European Tour: Every Shot Imaginable – Magicians

The latest in the mildly viral promotional European Tour videos starring the magicians from the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

See future compelling content fresh from the European Tour and the Saatchi & Saatchi Every Shot Imaginable campaign including the previous viral videos by visiting www.everyshotimaginable.com or by clicking the Every Shot Imaginable You Tube Channel here (clay pigeon golf) and here (200 yard Gong shot).

TIGA shortlisted for Trade Body of the Year

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, has been shortlisted for ‘Trade Body of the Year’ in the prestigious Public Affairs News’ Awards.

TIGA is up against three other bodies in the Public Affairs News’ eighth annual awards. These Awards seek to recognise excellence across a growing and increasingly diverse public affairs sector. Shortlisted in the same category of‘Trade Body of the Year’ are the Airport Operators Association, Animation UK and the Energy Networks Association.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:

“Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is an absolute honour and we are delighted that the work of our team has been recognised.
“TIGA, the association for developers and digital publishers, is focused on supporting developers and digital publishers through the provision of professional business advice, networking opportunities, and effective representation. Above all, TIGA successfully convinced the Coalition Government to introduce Games Tax Relief in the 2012 Budget, a measure which reduces games production costs. TIGA expects that this policy measure will secure 4,660 jobs and £188 million in investment over five years. TIGA will continue to focus on serving our members’ interests ever more effectively.”

Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:

“I’m delighted that TIGA has been shortlisted for the Award of ‘Trade Body of the Year’. TIGA successfully won cross-party support for Games Tax Relief and successfully encouraged the Coalition Government to back this measure. Games Tax Relief will make a significant difference to the UK games industry so it is excellent that TIGA’s achievement has been acknowledged.”

Ella Romanos, TIGA board member, CEO of Remode, and founder of Extended Play, the umbrella organisation which supports the South West games industry, said:

“TIGA does a great job in campaigning for the video games industry and in helping small companies to grow. I’m pleased that TIGA has been shortlisted as ‘Trade body of the Year’ and I hope that this achievement will drive TIGA to make further progress on a range of fronts.”

Notes to editors:

About TIGA:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. Since 2010, TIGA has won 12 business awards and has been nominated a finalist for 9 other awards. In 2010 TIGA won two business awards including‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum. In 2011, TIGA won eight business awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum, ‘Outstanding Organisation’ from the Chartered Management Institute and two Global Business Excellence Awards, including‘Outstanding Marketing Campaign’. Richard Wilson won the ‘Leadership Award’ from the Trade Association Forum and the ‘Outstanding Leader’ award from the Chartered Management Institute. In 2012, Richard Wilson won the IoD’s East of England Director of the Year Award. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation. Also in 2012, TIGA won a Global Business Excellence Award for its ‘Outstanding Public Relations Campaign’ for Games Tax Relief.

TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For information about the Public Affairs News Awards, please see: http://www.publicaffairsnews.com/panawards/shortlist

For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email: richard.wilson@tiga.org.

London 2012 – Best Olympics Ever?

Author: Paul Arnold @ BritEvents

London 2012 – Best Olympics ever?

As the rosy glow fades and the Olympic tingle dissipates the nation starts to settle back into normality; an existence where our TV’s and radio’s are not permanently switched on to the BBC whilst we listen out for news of more British Olympic success.

For, lets not understate this, London 2012 was the most successful Olympics in living memory. The fantastic medal haul of 29 golds, 17 silvers and 19 bronzes has only ever been bettered once – London 1908, where competition was nowhere near as fierce as now.

So, London 2012 was a sporting success, whether or not you judge the huge amount of funding that has been required to produce this result as value for money. On many levels though, what was great about the games cannot simply be measured in terms of the weight of medals. In time this Olympic Games has the potential to be a defining moment in the development of our country.

Once the euphoria of actually landing the games in 2005 had faded amongst the reality of the terrorist attacks, the massive logistical issues that surround the planning of any Olympic games and the subsequent global financial crisis there was a backlash of pessimism. The plans were too expensive, too London centric or inappropriate in a climate where thousands were losing their jobs. We wouldn’t be able to organise it properly and the transport infrastructure would collapse.

As the games drew nearer and each sport focused its attention on honing performance it didn’t really seem that the UK in general was too bothered at the prospect of a home Olympics. The fiasco that was the LOCOG ticket purchasing system only served to emphasise the fears that London wouldn’t be able to cope.

