Category Archives: Soccer is Life

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Google+ Hits Big in BRIC Nations – Infographic

This chart shows that Google+ is far more popular in BRIC nations than it is in developed economies such as the United States, Japan or Germany.

Source: Statista

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Soccer: Napoli Bans Players From Sex Two Days Before Matches To Avoid Injury

According to a recent report from Football Italia, Napoli’s club doctor claims a sex ban keeps players out of harm’s way.

“Avoiding sexual activity for two days before a game is fundamental to prevent muscular strains, contractions or inflammations,” Professor Alfonso De Nicola told Corriere del Mezzogiorno.

“It is the rule for our squad. There is also a specific work done by my staff and the fitness coaches which is aimed more at prevention than cure.

“The players must be praised for the professional approach they take in their private lives too. They must always continue certain exercises at home that are taught in the training camp.”

Napoli’s manager Walter Mazzarri led the club to a fifth place finish in Serie A and a quarterfinal place in last season’s UEFA Champions League in 2011-12. With the help of Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik, the Naples outfit captured the Italian Cup last year.

Mazzarri’s squad only missed fifty games due to injury, compared to other clubs – AC Milan, Internazionale and Roma – who missed over 100 games last season respectively.

Other recommendations in the doctor’s regimen include sticking to a strict eating timetable, organic meals, not drinking alcohol and documenting muscular twinges.

via Napoli bans players from sex two days before matches to avoid injury – Serie A News | FOX Sports on MSN.

Soccer is life: Mourinho Feeling The Heat! – Video

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Soccer, Social Media: EPL And La Liga Dominate – Infographic

Europe is home to the best club soccer in the world, thanks in no small part to powerful domestic leagues, like Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A. But there’s no debating which two associations reign supreme on the continent: the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga.

The EPL and La Liga regularly send top clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid deep into the international Champions League tournament. One could argue that either the EPL or La Liga rules Europe in a given year. But which league is winning on the social web?

La Liga teams have more Twitter followers than their EPL counterparts, but EPL fans are more active, mentioning their teams in 81.5 million tweets over the past year compared to 65.2 million for Spanish clubs. On Facebook, EPL teams just barely out-Like La Liga’s league-wide total, but the numbers are essentially equal. La Liga’s signature match between Barcelona and Madrid also drew about four times as much Twitter chatter as last year’s Manchester Derby between United and City.

La Liga superstars Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid dominate the social buzz, however, compared to Manchester United’s new dynamic duo of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Messi and Ronaldo were mentioned in over 24 million tweets over the past year, compared to just under 9 million for Rooney and van Persie.

Sports website TheScore used data from social analytics company Sysomos to pull all these stats and more to produce the infographic. Check it out for a snapshot of how the EPL and La Liga compare on the social web.

Source: Mashable.com, thescore

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Social Media: Soccer Beats “Football” In Popularity – Infographic

Americans love their football. Brits love their football, too. Thing is, they love different footballs. Americans love the football that involves a pigskin, gridiron and crushing body blows between 300-pound behemoths. Brits, and pretty much the rest of the world, love the football that’s also known as futbol, futebol or — in the States — soccer.

But how do the respective footballs match up on social media? A comparison of the NFL and English Premier League yields some interesting results as both seasons begin to get under way. While the NFL’s official league pages dominate their EPL counterparts on Facebook and Twitter, EPL clubs’ global appeal appears to give them an big advantage when matched up against top NFL franchises.

On Facebook, the EPL’s Manchester United rules all with about 27 million fans, while London clubs Chelsea and Arsenal each top 11 million. The NFL’s top team on Facebook, meanwhile? The Dallas Cowboys, with just over 5 million Likes. On Twitter, the EPL’s Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all top a million followers, but no NFL teams have yet cracked 500,000.

While the EPL’s major clubs — which play exhibition matches around the world and compete in the annual international Champions League — have incredibly strong global brands, social numbers suggest that the NFL has higher popularity as a league. The NFL’s official Facebook and Twitter pages total a combined following of about 10 million users, while the equivalent EPL accounts total about 2 million followers.

The following infographic put together by Confused.com gives a visual representation of how the two football leagues compare on social media. Check it out for fuller picture, then let us know in the comments — why do you think the NFL rates higher as a leagued, but EPL teams kick the most individual butt?

Source: Mashable.com, confused.com

Red Devil in details of Manchester United IPO – IPO Report

Red Devil in details of Manchester United IPO – IPO Report – MarketWatch.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — For the upcoming Manchester United Ltd. initial public offering, the “Red Devil” is in the details, since what the fabled soccer club has already revealed to prospective investors is strong on brand promises — but little else.

