WhatsApp Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook AudioHomepage BannerNews WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at LUH drops to zero Previous articleChange to Rent Supplement access for domestic violence victimsNext articleUpgrade works to begin on Glenties housing estate News Highland News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Google+ By News Highland – June 14, 2020 Pinterest Google+ Facebook The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at Letterkenny University Hospital has dropped to zero this weekend, while there are a number of suspected cases onsite.The number of confirmed cases in Donegal has risen by one to 470.Meanwhile, An infectious diseases expert says the health system’s extra Covid-19 testing capacity should be used to screen people arriving from overseas.The HSE’s currently testing around 5,000 swabs a day, but says it has the capacity to do 15,000.Professor Sam McConkey from the Royal College of Surgeons says testing on arrival could mean less time spent in self-isolation:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Virus-McConkey1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twitter Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR DL Debate – 24/05/21
Sunday 8th April 2018Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 – Round 5Westmeath (H) v Galway, 2.00pm, St Lomans, (G Carmody, Roscommon)Galway know what they have to do ahead of Sunday’s visit to Westmeath – and that’s to claim maximum points.If they do that, and Donegal beat Cork, they’ll finish ahead of Donegal in the standings under rule, provided that Mayo don’t draw with Monaghan to make it a three-way tie.A win for Cork against Donegal on Saturday would lessen the pressure slightly on Galway manager Stephen Glennon and his Tribeswomen, who will have a better idea of the permutations following Saturday’s pivotal game.But all things considered, Galway still have to win and that might not be straightforward against a Westmeath side that ensured survival with victory over Kerry last weekend.With the shackles off, Westmeath can go and express themselves and an interesting tie lies in store at St Lomans. It’s two from three also in Division 2 to join Tipperary and Waterford in the last four, with Ulster trio Tyrone, Armagh and Cavan in the running.At the bottom, Sligo need to beat Laois and hope that Clare gain a positive result in their game with Armagh to avoid relegation.The main issues in Division 3 have been decided but the final round of re-fixed round 5 games will determine the semi-final pairings.In Division 4, three semi-final slots have already been decided, while Antrim have their fate in their own hands, knowing that victory over Derry will see them edge out Fermanagh, who currently occupy fourth spot.Antrim’s game with Derry is pencilled in for next Tuesday, with ten other matches to be played before then. In the top flight, holders Cork and TG4 All-Ireland champions Dublin are safely through to the last four, where they’ll be joined by two other counties, with Galway, Mayo and Donegal in the hunt. Lidl Ladies NFL Division 2 – Round 5Clare (H) v Armagh, 12.00pm, Miltown Malbay, (K O’Brien, Limerick)Clare are currently third from bottom of the Division 2 standings, level with Laois and three points clear of Sligo.But even if the Banner County do get dragged into a three-way tie, their superior scoring difference will see them safe.Even a point at home to Armagh will be good enough for Clare but the visitors need the points desperately as they’re still in the hunt for a top four finish.Even a point might be good enough for Armagh, provided Tyrone beat Cavan, but a win would guarantee a semi-final place for the Orchard County. Dublin (H) v Kerry, 4.00pm, DCU, St Clare’s, (N McCormack, Laois)Dublin are safely through to the semi-finals and manager Mick Bohan may take the opportunity to run the rule over some fringe players ahead of the semi-finals.But top spot is also up for grabs and Dublin can put the pressure on Cork, who also play on Saturday evening, by taking care of business against Kerry.A win for the Sky Blues would take them back to the summit, temporarily at least, before Cork’s visit to Donegal.If Dublin and Cork both win, they’ll be level at the head of affairs on 18 points each, but Dublin would finish the group stages at the head of affairs, having beaten Cork at Croke Park at the start of the campaign.So there’s still a lot to play for as already relegated Kerry make the trip to DCU, St Clare’s, on Saturday afternoon.In a lovely gesture, Dublin have also confirmed that gate receipts from the tie will be sent to the Fatima Centre in Bangkok, visited recently by members of the TG4 All Star touring party.Bohan and the Dublin players who travelled to Bangkok have also confirmed a contribution from themselves.Kerry will play for pride at the end of a week that saw manager