Chivas USA needs to connect with fans

first_imgChivas USA is one of the best teams in MLS, playing attractive and effective soccer in what is arguably the nation’s best soccer specific stadium. The young team boasts some of American soccer’s most notable rising stars, including goalkeeper Brad Guzan, U.S. international defender Jonathan Bornstein and Maykel Galindo, one of MLS’ top scorers. The franchise is a spinoff of Mexico’s most beloved club team, CD Guadalajara, with a massive potential fan base in a nation where Latinos represent the fastest-growing ethnic group. Yet despite ticket prices that start at just $14, Chivas USA elicits little passion beyond a small cadre of hard-core fans. Hunter, who has received an ownership interest in the club, is the newly hired president and CEO. He will attempt to succeed where predecessor Javier Leon failed and connect with Mexican-American and general soccer fans alike. “Good marketing transcends all languages and cultures,” Hunter said. “We’ve got to be people’s team of choice.” Hunter is no soccer neophyte. A member of the MLS board of directors, he helped formulate the designated player rule that brought the likes of Beckham and Blanco to MLS. He is also the chair of the MLS Business Development Committee, which forged initiatives to allow corporate sponsorship on team jerseys and the guaranteed airing of every MLS game on local television. But it’s his track record of selling tickets and marketing franchises that most attracts Chivas USA. During Hunter’s six years as president of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona became an unlikely hockey hotbed with the team selling 94 percent of its seats during its first four seasons. Before that he was with the Colorado Avalanche, a team that was among the NHL’s top 10 worldwide in apparel sales and sold 12,000 season tickets in fewer than six weeks. Hunter knows how to sell tickets, teams and sports. Now he must sell Chivas USA, a team few care about in a fringe sport fighting for visibility in a crowded marketplace. “We want to win and we want to sell tickets,” he said. “If we do that, everything else will fall into place.” He plans to double Chivas USA’s sales staff to about 20 account executives. He will aim for group sales – a grass roots strategy that has worked for AEG – to introduce church and community groups and AYSO teams to the franchise. And he will boost the club’s largely moribund advertising and marketing efforts to get Chivas USA on soccer fans’ radar screen. It is, he concedes, an uphill battle. Instead of extending a valuable brand, Chivas USA has managed to dilute it. An iconic trademark, invested with meaning and passion to millions, today means virtually nothing to almost everyone. In its first year, Chivas USA sought to replicate its mother club’s success – CD Guadalajara is beloved for its policy of playing only Mexicans – by importing Mexicans en masse. But Chivas USA failed to understand that second-rate Mexicans who couldn’t make it at home were unlikely to succeed in the increasingly competitive MLS. The result was a pitiful 4-22-6 record in its debut season that made the team the laughingstock of MLS. In 2006, Chivas USA reversed course, focused on better players rather than Mexican players and improved to 10-9-13 under respected coach Bob Bradley. This year, under new coach Preki, the team has achieved even greater on-field success. But the decision to cut costs and dump popular and expensive – if low-achieving – players such as Paco Palencia has contributed to the franchise’s failure to capture fans’ imagination. Hunter plans to loosen the purse strings and perhaps sign a big-name star as a designated player as soon as next season. Whether that’s a star familiar to its target audience that follows the Mexican league or someone like the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan – who could make a good team better – and speaks Spanish too, remains to be seen. No team is better positioned to exploit the nation’s changing demographics, in the sport most likely to benefit from the growth in the Latino population. But after marketing missteps to a demanding futbol-savvy audience, Chivas USA can ill afford more mistakes. “These are very knowledgeable fans,” Hunter said. “It’s time for us to go back out and convince them to give us a try again.” Or Chivas USA may not have another chance. nick.green@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The 3-year-old team averages crowds of roughly 12,000, the second lowest attendance in the league. Chivas USA has no recognizable names in an era when the cachet of star power on the level of a David Beckham or a Cuauhtemoc Blanco is becoming increasingly apparent. And Chivas USA games provoke little publicity, no buzz and few celebrity fans to distinguish it from intrastadium rivals the Galaxy. The Goats are the Clippers of MLS. Into this environment has stepped Shawn Hunter, 44, who for the last five years has directed the sports empire of Galaxy and Home Depot Center owner Anschutz Entertainment Group, overseeing its events and 11 teams worldwide. last_img read more

