South Africa’s gift to baseball

first_imgSouth African Gift Ngoepe is a professional baseball player in the US and has been playing for the Minor League since 2008. Ngoepe and his baseball team – the Pittsburgh Pirates.(Images: Major League Baseball) MEDIA CONTACTS • Rick Magnante   Manager to Gift Ngoepe  +1 412 323 5031  RELATED ARTICLES • Amputee golfer challenges the odds • Afcon ceremony honours hero • Venus, Serena for SA showdown • Team SA ready for London • Paralympic heroes back in SACadine PillayFrom growing up in a modest mud hut in rural Limpopo to living a single room with his family inside a Johannesburg baseball clubhouse, and later becoming the first black South African ever to sign a professional baseball contract,  Gift Ngoepe’s story is nothing short of extraordinary.Ngoepe (22) was signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 – and he is putting South Africa on the world baseball map.Growing up on the field of dreamsAs a child, a chance job opportunity for Ngoepe’s mother Maureen meant that the small family of three, including his brother Victor, had to move from Polokwane in Limpopo to stay in a single room at the clubhouse owned by the Randburg Mets Baseball Club in Johannesburg. Maureen was the clubhouse’s caretaker, in charge of cleaning and maintenance duties.  “We all slept in the room in the clubhouse,” says Ngoepe. “It was a small, but happy place.”The sport star used to help his mother with some of her work, while he learned about baseball.“I didn’t want to play other sports,” Ngoepe recalls. “I would watch ESPN until 2am and dream about playing in the Major League someday. I saw the national baseball team play at the field I grew up on, and it inspired me.”He adds that he would continue playing by himself after dark when the others had gone home.Noticing his interest in the sport, the Mets players would mentor Ngoepe on a daily basis, eventually adopting him as their protégé. He started off as the team’s mascot and waterboy, before being recognised as their most gifted young player.The Mets raised funds for Ngoepe to represent South Africa in a tournament played in Mexico in 2005, and a year later in Cuba. He was about to take a life-changing trip in 2007.Far from the clubhouseTwo years after Mexico, Ngoepe travelled to Italy, where he was invited to attend the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) annual three-week European Academy for promising international players. There he competed with players 10, 15 and even 20 years older than him.MLB scouts present at the academy showed an interest in Ngoepe and in the second week, he received the news that the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to sign him, making him the first African to sign with in MLB organisation.Ngoepe also received a US$15 000 (R129 000) bonus from the Pirates after attending the academy.  In 2009 he again represented South Africa at that year’s World Baseball Classic in Taiwan.Despite having to deal with racial discrimination in some countries, Ngoepe did not succumb to pressure and even went as far as to learn Spanish to make it easier to communicate with other players while in Mexico.His manager Rick Magnante refers to Ngoepe as a legend, while Edwin Bennett, CEO of the South African Baseball Union, says the young man is ‘one of the many jewels found in South African sport’. Many who have played with him describe Ngoepe as an ‘energy guy’ because, they say, he brings positive energy to the game, even when morale is low.“I’m a person who always believes in himself,” says Ngoepe, “I trust in people to believe in me.” Changing the mindset Despite baseball’s long history in South Africa, going back to 1895 according to Baseball South Africa (BSA), it is not as attractive as soccer, cricket and rugby, which remain the three most prominent codes in the country after many years. The national team is ranked 23rd in the world, and is the only African team in the sport’s top 40 countries.According to BSA, there are 250 000 active players in organised baseball in South Africa.“It is one of those sports that people don’t know about,” notes Ngoepe, “but once they get to play it they kind of enjoy it.“If I tell people I play baseball, they are not convinced, and some of them have never heard of any of the teams.”But he is determined to change that outlook, for the world and his country.“I want to be the first from my country to play in the Major League,” says Ngoepe, who currently plays in the Minor League.“I don’t want to be the first black South African. I want to be the first South African because I don’t see colour. It is all the same in my country now.”last_img read more

