Players of Monrovia Football Academy and staff of Activa-Liberia assemble at the Blue Field. (Photo credit: Christopher Walker.)By Anthony Kokoi and William HarmonLiberia’s premier insurance company, Activa International Insurance Company (Liberia) Limited, has signed a 3-year partnership agreement with the Monrovia Football Academy (MFA) to undertake comprehensive insurance of all its players and staff.The agreement was sealed yesterday at the Blue Field in the PHP Community in Monrovia. ACTIVA, which conducts its corporate social responsible (CSR) programs through its ACTIVA Foundation has become co-sponsor of the MFA, an ambitious academic and sporting project.The academy provides quality education and professional training and life skills for less privileged boys and girls to break down gender barriers, improve academic performance, and produce well-rounded leaders.It uses football – the most popular sport in Liberia – as a positive-incentive mechanism to encourage student-athletes to attend school and improve academic performance. It also delivers professional coaching and a comprehensive football curriculum that disrupts bad habits, introduces fundamental techniques, and encourages student-athletes to “think the game” at a high level.It is against this backdrop that the company’s CEO indicated that they thought it prudent to form a partnership with the MFA. “This effort is part of our CSR and we are proud to be here for this agreement,” he noted.Speaking at the brief ceremony, Activa-Liberia CEO Saye Gbalazeh said he was impressed with the kind of work MFA is doing in Liberia. “Taking the kids from the communities and providing them these kinds of opportunities and incentives are such great ideas, and we at ACTIVA really appreciate this endeavor.”ACTIVA is a pan-African insurer and the originator of the Globus Network, which is a grouping of insurance companies in 36 countries in Africa. Activa is headquartered in Cameroon, with its holding company in Mauritius.“We as a company exist within a community and that community is Liberia, and we see ourselves as being part of this community. Therefore, we must support positive things that are happening within this community,” he saidThe company provides client services backed by the best international financial security such as Munich Re, Africa Re, among others. Services are delivered by an efficient management system.(L-R) Activa-Liberia Managing Director, Saye D. Gbalazeh, shakes hands with MFA Founder Will Smith (Photo credit: Christopher Walker)Managing director Gbalazeh signed on behalf of his entity, while MFA founder Will Smith signed for his institution in the presence of Activa staff and the kids of the academy.The academy currently has 70 student-athletes (41 boys, 29 girls) aged between 8-12 and aims to build its own facilities so that it can eventually expand to 300 students aged 8-18 from all 15 counties of Liberia.“We are excited to sign a 3-year partnership with one of the biggest companies in Liberia and are proud to have them as sponsors,” Smith said. He added that the company’s logo will be displayed on all MFA distribution materials, including quarterly newsletters, the MFA website, and flyers.Activa-Liberia now serves as MFA’s official provider of staff and student health insuranceMeanwhile the MFA has been actively cultivating global recognition. It recently hosted U.S. women’s national soccer team coach and 2015 FIFA Coach of the Year, Jill Ellis, in Liberia from November 29-December 2, 2016. Ellis was accompanied by the goalkeeper of the team, Ashlyn Harris. Both women visited Liberia as sports envoys sponsored by U.S. Embassy, Monrovia, U.S. Soccer, and SportsUnited, which is the Department of State’s division devoted to sports diplomacy. Ellis was subsequently named as an official Monrovia Football Academy Ambassador.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
TORONTO – When people ask Michael Latsky about his kids he starts by proudly sharing that his eldest son is going to be a doctor. Then, with his head hung low, he’ll mutter that his youngest, Robert, dropped out of university to pursue his dream of becoming a “YouTube personality.”But it’s just a tongue-in-cheek act he plays for laughs. In reality, he’s proud that Robert — known online as MrWoofless for his video gaming content — discovered the “new economy” seven years ago. He no longer worries about whether he made the right choice.“If you told me he should go back to school I wouldn’t stop laughing,” says Latsky, recalling a few milestones of success that convinced himhis 26-year-oldhad chosen the right career path.