Pardew ready to hit the Toon

first_img He said: “I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game, but we didn’t do enough to win it. We had enough of the ball, we had good movement in front of the ball, we just lacked maybe that wee bit of creativity and invention in the final third of the field. “Anything we had to deal with until the goal, we dealt well with defensively, there were no real issues. But we made a mistake and the mistake, unfortunately, has cost us the game and that’s the biggest disappointment of it all.” Rodgers, however, was unhappy that referee Andre Marriner only booked Sissoko for a second-half challenge on Joe Allen when he felt a red card was the only option. He said: “The only one I have seen was Sissoko’s challenge on Joe Allen where he should have been sent off, if you watch that again. “That was the only challenge I thought that probably looked not as bad at the time, but when you see it again, it was a bad challenge.” While Pardew can enjoy another week on the training ground – albeit without midfielder Gabriel Obertan, who suffered a serious thigh injury – Rodgers faces the task of raising spirits for Tuesday night’s daunting Champions League trip to Real Madrid. He said: “We have worked very hard for a couple of years to get to this level and playing against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu says we’ve been doing okay. “We are in a transitional phase and have to do better. It’s a wonderful game for us. It is a big week against the best in the world at the moment. We will go into the game hoping to get something out of it.” Pardew said: “It is Halloween! Bobby Robson had some dark days here, don’t worry about that. If you are Newcastle manager, it is not all gin and tonics and aperitifs. There will be rough days. “I always knew, and I kept saying it, that we have good spirit and good talent. I am not saying I saw the wins coming, but I knew there was talent. “Our fans are brilliant. It will be fantastic in the town tonight – I might even go in myself, the first time for a while. “That is what this city is about. It breathes and loves football. When it does not go well, they let you know, and when it is going well, they let you know. You take the good with the bad.” Pardew, who celebrates four years in the job next month, sent out his team brimming with confidence after victories over Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester City. And while it was a commendable defensive solidity which limited the visitors, for whom Mario Balotelli and Raheem Sterling were largely anonymous, it was Newcastle who found the cutting edge. There were 17 minutes remaining when the once again impressive Moussa Sissoko played a one-two with full-back Paul Dummett before sending in a low cross which was cut out by Alberto Moreno, but swiftly dispatched into the back of the net by Perez. It would have been 2-0 four minutes later had Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet not managed to keep out Remy Cabella’s goal-bound effort with his foot and Newcastle emerged as deserved winners, although not in the view of Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. The 53-year-old, who has come under intense pressure from disaffected fans in recent weeks, saw striker Ayoze Perez come off the bench to fire the Magpies to a 1-0 win at St James’ Park, their third on a trot in the league inside a morale-boosting fortnight. He wore a broad smile at the final whistle as one fan dressed as a skeleton paraded around the stand behind him holding a placard which said, “Pardew, back from the dead”. Alan Pardew was in good enough spirits to consider a rare night out among Newcastle fans after guiding them to a fourth successive victory as Liverpool became their latest victims. Press Associationlast_img read more

Syracuse releases statement, details about NCAA investigations

first_img Published on October 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+ Kevin Quinn, Syracuse University’s senior vice president for public affairs, released a statement Friday evening after two days of hearings in Chicago regarding the NCAA’s investigation of Syracuse’s football and men’s basketball programs.​“Earlier today, Syracuse University concluded a hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. The hearing completes a cooperative process stemming from the University’s self-report of potential NCAA violations.“None of the potential violations involve current-student athletes. The issues regarding men’s basketball and football occurred years ago, with the exception of certain issues in basketball occurring between 2010 and early 2012. Since first self-reporting to the NCAA in 2007, the University, in partnership with the Department of Athletics, has implemented a series of best practices, reformed and strengthened existing policies and procedures, and realigned and improved a range of student-athlete support services.“The University is fully committed to ensuring compliance with all NCAA regulations and maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsibility. With this significant step in the process complete, we look forward to reviewing the Committee’s findings and resolving this matter.”Men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim and football head coach Scott Shafer each made appearances in Chicago for the hearings, which took place Thursday and Friday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU will learn the result of the investigation in 30-60 days, the Post-Standard reported. The NCAA will issue a public report if violations are found and SU would have an opportunity to appeal, according to the Post-Standard.Sports editor Jesse Dougherty, jcdoug01@syr.edu, contributed reporting to this article. Commentslast_img read more