PBA: Gani Lawal, Baser Amer carry Meralco past Columbian

first_imgMeralco import Gani Lawal. PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines–Meralco scored in bunches early and used that cushion to hold off hard-fighting Columbian, 101-92, Friday night in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Bolts went for eight unanswered points to start the game and kept on building on that groove en route to tabbing their first win in the conference.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Manchester City owner wants to invest in Malaysian club Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Meralco moves on to face crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra this Sunday again at the Big Dome in a bid to get some streak going.“It’s going be interesting,” Black said when asked about Justin Brownlee, the Gin Kings’ returning import who denied them a chance at a title twice in the past.“It’s going to be a big test for us. We’ll try to prepare our best game plan and see what happens Sunday.”The scores:Meralco 101 – Lawal 25, Amer 21, Jackson 17, Newsome 12, Hodge 10, Hugnatan 5, Tolomia 4, Pinto 3, De Ocampo 2, Salva 2, Faundo 0, Caram 0, Jamito 0, Quinto 0.Columbian 92 – Barone 26, Perez 22, McCarthy 13, Cahilig 11, Corpuz 11, Khobuntin 3, Agovida 3, Reyes 2, Calvo 1, Faundo 0, Camson 0, Celda 0, Escoto 0, Tabi 0.Quarterscores: 23-18, 50-35, 79-71, 101-92.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport “It’s always good to get that first win under your belt. We lost a really tough game last time out,” Meralco coach Norman Black said. “[Tonight] we did a lot better offensively and defensively.”Import Gani Lawal had 25 points and 27 rebounds—both team bests—to help Meralco recover from a conference-opening loss to a young Blackwater side last weekend.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I think our team worked on our offense. Everybody’s sharing the basketball and everybody’s being a part of the offense—that really helped us in this game. And that’s what we look to continue for our remaining games—which is to spread the wealth, so to say,” Black added.The rest of the Bolts’ starters tossed in 10 or more, with Baser Amer registering 21 to lead the locals. “My locals played very, very well today especially my guards. All three starting guards played well. Good team victory for us today. It’s something we could build on,” Black added.Columbian drew 26 points from import Kyle Barone and 22 from star rookie CJ Perez. Three more added in twin digits in a bid to pull the rug from under Meralco.But that attempt didn’t meet its fruition as Amer emptied eight of his total points in the final frame to help the Bolts move on.Meralco continued to miss newly-acquired Raymond Almazan, who is still recovering from a left ankle sprain.“Maybe another two games at least before he comes back,” Black said of his big man.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Escondido Choral Arts moon landing concert

first_img July 19, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsESCONDIDO (KUSI) – The California Center for Arts, Escondido and a combined performance ensemble of about 150 musicians will perform a concert on Saturday July 20th honoring the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 Moon Landing.For more information click here. Posted: July 19, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Escondido Choral Arts moon landing concert Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Employerarranged pensions advice can be combined with pensions advice allowance

first_imgThe government has confirmed that the incoming pensions advice allowance can be used alongside the tax exemption for employer-arranged pensions advice, enabling employees to access up to £1,000 of tax-advantaged financial advice in a tax year.In its response to the Introducing a pensions advice allowance consultation, which ran between August and October 2016, the government has confirmed that individuals of any age will be entitled to withdraw funds from a registered pension scheme to pay for pensions or retirement advice.The pensions advice allowance, which will come into effect from April 2017, can be used up to three times in an individual’s lifetime, and no more than once in each tax year. The new allowance will be limited to £500 per use.The allowance, which can only be used for registered financial advice, can be withdrawn from defined contribution (DC) pensions and hybrid pension schemes with a money purchase or cash balance element, with the payment made directly from the pension scheme to the adviser.The £500 that is withdrawn from the pension pot will not be taxed, regardless of the individual’s income.The new pensions advice allowance will be promoted through nudges designed by the Financial Advice Working Group and signposted by the Pension Wise service.The pensions advice allowance can be used in conjunction with tax-exempt pensions advice available to employees, which is being increased from £150 to £500 per employee per tax year. Employees will also be able to put the £500 employer-arranged advice towards general financial and tax issues relating to pensions.The £500 employer-arranged pensions advice tax exemption will be available via a salary sacrifice arrangement, and will also include instances where an employer reimburses an employee for pensions advice they have arranged.Combined, employees will be able to use the new pensions advice allowance and the employer-arranged pensions advice to access £1,000 of tax-advantaged financial advice in a tax year.The government will launch a technical consultation on the draft regulations for the new pensions advice allowance, which will run for three weeks.Simon Kirby, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “Pensions and savings decisions are some of the most important a person will make during their lifetime. This allowance will help people get the vital financial help they need to plan for retirement.”Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “For most investors, there are occasions through their working lives when financial advice can make a big difference. This recommendation, to allow tax-free withdrawals from pensions to pay for pension or retirement advice was part of the Financial Advice Market Review, so it is good to see the government delivering on its commitment to help ordinary savers and investors.“The decision to allow up to three bites at the cherry is more generous than we expected. There will be some challenges for the industry in recording and policing this new facility, but it should help investors to make the most of their wealth. This is good news for investors, advisers, for pension providers and the government.”Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “We welcome the pensions advice allowance as a further means through which individuals can pay for valuable advice on their pension planning. In today’s pension world, individuals have complete freedom over how to draw their pension benefits, but choosing what’s best can be daunting without access to professional advice.“We’re pleased the Treasury has decided against setting any minimum age before an individual can use the pensions advice allowance. Allowing it to be used up to three times is also a step in the right direction [because] people can benefit from advice on different aspects of their retirement planning at different ages or in different circumstances.”last_img read more

