating a cumulative statistic is appealing. — Harry Enten and Neil Paine Friday, Feb 27, 10:40 a.m.The panel: “Innovators and Adopters”The panelists: Shane Battier, Michael Lewis, Daryl Morey, Jeff Van Gundy and Jackie MacMullanPity Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Out for the season with injuries after performances well below their high standards, they’re now punching bags in Boston, at least according to the first session of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday.The other panelists treated the retired Battier more or less as Lewis depicted him in a New York Times Magazine article in 2009: the platonic ideal of the intelligent NBA player, one who incorporates insights from advanced statistical analysis to optimize his game for team success. (Battier initially resisted that framing, saying “it was about winning,” before eventually letting on that yeah, he was a pretty smart player.) LeBron James, with whom Battier won two titles in Miami, was the more typical player, open to occasional tastes of analytics-based tips.Anthony and Bryant, though, were depicted as the anti-Battiers, in a question by moderator MacMullan (who, like Battier, works for ESPN, which owns this website and sponsors Sloan). MacMullan noted their selfishness and focus on scoring over other ways of contributing to their teams. (To which my boss, Nate Silver, would respond that Anthony’s shooting makes his teammates better.) Battier made clear how much he relished having those two stars as foils, learning their tendencies so that he could neutralize their strengths when playing defense. MacMullan pointed out that Battier blocked more of their shots than any other player’s. Anthony also topped the Battier leaderboards for balls stolen and offensive fouls drawn. And the pair led another personal leaderboard Battier innovated: They gave him the most “looks of disdain” when they found out he’d be guarding them. — Carl Bialik Sunday, March 1 12:17 a.m.After what conference co-organizer Jessica Gelman said was a “heated discussion,” voters for the top research paper at Sloan reached a split decision and split the $30,000 prize pool between two papers. The winners:Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattCounterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryRosales and Spratt, both of Baseball Info Solutions, presented work suggesting that pitch framing, which has traditionally rewarded most of the credit to catchers alone, is actually a function of three independent participants: the catcher, pitcher, and umpire.Franks, Miller, Bornn, and Goldsberry — all members of Harvard’s XY Hoops group — used player tracking data to quantify individual defensive play in the NBA. The academic version of this group’s paper has been accepted at the statistics journal Annals of Applied Statistics.The groups behind the winning papers each received $15,000 for their efforts. Additionally, Bornn and Goldsberry, along with co-authors Alex D’Amour and Dan Cervone, received the conference’s top poster prize of $1,000 for “Move or Die: How Ball Movement Creates Open Shots in the NBA.” — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28 3:15 p.m.Will sports betting inevitably become legal in the U.S.? It sure seems like it.Momentum behind legalization has grown since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times in November 2014 explicitly endorsing legal sports gambling. The facade of professional sports leagues that oppose sports betting is beginning to crack. And it’s clear why: money.Silver estimated the market for illegal sports wagering is currently $400 billion per year, though it’s likely that figure is inflated. But even lower-end estimates of around $80 billion still represent a huge market. Sports betting is already enormous in Europe, Australia and many other regions. State governments want in because of the potential revenues.Professional sports leagues are intrigued because they see gambling interest as a ratings driver, much like fantasy sports have been. (And, coincidentally, daily fantasy sports sites – with cash prizes – bear an eerie resemblance to gambling anyway.) Gambling is already inherently analytical; but the appetite of stats-savvy fans for geeky coverage about odds is growing. Jeff Ma, a contributor to ESPN’s new sports-betting site, Chalk – said gambling analytics would meet the demand from those with a “high-brow” interest.But there are major risks to legalization. The revelations that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy owed gambling debts and bet on games he officiated was a reminder of the long, scandalous history of how gambling can challenge the integrity of sports. Here, too, analytics can help. Ryan Rodenberg, a professor at Florida State University, suggested statistical scrutiny of betting markets would combat fraud and fixing. Several private European firms already specialize in such analytics.The panelists were asked that if they had to bet on legalization sweeping the country, when it would happen. The lines offered by the panelists ranged from 2-to-10 years. Dan Spillane, the Assistant General Counsel for the NBA, didn’t offer a timeline, however. He just said “years, not months.” — Andrew Flowers Friday, Feb 27, 3:28 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: 1 on 1 with Rob Manfred”The panelists: Brian Kenny, Rob ManfredRob Manfred has a long history with Major League Baseball. And Major League Baseball has long tried to avoid letting its history weigh it down. In a wide-ranging interview at Sloan on Friday, one month into his tenure as league commissioner, Manfred sounded like a man trying to make sense of how to reform a game without hollowing it out.A few days ago, Manfred said that there was a universe in which baseball could shave eight games off its regular-season schedule “sometime down the road.” A reduction in the current 162-game schedule could make the sport’s playoff timing a little more flexible, and might increase fan interest in each game. At Sloan, Manfred said he chose the 154-game mark because it would take the majors “back to a number that’s already in our record books.” Could he see MLB going even lower, to 150? No, because then “you’re going to go have a record book with 150, 154, 162 …” Only in baseball, a sport hallowed enough to get the Ken Burns treatment, could the record book be more important than the ledger. Integrity is paramount. (Or as Manfred, who has worked for the league for nearly two decades, put it when talking about whether to reform gambling laws around sports betting: “Integrity, it’s Rule One.”)Yet this is a commissioner who clearly wants to find ways to change the game. Manfred has introduced rules to speed the pace of play, and said Friday he’s very happy with the replay system MLB added last year. He said that in the future — “past Rob Manfred” — the league could have a team outside North America, and before that, maybe even one in Mexico. Now that would be historic. — Chadwick Matlin read more

