IOC boss: Sports bodies must clean up their act

first_imgLONDON (AP):Sports organisations must work harder than ever in 2016 to clean up their act after a year of corruption and doping scandals that tarnished the Olympic movement, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Wednesday in a New Year’s message.Bach said the entire Olympic world must live up to the public’s expectations of integrity and heed his call from a year ago to “change or be changed”.”One just needs to look at the events over the last 12 months to realise that this message is even more urgent today to safeguard the credibility of sports organisations and to protect clean athletes,” Bach said. “Undoubtedly, recent developments in some sports cast a shadow across the whole world of sport.”While Bach didn’t cite any sport by name, he was clearly referring to the corruption scandal that has enveloped football’s governing body FIFA and the allegations of bribery and doping cover-ups involving the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Russia’s track and field programme.Noting the public’s growing demand for ethical behavior by athletes and sports bodies, Bach said: “It is our shared responsibility in the Olympic movement to provide new answers to new questions.”FIFA is reeling from a corruption scandal that has led to the arrests of dozens of football and marketing officials and eight-year bans for outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Union of European Football Associations head Michel Platini. Blatter is a former member of the International Olympic Committee.Russia’s athletics federation was suspended following a damning report by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel that alleged widespread, state-sponsored doping in the country. Russia’s track and field athletes could miss next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.The IAAF’s former president, Lamine Diack, was arrested and charged by French authorities with corruption and money laundering, stemming from allegations that he took money to cover up positive tests in Russia.last_img read more

QPR v MK Dons line-ups: Henry returns for Rangers

first_imgKarl Henry returns to the QPR side for the game against MK Dons at Loftus Road.Henry starts alongside Daniel Tozser in midfield in the absence of the injured Sandro – Rangers’ only change from the midweek draw with Sheffield Wednesday.James Perch is available again after serving a ban but must settle for a place on the bench, with Nedum Onuoha remaining at right-back.QPR: Green; Onuoha, Hall, Hill, Konchesky; Henry, Tozser; Phillips, Luongo, Chery; Emmanuel-Thomas.Subs: Smithies, Perch, Doughty, Fer, Hoilett, Faurlin, Polter.MK Dons: Martin; Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington; Poyet, Forster-Caskey; Hall, Reeves, Murphy; Church.Subs: Burns, Hodson, Potter, Carruthers, Baker, Powell, Maynard.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Building a thriving nation brand