Raiders’ Antonio Brown has foot blistering due to cryotherapy mishap, report says

first_imgAs any pro football player knows, having the proper equipment is critical to ensuring safety.New Raider Antonio Brown may not have that lesson down, leading to a painful foot condition.“Pro Football Talk Live” co-host Chris Simms reports that Brown’s blistered feet are the result of improper use of a cryotherapy machine. A team source confirmed that information to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Wednesday before another practice Brown missed.Apparently Brown, the dazzling wide receiver in his …last_img

Is Darwinism a Free Lunch Scam?

first_imgNeurobiologist William H. Calvin commented at the AAAS meeting this week about the claim that modern humans lived much earlier than thought (see 02/16/2005 entry).  To him, it means that we need to rethink our assumptions that bigger brains are smarter, according to a report on EurekAlert.  If “Homo sapiens was walking around Africa 200,000 years ago with a brain of our size,” the article paraphrases his comments, “we spent – with a few exceptions – the next 150,000 years doing more of the same.”  Something must have happened that suddenly caused a “spectacular” burst of cultural innovation.  “This creativity probably marks the emergence of the whole suite of higher intellectual functions, each of which requires some structuring to fit everything together,” he said.  What could have triggered it?  Was it the evolution of syntax, multitasking, logical thinking, games with arbitrary rules, or fondness for discovering hidden patterns, or some combination of the above?  “It’s likely that they all are sharing some neural machinery for handling structure and judging coherence.  Improve one by natural selection, and you may improve the others too.  The free lunch is alive and well in biology.”The very thing that should have made him realize Darwinism is so rotten it needs to be tossed overboard caused him, instead,to wave the magic wand of “emergence” and toss it into the salad bowl.  Now, he’s trying to sell this free lunch to his starving Darwin Party comrades.  There ain’t no such thing.  Let’s hope the attendees brought their own, with meat, and that it was intelligently designed.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Canoe sprint bronze for South Africa

first_img9 August 2012Bridgitte Hartley captured South Africa’s fifth medal of the London Games when she finished third in the women’s K1 500 metres at Eton Dornay on Thursday morning.It was a first for South Africa and it came on the country’s national Women’s Day; the country’s sprint canoeists had never before won an Olympic medal.The final, which took place in bright, sunny conditions, was a tightly-contested race, with all eight of the starters in with a legitimate shot at claiming a medal.Hartley, after winning her semi-final, went into it as the second fastest qualifier behind Hungary’s Danuta Kozak, who had already won gold in the K4 500 metres.StartAt the sound of the buzzer, the field burst away with defending champion Inna Osypenko-Radomska, competing in lane two, powering her way to the front. An excellent crowd led loud vocal support to the competitors.Hartley, racing in lane five in a craft decorated in the colours of the South African flag, which would surely have won the award for best paint job had there been one, passed through the 100 metres mark in fifth place.Kozak was challenging Osypenko-Radomska for the lead, but the blue and yellow boat of the Ukraine star was taking it out at a furious pace and she edged further ahead to lead Kozak by half-a-second at the 250-metre mark.Finland’s Anne Rikala was in third, 0.9 seconds off the lead, with Sweden’s Sifia Paldanius in fourth, at 1.3 seconds behind Osypenko-Radomska.HalfwayHartley was fifth to the halfway mark, almost one-and-a-half seconds off the lead. She had finished strongly in her semi-final race to claim victory and she would have to do it once more to claim a medal, except this time the challenge posed by the field was even greater.Up front, Osypenko-Radomska was beginning to tire under the relentless pace she had set, and Hungary’s Kozak was hauling her in. Hartley, meanwhile, was involved in a neck-and-neck tussle with Sweden’s Sofia Paldanius, the Italian Josefa Idem, who had won silver four years earlier in Beijing, Britain’s Rachel Cawthorne and Denmark’s Henriette Hansen for third place.With 100 metres to go, Kozak had taken over at the front and built up a lead of a third-of-a-boat over Osypenko-Radomska. Hartley was practically level with Paldanius and Idem.FinishKozak powered on to victory by almost a boat length over the Ukranian paddler, clocking 1:51.456, while Hartley finished strongly to take third place, just ahead of Paldanius and Idem.The South African’s time was 1:52.923, less than three-tenths-of-a-second behind Osypenko-Radomska and almost three-tenths ahead of Paldanius.While Hartley has previously won gold medals in World Cup events, the Olympic bronze medal is, no doubt, the pinnacle of the 29-year-old’s career thus far.Medal ceremonyAt the medal ceremony, when her name was announced as the winner of the bronze medal, she jumped up onto the podium, bouncing up and down, a wide smile across her face, waving happily to the crowd.Hartley received her Olympic medal, with the soundtrack of “Chariots of Fire” playing in the background. She had made history for South Africa, the first sprint canoeist in the country’s 18 visits to the Olympic Games to win a medal.After her success, South Africa lies in 20th place on the 2012 Olympic medals table with three golds, one silver, and Hartley’s bronze.That equals the country’s medals haul at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games – until now South Africa’s most successful Olympics since its return from isolation in 1992.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

