UK greyhound racing fast-tracks unlimited races June 9, 2020 StumbleUpon Mark Moisley joins GBGB as Executive Commercial Director August 6, 2020 Related Articles Share SIS greyhound service returns to pre-lockdown levels June 25, 2020 Share Submit The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) has become the latest sporting body to confirm that, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, British greyhound racing is to move behind closed doors at all licensed stadia in England.At the time of writing, the decision does not affect racing at Shawfield, as a result of the stadium being under Scottish Parliament’s jurisdiction.The decision follows further discussions with veterinary experts and representatives from across the industry, taking into account the most recent advice from the UK government and Public Health England on this rapidly evolving situation.Managing Director of GBGB, Mark Bird, said of the announcement: “These are uncertain and unprecedented times and our utmost priority is always the welfare and care of the greyhounds at the centre of our sport. We are likewise mindful of the health and wellbeing of everyone associated with British greyhound racing and of course our wider social responsibility to help minimise the transmission and impact of COVID-19.“As a sport, we have therefore taken the collective decision to move all racing behind closed doors from today across our licensed stadia in England. We believe that this is the best way of the sport continuing to operate safely and successfully for the moment; minimising risk but maintaining the cashflow that is essential to everyone’s livelihoods and to the care of our greyhounds.“Likewise, after Saturday this week, all open racing will be suspended temporarily to reduce the need for travelling between stadia. We will be working alongside track owners and promoters to support those most affected by this, with greyhounds being entered into graded races where possible in the short term.“These measures will help to safeguard the welfare of our greyhounds by ensuring that, although behind closed doors, racing continues wherever possible at this stage.“However, as the situation develops at pace, we are also continuing to put in place contingencies and ring-fencing funds to support those working in the sport, should racing eventually need to pause altogether. We will be joining other industries in urging the government to widen the financial support for businesses and the self-employed in case of this eventuality.”
Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon Share Share Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Related Articles Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season August 21, 2020 Russell YershonBetting endures its most challenging landscape as COVID-19 eliminates all live-sports markets. These circumstances have forced the sector to adapt during this uncertain climate causing companies to ramp-up its esports and virtual sports content, seeking to provide some form of live market engagement for customers. Whilst diversifying product lines is a much needed measure, the coronavirus lockdown will test brand and marketing capacities, introducing new problems such as creating fan engagement opportunities and maintaining a solid customer base.Russell Yershon the director of Connecting Brands, a company which specialises in sports marketing services, spoke to SBC to discuss how sportsbooks can engage with punters in order to deliver turnover during this unprecedented time.He stated: “Adapting to the current situation is important. The emergence of esports is evident with an increase in global events during this time. Leyton Orient are running a FIFA20 competition with clubs around the world in which sportsbooks have been taking small stakes on.“Gaming brands can promote virtual sports products, although it’s important to tread carefully as to the tone of how you communicate with customers. Then there are casino games and live casino product offerings which are available.Yershon continued: “Brands can adapt by softly aiming to cross-sell sport customers to casino related products, and the sport-related slot games could be a start. Like I mentioned above, it’s important to get the tone right.“This is also a good time to cleanse your customer database and analyse customer behaviour as once normality does return, which we hope will be sooner rather than later, gaming brands will have to be on the front foot to get back to its turnover before COVID-19 turned our world upside down.”Sportsbooks in particular have taken a huge hit in the betting industry as most rely on live-sport to generate revenue. With a reduced sporting schedule available for the foreseeable future, many firms will not only have to find new markets, but new marketing opportunities as many of the firms use sports clubs to attract its customers.One positive opportunity for the gaming industry was the Virtual Grand National. The race garnered 4.8m viewers, with bookmakers donating over £2.6m to NHS Charities. The money, which went to over 140 NHS Charities, was accumulated by bookmakers donating all losing bets to combat COVID-19.Yershon added: “The virtual grand national on Saturday, which many UK sportsbooks ran online, was very important for the industry as profits made from the betting event was given to NHS Charities’. With a stake limit of £10 each-way per customer, the sportsbooks actively pushed this to drive turnover from its customers knowing any profits will be given to a very worthy cause.”Nevertheless, whilst new markets are being developed for sportsbooks to latch on to the reduction of live-sports, particularly football, is having a massive effect on the betting industry’s marketing opportunities to engage with audiences. He explained: “COVID-19 is having an impact on betting brands who currently sponsor sport organisations. In this unprecedented situation we won’t know the true impact until the governing bodies makes an announcement on the outcome of the current (sporting) season.