However, the arrival of the Olympic torch saw a massive sea change in the attitude of the country. The crowds wherever the torch went around the UK – and it went neat to most places – were huge and enthusiastic beyond belief. One of the torch relay organisers who has been involved in every games since Sydney stated that it was the best response he had ever witnessed. It appeared from then that the nation was ready. Ready and willing to embrace the Olympic spirit.

The opening ceremony, orchestrated by Oscar winning director Danny Boyle, arrived and just blew the nation’s mind, setting the scene for an absolutely wonderful and emotional 16 days of, quite simply, the finest sporting action and drama, featuring iconic locations and buildings such as Horse Guards Parade, Wimbledon, Wembley, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Hampton Court Palace, Lords and of course London itself with its fantastic east-end Olympic Park.

The opening ceremony was quintessentially British with James Bond and the Queen, Mr Bean and Mary Poppins entertaining the 80,000 strong crowd and the millions of TV viewers. The representation of England as a green and pleasant land, moving to the forging of the Olympic rings echoed our agricultural and industrial past whilst the inclusion of the suffragette movement and the NHS exemplified our recent social history. The image of emerging athletes lighting the cauldron at the end of the ceremony epitomised the legacy promise of the London games. Danny Boyle definitely delivered. Now it was the turn of Team GB’s athletes.

The sporting games started slowly for Team GB. Hopes were high of early gold medals with Mark Cavendish favourite to win the road cycling race and Rebecca Adlington, already a double Olympic champion, expected to excel in the pool. However it was Lizzie Armistead who secured Britain’s first medal with a silver in the women’s road cycling race. This proved to be the opening of the flood gates.

Bradley Wiggins, fresh from becoming the first Brit to win the Tour de France, further established his knighthood credentials by securing Team GB’s first gold medal in the road cycling time trial and this was swiftly followed by outstanding performances on the rowing lake, in the velodrome, in the equestrian and boxing rings as well as in the Olympic Stadium itself.

Each day of games success brought new sporting heroes into the nation’s sitting rooms and hearts. We got to know their names and their individual stories. We shared their triumph, their joy and their tears as they fulfilled their own, as well as our, dreams of Olympic glory. The majority of the UK was hooked, interested and totally absorbed.

People who couldn’t have told you what dressage was a month ago became transfixed with the fortunes of our riders and their unbelievable skill and bond with their horses. Bikes were dusted down as people took to the streets for a ride in emulation of Wiggo, Sir Chris Hoy, Queen Victoria and the young Laura Trott. We remembered our own childhood dreams of sporting success and vicariously lived them through our wonderful Team GB athletes. The feel-good factor was palpable – people even said hello to each other on the Tube and talked of being proud to be British!

There are too many great memories to recall all of them here but some were so poignant that they bear repeating. I, for one, will never forget the face of Katherine Copeland as she and her crew mate Sophie Hosking crossed the finishing line winning the gold in the women’s lightweight double sculls. Her sheer disbelief at having achieved her lifetime’s ambition immediately followed by her unadulterated realisation and joy was one of my Olympic highlights. Of course, there were many others.

Mo Farah’s eye popping delight when he won the men’s 10,000m and the subsequent Mobot fever, Jessica Ennis’ open armed, eyes-closed look of relief and satisfaction when she crossed the line in the 800m confirming her heptathlon gold, Chris Hoy’s tears at becoming the most decorated British Olympian, Katherine Grainger’s reaction to finally reaching the top step of an Olympic podium, Jade Jones’ ear splitting grin at winning Teakwood gold at just 19 years old and, Alan Campbell’s exhaustion filled interview with John Inverdale and of course, Gemma Gibbons emotional message to her dead mother after reaching her Judo final. I could go on and on.

In all Team GB won 65 medals in 18 different sports (cycling being classed as one not two) showing a huge diversity in effort and competition. Some sports we dominated, such as cycling and rowing. In others, like athletics, boxing and sailing, we more than held our own and in others medals were more surprising and, for that, more welcome.

And it wasn’t just the supreme performances of the home athletes which served to make London 2012 such a memorable festival of sporting endeavour. Usain Bolt cemented his reputation as the planet’s biggest sporting star, repeating his sprint double achievement from Beijing as well as helping his team mates break the 4x100m world record in earning his third gold of the games. Michael Phelps, the US swimmer, has had to build an extension to his medal cabinet after he eclipsed Larisa Latynina as the all-time winner of most Olympic gold and total medals with 18 and 22 respectively.