first_imgAt the end of the IMC’s stakeholdersummit held in Brynston, Johannesburg,delegates signed a pledge to help drivethe country’s brand. IMC CEO Miller Matola spoke aboutthe importance of all South Africansunderstanding and promoting thecountry’s brand Isaac Nkwe founder of Imfundiso SkillsDevelopment Project, spoke to delegatesabout finding opportunities to empowerthemselves and the country.(Images: Nosimilo Ramela)MEDIA CONTACTS• Charmaine LodewykBrand Leadership Academy+27 11 463 5901Nosimilo RamelaThe International Marketing Council (IMC) of South Africa took bold steps towards positioning the country as a globally competitive nation with a stakeholder summit on 31 May 2011 in Johannesburg. The event was the first of nine such meetings that will be held in each province to raise awareness of the nation brand and increase active citizenship among South Africans.Speaking at the summit, IMC CEO Miller Matola said it is important for everyone to understand the country’s brand and align what they do as the people of the country to the brand. “We need to have a consistent identity as a country to allow us to promote and sell the country internationally.”The IMC has identified four pillars that distinguish the unique characteristics of the South African brand – these are ubuntu, diversity, sustainability, possibility and creativity. Matola said these could be applied in different ways to how South Africans go about their day-to-day lives.Key speaker Deputy Minister in the Presidency Dina Pule said it was important for the country to have a compelling brand, as this would boost country’s rating internationally.An estimated 150 delegates representative of business, media and the general public attended the summit.“The branding of South Africa is not a choice, but a necessity. Only a country with a clear, credible and positive view of what it is, what it represents and where it is going to, can successfully compete on the global stage,” Pule said.The deputy minister complimented the IMC’s countrywide campaign, saying: “The campaign has defined the values that make South Africans unique, while entrenching the principles of pride, patriotism and solid citizenship that were established during 2010.“This will ultimately contribute to the country’s rating in international competitive studies in that we don’t only just “write” about “how” citizens should behave, but actually influence the desired behaviour we want people to adopt in achieving desired goals,” she said.Land of possibilitiesIsaac Nkwe, founder of the Imfundiso Skills Development Project, spoke at the summit as an embodiment of the pillar of possibility.After graduating from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Nkwe joined Arthur Kaplan Jewellers as a designer and in 2000 he helped establish the Atteridgeville Jewellery School.A year later he collaborated with mining house De Beers, the Department of Minerals and Energy and TUT to start the Imfundiso project. The initiative offers two-year learnerships to unskilled, unemployed and inexperienced young South Africans, and six-month learnerships to graduates from jewellery schools.Through the courses students learn how to produce quality jewellery and craft that can then be sold for profit.The project has seen hundreds of students from around South Africa graduate from jewellery-making courses and go on to launch successful careers.Nkwe said: “The problems we have as the people of this country are not just the state’s problems to fix. We realised that we can and should do something about them too. So we started looking for opportunities to help ourselves. Nothing is impossible in this country.”Key to global successNation branding is a managed process of identifying what a country promises and delivering on that promise, said IMC board deputy chairperson Chichi Maponya.“A nation brand is a promise made. A successful nation brand is, therefore, one that is kept.”She said a nation’s brand is key to its success irrespective of whether it is an advanced or developing economy.“Nation branding can close the gap between rich and poor nations. It is no coincidence that countries that are very good at branding are also the wealthiest.”Maponya said a nation brand can be a critical determinant of how well a country competes for its share of investors, consumers and visitors in a global economy.“A country’s image as a strong and reliable player in global economic affairs and a hospitable place to visit makes it desirable to live and conduct business there, thereby attracting business partners and qualified professionals.”‘Our brand is our only arsenal’Kuseni Dlamini, CEO of Old Mutual South Africa Emerging Markets, told delegates at the summit that it was time to stop complaining as South Africans and start working on the country’s brand.“We need to be positive and work on building our country’s brand in our everyday life in everything we do and say wherever we are. We need to find the right solution and use our brand to build our country so we can reach our developmental goals.”He said building the brand would help to boost confidence among foreign investors. This would then raise investment opportunities for the country and increase employment.“Our brand is our only arsenal as a country. Let us unleash our full potential as South Africans and start pursuing excellence in all we do. Let us work towards ensuring our brand is associated with winning rather than losing. We should be associated with a country that is leading the pack rather than following.”At the end of the summit all delegates signed a pledge to uphold the core South African values and help drive the brand forward.last_img read more

Study Tells Why We Can’t Resist Facebook Games

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Revenue from social networking games is expected to top $4.5 billion this year, up from $3.2 billion in 2011, and it looks like online-game sales could surpass retail sales as soon as next year. A Chinese study tries to figure out why these games are the fastest growing segment of the $66 billion video-game industry.The researchers suggest that, unlike other online games, those built directly into Facebook and other social networks are more attractive to casual players.The study was conducted by Kuo-Hsiang Chen, Kai-Shuan Shen and Min-Yuan Ma of National Cheng Kung University in China and accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed academic journal Internet Research this spring.The authors interviewed 11 gaming and social media experts and surveyed 321 video gamers and found three main reasons why games on social networks are appealing:The games are easy and convenient to play.They are friendly and lively.They offer social interaction, unlike most traditional computer games. In many cases, a player on a social network is trying to kill a few minutes, and social-network-based games don’t require a significant time commitment to play or have complex rules like other online and video games.In fact, social-network gamers use Farmville, Mafia Wars and Zynga Poker in the way that an earlier generation of people turned to solitaire in Windows.Chethan Ramachandran, co-founder and CEO of gaming-analytics company Playnomics, said he generally agreed with the study, but thought it underemphasized the fact that social-network games are just plain attracting new players.“Ease of access has translated into several new demographic groups playing games consistently,” said Ramachandran. Most notably woman in the Midwest playing resource-management-style games like Farmville.”Bonnie Ho, an analyst at Inside Network, which provides news, data and analysis on gaming, social networks and mobile apps, also points to how social games spread.The best games spread virally, but social-game makers build heavy-handed marketing tactics directly into their products.Facebook members may complain about all the Farmville status updates and other enticements in their feed, Ho says, but that strategy is vital to game success.“Attitudes from social gamers towards this type of game design is fairly negative. But these mechanics are effective at driving virality as well as monetization,” Ho said. “As long as social gamers respond and convert in the way social-game designers want them to, social-gaming companies will continue to use them.” Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img Tags:#gaming#web dave copeland 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more