Derek DeJoe continues expansion of offensive game as man-up specialist

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ This summer, Derek DeJoe’s shot was clocked at 111 miles per hour.He said it nonchalantly, but that’s five miles per hour shy of the world record.“I like to think that I have a good shot,” he said.It’s a trait that allows DeJoe to be Syracuse’s primary man-up specialist, a role he’s earned by being able to draw opposing zone defenses to him to free up space for the attack. This season, the junior midfielder had scored three goals in four games — two of which haven’t come on the man-up.And though DeJoe’s skill set allows him to fit the mold of a man-up specialist, his newfound ability to penetrate a zone instead of standing outside of it has helped expand his game. The No. 1 Orange (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) travels to Kennesaw, Georgia to take on St. John’s (1-4) in the Cobb County Lacrosse Classic on Saturday at 1 p.m. DeJoe is looking to continue developing his offensive repertoire as SU tries to hold onto the nation’s top spot.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think he’s starting to turn the corner into being a solid and dependable offensive midfielder all around,” attack Kevin Rice said.In his first two years at SU, DeJoe didn’t possess the decision-making ability necessary to be as efficient as he could, head coach John Desko said.In 2013, not even 27 percent of DeJoe’s shots found the back of the net. It took him 26 shots to muster seven goals and that ratio dipped even further in 2014, when he only had two goals on 11 shots in 13 games played.But this year, it’s only taken DeJoe five shots to beat the goalie three times, as his shot selection is paying dividends on the stat sheet.“I think in the past we’ve had that shot, but he hasn’t always made the right decisions with the ball,” Desko said. “We’re really starting to see him come into his own now.”Against Cornell on Feb. 15, DeJoe stood 15 yards away from the goal as SU swung the ball around the perimeter with a man advantage. He received a pass from Henry Schoonmaker, took a crow-hop and unleashed.The ball blistered over the left shoulder of Big Red goalie Christian Knight to give the Orange a 7-1 lead 16 seconds into the second half.“I think that when they call me the ‘Lefty Laser’ or whatever, it’s kind of funny,” DeJoe said. “When I am out there, they know that, ‘Oh God, we have to watch for his outside shot.’”On the flip side, DeJoe said he enjoys being in the field when its six-on-six instead of just being used on the man-up.He doesn’t mind being defined by his cannon of a shot, though, since it gives Rice, Dylan Donahue and Randy Staats a viable option to feed when defenses hone in on them.“They come down, they draw the defense lower to them and I’m usually open up top,” DeJoe said.With 5:18 left in the fourth quarter in the season opener against Siena, the Orange swung the ball around the perimeter, but this time on even strength. It reached Matt Lane and DeJoe cut to the middle instead of staying up top.He corralled a pass 4 yards from the goal, shot in stride and once again, found the back of the net.“I don’t think last year you would’ve seen him recognize a cut against a zone and fill the open space and catch it in traffic and finish,” Rice said. “I think it shows where he’s going as a player.” Comments Published on March 5, 2015 at 12:14 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more