Who could forget the raw emotion of other Olympians and their families? The father of South African swimmer, Chad le Clos, was as proud a parent as I have ever seen and his interview an incredible reminder of the sacrifices some families make to get their loved ones to Olympic participation. Felix Sanchez and his flood of tears at receiving his gold medal for the 400m hurdles has been a You Tube sensation. And, whilst we marvel at the public’s reaction to Britain’s sporting success we should appreciate what just a single gold medal can mean to a country.

Stephen Kiprotich’s win in the marathon, Uganda’s first gold for 40 years, brought the nation to a stand still. On Kiprotich’s return home the crowds were euphoric and the President of Uganda promised to invest in sport and build a high-altitude training camp to nurture future distance running stars – Kiprotich had to move to Kenya to realise his talent.

There’s no doubt the London games were special and they made a lot of people very happy, albeit for a short period of time. Britain proved that it is a sporting power but more than that it re-established itself as a first rate nation. We put on a marvellous show for the world, we were welcoming, we were friendly and we were well organised. The trains ran on time (mostly), the food was generally good, the hastily arranged soldiers and bobbies accommodating and even the rain didn’t put too much of a dampener on events. In short, Rio has a heck of a lot to live up to if it is to eclipse London 2012.

Meet the Superhumans

As one era comes to a glorious finale, another one looms its head around the corner… As London 2012 Olympics won me, and much of the Nation, over – I am now looking forward to the impending Paralympic Games and the incredible people who make up its superhuman athletes.

Meet the Superhumans, the stars of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, exclusively on Channel 4 from 29 August to 9 September.

Welcome to a world with no barriers, a world where possibilities are endless and potential is limitless.

Channel 4 is broadcasting an unprecedented 150 hours of live coverage on multiple television channels as well as online, along with dedicated mobile and tablet apps. Multiple streams, live text commentary, sharp social media observations and much more will be available at http://www.channel4.com/paralympics

Some tickets for the 2012 Paralympics are still available at http://www.tickets.london2012.com/

London 2012: Closing Montage

Whatever you thought of the Olympics, whatever you did or did not watch, whichever Country or individuals you favoured or detested, and regardless of the sport you focussed your own attention on and whatever mood you might be in – I would advise that you check this out.

Once again, the BBC come out on top with a stunning montage to bring to a close their coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

 

94th PGA Championship – Pins (R2)!

If you ever thought a 10,000 metres open water swin looked hard, being pummelled for 12 minutes against a heavy weight boxer or a gold medal winning performance in the triathlon looked hard – take a look at some of these pin positions – in particular holes 12 and 13! Enjoy watching this on TV!

94th PGA Championship – Pins (R1)!

There are some tight pin positions on the opening round of the last shot at glory in 2012 over Kiawah Islands brutal Ocean Course. Take a look.

WGC Bridgestone Invitational

The WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

My name is David. I’m an alcoholic and I’ve been coming here for two years now.

Here we are, 63 miles south of Lake Eerie in a real old school industrial melting pot; rubber capital of the world and original home of the Goodyear blimp… This hive of national pride is home to the National Hamburger Festival (including Miss Hamburger contest), the All American Soap Box Derby, home to “Vocal Adrenaline” – comedy musical Glee’s baddies who’s school is based in Akron, and Founders Day – a celebration of the humble beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

But for one week of each year, the circus rolls into town for the greatest show on grass as two major golfing worlds collide for a 76 man showdown over the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Golf Course. Ladies and Gentlemen, charge your glasses, sit back and watch as the greatest golfers on the planet lay some serious rubber as they take flight for the 2012 World Golf Championships and the Bridgestone Invitational. Cheers!

Date:                     2nd – 5th August 2012

Venue:                 Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio (South Course – Monster)

The Firestone Country Club is a rare breed of golf club where this event can boast its’ 58th consecutive year of tournament golf. It is the only Club to have hosted three nationally televised pro events in the same year (1974 for you pub quiz participants), has hosted three PGA Championships and ranks 4th among private facilities by GolfWorld. It’s as far removed from all things “Akroness” (adj. simultaneously possessing a look of prolonged neglect and frequent use) as is possible as this stunning course is noted for its length including a series of intimidating, long par 4 holes and one of the longest par 5s anywhere, with the 16th hole playing up to 667 yards.