Graham Shine vacate his role. Lidl Ladies NFL Division 3 – Round 5Offaly (H) v Wexford, 2.00pm, Clonbullogue, (K Delahunty, Tipperary)Offaly can’t make the top four while Wexford are safely through.Anthony Masterson’s Wexford can’t be caught either at the head of affairs but they’ll be anxious to sign off the group stages with maximum points.Offaly, for their part, will want to produce a positive display before thoughts turn to championship. Tyrone (H) v Cavan, 2.00pm, Drumragh, Clanagogan, (D Carolan, Down)A straight shoot-out for a top four place. Tyrone will start the day two points clear of Cavan, who make the trip to Drumragh.The destiny of both counties is in their own hands and this promises to be a fiercely tense and exciting battle.Both sides have been scoring heavily but Tyrone have leaked more than Sunday’s opponents.Cavan were beaten Division 2 finalists last year, after a replay with Westmeath, but they might not even make the semi-finals this time. A nervy weekend lies in store for many counties with the race for semi-final spots and the outstanding relegation issue (in Division 2) to be decided in the Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues. Mayo (H) v Monaghan, 2.00pm, Swinford Amenity Park, (M Farrelly, Cavan)A home win for Mayo will ensure a League semi-final spot for last year’s TG4 All-Ireland senior final runners-up.It’s been a mixed bag of a campaign for Peter Leahy’s charges, who’ve won three, lost two and drawn one.But they were awarded three points when Kerry fielded an unregistered player and that’s boosted Mayo’s table position considerably.Instead of being in a position where they had to rely on results elsewhere, Mayo’s top four destiny is now in their own hands.Visitors Monaghan staved off the threat of relegation for another season and will be looking to finish their League campaign on a high, ahead of the summer’s championship campaign. Sligo (H) v Laois, 1.00pm, Sligo IT, (D Callaghan, Donegal)Sligo need to win and hope that Clare gain a positive result against Armagh to avoid relegation.Sligo are currently bottom of the pile, without a point from six outings, but they’ll face off against second from bottom Laois, who are three points ahead of them.However, even if Sligo do win, they’re likely to go down if the Yeats County, Laois and Clare all finish on three points, due to an inferior score difference.A victory for Sligo, and at least a draw for Clare, would leave Sligo and Laois level at the bottom on three points each.In that case, Sligo would survive on the head to head rule, with Laois going down. Saturday 7th April 2018Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 – Round 5Donegal (H) v Cork, 6.00pm, O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, (G. McMahon, Mayo)Donegal, beaten Division 1 finalists last year, must beat champions Cork in Letterkenny on Saturday evening and hope that Galway slip up against Westmeath on Sunday.A Donegal win will take them three points clear of Galway, before the Tribeswomen take to the field less than 24 hours later.If Galway and Donegal finish level on 13 points each after the weekend, Galway will go through having kicked more points (16) in their draw with Donegal in round 2.Matters could be complicated further if both Galway and Donegal win, and Mayo draw at home to Monaghan.In that case, three teams will be level on 13 points each, meaning that score difference will come into play.Donegal currently boast the best score difference of the trio (+50), compared to Mayo (+9) and Galway (+8) ahead of the weekend’s games.Donegal’s weekend meeting with Cork is the first time that the counties have clashed since last year’s classic League final at Parnell Park, which the Rebelettes won by just a point. Tipperary (H) v Waterford, 2.00pm, Sean Tracey Park, (E Moran, Kerry)Both of these sides are safely through to the semi-finals but this head to head clash will determine who finishes on top.A win for Waterford would see them pip Tipp, who themselves are hoping to make it seven wins from seven by securing victory against their neighbours on home soil.These are two counties who have found Division 2 to their liking this season and they could yet meet in novel TG4 Munster senior final later in the summer, as both are on opposite sides of the draw.For now, though, there are important League points at stake and there’s also a distinct possibility of a repeat meeting in the knockout stages. Lidl Ladies NFL Division 4 – Round 5Fermanagh (H) v Kilkenny – Conceded by Kilkenny Tuesday 10th April 2018Lidl Ladies NFL Division 4 – Round 5Antrim (H) v Derry, 7.00pm, (K Bogle, Tyrone)Antrim are another county with their fate in their own hands, knowing that a victory over Derry next Tuesday evening will see them into the last four.It’s an anxious wait for the Saffrons to play the outstanding fixture in the group stages of Division 4 but they do know what’s required.They’re three points behind Fermanagh as things stand but victory over Ulster rivals Derry would see them edge out the Ernesiders on the head to head rule.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email