USC has reason to remain optimistic

first_imgUSC football is entering into a state of flux for the second straight offseason — to give you an idea of what exactly that means, look no further than San Jose Mercury News sports writer Jon Wilner. Last week, Wilner released his projection for the preseason top 25 ranking, which had the Trojans as the eighth best team in the nation.It’s clearly far too early to be making pre-season projections, but the early departure of juniors safety Dion Bailey, defensive end George Uko, tight end Xavier Grimble, offensive lineman Marcus Martin and wide receiver Marqise Lee might give the Trojan faithful reason for pause about next season’s prospects. This should not be the case.Though the Trojans are still reeling from unprecedented NCAA sanctions and the departures do hurt their depth, the big names departing were unlikely to fit into the Trojans’ ground-and-pound system from last season.Grimble, who was one of former quarterback Matt Barkley’s favorite end zone options in the Trojans’ ill-fated 2012 run, suffered from a statistical drop-off in every category with junior quarterback Cody Kessler at the helm. Grimble’s reception numbers feel from 29 to 25, and he had 271 yards the entire 2013 season as opposed to the 316 he had as a sophomore. He also had a mere two touchdowns on the entire season as the Trojan offense came to favor running the ball in the end zone. This is not to take away from Grimble’s draft prospects: the 6-foot-5, 250 pound tight end still has excellent hands and would be an asset in the NFL — it’s just a shame the Trojans did not incorporate tight ends into the playcalling last season to showcase his talents and increase his draft stock, especially when considering Kessler’s reliance on intermediate routes and checkdowns.Grimble’s decision to leave for the draft was to the chagrin of head coach Steve Sarkisian, who in his opening press conference stated his desire to incorporate tight ends into the offense in the upcoming season. Regardless, senior Randall Telfer will be returning to play for the Trojans for one more year to give Kessler some more sure-handed offensive firepower.The biggest name to leave is undoubtedly Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award Winner. Lee suffered from a far more dramatic statistical drop off amid injury woes and trouble adjusting to Kessler at quarterback. The 2012 First Team All-American had a comparatively pedestrian 791 yards and four touchdowns on 57 receptions this season, as opposed to the 1721 yards and 14 touchdowns he amassed in 2012.2013, however, was undoubtedly the year of junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor: The receiver developed a rapport with Kessler, whereas Lee never seemed fully comfortable working with the new quarterback. Lee’s season was characterized by costly drops, underthrown passes and errant back shoulder throws that missed their mark. Lee’s ineffectual chemistry with Kessler cost him dearly this season: the former consensus top 10 draft pick now enters the NFL Draft with a significant contingent of doubters to disprove. There’s no doubt that Lee could make a serious impact in the NFL, and should Lee fall out of the top 15, it’s almost certain that any team picking him up will be getting a considerable bargain.How this is beginning to read is that the players leaving for the draft are doing so at a time that would be most advantageous to them. USC is undergoing yet another transition. The Trojans are in for another quarterback battle this spring where there may be yet another quarterback change depending on the performance of junior quarterback Max Wittek and sophomore quarterback Max Browne.The primary reason the Trojans will be competitive in the coming season is the same reason they were so effective in 2013: defense. Junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams, senior defensive back Josh Shaw and senior linebacker Hayes Pullard are all slated to return next season under Sarkisian. Bailey’s position will likely be filled by former Rivals.com five star recruit and sophomore defensive back Leon McQuay III. Stellar sophomore safety Su’a Cravens will likely reprise his starting role. All things considered, the Trojans look poised to dominate on the defensive side of the ball next season.Despite the departure of Martin, Lee and Grimble, the offense also leaves more upside next season. Junior wide receiver George Farmer is likely to return from his season-ending knee surgery in time for fall camp, and Agholor will have another offseason to get adjusted with Sarkisian’s playbook. The Trojans also honed their running options with redshirt junior running backs Javorius Allen and Tre Madden coming off a strong season. The incorporation of former Scout.com five star running backs and sophomores Ty Isaac and Justin Davis is sure to give the running attack a shot in the arm come fall.Though any preseason predictions are premature at this point, it’s hard to argue with Wilner’s assessment of the Trojans next season. With such a strong showing of younger talent only developing further experience, the steady improvement of Kessler and the return of key defensive players, it’s entirely plausible the Trojans could be a serious contender for a playoff berth next season. Euno Lee is a senior majoring in English. His column “Euno What Time It Is” runs Wednesdays.last_img read more