“However, many customers of sportsbooks who are safe at home, they do want to enjoy entertainment that a bet can bring, so engaging with them is important.“So, paying close attention to any upcoming positive decisions on sport returning is important as the brands need to be on the ball when re-engaging with customers to promote events when they start again.”In the Premier League this season half of its clubs are sponsored by gambling operators, including the likes of West Ham United (Betway), Wolves (ManBetX) and Norwich (Dafabet). Due to the season being suspended, sportsbooks will now need to find alternative methods to ensure that its brand remains active, with Yershon believing that alternative marketing on social media could maintain an operators appeal.He emphasised: “As an activation specialist I would very much recommend that sportsbooks engage with the football club’s they partner with and create a content plan during this time. If you’re a sportsbook with assets such as signed merchandise, I would suggest running competitions to give these away to fans. If you have created content with players during the season, you can re-use this and share it with the club’s fans.“Moreover, you can work with the club to see if they can show key highlights of the season so far / or great games of the past and tag you in this content. Likewise, with modern technology, there could be a way of the club arranging a video interview with a Manager / group of players of which you can be the partner of. “Outside of ensuring the health of themselves and family as number one priority, fans of clubs are happy to receive content from their clubs and sportsbook brands as partners can help deliver this to maintain being front of minds with fans. It could also be possible for sportsbook brands to utilise a legend from the club they partner with and deliver a video interview which can be posted digitally across the clubs channel.” Yershon does state that in these unstable times, just being able to maintain a gaming brand is the main priority, but also using the firm to help others in the community is just as valuable in the current landscape.He concluded: “It is difficult for the betting industry to develop its brands, however the Leyton Orient’s Ultimate QuaranTeam FIFA20 tournament which is raising money for charity has seen SkyBet and Bet365 give generous donations.“That for me is the only way brands can develop is going above and beyond to support charitable courses and helping the health care of the respective countries they operate in.”Right now, like most other industries there will be financial hardships and so it is more apparent than ever to use these short term solutions in order to provide long term ambitions.If a sportsbook can remain active with its community whilst also providing content to its punters, then the betting industry will be able to pick itself up when the virus is dealt with whilst continuing to have a loyal customer base to rely on.
After entering the UK esports scene with pick-ups of Halo and CS:GO teams, Vexed is doubling down its UK efforts by signing a sponsorship deal with Ebuyer. The deal sees the online retailer become the Denmark and UK-based organisation’s lead sponsor.Vexed was founded in Denmark in 2015. It originally had a Polish CS:GO team representing them. The Polish team represented Vexed at two CS:GO Majors, before the organisation shut its doors in March 2016, releasing its Hearthstone roster at the same time. In September 2016, the organisation reformed signing teams across multiple titles. Most notably, Vexed signed a French CS:GO team before the recent additions of UK-based Halo and CS:GO rosters.Ebuyer are proud to announce our new partnership with UK Esports Org @Vexed_GG:See the full story bellow:https://t.co/rT2P0kv7H0 pic.twitter.com/bdmWxWGey5— Ebuyer Gaming (@EbuyerGaming) June 27, 2017Ebuyer are no strangers to esports, especially in the UK. In August last year, they signed a deal with UK-based organisation FMESPORTS, which was recently renewed until 2018. Before that, they were involved in the UK’s CS:Source scene, notably signing a moderately successful “Team Ebuyer” after a tournament at Insomnia i30 in 2007.Steve James, Gaming Marketing Manager for Ebuyer said: “I’m thrilled to be able to take this next step in our Esports adventure with a new team in the UK. We searched long and hard to find the right match for us and we feel Vexed offer a wide range of options. Their mix of pedigree and young talent across a variety of game types will allow us to do some pretty exciting things going forward. We hope to be able to back the organisation and help push it forward towards UK domination.”Mark Weller, COO of Vexed added: “Myself and Vexed are extremely excited to be joining forces with the UK’s biggest online tech retailer, Ebuyer. It is a true honour to have them on board as our lead sponsor and we look forward to working together to help bring UK esports to the world stages”Esports Insider says: A big new deal for the Anglo-Danish organisation sees them strengthen their growing position in esports. Congratulations to both parties on the deal.