“One of them was that he seemed to have enough money to go to my money manager, and for the money manager to be very interested in carrying his account — that was one indication. I made him go to a money manager to make sure he was under control, because a 26-year-old with whatever income he’s making may not be able to psychologically handle it.”With the massive growth of YouTube in the last decade, including the emergence of bona fide online celebrities with tens of millions of fans, it should come as no surprise that more and more kids and teens are dreaming of a streaming career when they grow up. That’s forcing parents to grapple with the idea of their child forgoing a post-secondary education for their child’s online ambitions.Latsky now understands the potential of the platform but wasn’t so sure seven years ago and had urged his son to reconsider dropping out of school.“I was afraid. I was afraid if he left school and failed, where would he be?” he says.“I sat down with him and I said, ‘That’s very nice what you’re trying to do — I don’t quite understand it — but I’m not paying for a cent towards anything you need starting from now unless you go back to school.’ My position was, if he’s not going to get a traditional education, I’m not interested in (financially) supporting him.“It wasn’t as if I blackballed him and said, ‘Never talk to me again, I hate what you’re doing and you’re an idiot,’ it was just that I was more comfortable with him being in school while he was doing it.”It was a little easier for Marsha Hughes to understand when her son Mitchell officially chose not to go to university.She recalls he was about 17 when the ad revenue he was generating for his Bajan Canadian online persona took off.“He actually started to make money in 2010, when he got a cheque from YouTube for maybe a couple hundred dollars. And then the next month it was a couple thousand dollars — and then it went crazy. And that was just the beginning,” she recalls.“We always just assumed that he’d go to college but when he was 18, in a couple months he actually made six-figures…. We realized that even if he did this for just a couple of years and invested the money wisely this was an opportunity that was once in a lifetime. He could go to college later.”YouTube also became a family business with the launch of the management firm Blackshore about three years ago. Hughes, the company’s vice-president of talent, advises parents to try to convince their kids to stay in school unless they’re already making a large income.It’s getting increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowded YouTube universe, she adds, while the platform has also raised its standards for monetizing videos.“There’s no guarantees and YouTube’s a funny world, there’s a lot of great content creators right now who aren’t doing that well and then you look at the ones who are doing well and it just doesn’t seem to make any sense,” she says.“It’s not going to happen overnight. Even for someone like Mitchell who seemed like an overnight success, he was not. It really did take time.”And nothing is forever on YouTube, even for its stars.The Bajan Canadian channel has amassed more than six million subscribers and has 1.8 billion views in a little over eight years.But the focus of the channel, the video game “Minecraft,” has gradually fallen out of fashion. Mitchell Hughes, 24, recently announced to his fans that he was rebooting his brand to focus on new topics, including the current hot game “Fortnite.”“Let’s face it, if we look at the channel, six million subscribers and 15,000 to 20,000 views a video — this is about as close to rock bottom as I’m going to get,” he said in a self-deprecating video titled “I’m Quitting.”“It’s not working, I’m moving on and I’m OK with that. And now it’s a great opportunity to be myself and do my thing.”Robert Latsky, a.k.a. MrWoofless, has seen his own success ebb and flow and has friends who were forced to quit making YouTube videos professionally and reluctantly returned to conventional jobs.“The game I started on I don’t play anymore, the second game I played I don’t play anymore, the biggest game I ever played I don’t really play anymore,” he says.“The main ways I made money I don’t really make anymore, I make it other ways. I’ve gone through countless successes and failures within my seven years.“A huge part of the thought process is ‘what’s next’ and how do we get on top of it.”It’s that resilience in an ever-evolving industry that lets Michael Latsky sleep at night.“There could be guys out there who may not be as lucky in the future but he has his head screwed on, otherwise I would’ve panicked a long time ago and I would’ve tried to do something about it,” he says.