Week 8 college football previews and predictions

first_imgAfter a couple weeks with all of the marquee matchups involving the SEC, the ACC, the Big 12 and independent Notre Dame step into the forefront. Here are our predictions for the biggest games of the upcoming Saturday in college football.#5 Notre Dame (6-0) at #2 Florida State (6-0)The biggest matchup of the week pits two top-5 programs both looking to shed their “overrated” label. The Fighting Irish, despite holding an undefeated record up to this point, have their success in question after a 50-43 win against North Carolina. Meanwhile, this game is treated as a must-win for the Seminoles, as this would be the only top-5 team and just the second ranked team the Seminoles have played this season. They defeated then No. 22 ranked Clemson 23-17 in overtime on September 20 without Jameis Winston. The Irish, meanwhile, have one ranked win to their name (17-14 against Stanford), and still have Arizona State and USC to bolster their strength of schedule.The key to this game for each time will be their quarterbacks: Notre Dame’s Everett Golson (1892 total yards, 20 total TDs) and Florida State’s Jameis Winston (1605 passing yards, 11 TDs). Whichever one is more capable of making big plays, as well as avoiding mental errors, will be the one that comes out on top. Notre Dame, is 8th in the nation in points allowed per game at 17.2, but their last performance gives the impression that Winston and the Seminoles should be able to put up enough points to try and win back the No. 1 ranking.Prediction: Florida State 38, Notre Dame 35#21 Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at #7 Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC)The Aggies have fallen on hard times the past couple weeks, as they’ve lost to Mississippi State and Ole Miss by a a combined 32 points after starting 5-0. Quarterback Kenny Hill is 2nd in the FBS with 2,511 passing yards and 23 touchdown passes, but costly turnovers (5 interceptions in the last 2 games), and a porous defense have caused the Aggies to fall from the top 10.Luckily for A&M, Alabama in a similar situation, having scored a combined 31 points in their last two games in a 23-17 loss to Ole Miss and a 14-13 win against an Arkansas squad still without a win in the SEC. Going in the Tide’s favor is an improving quarterback in Blake Sims, a two-headed monster at running back with T.J. Yeldon (550 total yards, 3 TDs) and Derrick Henry (541 total yards, 4 total TDs), and the best wide receiver in the country in Amari Cooper (768 receiving yards, 5 TDs). They also have the advantage on defense, which should be able to force Kenny Hill into mistakes. The offense should be able to bounce back and put up some points in Tuscaloosa, forcing Hill to overcome his recent struggles and lead his team out of the slump.Prediction: Alabama 38, Texas A&M 28#14 Kansas State (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) at #11 Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12)The last time the Wildcats traveled to Norman in 2012, they upset the then No.6 ranked Sooners 24-19. The Wildcats have proven this season that they can handle tough competition, keeping it close against Auburn en route to a 20-14 loss. This time around, the two teams are very evenly matched, with almost identical points per game numbers (40.8 for Kansas State, 40.5 for Oklahoma) and points allowed (21.0 for Kansas State, 21.5 for Oklahoma.)In order for the Wildcats to leave Norman with another win, they’ll need their defense to play like it did against Auburn and shut down Sooner running back Samaje Perine (568 rushing yards, 9 TDs). If the Wildcats can force Trevor Knight (1503 passing yards, 6 TDs, 5 INTs) to beat them with his arm, while getting plenty of production from quarterback Jake Waters (1526 total yards, 13 total TDs), the Wildcats can pull it off again.Prediction: Kansas State 31, Oklahoma 27#15 Oklahoma State (5-1, 3-0 Big 12) at #12 TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)The Cowboys are coming into this contest on a roll, having won their last five games by an average of just over 16 points per game after losing their opener 36-31 against then No. 1 Florida State. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs will be eager to get back on the field after blowing a 21-point lead in the final 11 minutes against Baylor and losing 61-58. TCU, led by emerging quarterback Trevone Boykin (1768 total yards, 13 total TDs), has an offense that is ranked third in the nation in points per game at 45.8 and a passing attack ranked 12th with 325.2 yards per game. The big question for TCU is whether or not their defense can get back to their early-season dominance, or remain the defense that gave up 61 to the Bears. Personally, I’d expect them to get back on the right track, while Boykin provides the offense necessary to earn the bounce-back win at home.Prediction: TCU 45, Oklahoma State 30#23 Stanford (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) at #17 Arizona State (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12)The most notable matchup in the Pac-12 this week pits two teams with opposing mindsets, matching a tough and physical Stanford team with the more explosive Sun Devils. Both sides are dealing with injury woes, as the Cardinal will be without their second-leading receiver in Devon Cajuste (243 yards, 3 TDs), while the Sun Devils are unsure of the status of quarterbacl Taylor Kelly (793 total yards, 11 total TDs), as well as running back D.J. Foster (833 total yards, 7 total TDs). Mike Bercovici (1077 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs) has done a good job filling in for Kelly, but Stanford comes in with the nation’s top scoring defense, only allowing 10.0 points per game, and the lack of a running threat at quarterback could work against the Sun Devils. The Sun Devils will keep it interesting, but Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan (1325 yards, 11 TDs, 4 INTs) should lead his offense to put up enough points to pick up the win.Prediction: Stanford 24, Arizona State 20Colorado (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12) at #22 USC (4-2, 3-1 Pac-12)The Trojans have had a week to celebrate their victory over a then-Top 10 Arizona team last week. They’ve also had some time to look back at the past couple weeks, where the Trojans have been outscored 33-14 in the fourth quarter. They’ll look to get on track against a Colorado team that is 109th in the nation in points against per game at 35.7, and who is still looking for their first conference win of the season.  The Buffaloes’ passing attack, which ranks 14th in passing yards with 320.3 yards per game, is headlined by quarterback Sefo Liufau (1887 passing yards, 19 TDs, 7 INTs) and wide receiver Nelson Spruce (732 receiving yards, 10 TDs).On defense, the Trojans will hope their secondary is healthy enough to stop this dangerous duo, and hope for explosive plays from Su’a Cravens and Leonard Williams. On offense, USC will need to feed the ball to running back Javorius “Buck” Allen (1059 total yards, 8 total TDs) to wear down the Colorado defense and prevent Colorado from making this too close.Even though it has a familiar feel to the upset loss against Boston College, with USC coming off a win against a top-15 Pac-12 team on the road, facing a weaker team than the Eagles at the Coliseum, rather than flying cross-country, should keep USC from experiencing too much déjà vu.Prediction: USC 38, Colorado 17last_img read more