New Panama Canal offers new opportunities for U.S. agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Almost one-third of U.S. corn, wheat and soybeans now transit the Panama Canal to reach Asian markets. Now, with the new $6 billion Panama Canal expansion completed, cargo capacity will double and could shorten travel distance from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Asia by some 5,000 nautical miles and seven to nine days.“The original canal, which was complete 102 years ago, has been well maintained but the size of the locks no longer met the needs of global commerce, especially the size of ships,” said Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, who was in Panama for the Grand Opening of the expansion at the end of June. “For the Panama Canal to remain relevant in the 21st Century this new canal and the new larger locks were necessary.”The larger ships, now able to use the Panamanian shortcut, will add additional revenue producing freight which will ultimately reduce the cost, per bushel, to American agriculture’s eventual customer.“The new canal really has the potential to enhance the economics of a host of industries and we feel that agriculture is one of them,” Steenhoek said.Economically speaking, the day of the ground breaking for the new canal expansion 10 years ago and the day that it opened for business are much different. This is a concern for canal investors.“Even after the retraction of the global economy in 2008, we’re still trying to dig ourselves out of it,” Steenhoek said. “The Panama Canal also has competition to keep in mind and currently they do not have an elevated negotiating position with their customers, so they’ll have to really work to remain competitive which is also good for agriculture in the U.S.”With the expansion of the Panama Canal, American commodities like corn and soybeans will be loaded from the key export region of the Mississippi Gulf at almost double the rate, almost 2 million bushels more per vessel, then ships that traveled the original canal.“When you’re operating in a commodity industry like agriculture there’s not a lot of product differentiation between what we produce in the U.S. and what is produced in South America,” Steenhoek said. “Success is largely a function of being able to get products to our customers at the lowered cost and the most reliable fashion. The Panama Canal expansion will help preserve our competitive advantage.”last_img read more