Napoli have announced their squad to face Milan in Serie A tomorrow, with Allan back in but Arkadiusz Milik out. Allan missed the 0-0 draw with Genoa before the international break, having been an alleged leader in Napoli’s rebellion against President Aurelio De Laurentiis. However, the midfielder returns on the day it is claimed by Corriere dello Sport that he apologised to Vice-President and Aurelio’s son Edoardo. On the other hand, the Partenopei are without any recognised left-backs as Mario Rui and Faouzi Ghoulam are unavailable, while Milik needs more time to recover from an abdominal problem. Napoli squad to face Milan: Meret, Ospina, Karnezis; Koulibaly, Manolas, Luperto, Di Lorenzo, Hysaj, Maksimovic; Zielinksi, Fabian, Allan, Gaetano, Elmas, Younes; Lozano, Llorente, Mertens, Insigne, Callejon Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
Never mind the frivolous crowd, the winter chill and the tiresome walk. On a sunny Monday morning, Anurag Sahney, 29, a Gurgaon-based private sector executive, had figured out just the perfect way to begin his week.Wangling a business-hour pass from a friend, he bunked office, pulled out his bright red,Never mind the frivolous crowd, the winter chill and the tiresome walk. On a sunny Monday morning, Anurag Sahney, 29, a Gurgaon-based private sector executive, had figured out just the perfect way to begin his week.Wangling a business-hour pass from a friend, he bunked office, pulled out his bright red Alto and braved the peak-hour city traffic to head straight to the 8th Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan, Delhi to check out the beauties. “Both the two-legged and the four-wheeled ones,” he says.Amid blaring music and live performances, Sahney had a blast drooling over Skoda’s latest Yeti, updating himself on car gizmos and the latest technologies and promising himself an Octavia in the next two years. Aspirations that even big global automobile companies are beginning to take note of.The countdown has begun. And the just concluded Auto Expo is just a sneak preview. For car freaks, 2006 holds out exciting, though expensive, launch line-up. At least 25 new models are expected to make their debut in India this year.The list includes the priciest, the fanciest and the latest-from Aston Martin to the Ferrari F430, Chevrolet Aveo to Fiat Idea and Honda Civic to Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia. Rs 1 CRORE PLUSFerrari F430FERRARI F430 From the expensive and exclusive class of Ferrari, this is the cheapest oneENGINE: 4.3-LITRE V8 PETROL POWER: 490 BHP TORQUE: 47.4 KGM LIKELY PRICE: Rs 1.1 CROREAston Martin V8 VantageASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE To be launched soon in India the V8 Vantage is Aston’s Porsche 911 rivalENGINE: 4.3-LITRE V8 PETROL POWER: 380 BHP TORQUE: 41.75 KGM LIKELY PRICE: Rs 1 CRORE Lamborghini GallardoLAMBORGHINI GALLARDOLess outrageous and smaller than the Murcielago. But just as lethal a vehicleENGINE: 5-LITRE V10 PETROL POWER: 493 BHP TORQUE: 52 KGM LIKELY PRICE: Rs 1.5 CRORELamborghini MurcielagoLAMBORGHINI MURCIELAGOOutrageously powerful car with scissor action doors. 100 kph in sub 3-secondsENGINE: 6-LITRE V12 PETROL POWER: 572 BHP TORQUE: 66.3 KGM LIKELY PRICE: Rs 2.5 CROREThe biannual Auto Expo saw 1,000 exhibitors (300 from overseas), an impressive visitor turnout of over 9 lakh, an estimated 60 foreign delegations and business deals worth over $150 million, all new records.advertisementAnd this, despite the dropouts by four major car manufacturers: General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai Motors and Daimler Chrysler. “Besides unprecedented visitors’ interest, the 2006 Auto Expo also set a record in generating business deals for companies,” says Dilip Chenoy, director general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers Association (SIAM).Companies unveiled the best, brought in the latest and announced ambitious plans for the Indian market. Honda paraded its hybrid sedan Insight, Suzuki flexed its muscles with the top-of-the-line single seater Formula Hayabusa racing car, Volkswagen group company Audi rolled out its luxury sedan A4 and the homegrown Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) showcased its concept Scorpio hybrid variant.”This expo has beefed up its profile. Many companies used it to show off their concept vehicles and not just their launch line-up,” says Pawan Goenka, president, automotive division, M&M. The company participated for the first time since 2000.SIAM estimates that the $32-billion (Rs 1,44,000 crore) automobile industry will invest close to Rs 25,000 crore in the next three to five years to set up new plants, almost treble passenger