The Face of Intelligent Marketing Your Customer

first_img 7 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Consumer-driven businesses need to stay on top of emerging technology, especially when they compete with giants like Amazon. And, in that context, sthe latest tools to attract and retain customers are wi-fi analytics and automated marketing platforms.Related: Effective Marketing Appeals to Emotions Instead of ReasonThese platforms provide brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants advantages similar to those that the big online retailers enjoy, for collecting and using customer data for marketing.Capturing customer information and personalizing the customer experience, after all, are the ways forward for retail and hospitality businesses. And a big part of this is triggered marketing.So, what exactly is triggered marketing?Some businesses confuse “triggered marketing” with loyalty programs and mobile apps. Certainly those efforts help drive traffic. But they lose some of their potential effectiveness when treated as stand-alone tactics, because for a loyalty program to be effective, customers first need to download your app or register. When it comes to the plethora of online marketing tactics, then, the sum of all the parts is not nearly equal to the whole. Instead, the key is to align all digital marketing strategies under one umbrella solution that maximizes the reach and potential of each.Baking analytics into your marketing mixHere is where wi-fi analytics and automated marketing programs level the marketing playing field — with new ways to attract and retain customers.Specifically, wi-fi analytics and automated marketing platforms include three services: capturing customer data, analyzing the data and then delivering personalized content. Take the example of the Atlanta Bread Company (ABC), a 27-location chain that credits analytics and automated marketing for an increase in its companywide sales.In the past, the missing link between traditional and digital marketing had to do with collecting the actual data that allowed a business to personalize its communication with customers in order to improve that relationship. Using data analytics, however, ABC has collected 33,000 customer email addresses automatically.  More importantly, it’s gained the ability to market to each one of those customers, based on his or her individual behavior.Danny DinerConsider the fictional case of “Danny Diner.” Danny comes into his neighborhood Atlanta Bread Company store every Monday and Thursday at around 10 a.m., logs onto ABC’s wi-fi and stays for an hour. How does the company know this?  Its “smart” wi-fi tracks Danny’s behavior. This means that ABC can send Danny a deal to his phone at 10:10 every Monday morning, offering him $2 off a muffin and thereby increasing the likelihood that he will in fact, order a muffin.Related: How Big Data Analytics Is Solving Big Advertiser ProblemsThat is how and why capturing customer profiles and tracking these individuals’ behavior provides the chain restaurant with an opportunity to personalize its target marketing.Knowing that Danny spends an hour using ABC wi-fi indicates his interest in the restaurant as a destination, where he is comfortable sitting and doing work. This lets ABC tell its brand story in a way that resonates with Danny himself, highlighting its comfortable seating and wi-fi speed.In contrast, “Carol Caffeinator” dashes in to ABC and dashes right out again with her coffee every morning at 8. Catching Carol with a triggered daily deal at 7:45 am for an extra-large cup o ’joe will up her daily spend at ABC. That’s how communicating on a one-to-one basis with actual customers, based on their real-life needs, is a way to increase revenue and maintain their loyalty.But, back to DannyWhy does he come in only twice a week? How does ABC increase this customer’s frequency by using real-time intelligence? Seems as though ABC has a real opportunity to truly individualize Danny’s experience and deliver dynamic marketing content to attract him other days of the week too. A deal sent to Danny on Monday offering him a discounted breakfast on Tuesday might get him to come in another day during the week.Social media is the new word of mouth, and ABC can encourage Danny to share marketing content with friends and friends of friends. Perhaps he’d like to share his Tuesday breakfast deal with friends, to meet up with him to enjoy a meal and surf the web together. If Danny is inclined to tell his friends more about ABC, he might post a review through the ABC wi-fi landing page. In fact, ABC actually generated 5,000 customer reviews through its wi-fi marketing efforts.But . . . uh oh. Danny hasn’t been at ABC for a while. And here again, wi-fi analytics can help by rescuing at-risk customers like him by knowing who they are, how and when they dine. If Danny has decided to spend his mornings elsewhere, ABC can trigger deals to bring him back and maintain his loyalty.What you need to knowIf you want to know how and when you should market to individual customers,you need to know what they do when they’re at your location. One factor that wi-fi  presence-analytics measures is average dwell time at the physical location. This directly influences how and when to market to these customers.Sending the offer for a muffin deal while Danny is enjoying his coffee at ABC is much more effective than sending it when he’s home and about to have dinner. Another way to improve operational efficiencies? The answers you obtain to these questions:How long do diners take to enjoy their meal?How much time did it take for them to complete their meal or shopping?How likely is it that an average customer will return?What is each customer’s projected lifetime value?What’s better than standard wi-fi?The answer to the last question lies at the core of analytics and triggered marketing: It’s smart Wi-Fi. Having the ability to engage customers like Danny and Carol at physical locations is an exciting new way to communicate with them and be at the center of their dining experience.The overwhelming majority of consumers keep their mobile phones with them at all times. So, business should use smart wi-fi with marketing-automation platform triggers. That will mean that when Danny is at ABC checking his phone text, the restaurant can grab his immediate attention. In short: Give Danny a deal for tomorrow’s breakfast and he just might share it on his Facebook newsfeed.Get Danny’s interest while he’s on the premises, and he’ll be back.Smart wi-fi marketing reaps benefits beyond that of the usual on-premises experience. When customers register for in-restaurant or in-store wi-fi, that action enables customer-profile collection and simplifies third-party application onboarding, a.k.a. downloading the restaurant’s app. Therefore, using smart wi-fi enables a business to:Encourage customer reviewsDrive social media engagementFrom the sales perspective, smart wi-fi enables:Point of sales marketingFuture event marketingData collectionOn that last point, once a customer is registered, data is collected whether he or she logs in or not. In addition, the restaurant or retailer is able to interact with a customer who does not have the locations mobile app installed.Although online giants may have had the initial capabilities to leverage automated marketing, restaurants and brick-and-mortar retailers have even more opportunities to market to guests because they have the physical presence of the customer.Customers like Danny Diner and Carol Caffeinator who have made the effort to go to the location are more committed to the brand at a personal level. From the business’s perspective, then, it’s important to leverage this loyalty in every way possible, which is why knowing who that customer is and why learning about his or her behavior is so important to the marketing mix.Related: 10 Tools Helping Companies Manage Big Marketing DataHence, the importance of triggered marketing: Going the additional step to offer customers this type of deal, which will continue to engage their interest even after they leave is what will ensure return visits. And, that’s what wi-fi analytics and triggered marketing are all about. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 9, 2017 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Sabre and FlightGlobal to provide realtime flight schedule data to agents