Condé Nast has been undergoing climactic changes since this summer, when the big consumer magazine publisher hired reorganization consultants McKinsey & Company to help “rethink” the way it does business. Arguably the most noticeable of the changes were the sweeping layoffs that trickled out, magazine-by-magazine and division-by-division, over the span of several weeks.But the company also is experiencing a dramatic refocus online. It restructured Condé Nast Digital’s sales team into five brand categories. It developed its own reader technology to view magazine content on Apple’s iPhone. It launched Details.com and folded Men.Style.com site into GQ.com—a change that suggests that the publisher is embracing magazine Web sites more as enhanced platforms for the titles’ editorial missions rather than simply as companions to the print product.Senior vice president and chief revenue officer Drew Schutte [pictured] spoke with FOLIO: about the online changes at the company and what they mean for its print magazines and staffers. FOLIO:: Why reorganize Condé Nast’s digital sales team under five market-facing categories? Schutte: The new alignment better focuses our teams. Eight months ago we brought 26 sites under one roof, giving us tremendous scale (48 million unique visitors per month) and flexibility to offer advertisers. We will continue to benefit from this scale. The additional expertise on the individual sites is now enabling us to deliver better ideas, and the deep customization more advertisers are looking for. It also allows us to coordinate seamlessly with our print partners, in order to meet the increased demand for cross-channel selling. FOLIO:: While Condé Nast has been called a “late bloomer” in the digital realm, some of the recent changes, including the folding of Men.Style.com and launches of Details.com and GQ.com, suggest a focus on each magazine brand having a distinct voice online. How does that play into overall brand strategy?Schutte: I don’t think of Condé Nast as a late bloomer in the digital realm. CondéNet was started in 1995, and Epicurious.com is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, making us as old as Yahoo! and Internet Explorer. We have six iPhone Apps and more on the way, and GQ is the first magazine to launch an iPhone App that’s a full replica of the print magazine, complete with sponsors and circulation. However we can, and we are, getting better at adopting new technology earlier, and bringing the latest offerings to advertisers. We’re no longer looking at our magazine sites as magazine companions, but rather as enhanced versions of that title’s editorial mission. A great example of that is our decision to replace Men.Style.com with GQ.com and Details.com. We’ve long said that we will build a robust Web site for each of our titles, but this doesn’t mean the new sites will replace the old ones in any other cases. Epicurious continues to thrive online, and so does BonAppetit.com. The Men.Style brand depended heavily on GQ and Details readers. GQ readers were 35 percent of the site’s traffic, so in this case, there was so much overlap in audience that it made sense to rethink our position in the men’s category. FOLIO:: What do these changes mean for the print magazines? Schutte: As a company, we continue to stay focused on both print and online. We believe there is a tremendous future in both print and digital, and especially in the two together, as more advertisers want integrated programs. We’ve seen an increase from 8 percent of advertisers buying integrated programs last year to 15 percent this year. Approximately 30 percent of the top advertisers buy both print and digital. FOLIO:: Would you say Condé Nast is shifting focus from print to online? If so, how is the company managing that cultural shift?Schutte: The word isn’t “shift,” it’s “addition.” At Condé Nast Digital, we are focused on creating premium content online, and distributing that content to reach the maximum number of people. Whether that’s through iPhone Apps, e-Readers and Tablets, distribution deals, we’re exploring all of those platforms and more. FOLIO:: As Condé Nast looks to 2010, how will it monetize its online properties? Where will the money come from?Schutte: It will come in many ways. There are established sites, like Wired, Epicurious and Style, that will continue to grow in both users and revenue. There are sites in 2009 that have emerged as strong players like Glamour, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and are poised well for significant revenue growth in 2010. There are also sites like Golf Digest that will be getting significant investment for the first time. In addition, we will continue to build on the success we’ve had in creating integrated programs for advertisers like Mercedes, LG, P&G, Wal-Mart, and many others. Finally, there is the revenue we’re bringing in from custom work for clients, which continues to grow.FOLIO:: After all the layoffs we’ve read about/reported at Condé Nast, is the company hiring now on the digital side? If so, what positions? What will the focus be?Schutte: We are hiring on an as needed basis in multiple areas including sales, marketing, business development and creative services.FOLIO:: Where are Condé Nast’s digital-side leaders coming from? Are they former print people? What mindset is the company looking for/grooming?Schutte: We continue to look for people, both from the print side, and those with an online background, who have a track record of success and a deep understanding of the digital world.
Trade between India and Zimbabwe has reached US $ 125 million in the financial year, 2010-2011, said Commerce Ministry Tuesday.Comparing to 2006-07 (US $ 64.02 mn), the trade growth between the two countries has doubled in four years.”Bilateral Trade has shown an impressive growth, increasing from US $ 64.02 mn in 2006-07 to US $ 125 mn in the year 2010-11, i.e. almost doubling in the last 4 years, with India’s exports to Zimbabwe amounting to US $ 114 mn and imports from Zimbabwe amounting to US $ 11 mn,” a press release by the Ministry said.Expressing happiness over the development, the Union Minister of Commerce Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma requested Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru to ratify BIPPA which was signed in 1999 as it will help in increasing investments in both countries.Conveying India’s interest in cooperating with Zimbabwe in the mining, power generation, railway, ICT and agricultural sectors, Sharma said “In fact the tripod on which the India-Africa relationship stands today with the resonance of South-South cooperation is that of technology, trade and training. We have created a three-tiered cooperation at Pan-African, regional and bilateral levels with the continent of Africa.”