10 Free After Effects Training Resources

first_imgThese 10 websites/podcasts will elevate your After Effects skills. From the beginner to the advanced user this After Effects training has something for everyone here.Want to become an After Effects expert?  There are a lot of paid resources out there for learning AE, but in this post we’ve rounded up 10 FREE After Effects training resources you may not know about.These days video editors are expected to wear multiple hats and doing basic motion graphics/compositing is one of them.  Dig into these sites to start learning essential After Effects skills!MotionworksTutorials on After Effects, Cinema 4D and Photoshop.  A full range of After Effects training, not just special effects.  Motionworks has a nice section on breakdowns so you can see deconstruct how effects were created.MamoworldFor those new to After Effect start with the “Guru Lessons” series. In approx 1.5 hours Mamo (a pro AE user) covers the basics of After Effects such as keyframing, masks, effects, adjustment layers, keying and color correction.  For those wanting to jumpstart their compositing/tracking skills, check out the After Effects training tutorial on using Mocha.Rampant Design ToolsFor beginners they  have a series called “Discovering After Effects” that in 10 lessons shows you what you need to get started.  They also offer  intermediate/advanced tutorials on working with the camera tracker and 3D camera in After Effects.VFX Bro VFXBro creates tutorials that focus on special effects and are generally aimed at the beginner/intermediate user.  Be sure to check out their section of free After Effects resources (plugins, presets, etc).  VFXBro makes learning After Effects fun.Creative Cow PodcastAn ongoing podcast on working with After Effects.  The content tends to be geared most towards beginner and intermediate After Effects users.  Watch them the AE training podcasts in SD & HD on the website or via iTunes. They also offer podcasts in Premiere Pro & Photoshop for video.Grayscale GorillaIt is common for motion graphics to combine After Effects with a 3D program. Cinema 4D is a popular app for motion graphics as it works well with After Effects.  Grayscale Gorilla has a bunch of intermediate and advanced tutorials on integrating the 2 apps in a motion design workflow. SternFXBefore starting his own site, Eran Stern wrote popular tutorials for Creative Cow. Now on his own site, he creates After Effects training tutorials geared toward beginneer to intermediate users.  The Downloads page has also has FREE presets and project files.  Tons of great info.Film RiotAn “over the top style show” that  is fun, irreverent, and focuses on creating low budget effects in After Effects.  If you’re looking for a light-hearted (but info filled) resource for After Effects training, this would be it! MaxafterIntermediate to advanced tutorials on using After Effects, Photoshop, illustrator, and 3D.  Maxafter also has an array of FREE and paid After Effects templates and project files that are worth checking out for your video editing and motion design projects.VideoCopilotA very popular site as it offers free tutorials on creating “big budget” special effects.  The basic training series is often overlooked, and a great place for those new to After Effects to start.  His other tutorials are intermediate to advanced and often use third party plugins and expressions.Get Inspired!Besides learning how to make stuff, seeing what others are doing is inspiring and gets the creative juices flowing. Two of my favorites for this are Motionographer & Art of the Title.Motionogapher spotlights the best Motion Graphics/Animation from around the world. They also have a list of Tutorials, Communities, and Events for the Motion Designer.Art of the Title showcases Film/TV Title Design, with storyboards, interviews, and breakdowns of the creative process. The title sequences range from back in the day (40-50’s) to the present date.last_img read more

Kashmir lockdown | TV channels turn town criers

first_imgWith communication lines shut for five days now, people in Kashmir are using local TV channels to announce deaths and other news.The 24X7 Chinar Gold music cable channel had a scroll running on top: “Nazeer Ahmad Akhoon of Srinagar’s Pather Masjid is no more. All relatives watching this are intimated about it.”A close relative of the deceased told The Hindu that just eight people attended the burial, only after pleading for permission before the security forces on the evening of August 6. “Not many relatives could participate in the burial ceremony,” he said.The local channels have become the main communication source to announce cancellations of weddings.“Attention: we regret that all invitations of my son Jibran Javed Buch’s wedding at Hazratbal area stand cancelled,” one scroll read.last_img read more

Avenido still carrying his team at 38, admits players not in top shape

first_imgFajardo, Beermen ready for ‘tough’ match up against TNT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH “Truthfully, we’re not in game shape. We’re practicing three times a week and it’s not enough,” he said, explaining why at times, he had to extend himself heavy minutes. “You saw in the game, I had to be a player again, but that happened because I wanted them to experience playing in close games.”Avenido’s body also failed him late, with fatigue getting the better of him as he missed two crucial freebies in the last 25.4 seconds which could have given the Coffee Lovers the lead.“I was already cramping, but I wanted to win,” he shared. “It’s the pride we have as players, that even if we’re veterans here and we’re facing younger players, we don’t want to lose against them.”Carrying a 1-3 record, there’s still hope for Gamboa and Avenido thinks it all boils down to his players’ willingness to take the extra mile.“It’s up to the players. I told them that we just have to do a little more effort. We lack the energy, especially on defense. I think it’s just the effort which spells the difference for us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Gamboa Coffee Mix seeks to end its three-game losing streak against Tanduay next Tuesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Gamboa Coffee Mix playing-coach did just that on Tuesday, spending 30 minutes on the floor and racking up 38 points and nine rebounds to help his team’s cause.“That’s already my age,” Avenido said jokingly when his numbers were raised to him after the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutUnfortunately, those efforts went down the drain as Wangs Basketball sent Gamboa to its third straight defeat with an 88-86 heartbreaker after a John Ambulodto game-winner.Avenido bared that through four games, he thinks that the team’s lack of conditioning are costing his side winnable games. WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAt 38 years of age, Leo Avenido knows that he’s not supposed to log heavy minutes this late in his career.But if these are the boundaries he have push just to help his team win, he is willing do it.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Behind Enemy Lines: West Virginia Defense