Yards:                   7,400 yards

Par:                        Par 70

Field:                   

It really is a quality field; likened to the finest grapes hand-picked from their vines at dawn in early Autumn with the four days of competition the equivalent of the soft and tender squashing of the fresh sweet juices that start the process while the winning is the beautiful pop of the cork, the smell, and that first intake of the hard stuff. Magical!

Back to the event roll call where 17 major winners are present with fill the cabinet with 37 shiny replicas; 23 winners on the PGA Tour with 28 victories and 36 European Tour players still clutching 18 current trophy’s from 2012. Paul Lawrie (246/1 with BetFair) even bothered to make the trip over water for two weeks work here and at the PGA next week!

Consider…:

There are only two kinds of music; country and western. Similarly with this course – there’s only length and accuracy. Two musical traits required for this week’s modern game (unless you’re Zack Johnson). Nothing else matters.

Ones to watch:

On which note, if it’s quasi-ritualized therapeutic sessions you support, look no further than two time 2012 winner (and leader of the tour bible class) Zack Johnson (31/1 with BetDaq). His natural draw suits the tree lined course and the recent spate of warm weather has dried up the fairways lessoning his length disadvantage… With 9 top 25 finishes including two wins and two seconds – form would dictate you keep one of your forward lookers firmly on this on form swinger.

Hunter Mahan (25/1 with StanJames) won this event in 2010 and finished in the top ten in the two years preceding that. 11 top 25s this year including two wins put him 4th in the Fed Ex Cup and ranks him 13th in the current World order. Consistently there or thereabouts, in the last 4 weeks on the road he has returned 8th, and 11th and tied 19th at the British Open. A podium place beckons for certain…I’ll bet you.

Ones to win:

You could look at the rest of the field for inspiration and see Luke Donald (16/1), Lee Westwood (20/1), Matt Kuchar (35/1), Adam Scott (16/1), Bubba Watson (33/1) or Rory McIlroy (25/1 – all BetVictor) all vying for the attention of the podium and the $1,400,000 cheque – but none of them inspire me over this track more than one player…

So if history and current form is anything to go by, it’s extremely hard not to pick Woods (5/1 with SkyBet): 7 wins in 12 starts at Firestone including the famous shots in the dark when he won under cover of darkness by a record 11 strokes. His form is somewhere near his best – and his returns at Firestone are unsurpassed. His renaissance means that a good showing could see him take back his World Number 1 slot – although his putting is not as sharp as it used to be (as we saw at the Open Championship) the killer instinct clearly still exists somewhere inside… Champagne on ice for Tiger? Definitely!

Trick shots:

A win by 4 strokes or more – as has happened 6 times in the last 13 years – returns odds of 4/1 with Ladbrokes.

Brandt Snedeker as first round leader will surprise few but with odds of 55/1 with SkyBet are surely a tip to consider?

Francesco Molinari is attractive with returns of 33/1 (without Tiger Woods in the frame) to win the tournament – so PaddyPower does pay…

Thank me later!

LOCOG: Should’ve gone to…

Specsavers has taken out advertising poking fun at the mistake which saw a South Korean flag displayed before North Korea’s football match in the Olympics.

The opticians reacted swiftly to the mistake, which occurred on Wednesday night, to take out advertising with its signature ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ tagline in Korean.

North Korea’s women’s football players stormed off the pitch for an hour in protest after Olympic organisers accidently displayed the flag of hostile neighbours South Korea on the electronic scoreboard before the match against Colombia at Hampden Park.

Specsavers took out the ad, which urges readers to book an eye test, in The Daily Telegraph today.

Olympics organisers have apologised to the North Korean team for the gaff.

The Death of SEO

Author: Ken Krogue @ Forbes

I had lunch back in March with Adam Torkildson, one of the top SEO consultants in Utah and one of the best in the country.

He said something to me that blew me away. “Google is in the process of making the SEO industry obsolete, SEO will be dead in 2 years.”

I posted his statement on my blog and immediately received a flurry of comments; many from his colleagues in the SEO industry who wanted to:

1.Weigh in on my statement that Adam is great (or crazy)

2.Promote themselves

3.Accuse me of writing a title for “link bait”

4.Declare how absurd Adam’s assertion was

5.Agree and prophecize their vision for the future

I have often used the (recently re-proven) phrase from the bomber pilots in World War II, “The flak only gets heavy when you’re over the target.”