Ohio States Luke Fickell would exit post as Buckeyes head man with

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Urban Meyer has reportedly agreed to become Ohio State football’s next head coach, according to multiple media reports. If Luke Fickell is indeed in the waning hours of his time as OSU’s head coach as the reports suggest, he’ll have the support of his players as he leaves the position.After Saturday’s 40-34 loss to Michigan, which may have been Fickell’s last time at the helm of OSU football, the coach was visibly distraught as he fielded questions about his future with the program.“Like I said, it’s about the Ohio State-Michigan game,” Fickell said during the post-game press conference after a second-consecutive question was asked regarding his future as OSU coach. “It’s going to be about that always, and that’s the way it is.”Fickell slammed his fist against a table during the statement.Players supported Fickell after what may have been his final game as head coach.Senior wide receiver DeVier Posey, who was suspended for the first 10 game of the season after two five-game suspensions for receiving improper benefits and for being overpaid for work he did not do at a summer job, said he didn’t know what the future held for the OSU coaching staff.“Oh man, if I was on the Board of Trustees I would give you that answer, but I don’t know,” Posey said. “I love coach Fickell. He’s a great guy (and) a great coach. He’s a great leader. I can’t make that call. All I know is I love playing for the man.”Senior running back Daniel “Boom” Herron was suspended for the first six games of the regular season and said that Fickell was key to stabilizing the program as players went on and off suspension throughout the year.“I think (the team) handled it very well,” Herron said. “The team stuck together. I coach Fickell did a great job of keeping the team together. I think he’s a great coach and I think he should definitely get a chance.”Should Fickell’s time as coach end in the hours and days to come, he would be just the seventh OSU coach to serve for a period of one season and the first to do so in the modern era of Buckeyes football. Paul Bixler led the Buckeyes to a 4-3-2 record during the 1946 season and is the most recent coach to serve for one season. Other one-and-done coaches in OSU football history include Charles Hickey (1896), David Edwards (1897), Howard Jones (1910), Harry Vaughn (1911) and John Richards (1912).Fickell led the Buckeyes to a 6-6 regular season record and is tied with Jones and Richards for the most wins among one-season coaches.The Buckeyes (6-6, 3-5) now wait to see if they are invited to a postseason bowl game. read more