first_imgWe already looked at WVU’s offense. Now let’s look at the driving force behind its 6-0 record thus far: A surprisingly elite defense halfway through the season.DefenseCoach Gundy mentioned Monday that the defense is “playing as good as anyone in the conference, maybe comparable to the top ten teams in the country defensively.” This unit will be Rudolph’s toughest test to date as they rank second in the league in scoring defense and is third in yardage allowed, holding the potent offenses of TCU and Texas Tech to just 27 combined points over the last two weeks.They uniquely run what’s called the 3-3-5 stack, with five defensive backs on the field. They’re very aggressive, blitzing a lot and throwing off opponents with how different the fronts look in a defense that’s uniquely built to slow down the spread attacks of today.One of the opportunities the Cowboys will have is when they blitz, they’ll often put their secondary in what’s called cover zero, leaving a lot of one-on-one matchups that appeal to the likes of James Washington, Jhajuan Seales and Jalen McCleskey. The trick will be getting Mason enough time to get the ball downfield, let’s take a look at who will be putting some pressure on him.The leader of the defensive front (and perhaps that side of the ball) is dominant end Noble Nwachukwu. All-Conference caliber end Nwachukwu leads the Mountaineers in sacks and has five tackles for loss and provides the consistency needed when you only have three down linemen. This season has seen nose tackle Darrien Howard emerge, leading defensive linemen with 23 tackles and four tackles for loss.     At linebacker, redshirt freshman David Long has surfaced after taking the starting spot from a redshirt senior in conference play as a very physical player that alters the opponent’s run game. Former walk on Justin Arndt leads the team in tackles and seems to be all over the field.The defensive backfield took a strong hit when it’s only returning starter (and who Coach Holgorsen called their best player) Dravon Askew-Henry was lost to injury before the season started. In stepped five new starters, some as junior college players (corner Rasul Douglas, safety Kyzir White), grad transfers (Antonio Crawford from Miami, Maurice Fleming from Iowa) and players who have been in the program for a good while (seniors Jarrod Harper and Jeremy Tyler).The rotation has been solid, good for fourth in the conference in pass defense. It’s going to take a big day from Rudolph and The President to give the Cowboys a fighting shot at pulling the upset against this secondary. OSU averages 41.1 points per game and should be their best challenge to date.Some keys to this game will be if the opportunistic Cowboy defense can force some turnovers against an offense that doesn’t turn over the ball often (only eight turnovers on the season, good for 20th in the country) and the Cowboys can keep pressure off QB1.Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman said it best that “OSU needs to protect Mason Rudolph. That’s the key to the game. WVU has a great blitz package. It runs a three-man line, so it can drop eight and confuse a QB. But it also can blitz from all kinds of places and confuse a QB. Rudolph is under the gun.” If Justice Hill and Chris Carson can take some pressure off of no. 2, that could go a long way. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

OSU Named One of College Football’s Most Tortured Fan Bases

first_imgSuccess is subjective. How do you measure it? Winning 10 games in football? Contending for conference titles? Winning a big rivalry game?Mike Gundy has captained Oklahoma State’s program to new heights, turning a once-in-awhile blip on college football’s radar to a top-15 program. But OSU has yet to take that “next step”.What is the next step? That’s also subjective but most OSU fans would like the Cowboys to compete for national championships rather than conference titles. Most would just like them to be competitive in Bedlam.Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports compiled a list of the top five most-tortured fan bases in college football and (wouldn’t you know it?) Mr. Fornelli feels your pain.Oklahoma State landed at No. 4 on his list.It can’t be easy to be an Oklahoma State football fan. You spend your entire existence living in the shadow of your state’s other major program, Oklahoma. Making matters worse, even though you’ve been one of the better programs in the country over the last decade, you still don’t get much respect nationally because everyone is focused on Oklahoma. This is a team that has won at least 10 games in five of the last seven seasons, yet the most attention it received in that period was when it blew a title shot by losing to Iowa State in 2011, and when Central Michigan beat it on a Hail Mary that never should have happened last season. CBS SportsIt’s true that the Cowboys probably don’t get the national recognition they should. The helmet sticker rule is real and it’s a part of college football. But if OSU ever wants to turn the tide on that they get an opportunity every year.The bad news is that, starting this fall, it may take two wins over OU to take that next step. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more