Adam’s explanation about his claim made a lot of sense. I’ll quickly summarize and add some background information.

“SEO” means Search Engine Optimization.

There is internal and external SEO. Internal makes up about 15% of the process (I’m told it may be much higher now) and it means to design your site so it follows the best practices proven to rank high on Google. External SEO used to mean to write articles, press releases, blogs, comments, and content with embedded keyword “backlinks” to your site. Now it is changing fast to include social media strategies.

SEO has been traditionally divided into “white hat” or “black hat.” Black Hat is the obvious villainous practice of gaming the system by doing things to raise rankings that Google doesn’t want, and White Hat is just more subtle.

But what does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search they aren’t doing their job.

So by definition even the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to “game” the Google search engines (and others) to get your valuable content ranked higher than it would be if left alone to the forces of the Web.

Google proved Adam right one month later (to the day) with the “Penguin release” that is a code name for the algorithm that decreased search engine rankings of companies who were using schemes to artificially increase their rankings. Google decided to change the weight of their emphasis from “backlinks” more towards social media likes, shares, tweets, reddits, and 1+ (Googles obvious favorite.) In the world of digital media the emphasis is on follows, comments, and views as well. (Note: I have changed the wording slightly to clarify my meaning and make it more precise since I wrote it four days ago.)

What does that mean? Google used to think if you linked to someone on the Internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe that if you promote content with social media it is more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be faked. Though many point out social can be faked as well.

The bottom line is that all external SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one:

Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.

If you generate content and place it all over the web promoting and linking to your specific content, it is obviously fake. (And that is basically a big part of the history of the SEO industry, both black and white.)

And hey, I’ve done it myself. That is how I met Adam in the first place.

It is the overly aggressive marketers that always spoil it for everyone. Mmmm, let’s see… false advertisers, telemarketing at dinner time with predictive dialers, unsolicited faxing, email spamming, now SEO.

It was Seth Godin that said “all marketers are liars,” I’m a marketer, so I can say this.  I think it means that if you have to advertise a lot to change perceptions, it’s probably being “spun.” Think media, the lack of advertising on fruit and vegetables, and the current presidential race.

Adam told me that it is hardly about the links anymore, it’s about the metrics of engagement on your site.

It’s about social “shares”, and you can’t fake that (easily). Now with recent policy changes, Google knows who everyone is once they open themselves up on the social realm. They will be able to tell the fake people. Facebook already knows. Adam did a test by creating 1000 fake accounts a year ago, but today they have all been banned.

I asked him how they figured it out, he said “I’m pretty smart, but I have no idea. That’s why they hire PhD’s! That’s why Google bought Twitter’s data. They failed to get Facebook data, but they rely on Facebook’s internal API. Now social signals are a much bigger part of the Google algorithm.” He continued, “I’ve already seen them using it, I know.”

So what do we do?

Adam grinned with resignation, “It’s the Hubspot strategy of great blog content with a massive opt-in audience of social followers. It’s your InsideSales.com approach with strong industry research that people follow. And it’s old-school PR. PR has made a full-on 180 degree swing. I started in PR as a major. Now it is the ultimate, because it is about who you actually, really, know. It’s the buzz you create. And how much value you provide your community of followers in return.”

I summarized:

“So great content is king, and communities of avid followers make the king? And my friend Cheryl, of SnappConner PR will rule the world?”

“Yes, basically.” Adam went on, “Dell does a really good job. They have 1M followers on just one account in Twitter. Their team answers all direct messages from their community, and stays on top of their brand and reputation.”

I asked, “So how has this affected you?”

“We hardly do any of the old SEO stuff. It still brings results, but not like it used to. Google is pulling the rug out to provide better search for their audience. They are routing out the counterfeiters. Now it must be real, valuable, content, and lot’s of community value and interaction.”

So how does it affect entrepreneurs and business executives?

Simple.

Invest in real, valuable, relevant content that your audience wants. Grow your internal thought leaders to where they can add value to your audience and positioning in the market. Follow internal SEO practices to make sure it is found and sees the light of day. Take the time to make it so compelling so people talk about it and share it.

Look to real social media community support, compelling PR, and real content; for that is where true SEO practitioners are turning more and more also.

Common sense, but not common practice.