vehicles capacity to three million and see export growth. Auto components export, nudging $2-billion (Rs 9,000 crore) mark, is expected to surge to $20 billion (Rs 90,000 crore) by 2015.With upbeat companies and enormous growth potential, if India’s best ever six-day Auto Expo beat the ongoing big daddy, the two-week Detroit Auto Show, on any count it was the tone, tenor and the mood.Rs 50 Lakh – 1 Crore CarsClick here to EnlargeClearly, despite the low volumes- India’s one-million vs US’ 17 million cars every year-for global car manufacturers, India will gain prominence not for its volumes but its enormous growth potential. Just when the big mature markets like the US, Europe and Japan are logging flat sales, India is one of the few markets alongside China that holds promise.”We are riding a wave. When everything is a valley, you look like a mountain,” says V. Sumantran, an auto industry veteran. So much so that some prominent European design houses decided to give the ongoing Detroit show a miss and come to India.This interest is good news for Indian consumers and the automobile industry. And a lot of action on the Indian roads will henceforth be shaped by this premise. Here are some of the key trends that will be wooing the customer and driving the industry in the future:Drive the world’s latestAuto Expo is just the trailer. Going forward, Indian customers will increasingly get wooed by contemporary vehicles launched by MNCs from their global stable. Simultaneous global launch of vehicles has already begun to happen-Ford Fiesta and Maruti Suzuki’s Swift saw its global launch happening here. Bill Ford, the chairman and CEO, Ford Motor, said on his recent trip to India: “The market (India) is critical to our plans for building a Ford Motor company for 21st century.”Jagdish Khattar”With India emerging as a small car hub, buyers will get the best and the latest” Jagdish Khattar, Managing Director, Maruti Udyog LtdOther car manufacturers endorse Ford’s statement. Over the last one year, new global car companies who had earlier shied away from India have announced their India plans. From the top-of-the-line Bentley, Porsche BMW, Nissan to Renault and Citroen, there’s hardly a global major who isn’t considering an India launch. advertisementSays Jurgen Klaschka, head of product marketing (A4/S4), Audi: “Volumes are small but the Indian market is growing fast.” The premium car market has trebled in the last three years. “We have big expectations from this market,” he adds.If new players are getting excited, the old ones are ramping up their product portfolio to cater to a growing customer segment. From General Motors, Ford Motors to now even Honda, car companies who debuted in the Indian car market as premium segment players are steadily moving down the price band. Some companies like Ford (Ikon) are allocating resources to work on India specific models.Rs 21 – 50 Lakh CarsClick here to EnlargeMost multinationals realise their biggest handicap in the Indian market: not being able to address the extremely price sensitive segment of compact cars which comprise over 70 per cent of passenger car sales in India. “Despite enormous interest, the cutthroat competition and price sensitivity has been a entry barrier for car MNCs,” says Hormazd Sorabjee, editor, Autocar India. This has primarily been the reason why companies like Toyota, Honda, General Motors have all talked about entering the small car segment but few have done so. This also explains the launch line-up for 2006 where, barring GM’s Aveo, there is virtually no new launch in this segment.As a result, most of them are trying to woo consumers with their high-end cars creating new niches from crossovers, multi-utility vehicles, premium hatchbacks, among others.Upgraded your car? Now refresh its lookFor the fickle, impulsive, young car buyers who lay huge premium on exclusivity and style, companies have the answer: churn model line-up and launch multiple variants.Rajive Saharia”Young, discerning, upgrading car buyers have completely redefined our outlook on India” Rajive Saharia, GM Marketing, Honda Siel LtdBut car life is just too long for young customers to sustain their excitement. So get a new look with exciting sunroof, colourful spoilers, a new set of bumpers, whacky car sticker or stylish spinners on the wheels.If technology is what matters then get a cellphone edge. With up to Rs 20,000 one-time cost and a monthly expenditure of Rs 300 you can install a security system that will help identify the car’s physical location, switch on/off its engine, regulate usage of AC, lock/unlock the vehicle.From high-end R&D companies like Micro Technologies to simple car sticker firms, they are doing all they can to excite car owners and help them upgrade their cars. “Indian R&D firms are moving up the value chain and soon should be able to churn out affordable and relevant tech-products for cars in India,” says