Esports continues to establish new horizons, as ESL yesterday announced a new partnership with US entertainment behemoth Disney.Two original ESL television series are set to air on Disney’s new D|XP, a daily summer programming blog dedicated to the world of gaming on Disney XD. This will represent a first for ESL, who had previously never had their content broadcasted on linear TV in the US.The two will, understandably, not be featuring content around the very biggest games in esports. The most prominent titles in the MOBA genre are relatively complicated, which creates a significant barrier for entry, and first person shooters are perhaps more violent than Disney’s family-friendly ethos will allow. Instead, Disney’s foray into competitive gaming will focus on the following:A six-episode series which forms the bulk of ESL Brawlers, which looks to crown a champion from ‘some of the most skilled’ players of Capcom’s Street Fighter V. Challengers will grind through an arduous ‘first to 10’ match for a chance a the throne, while the reigning winner must defend their title from new challengers each week.An additional seventh episode will feature a special competition of Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory, the mobile MOBA which continues to go from strength to strength. It will bring together community influencers with professional Vainglory players for an exciting showmatch.The second show offers a platform to the oft-secluded world of speedrunning. Bringing some of the best talent in the field to ‘jump, fly, and wrap through favorite titles’, ESL Speedrunners will provide another seven episode series, tracking the professionals as they chase elusive world records.ESL Brawlers will premiere this Thursday the 20th of July, with ESL Speedrunners following some time in August. The shows mark Disney’s second involvement with esports in the last week, after aXiomatic, the company with a majority stake in Team Liquid, was announced to be one of the eleven companies involved with this year’s Disney Accelerator project. The Accelerator will provide a connection to Disney’s ‘creativity, imagination, and expertise’ through ‘unprecedented access to Disney’s leadership team, mentorship, and support’.Esports Insider says: For Disney to embrace esports in this manner sets another marker in the road for the industry’s growth, and will undoubtedly help to bring new fans into the scene. For ESL and everyone involved with the shows, this new platform represents a great opportunity to grow and diversify existing audiences.
OpTic Gaming is reportedly the latest team to be accepted into the upcoming split of the North American League of Legends Championship Series.Meanwhile, it’s rough news for fans of Pheonix1 and Team Envy as both teams have failed to secure entry into the 2018 NA LCS, according to a report by ESPN.The NA LCS is undergoing significant changes next split, including a much-discussed switch to a revenue-sharing model based on franchising. As a result of the shift, teams have had to apply to rejoin the league, in order to secure spots – which appear to be hotly contested.So tough is the competition that longstanding League of Legends brand Team Dignitas – who participated in the first season of the NA LCS in 2013 – were denied application, and Pheonix1 and Team Envy will now join them in retiring from the league. Sources said that they were notified of Riot Games’ decision sometime last week.OpTic Gaming make the cut after a process which reportedly saw over 100 applications from a diverse array of potential teams and investors. Their buy-in will include $5 million (£3.77m) up front, with a further $5 million in later payments. As a new team, they will also be required to pay a $3m (£2.26m) fee, which will enter a pool used to compensate existing teams (such as Pheonix1 and Envy) which don’t make it in. This latest news means that at least three new teams will be joining the next season of Riot’s showpiece North American league.Alongside OpTic, reports earlier this week suggested that Joe Lacob, majority owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, was accepted as one of the ten franchise spot holders.The changes to the North American League of Legends Championship Series continue with no further news from Riot regarding the future of the European LCS, a cause of some concern that the region may struggle to remain competitive.Esports Insider says: Team Envy and Pheonix1 have only participated in the NA LCS for three splits, so their loss in favour of new blood is not altogether unexpected. We look forward to seeing OpTic and their infamous Green Wall enter the League of Legends scene.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri felt that the teenager should not have responded to the racist chants – but called for the “idiots” responsible to be handed lifetime bans.“He shouldn’t have celebrated in that manner,” he said. “You need great intelligence to deal with these situations and should not go to provoke people. That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the way they reacted should be justified.“We need to use the cameras, find those who are doing it and punish them. It’s very simple, identify them, and not one-year ban or two, just give them a lifetime ban.“We’ve got the technology, it can be done if the authorities want to. The problem is, they don’t really want to.”Juve team-mate Leonardo Bonucci also said after the match his team-mate should not have provoked the home fans.The defender said: “There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have celebrated like that, and the Curva should not have reacted that way.“We are professionals, we have to set the example and not provoke anyone.”Juventus players, led by captain Giorgio Chiellini, had protested to referee Piero Giacomelli, who was also in conversations with both managers.Cagliari skipper Luca Ceppitelli went over to the fans behind the goal, appealing for the chants to stop, while France midfielder Blaise Matuidi appeared to gesture to Allegri to take his players off.When play did continue, an announcement went out over the public address system to highlight the issue, which was greeted by more jeers from some home supporters before the final whistle came after five minutes of added time. Massimiliano Allegri says Kean should not have responded Juventus forward Moise Kean was subjected to racist abuse from the stands as the Serie A leaders won 2-0 at Cagliari, but the 19-year-old took a stance of defiance after scoring a late second goal.The Italy international was abused all night by sections of the home support, with monkey chants aimed at him, but had the final say by netting Juve’s second goal with five minutes left.The teenager stood at the post, his arms aloft in response to the chants. Joao Cancelo comforts Kean after the final whistle The incident came eight days after England players were subjected to racist abuse during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro, and on the day UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin insisted referees would be told to be “brave” and halt matches to stamp out such abuse from “loud, aggressive and primitive” people.Kean, whose goal added to Bonucci’s towering header in the 22nd minute, was handed a start by Allegri at the Sardegna Arena with Mario Mandzukic laid low by illness.He had impressed when finding the net against both Finland and Liechtenstein for Italy, before then following it up with the winner over Empoli after coming off the bench.In the other Serie A match on Tuesday, AC Milan drew 1-1 with Udinese.–Source: Sky Sports
Hearts of Oak interim head coach, Edward Odoom, has taunted city rivals, Great Olympics, and has called them ‘tenants’ after his team handed Olympics a 4-0 thumping at the Accra Sports Stadium in Week 14 of the Ghana Premier League.Goals from Joseph Esso, Daniel Afriyie and a brace from Benjamin Afutu settled the tie in favour of the Phobians on the night.Before the match, the Great Olympics Twitter handle said that they were rather the landlords of the capital and not Hearts of Oak. After the match on Wednesday, Odoom responded to that claim in his post match interview with StarTimes TV.“Before the match, I told everyone that we would see who were the landlords and who were the tenants. I guess now we have all seen who is who.”Hearts fires back in Twitter warThe morning after the match, the Hearts of Oak Twitter handle took a shot at Great Olympics with a tweet demanding respect from them.🗣 | Quick question; can you explain the difference between a landlord and a land guard? 🤔Word of advice, Always show respect to your elders. 😎🔴💛🔵#AHOSC— Phobians (@HeartsOfOakGH) March 12, 2020What’s next?Olympics face another team from the capital, Liberty Professionals, in Week 15 while Hearts of Oak travel to face bottom-placed King Faisal.