Press Play to Start: Esports must play a bigger role in pushing for racial equality

first_imgHowever, even with the praise it has received, the FGC still faces one blatant issue that jeopardizes its survival: the relative lack of sponsorships.  It does not take an expert to realize that racism in esports is rampant. Perhaps one of the most infamous cases was that of Terrence ‘TerrenceM’ Miller. Maybe we are missing some important nuance. While there are common problems that are widespread in the gaming community, reducing the entire industry to its lowest denominators of racism is not fair treatment. One particular section stands out in gaming’s inclusion potential. Of course, I am talking about the fighting game community. All this leads us to one possible conclusion: If the esports industry truly wants to tackle its racism issues, it should support the FGC.  Guilherme Guerreiro is a sophomore writing about esports. His column, “Press Play to Start,” runs every other Wednesday. Companies should begin sponsoring large-scale events such as “EVO.” While this may seem like a “top-down” approach that is doomed to fail, it fits the current context perfectly.  The FGC already has solid foundations when it comes to racial diversity. In this scenario, more companies sponsoring events will lead to an increase in prize money. This increase means more people joining the scene, as well as maintaining the professionals already there. With the spotlight on the FGC, the standards for inclusivity would go up, especially if that is how companies decide which tournaments to sponsor. This pressure means that the FGC would have to maintain its diversity or risk losing the support it has gained.  Thanks to the work of various athletes and the Black Lives Matter movement, many sports industries are reflecting on their deep-rooted racism. The esports community should follow suit.center_img Their honesty and openness, paired with their master skill, guaranteed them the “Best Esports Player” award at the 2018 Game Awards. But it does not require a celebrity the size of SonicFox to realize the diversity present in the FGC. The tournament roster and content creator demographics, which top all other communities for esport pros of color, show it better than any article possibly could.  This issue translates into very tangible consequences, mainly the small amount of prize money in tournaments. For example, one of the most popular championships in the FGC is called “EVO,” and it has various manifestations based on which game people are playing. “EVO 2016” for “Street Fighter V” had the largest prize pool out of any EVO tournament to date, raking in just more than $100,000. While this may seem large, it pales in comparison to the last six “The International” DOTA 2 tournaments, all of which had a prize pool larger than $10 million. Pair this with the fact that many FGC athletes are not in a team, and it’s clear how hard it is to make a living as a professional fighting game player.  This suggestion does not translate into a permanent solution for racism within the gaming community. But it is a step toward a better, more diverse industry. Ultimately, video games are supposed to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. If the professional side of it does not reflect that, then the industry is heading in the wrong direction.  This last factor is increasingly clear to bystanders, especially with the rise of star player Dominique ‘SonicFox’ McLean. A gay, Black and furry player, McLean has been making headlines for their unapologetic dedication to their political beliefs and for their incredible fighting games ability.  There are many reasons why the FGC is the exception to the rule when it comes to racial diversity. FGC maintains accessibility, adapts the “face-to-face” aspect of mass participation in tournaments and doesn’t shy away from political statements from its players.  Miller is a Black professional player who focuses mostly on card games. In 2016, he participated in the DreamHack Austin Hearthstone tournament and reached the finals, which was live-streamed on Twitch. He played well, finishing in second place. However, as soon as the match ended, he was bombarded with racial slurs in the chat. The spam was so overwhelming that Twitch had to come up with a brand new strategy to combat these instances, but the damage was already done.last_img read more

Jamaica’s Fedrick wins Rome Diamond League discus event

first_imgJamaican discus and Commonwealth Games champion Fedrick Dacres, 24, won the men’s discus throw on Friday, May 31 at the Rome Diamond League in Italy with a throw of 68.51m. He was the only Jamaican winner at the met.This was the second win for Dacres this week as he also won at the Turnov Ludvik Danek memorial in the Czech Republic on May 29 with a throw of 68.35 metersOn Friday, Dacres had throws of 66.69m, 68.51m, 65.68m, 64.99m, 66.37m and 67.01m and won ahead of Andrius Gudzius of Lithuania with 68.17m. Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi was third with 65.93m.Dacres, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion who also has the world-leading mark of 69.83m, and three of the top seven distances, was pleased with his performance.Other Jamaican athletes did not fare nearly as well. Shericka Jackson finished sixth in the 200m in 23.14 in a race won by Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast in 22.49. Veteran Ivet lalova-Collio of Bulgaria was second in 22.64.Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles champion Janieve Russell was second in 54.08 in a non-Diamond League event on the program. Georganne Moline of the US won in a season’s best 53.97, with American Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad third in 54.65.Jamaica’s 2015 World champion Danielle Williams was second in the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.82. American Shericka Nelvis won in 12.76 with Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan third in 12.86. In form American Brianna McNeal crashed out.Jamaica’s Commonwealth Games champion Aisha Praught achieved her season’s best in the 3,000m steeplechase, clocking 9:19.33 minutes for eighth spot. It was just outside her personal best and national record of 9:19.29. Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya won in 9:04.96 minutes.Stephenie-Ann McPherson was second in the women’s 400m, clocking a season’s best 50.69 behind winner Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain in 50.51. American Jaide Stepter was third in 51.47.And, Tajay Gayle leapt 8.17m for fifth in the men’s long jump won by Luvo Manyonga of South Africa with 8.58m. Cuba’s Juan Echevarria was second with 8.53m. South Africa, showing great depth in the jumps, was third courtesy of Rushahl Samaai with 8.34m.last_img read more