P. Sekhar, chairman, Micro Technologies. The company has already got an order of 4,00,000 cellphone-enabled security kits from both domestic as well overseas customers.Even small add-ons are in big demand. Autopsyche, founded by US-returned young entrepreneur Arush Vohra, can give your car a complete makeover-from performance upgrade to a brand new look, and it could cost you Rs 1 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. With a presence in Delhi and Bangalore, he already has close to 20 clients and hopes to get at least 50 this year.Rs 8 – 10 and 11 – 20 Lakh CarsClick here to EnlargeSpotting a growing market many companies like NTF and Webasto, who have been catering to car manufacturers, are foraying into the retail market. NTF promises to make Suzuki Swift doors open like gull wings for Rs 56,000 give car bumpers a brand new look for Rs 37,000. advertisementNow, with a design centre and a tie-up with 200 dealers, it plans to cater to individual customers. “The response from customers has been overwhelming,” says Rajat Jain, AGM, NTF India.The company received over 1,000 serious enquiries a day at the Auto Expo.Webasto, which supplies to companies like Daimler Chrysler, offers a range of car sunroofs, including a fancy fabric folding half sunroof, ranging from Rs 9,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.Neowheels is selling spinners that rotate when the car is stationery and they come for a cool Rs 36,000. Says Dilip Chhabria of DC Design: “The demand for customising cars is growing. They are not just the very rich and famous in big cities, even those from Kolhapur want to get it done.”All this is understandable because the average age of car buyers has come down from 40 to 32 years in the last 10 years whereas average period of car ownership has come down from five to three years since 2000. “And mind you the younger they are, the more adventurous they get,” says Anang Dev Jena, head, Synovate Motoresearch India.Driving comfort and horsepower will remain key factors even as exclusivity, latest technology, styling and look and feel of the product gain importance. Customisation of cars will become important for car buyers in India. The youth-focused bike market may show the way where minor changes in style, look or simply an innovative paint has given a new lease of life to bikes like Hero Honda’s Passion.The future of Brand India carsThe days of alliances and joint ventures are back it seems. Tatas are getting into an alliance with Fiat Motors under which Tatas will sell Fiat cars from March while Fiat will give Tata access to technology and marketing support services overseas. Mahindra & Mahindra has set up a joint venture with the global major Renault. The company has also got into an equity partnerships with Gaz in Russia and DRB HiCom in Malaysia.V. Sumantran”It’s not market size but growth potential that’s drawing auto MNCs to India.” V. Sumantran, Former Executive Director, Tata MotorsFor car buyers this will be good news. It will expand the product offerings in the Indian market. Companies like Fiat Motors with great cars in their stable but poor sales network and shaky future, will piggyback Tata Motor’s reach and help multiply choices for Indian customers.But didn’t we hear about these joint ventures in the 1990s? Unfortunately, most of them fell apart as MNCs muscled their way into the Indian market buying out their Indian partners.Rs 7 Lakh CarsClick here to EnlargeSo what’s driving the latest alliance? For Indian auto majors these alliances serve twin purpose-exploring new markets through their network and beef up their limited product offering in the Indian market by sourcing cars from the global majors.For MNCs, India is small yet a promising future market that they no longer want to ignore. So companies with limited resources or facing financial stress are taking the alliance route to get a toehold in the Indian market.The basis of alliances have also changed. Says Pawan Goenka, president, automotive division, M&M: “Things have changed.” The last time M&M had a joint venture with Ford, it was just an investor. Today, it also has the management control. “We are an equal partner, smaller but not necessarily weaker,” says Goenka.Pawan Goenka”Indians have always been big on customisation. It will only grow in future.” Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Division, M&MThe growing ambitions of Indian companies like Tatas and M&M far beyond the Indian borders, and rising interest of MNCs in the Indian market is currently fuelling the joint venture frenzy. But this time it is not mere opportunism driving these JVs. Indian companies, well aware of their strengths, confident about their role are tying up with global majors. “Our USP is low cost,” says Goenka.Indian automobile companies are well aware that globally there are price sensitive markets like South Africa, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and in future may be even China where the low-cost USP will hold good and make their products relevant.Homegrown companies will continue to be relevant as long as they can guard their turf in future. But industry veterans warn that “Indian companies are at crossroads. They can either go the Korean way and get big or just fizzle out”. By focusing on churning out price-competitive yet contemporary cars Korean auto major Hyundai Motors has muscled its way into the most competitive US market. Tie-ups are sustainable as long as the core of the company does not get dependent on overseas help. Wait and watch.Going beyond petrolDespite the fuel price difference between diesel and petrol, India largely remains a petrol market as far as passenger vehicles are concerned, with only 16 per cent diesel vehicles at present. But that may change soon.More than ever before carmakers are now betting on non-petrol vehicles. At the Auto Expo, hybrids, though still at the concept stage, made a debut at the Honda and M&M pavilions.New Technology For Your CarClick here to EnlargeMaruti showcased factory-fitted LPG-run Omni and Swift. Diesel is getting a thumbs up from manufacturers, including Hyundai, and now Ford, Maruti and Tata Motors are launching cars with efficient CRDi engines.The reasons vary: surging petrol prices and the growing price gap between petrol-diesel. But companies making available contemporary CRDi engines are also catalysing the shift. Experts expect diesel cars and nonpetrol vehicles to grow to 30 per cent of the total in the next couple of years.Hybrids may still be years away. Showcasing hybrids at the Auto Expo was just a brand-building and flaunting exercise for the companies who have seen the hybrids creating a buzz in the mature international markets.”Indian consumers aren’t yet thinking of environment. But if pushed by companies and mandated by the government, environment-friendly fuels may gain popularity,” says Arindam Bhattacharya, vice-president and director, Boston Consulting Group India.For the present, the exciting line-up for 2006 gives Indian consumers global options, from high-end sports cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, to luxury line-up and highly rated sedans like Honda’s Civic. Get ready for the ride of your life.
Cricket MarketingClick here to EnlargeTrust Sourav Ganguly to sit still, remain silent, and yet cause a stir. On the Pakistan tour, Ganguly was seen at the Bage-e-Jinnah ground in Lahore swathed in layers against the cold with his head covered by a voluminous cap bearing three unmistakable white stripes.Ganguly, who,Cricket MarketingClick here to EnlargeTrust Sourav Ganguly to sit still, remain silent, and yet cause a stir. On the Pakistan tour, Ganguly was seen at the Bage-e-Jinnah ground in Lahore swathed in layers against the cold with his head covered by a voluminous cap bearing three unmistakable white stripes.Ganguly, who has no personal sports apparel sponsor, was wearing an Adidas cap despite the fact that the team’s official kit sponsor is Nike.In the brash new world of a marketing-savvy BCCI, this definitely qualified as a don’t-do-it moment. For those on the outside, it was worth an irreverent giggle. On the inside, no one was smiling. In the Sharad Pawar-run BCCI, the pairing of the Nike jacket and Adidas cap falls somewhere between sacrilege, purgatory and perdition.The arrival of Pawar and his allies to the high office in the BCCI came with a blaring of trumpets-about transparency, accountability and change-though it would be fair to say that the sound that threatens to drown all others at the moment is the ringing of the cash registers.In a marketing blitz first revealed a week before Christmas and which will take final shape at the onset of summer, the BCCI hopes to make Indian cricket a commercial entity with an average income of Rs 850 crore per year over the next four years.The Board’s marketing committee has drawn up an ambitious plan that gets its inspiration from the United States’ sporting franchises like Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.If the BCCI’s new marketing plan can be summarised in a single sentence, it is: to split the product-Indian cricket- down to its smallest marketable unit (SMU). The SMUs promise, and some say threaten, to change the vocabulary of cricket marketing in India. Broadcast rights no longer mean TV rights, the game’s single obsessive corporate issue for over 18 months.advertisementBroadcast now includes cable and terrestrial television, Internet (audio/video) and mobile telephony. To the BCCI, the latest wave in cellular technology, the 3G (Third Generation) mobile phone is not just a new revenue stream, it has the makings of a torrent. In SMU-speak, the humble phrase “radio rights” is split into AM, FM and Web.POSTER BOYS: The Indian team steps out in its new training gear in LahoreThe failure to maximise