Ghanaian triple jumper, Nadia Eke, has opened up about the struggles of competing in a sport without a professional contract and says the sport of athletics is struggling to attract big sponsors after the retirement of track and field super star Usain Bolt.Eke has been competing without a professional contract and lives off the International Olympic Committee Scholarship for athletes and still works a full time job to supplement.The Olympic Scholarship provides funding for selected athletes in each country for an Olympic cycle, which covers training and travel for competition.Eke is one of two Ghanaian athletes to have already qualified for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics which has now been rescheduled to 2021. Sprinter Joseph Amoah, has also booked his spot in the summer games.The former Triple Jump African champion, who is the national record holder in the event, says it is difficult for athletes like her to get sponsorship because people are losing interest in athletics.“The GAA and GOC have been giving us advice on what we need to do to keep safe and all of that.“Fortunately for those of us on the IOC scholarship, that has been rolled over to 2021 so as far as I’m concerned, everything remains the same,” Eke told Athletics Africa.Nadia EKE, Ghana, at triple jump preliminary heat at London Stadium in London on August 5, 2017 at the 2017 IAAF World Championships athletics. (Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)Explaining why she still doesn’t have a professional contract, the Columbia University graduate explained that athletics is not necessarily a money-grabbing sport.“I don’t know how much you know about the track and field world but I’m not in an event that everyone wants to watch and everyone wants to put money into. So there’s not really a lot of money out there in the sport.“When you think about it – Usain Bolt had most of the money in the sport anyway, and now he’s gone.“So I think there’s been a shift in athletes having contracts anywhere and those that do, it’s not sustainable to live off of that,” she concluded.Eke also says corporate institutions in Africa are missing out on leverage by not sponsoring athletes.The lack of sponsorship for African athletes Eke claims is as a result of the limited perception companies have about the athletes.
The 14 months have been tough and trying for former WBO Super bantamweight world champion, Isaac Dogboe.Dogboe’s reputation was dealt a huge blow, after losing back to back world title bouts against Mexican, Emmanuel Navarette.But the 25 year old made a glorious return, after a 14 month absence, on Wednesday morning, registering an 8th round TKO win against American, Chris Avalos, in a one sided encounter at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.The former world champion took to his official Twitter page after the bout, to pay tribute to the support he received from Ghanaians during his difficult period.ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SHOW OF LOVE AND SUPPORT. LOVE YOU ALL ❤️❤️❤️. GOD BLESS. #DogboeReturns #NEHO #HEADBANGERS pic.twitter.com/xsNHjDh1uu— Isaac Dogboe (@IsaacDogboe) July 22, 2020The victory was Dogboe’s first as a featherweight, after moving up from the Super bantamweight division.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis A 22-year-old South Branch man was arrested after leading a deputy from the Alcona County Sheriff’s Office on a high-speed chase.According to the sheriff’s office the incident happened last Friday, when a deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a black GMC around 3 am on Bamfield Road in Curtis Township. After the deputy turned on his emergency lights and siren, the vehicle fled the scene at a high speed.The driver was identified as Jason Arzie Hall. After an investigation Hall was arrested for: ‘Fleeing and Elude in the 4th Degree and Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.’Hall was arraigned and released on a $5,000. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alcona Co. Sheriff’s Office, Fleeing and Elude, High Speed Chase, Jason Arzie Hall, OWIContinue ReadingPrevious Local Author Hosts Book Signing in AlpenaNext Alpena Celebrates National Relaxation Day in Duck Park