first_img Share SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Even the most seasoned travel agent has experienced this frustration. After finding the perfect flight to match a traveller’s preferred schedule, without warning the flight time has changed or, even worse, the flight is gone altogether.That familiar anxiety will become a thing of the past as Sabre Corporation will be the first technology provider to introduce live data feeds from FlightGlobal’s schedule data, the industry’s most comprehensive database of airline schedules from more than 900 carriers worldwide, into its leading global distribution system (GDS) and travel booking platforms. Now more than 425,000 travel agents worldwide have live access to flight changes and up-to-the-millisecond flight schedules – a critical element to search and book flights with full confidence.“As the first to integrate FlightGlobal’s data with a core travel agency reservation system in the industry, Sabre provides the highest level of schedule reliability to our global agency network for virtually every passenger flight around the world,” said Wade Jones, interim president and senior vice president of strategy for Sabre Travel Network. “Travelers and agents will breathe easier knowing they have the most accurate information at their fingertips.”“FlightGlobal is delighted that Sabre is the first beneficiary of our new and improved schedule distribution capability,” said Lee Johnson, executive director of data operations at FlightGlobal. “Working closely with Sabre, a long-standing industry partner, and using our industry leading schedules data, we ensure that all schedule changes filed with us directly by our airline partners are now immediately displayed in the Sabre platform and to Sabre’s global agency network.”More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalAll flight data processed in the Sabre travel marketplace and through Sabre APIs for online travel sites and developers will update dynamically at the time consumers, travel agents and business travelers shop for flights.For airlines, the increased schedule accuracy allows them to market more efficiently, ensure their inventory is accurately displayed across channels, and better manage seat availability for each flight. Meanwhile, travel consultants will experience a modernized schedule process in the Sabre Red agency platform, with more reliable content at their fingertips that will drive more effective sales and improved customer satisfaction. Monday, February 13, 2017 Tags: GDS, Sabre, Technology Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Sabre and FlightGlobal to provide real-time flight schedule data to agentslast_img read more