English FA Announces Bid For UEFA EURO 2021 Hosting

first_imgEngland were eliminated by the host and eventual winners, Netherlands, in the semi-final of the just concluded 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO Tournament. The Football Association has announced its decision to bid for the hosting of the 2021 UEFA European Women’s Championship.The hosting right will be awarded by 2018, as bidding nations prepare their case to UEFA this September. Relatedlast_img

Jonathon Hurst: Kambi – Meeting the Full Service Demands of Russia 2018

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Jonathon Hurst – Kambi GroupRussia 2018 is the most challenging World Cup for all industry stakeholders, having to meet instant consumer demands across all verticals, whilst tackling changes in football and viewer disruption.Jonathon Hurst Head of Live Football at Kambi Group Plc, tells SBC why effective UX combined and new immersive in-play betting options have been put at the front of Kambi’s Russia 2018 plans…_______________One of the basic rules of bookmaking is that if someone has a particular view on a match or situation then we, as bookmakers, should try and provide them with an opportunity to place a bet on it. It’s one of the reasons why, for instance, we’ve seen such an expansion in the number of pre-match markets in recent years.However, as players continue to transition to in-play betting – approximately two-thirds of our football turnover is generated after the first whistle – the ability to satisfy hardening or changing player opinions during a game is key to increasing engagement and improving retention.This is even starker during the football World Cup, where players often watch games in groups and share opinions. For instance, who hasn’t watched a penalty shoot-out among friends and predicted that the approaching penalty taker would blaze the ball high over the bar? Or called a player to confidently tuck the ball into the net, ala Kevin Keegan for David Batty’s failed spot-kick in ’98.Hitting the SpotTherefore, providing players with a comprehensive yet relevant in-play offer is crucial to UX, which is why we continue to focus on this area at Kambi. We have a proud history of developing new and exciting bet offers that enable the player to put their money where their mouth is, and I’m glad to say Kambi will be building on this once again for this year’s World Cup.In relation to my penalty example above, Kambi has developed a new penalty model which will, among other things, allow players to bet on the outcome of the next penalty. So if you think a penalty taker looks a rabbit caught in the headlights, you can bet on them to miss the target. Or, alternatively, if a goalkeeper is an expert from 12 yards, you can bet on the kick to be saved.There will also be a number of other penalty-related markets available right throughout a shoot-out, as we look to give the player an increased number of exciting betting opportunities during what is the most dramatic phase of a match. On top of this, the new offering will be complemented by a new penalty visualisation product, which will enhance the experience for those not sat in front of a TV.Betting on ControversyAnother area which generates much discussion in football is that of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Depending on who you are talking to, VAR either improves the game or turns it into a farce. Therefore, it’s likely to be one of the biggest talking points of the tournament this summer, which is why we’re aiming to be at the front of the market for bet offer quality and quantity.Of course, other operators and suppliers will likely follow suit so it will be interesting to see the range of markets on offer by the time the first game kicks off on 14 June. We think we have the balance right with our selection of bets in terms of relevance and the ability to settle immediately – for example, any offers related to the duration of VAR referrals may throw up issues relating to settlement, something we’d rather avoid.Our markets will include an over/under line for the number of VAR referrals during a match and in each half, a yes/no market on whether VAR will be used and, the one which we are most excited about, a market on what type of incident the next VAR referral will be used for – goal, penalty, red card, etc. We believe these VAR markets demonstrate just how flexible Kambi’s in-play offer can be – with our traders updating these live and reacting to how FIFA and the referees handle and communicate these controversial incidents.Underpinning these in-play markets will, as always, be the delivery. It is imperative markets are available to bet and not subject to overly restrictive countdown times – that it’s fully conducive to the instinct-driven betting you often see from customers betting in-play. As a bettor myself, there’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to place bets due to overly long live delays or markets frequently on suspend.Complex Delivery Being able to deliver on this UX promise is no easy feat, which is why so many fall short of the required standards. Market availability requires a supply chain able to deliver on all levels, beginning with the integration of official data partners, to proven algorithms which process the data, followed by excellence in trading and risk, all delivered through a fast and intuitive frontend. Only when these elements are working in perfect harmony can an operator begin to deliver a best-in-class service.Through our blend of trading expertise and automation, we are able to keep markets open for longer, even during potentially decisive moments during a match, such as a dangerous free-kick or even a penalty. And it’s by focusing on this type of product enhancement, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, which enables us to improve player retention and maximise turnover for both us and our customers.So as we kick-off Russia 2018, we’re confident Kambi customers will receive a market-leading in-play service, one which when coupled with our unrivalled pre-match offer will ensure their players have all they need to enjoy an exciting and engaging World Cup experience from the opening match right through to the final._______________Jonathan Hurst – Head of Live Football – Kambi Group Plc Share Related Articles Submit Kambi and DraftKings agree on final closure terms July 24, 2020 Simon Noy, Kambi: Revolutionising the bet builder July 20, 2020 Kambi takes full control of LeoVegas sportsbook portfolio August 26, 2020last_img read more