On Friday, Manchester United (PRE-IPO:MANU) is set to begin trading on the NYSE Euronext’s (NYSE:NYX) New York Stock Exchange following an offering of 16.7 million Class A shares with a current pricing range of between $16 and $20 a share. Read preview of this week’s IPOs.

Half those shares will be issued by the company and the other half will be sold by Red Football LLC, the entity representing Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer and his family.

In 2005, Glazer took over Manchester United after spending two years buying out other owners in a series of debt-backed deals. At the time, the British soccer club — one of the world’s best-recognized sporting franchises, known for its 19 championship wins, celebrity players such as David Beckham, and its “Red Devil” mascot — was valued around $1.5 billion.

It’s that retail recognition, rather than enthusiasm for the stock’s promise as an investment, that may provide support for the IPO. And that may not be enough. Much of the buildup to the IPO is making the stock sound more like a piece of sports memorabilia than a sound investment.

Issues of debt and the lopsided dual-class structure are turning many institutional investors off, said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner and principal researcher at IPO Boutique. At best, it’s going to be “a challenging offering,” he said.

“It’s only appeal is going to be to retail investors,” said Sweet. “It’s almost like having a piece of the Green Bay Packers even though those shares don’t trade.”

Assuming an $18 IPO price, the company plans to use proceeds of $141 million from 8.3 million issued shares to help pay down debt, which is currently listed as £437 million, or about $684 million, according to the prospectus. That’s down from a peak of £773 million, or $1.21 billion, at the end of fiscal 2010. As for the cash from the other 8.3 million shares, that’s going into the pockets of the sellers: the Glazer family.

After the smoke clears, new shareholders will hold 42% of Manchester United Class A shares, which, under the dual-class share structure, gives them only 1.3% of total voting power. The Glazers will retain 58% of the Class A shares, and most importantly, all of the Class B shares, which have ten times the voting power of the Class A shares, leaving them with 98.7% of the voting power.

Such lopsided dual-class share structures have been hallmarks of recent IPOs that have left a bad taste in investors mouths, namely, ones like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) , Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) , and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA)

Adding to the red flags, the company in charge of the 134-year-old soccer team will also take advantage of reduced financial reporting requirements for up to five years as an “emerging growth company” under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, and has no current plans to pay a dividend.

“I feel favors are going to be called in to get [the IPO] done,” Sweet said. “On weak IPOs, many players need to dance every dance to get in on the hot IPOs.”

Given the brand’s global appeal, however, it may very well be the retail investor that drives demand on this IPO.

“Institutional demand will not be great but retail demand may keep this alive,” said James Krapfel, IPO analyst at Morningstar. “Given the float is not that big, it won’t take that much retail demand to make it quote-unquote successful. Institutional investors are leery of the company.”

Morningstar, which models the value of the stock at about $10, said in a note it’s concerned about Manchester United’s ability to earn excess returns on capital consistently given the unpredictable nature of sports. Also, capital costs to get and retain star players are just going to rise.

One way of keeping up with those costs may lie in the bankability of Manchester United’s brand. The team made £103.4 million, or about $162 million, from sponsorship and merchandizing deals in fiscal 2011, compared with total revenue of £331.4 million, or about $518 million.

Last week, Manchester United cut a seven-year, $559 million deal with General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) to advertise the Chevrolet brand on their jerseys beginning in 2014, a deal that reportedly led to the ouster of Joel Ewanick, the GM marketing chief who engineered the deal.

In comparison, the current shirt sponsor, Aon Corp. (NYSE:AON) , who is also among the IPO’s underwriters through its Aon Benfield Securities unit, paid $125 million for a four-year deal. Lead underwriters on the deal are Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF) , Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) , and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

That increasing brand value may come into play when Manchester United’s 13-year merchandise contract with Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) expires in three years, either through a renegotiation or through a higher bid from another apparel company, Krapfel said. The team made £31.3 million from Nike in guaranteed amounts and split profits for the 2010/2011 season.

Source: Marketwatch

Lionel Messi Is Trying To Get Better – Watch Out Real Madrid

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The Power Of Text Messages In Marketing – Infographic

As brands focus efforts on keeping up with broadcasting trends across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, many are neglecting a tried and true marketing tactic that could propel them even further: narrowcasting.

Narrowcasting marks an emerging trend by which consumers are sharing content with smaller, more selective audiences. In contrast to broadcasting, narrowcasting is about tailoring information to better compel the recipients. It’s a competitive alternative, as evidenced by this infographic from Mogreet. While broadcasting gets a brand’s message out to a massive group of people, when it comes to who is actually reading and engaging with the content, the numbers are staggeringly low.

For example, 84% of Facebook news feed stories aren’t viewed, 71% of tweets get ignored and 88% of emails go unopened. Meanwhile, 98% of text messages are opened, and therefore, companies that market through SMS/MMS have a far truer reach.