Listen 00:00 /03:25 Gail Delaughter/Houston Public MediaMetro now has three light rail lines to carry Super Bowl visitors. In 2004 it only had one.It was February 1, 2004 when Houston last hosted the Super Bowl. The thing a lot of people might remember most about it happened at halftime — Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. Millions of viewers saw it live.And there was also a streaker. He got on the field dressed in a referee’s uniform. The game itself was actually said to be one of the best in history. With only four seconds left on the clock, the New England Patriots kicked a 41-yard field goal, defeating the Carolina Panthers 32 to 29.The NFL had awarded the big game to Houston shortly after Bob McNair acquired the Texans franchise. The team started playing in 2002, back when their brand-new stadium was still called Reliant.To get the 2017 game, Houston had to really work for it. The city beat out a proposal from south Florida.Today preparations are moving ahead in the same venue, now known as NRG Stadium. The Patriots will be making a return visit to play the Atlanta Falcons.We spoke with NFL Director of Events Eric Finkelstein as he watched crews pull up the Texans logo from the end zone so they could install the Super Bowl 51 insignia.The stadium itself looks much the same, but it’s added a lot of amenities since 2004.There’s more food to choose from, a lot of it from local restaurants. There’s also stronger wi-fi to handle all the social media that wasn’t around 13 years ago.As for game day itself, Finkelstein says they’re always looking for ways to make the Super Bowl bigger and better.“There are so many different things that are happening, so many additional pieces that it’s amazing how much it’s evolved,” says Finkelstein.But the most striking difference could be what’s happening off the field, before and after the game. Metro CEO Tom Lambert remembers what it was like downtown in 2004 when he was the transit agency’s police chief. Discovery Green wasn’t built yet so the crowds converged on North Main Street.“I still recall at Texas and Main looking up at the Rice Hotel and the balcony and it was wall-to-wall people,” recalls Lambert. “And one said, oh my God, I hope the balcony stays there.”The Main Street light rail line had opened only a few weeks before and Lambert says things got so congested they had to shut it down.“Just the ability to move people, that was a concern,” adds Lambert. “And when you have that limited space and more and more people congested in that space, that’s always a concern.”Today Houston has three light rail lines, and they’re expected to carry thousands of fans. But Lambert says even with the limited service they learned a lot.“It demonstrated the carrying capacity of a rail car, where you could carry 200 people plus on a rail car,” explains Lambert. “And when you tie those two cars together you could move a lot of people in a dedicated corridor with very good frequencies.”And that’s another big difference between this Super Bowl and the one in 2004. University of Houston Professor Jason Draper does research on tourism and events. He says visitors now have better ways to get around Houston without a car.“I think it’s important with all the development around town, providing more opportunities and access to those areas, not having to depend on driving so much,” says Draper. “Or as much as in 2004 at least.”Events will be going on all week at Discovery Green, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and dozens of other venues.Experts say the city could see an economic impact of about $350 million. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
Travelweek Group TravelBrands rolls out rebrand of its wholesale brands Posted by Tags: TravelBrands Share MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands has unveiled an updated rebrand across all subsidiaries as a way to streamline its market presence.The rebrand focuses on its products and services available through Access, TravelBrands’ one-stop shop platform, and reflects the company’s vision and strategy to “reduce its brands and focus on stronger market presence while keeping the vast product lines intact”.The new branding has already begun to roll out, with a complete transition by next week.Some notable examples of the updated branding include:TravelBrands Flights, by IntairTravelBrands Cruises, by Encore CruisesTravelBrands Packages, by SunquestTravelBrands Luxury Villas, by LujureTravelBrands Dynamic Packages, by TravelGenieTravelBrands Specialty, by Exotik JourneysAccording to Frank DeMarinis, President & CEO of TravelBrands, the updated branding of its wholesale brands will ultimately assist agents in working smarter, not harder.“We believe that this updated branding will better reflect who TravelBrands is as a leading travel organization,” he said. “By unifying our branding, we are able to simplify and streamline our communications across all channels, bringing TravelBrands to the forefront with our Access platform. I am confident the Canadian travel industry will respond well to our changes.”More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJTo learn more go to travelbrandsaccess.com. Wednesday, April 11, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>