Paddy Power – Bookmakers face ‘toughest call’ on Mercury Music Prize 2018

first_img Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Related Articles This week’s announcement by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) of the twelve UK contemporary music albums competing for the ‘2018 Mercury Music Prize’ has perplexed UK bookmakers.The annual music and songwriting prize aims to reward the best album released by a British or Irish recording artist/band. The Mercury Prize’s history is littered with upsets, however, its 2018 edition maybe the hardest ever to call.Making this year’s Mercury shortlist, are four of the UK’s most successful contemporary recording artists in; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Lilly Allen, The Arctic Monkeys and Florence & The Machine.  Nevertheless, featuring a closed judging panel which selects its winner on the night, the Mercury Prize does not favour artist album sales or recognised names, leading to much controversy.Lee Price – Paddy PowerSpeaking to SBC, Lee Price Head of PR for Paddy Power details that the bookmaker has placed London Jazz band Sons of Kemet’s ‘Your Queen is a Reptile’ and Tyneside post-pink singer Nadine Shah’s ‘Holiday Destination’ as 5/1 early Mercury Prize favourites.“This is a wide open betting event with joint-favourites at 5/1 (Sons of Kemet & Nadine Shah). This implies both of them have something in the region of a 16% chance of winning the award, reflecting how close it is” Price details.“Sons of Kemet is the only jazz genre representative and, as such, would be a bit of an unknown quantity. That, coupled with the underlying story that the album is a tribute to “nine remarkable black women” and their efforts to create a jazz masterpiece, would also be factored into their favourable pricing.”Despite the fact that the bigger names, will likely attract the market’s interest and wagers, Price details that Paddy Power will stick to its guns.At present, the bookmaker has priced Noel Gallagher, Lilly Allen, the Arctics and Florence, jointly at 8/1“It’s always a difficult award to predict given the range of genres covered and also the spectrum across which the entrants are generated – for example, you can end up with debut albums (e.g. Everything is Recorded this year) going up against well-established names. Part of the Mercury Prize’s shtick is being unpredictable. Which is great, just not for bookies.”Paddy Power – Mercury Music Prize 2018 Odds Submit Share Share StumbleUpon Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020last_img read more