Source: Mashable.com, Mogreet

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Soccer Is Dominating TV – Infographic

Buzz surrounding the ESPN broadcasts of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship almost entirely dominated cable TV chatter this week. But while soccer fans may be rowdy, basketball fanatics are this week’s clear social media champs.

When the Thunder met the Heat for Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs, there was a perfect storm of trash talk and gloating (the latter from Heat fans) that totaled more social media impressions than the top five EURO 2012 games combined. Miami beat Oklahoma City 91-85, bringing the series standings to Heat: 2, Thunder: 1.

Despite the Los Angeles Kings’ first 2012 Stanley Cup championship title, buzz over last Monday night’s hockey finals didn’t really compete…Read More

Source: Mashable.com, Image courtesy of iStockphoto, subjug

EURO 2012 – Group B Is “Group Of Death” – Nothing Unusual Happened So Far

With Denmark beating the Netherlands and Germany beating Portugal in the first round of group play, nothing unusual really happened in the group of death. Two games are played, and two results are in, that’s really all.

It was clear since the draw that everything can happen in this group. It is not really a surprise that Denmark won over the Dutch and Germany over Portugal. The way how the games went confirms what everyone has expected from the beginning: Everyone can beat everyone. You can analyze the two games to death, what came out are two facts, every game has a result, and luck. On this first day the lucky winners were Denmark and Germany. None of the winners indicated that they will clearly win the second group game and none of the losers clearly indicated that they will lose the second game as well. Just as predicted.

As the games clearly displayed, it might very well happen that on Wednesday night, after two game days, all four teams might sit on three points. Anyone willing to rule this out? Even with the results from game day one turned upside down, the same conclusion would be right. In this group, like in no other, everything is possible.

While in some of the other groups we will know after game two who will advance into the knock out stages, in this group, we will have to wait until the last game is played. Nothing new here as well. Let’s all sit back and enjoy the upcoming games. It is going to be exciting until the last minute of the last game.

Do Soccer Clubs Need Shrinks To Protect Their Assets?

The Barclay’s English Premier League is in its last rounds before the champion of the 2011/2012 season is found. Naturally, the fight for glory or to avoid relegation is fierce, and takes everything that the players, managers and clubs have to offer. Very often the fight on the pitch is brought off the pitch by all involved and intensifies the struggle.

Currently, Manchester City is the club that has problems that have been created off the pitch or due to individual weakness and lack of knowledge. In city’s case, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli have held the club in the news on a daily basis not because they are awesome soccer players, but for all kind of other negative reasons that make your manager, the club and the business partners of the club have nightmares.

Every time such a nightmare situation arises, millions of dollars are at stake. In city’s case, the damage could go into the ten’s or hundred’s of millions. For a club that has spent way over $400 million in new players and delivered a $140 million loss last year, this is certainly a nightmare. Not that city is poor, their ownership pays for “city expenses” out of the change drawer, but nobody is happy to lose that kind of money if it can be avoided. Clearly, this is not the way how the ownership of the club became that rich.

Let’s talk about Mario Balotelli: The guy is 21 years old and is a sensational soccer talent. Nobody in the soccer world will dispute that. He makes $320,000 a week(!), all-in-all somewhere between $15 and $20 million a year and has no clue about what kind of nonsense he delivers. For himself, he believes he is the coolest guy since mankind. To mention some examples of his performance: Almost burned down his mansion by firing fireworks out of the bathroom window, parking tickets of over $10,000 in less than two years, visiting a strip club hours before the game, featured in an article about the hooker that already gave Wayne Rooney a headache, 4 red cards in less than two years and many other actions in full disrespect of himself, his family and everyone else around him.

Balotelli has a personal manager. This guy is negotiating contracts for him and makes sure he stays interesting in the soccer world. Obviously, he has no clue on how Balotelli’s actions influence his marketability or he doesn’t care as long as he gets his commissions and paychecks.

Balotelli has quite a few assets that are very marketable and could make him a real big gun, right now and way beyond his soccer career. All it would take is some minimal professionalism on the job and in public. If one would express the $ damage to himself, the loss is in the 100’s of millions over the next 40 years, clearly. It is a mystery why his manager and his family are not taking influence on this guy and try to help him. It is clear that Balotelli himself is unable to do so.

For the club the losses are much greater. $100 million can be lost in one season and looking at city’s season, that is exactly what is going to happen. Early exit from the European Championships, FA Cup and Carling Cup, and playing only second fiddle to Manchester United will cost the club way more than a $100 million. Selling Balotelli? Well, that would only go hand in hand with a huge transfer loss at this time and would make things worse for the club. The example Carlos Tevez has proven that fact and so city will go on and hope and pray Balotelli, and Tevez, will learn a lesson, somehow. Continue reading