Dembele has never been late for France – Tolisso insists

first_imgFrance international midfielder Corentin Tolisso has revealed international teammate Ousmane Dembele has never been late for training while on national team duty.The Bayern Munich man has vouched for Dembele’s professionalism as the Frenchman has come under scrutiny for reported off-field antics.The former Borussia Dortmund winger’s career so far at Barcelona has been under constant scrutiny, with stories emerging about his conduct off the pitch, including showing up late to training.Tolisso and Dembele were part of the French team that emerged victorious at the World Cup in Russia this summer and Tolisso has launched a scathing defence of his compatriot’s professionalism.“I have not seen any lateness [from Dembele] while with the French team,” Tolisso told Canal.#10AnsCFC🗨️ @CorentinTolisso dans le #CFC : “Pour moi Ousmane @Dembouz a un potentiel extraordinaire. En @equipedefrance il est apprécié par tout le monde” 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/aXURCHK1CRsamuel umtiti, barcelonaBarca’s Umtiti out for weeks with broken bone George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.Last week, Samuel Umtiti withdrew from…— Canal Football Club (@CanalFootClub) December 16, 2018“Ousmane has extraordinary potential, I have been able to see him every day in training, in everyday life and in the group, he is someone who is appreciated by everyone and has an overflowing humour. He is young, he is 21 years old.”Dembele silenced his critics with his stunning solo effort against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League.last_img read more

Mascherano pities those who criticize Messi

first_imgThe Argentinean superstar has always been criticized for his work in the national team since is not the same as the work he does for Barcelona.Football superstar Lionel Messi has always been criticized for his work in the Argentina national team since it’s not the same as the job he does for Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona.And now teammate and former Argentina captain Javier Mascherano has spoken on why he pities those who criticize the Blaugrana footballer.“When Messi is not [with the national team] it’s a problem and when he returns, it is as well,” Mascherano was quoted by Spanish media outlet Marca.“He always behaved as a leader and you can go and ask the people who work at the Argentine FA (AFA) if we did things for the national team or not.”“Messi has endured everything for ten years and the criticism of him is not about his football,” he added.Top 5 players who can actually replace Messi and Ronaldo Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 13, 2019 After Pep Guardiola’s latest defense of Messi and Ronaldo, we need to start talking about the Top 5 players who can replace them.Replacing Messi and…“The criticism comes from the yellow press, as we live in a country where it seems that if you don’t win something, you do not love the national team.”“I see the team doing really well, very strong,” former Messi teammate Sergi Samper added.“I always say that Messi is on another level.”“For me, he is the best player in history,” he concluded.Messi is back to the Argentina national team, after missing the second part of 2018 as he decided not to defend his country’s colours after the 2018 FIFA World Cup fiasco in Russia.He played for Argentina for the first time since the summer of 2018 in the 3-1 defeat against Venezuela, but he was injured for the match against Morocco some days later.last_img read more

Politicians row over Baha Mar deal DPM Davis weighs in

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 17, 2017 – Nassau – Hubert Minnis is taking a lashing from the PLP Administration and others after remarks made about Baha Mar; Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis is among the latest to say whatever it is Minnis thinks about the newly deal struck, he is dead wrong.Davis said the FNM Leader is betting against Bahamians.  Arguments have erupted from several quarters because the Baha Mar deal remains undisclosed, so the DPM aimed to put facts out in a recently released statement.   “Baha Mar is now in the safe hands of a world-class operator that is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in its success. Contractors and employees were paid what they were owed. And 650 Bahamians have been hired of the thousands who will be hired as the hotel opens. Those are the facts.”  Davis said Minnis is trying to salvage his political career and challenged those interested in knowing what is happening at Baha Mar to go and see it for themselves.The DPM explained that, “Right now, 200 casino employees are being trained and the casino equipment is being installed. And Baha Mar continues to hire – and is well on its way to hire 1500 employees by 21 April. World renowned hotel chain Rosewood has increased its investment by $35 million dollars, and CTF is increasing its capital, marketing, and pre-opening investment from $200 million to $250 million. Those are the facts,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.DNA Leader, Branville McCartney has accused Minnis of pandering to the Bahamian people for votes and called his statements uninformed and irresponsible.   Minnis published on FaceBook that the FNM Government if elected would execute a real sale to a responsible buyer, ensure only Bahamians labour is used to complete the resort and expose the depths of the deal.St Anne’s member and former Deputy Prime Minister, Brent Symonette defended his party leader by saying, the half truths on the deal has sparked the comments; adding that the PLP administration needs to come clean.   Prime Minister Perry Christie explained last week it was not the PLP that caused the deal brokered between Government and Baha Mar to be undisclosed; but the bank.#MagneticMediaNews#BahaMarNassau#PoliticiansargeoverBahaMardeal Related Items:#BahaMarNassau, #magneticmedianews, #PoliticiansargeoverBahaMardeallast_img read more