the financial potential of Indian cricket is being projected as one of the biggest lapses of the Board under Jagmohan Dalmiya. BCCI Vice-President and marketing committee member Shashank Manohar says, “That is for everyone to see and decide.”The new brooms are determined to redress this imbalance with speed, force and no little noise. One insider laughs, “You can show the incompetence of the previous regime over a period of time-these guys are trying to do it in one month.”A few weeks after the elections, Air Sahara retained the team’s sponsorship while Nike became the official kit sponsor and was given the merchandising rights. Marketing committee member and former Board chief I.S. Bindra reveals that Cricket Australia has 61 items of official merchandise. The replica shirt is the tip of the iceberg and player dolls are a cinch.The BCCI media contracts process is into its final stretch this weekend with the rights expected to be awarded by the time England begin their tour of India at the end of February. The title sponsorship of matches at home for the next four years will be up for sale after April.The last bundle of the BCCI’s wares, its official partnerships with airlines, hotels, insurance, beverage, energy drink and cellular companies, will take the longest to finalise.The award of television rights though will be watched most closely. Manohar says pointedly, “We don’t favour anybody and we do not disqualify anybody as the previous group did.” The tenders will allow all kinds of bidders: channels and other media companies.Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, Sony Entertainment Television, says, “It is a bit of a convoluted situation, which could bring in people who don’t have platforms like TV channels do. It could lead to implementation problems. A speculative situation like this one can go both ways. It is not clear what they might want to do.”The BCCI knows which way it is heading: to eventually run its own TV channel and control the picture going out to the world. The BCCI’s decision to produce its own feed (and hire its own commentators) is a return to its practice in the mid-1990s when Dalmiya and Bindra were best buddies and the Board sold cricket rights to Doordarshan for the first time to change the face of Indian cricket.advertisementTen Sports Vice-President Peter Hutton says taking over production “allows the Board to say that domestic cricket will definitely be televised while no broadcaster wants to spend on domestic cricket with little hope of return.”With so many SMUs up for the taking, there exists the possibility of overcrowding of logos on the landscape and a blurring or dilution of the brand that has paid for exclusivity. The BCCI’s long-time sponsors are not worried.According to Hero Honda’s official spokesperson, there is no worry about the dilution of brands. He says,”There are strict guidelines on these, laid down by the International Cricket Council. For a corporate, the more important thing is that the BCCI is run well and professionally, rather than who runs it.”Lokesh Sharma of Twentyfirst Century Media, an old player in the Indian cricket marketing, says, “It is a good idea to market specific categories but the BCCI needs to be careful that the rights don’t overlap.” The most obvious example is rights for cable TV and Internet video feed in a territory like the US where a single cable brings in the TV and the Net.Sourav Ganguly goes against the norm with his choice of headgearTicklish issues like where the official kit begins and ends are yet to be resolved.The players are already coughing a little politely. When they landed in Pakistan, the team was told by the BCCI that they had to wear trousers with the Nike logo as part of their official kit. Usually, players sport their own sponsors’ logo on their trousers.Similarly, it is believed there is a plan to impose a term pertaining to the kit sponsorship which states that the players’ bat stickers (individually sponsored) cannot sport a logo belonging to a Nike competitor. Jeet Banerjee of cricket marketing firm Gameplan says, “The BCCI’s initiatives will earn revenues and benefit players, but in cases where the players’ rights are involved, the BCCI needs to clarify the details of its deals.”More than earning, Indian cricket should watch its spending. Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association, says his state has the ideal cricket development model to be replicated in the country and that the Board was now ideally placed to plough the money back into the grassroots.Indian cricket, rich and not afraid to flaunt it, has already flexed its muscle in the West. An internal debate must now begin where it seeks to balance its SMUs with its LCDs (lowest common denominators).The urge to wring out the greatest financial benefit should not end up squeezing out Indian cricket’s most loyal stakeholders, the people in the cheap seats.
Lazio coach Inzaghi: Gasperini the best in the countryby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLazio coach Simone Inzaghi believes Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini is the best in the country.The two teams meet on Monday.Inzaghi said, “We know what we’ll be facing in Bergamo: an excellent team with a top-notch Coach, who has my unqualified respect. Alongside (Juventus boss Max) Allegri, he is the best in Italy.”Ever since I’ve trained in Serie A, I’ve been locking horns with Atalanta. That’s thanks to Gasperini’s work, which has consistently kept the team high up in the standings.”For our own part, we’ve been short of something in our process of development. It’s a problem that every other team has to deal with too, with the exception of Juventus.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
DONE DEAL: Watford winger Dion Pereira moves to Atlanta Utdby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford winger Dion Pereira is moving to Atlanta United.The 19-year-old midfielder spent 10 years at Watford and was a regular for their U23 team for the past three years, making 49 appearances and scoring 14 goals.Pereira was named Watford’s Young Player of the Season in 2017 and made his first-team debut last May, coming off the bench in the Premier League games against Leicester and Manchester City.”We’re pleased to welcome Dion to the club and look forward to him joining the squad as we head into the 2019 season,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said.”We identified him as a young, technical player who we believe will adapt well to Atlanta United and MLS.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
New Delhi: Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested two more armed killers as Delhi witnessed its second encounter in the last 24 hours.As per police sources, the shooting incident took place in the Shahdara area of East Delhi on Tuesday morning. The arrested accused were identified as Taj Mohammed alias Taju (21), a resident of Muzzafar Nagar in UP and Liyakat Ali (48), a resident of Sonepat in Haryana. “We were working on the input. We received a tip about these 2 contract killers who were on their way to kill somebody. We were able to trace the location of the incident and a team was immediately formed to lay the trap for the criminals,” DCP of Special Cell, Sanjiv Yadav said. Earlier on Monday morning, there was an encounter in a special cell and miscreants in Delhi’s Dwarka area. In this encounter, the police have succeeded in arresting Kuldeep Rathi. Rathi is extremely close to the infamous crook Kapil Sangwan.
New Delhi: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday led a ‘padyatra’ here with a large number of party workers following him to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat. The ‘Gandhi Sandesh Yatra’ on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary began from the Delhi Congress office Rajiv Bhavan at Deendayal Upadhyay Marg and headed to Rajghat, about three kilometres away, with enthusiastic party workers waving flags and chanting the slogan ‘Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahein’. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework Many youth sported Gandhi’s trademark spectacles and dhoti and walked with sticks in the march. A tableau of Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and his iconic wooden spinning wheel was also part of the march. The march will conclude with an oath to be administered to workers and leaders by party president Sonia Gandhi at Rajghat. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to participate in a foot march in Lucknow to commemorate the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary.
New Delhi: The Delhi Police have launched a crackdown on snatchers in city. The law enforcement agency had nabbed 18 snatchers and apprehended three juveniles after their involvement were found in cases of snatching. All police districts and units have launched operations to nab snatchers, who are mostly target women and senior citizens.Police nabbed Sanjeev Saini (26) and Sunil Chaudhary (27) from the southwest district, they said. Saini’s involvement has been found in 16 cases of theft, snatching and robbery. His accomplice Chaudhary is involved in 34 such cases, police said. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarAccording to police, a Raftaar motor cycle patrolling team of Rohini district nabbed 26-year-old Lalit Singh, who had allegedly snatched a mobile phone from a person near a school in Rohini’s Sector-3. The mobile was recovered, it added. Gautam (25) marked as a “bad character” at the Begampur police station under Rohini district was arrested along with his associate Aman near Sukhi Nahar, Karala, when they were on their way to target victims to commit robberies, police said. Also Read – Union min Hardeep Singh Puri, Delhi L-G lay foundation stones for various projects in DwarkaOne country-made pistol and two live cartridges were recovered from them, they said. In West, Vijay (26), who was previously involved in 17 cases of snatching, was arrested. Police said. A knife was seized from his possession. Karnail Singh (49), Jitender Kumar (36) were arrested by a team of New Delhi district for their alleged involved in cases of robberies and snatching in areas of Mandir Marg, Tilak Marg, Connaught Place, Parliament Street and Barakhamba Road, a police official said. The two had robbed a woman who was visiting RML hospital on September 17, while in another incident on September 25, they targeted another woman near Red Cross Society adjacent to Parliament house, he said. Tafseel (22) and his accomplice Mohsim (19) were arrested in connection with a snatching incident at North Delhi’s Burari and the stolen mobile phone was recovered from them, the official said. The Outer-North district police arrested Zakir and Sawan in connection with cases of snatching and auto-lifting. Eight mobile phones along two stolen motorcycle were recovered from them, he said. In northeast, Kaif and Murtza were arrested in connection with a snatching incident reported on September 28. the snatched I-phone was recovered, police said. Five men were arrested and three juveniles were apprehended by the Shahdara district police, they said. Kishan (19), Mithun (22), Iswar Chander (21), Rahul Kumar (32) and Karthik (22) were nabbed and 12 snatched phones and two two-wheelers were seized from their possession, police said.