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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Digital Airport Advertising – Creative, Interactive and Useful

Recently JCDecaux Airport conducted Business Traveller research which investigated the activities and views of 500 regular business travellers. The findings showed that these people’s influence within their companies, including purchasing decisions, is significant. The study also revealed that they are early adopters of technology and highly aware of airport media – which is good news for the sector! We should all remember that airport media can be about far more than business travellers so today we are highlighting how one media owner demonstrated “inventing possibilities out of home” in a tie-up with Canon. Eye and Canon Announce a Global First Using New Amplify Platform Eye recently partnered with Canon to promote the EOS 650D camera. Canon is the first advertiser globally to use Eye’s new Amplify product and is using its worldwide network of mobile enabled, digital OOH sites, each of which offers Near Field Communication (NFC), QR and SMS functionality. Initially launched across Gatwick and Stansted airports, passengers are taken directly from a digital OOH unit to the Canon website on their smartphone where they can enjoy an explanation of all the features and benefits of the Canon EOS camera via video. This represents a significant step forward in OOH as it brings both scale and interactivity to outdoor campaigns – but Canon and Eye are not alone. Another recent advance in interactive advertising at airports is Tesco’s virtual grocery store at Gatwick. Following on from the company’s highly successful – and award winning - store in Korea the service provides a mix of browsing, online shopping and home delivery. This means that passengers can order at the airport then ensure their groceries arrive at their home when they do. Not only is this technically impressive, it is a great example of OOH media providing a creative solution to a genuine customer need. As digital out of home (DOOH) evolves technically and sees wider adoption, more and more opportunities become viable. The head of one leading digital agency, Eric Newnham of Talon Outdoor explained ‘‘Paper and paste’ poster advertising is rapidly becoming yesterday’s delivery. Digital is massively exciting not just because it is new but because it offers advertisers the perfectly timed and placed chance to do something very meaningful with their target markets. By talking to a defined market with the right offer, at the right time and in an engaging way, it is an excellent platform to get the results you are seeking.’ Bio Talon Outdoor is the only independently owned out of home media specialist. It offers a fresh approach to the planning and buying of all outdoor media, including poster advertising, bus advertising and tube advertising.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Reward Winter Training by Running a Sunny Marathon

If you work hard and train through the winter months then why not reward yourself by running the Limassol Marathon in Cyprus during the beautiful Cypriot Springtime. It can be hard to stay on track with your fitness when the weather is bad but don’t let it detract you from your goals. When the days are shorter and wetter a lot of people are tempted to hide out in the gym for a couple of months clocking up miles on a treadmill. Whilst this is a great option for when the weather is severe, it does not offer the same challenge of running on the open road. When you are training to run an international marathon, make sure that you mix up your treadmill time with at least two outdoor runs a week. One of these should be your weekly long run. If you can, try to take it in the middle of the day, when the weather is warmest and you’ve got the most daylight. Once you hit the last six weeks of training to run your European marathon, do your best to get as many runs as possible done outdoors. For the most part cold days are fine but try to avoid running in the rain or the sleet for more than 45 minutes as it can increase your chances of catching a chill. Staying dry should be one of your main priorities so your running gear plays an important role in your training. It needs to be lightweight and snug in order to maintain your core body temperature. Wear a beanie and gloves to keep your extremities warm, these can always be taken off should you begin to overheat. Ideally your outer layer should be windproof and have pockets; better jackets have zippers on the armpits to allow for good ventilation. After training, your recovery is going to be a bit different when it is cooler. A well-fuelled run is the first step to proper recovery. Being colder doesn’t mean you won’t be losing fluids and at risk of dehydration so you should maintain the intake of food and water that you would after a run in the sun. Instead of doing a recovery run head indoors and try stretching, yoga or Pilates. These activities will keep your muscles limber and allow you to stay warm and dry whilst you do your recovery. If you follow these easy guidelines and look after yourself during the winter months then come March 24th you will have made it through the worst of the weather and be in peak physical condition to run by the sea in beautiful Limassol. Bio run by the sea, Limassol is the host venue for one of the most picturesque international half marathons in Europe. It is popular amongst experts seeking flat marathon courses or novices simply wanting to run abroad.

Five Reasons to Consider Outdoor Digital Advertising

In today’s media-saturated world there are thousands of ways to communicate with consumers - posters, newspapers, television, internet – not only does the list goes on, it evolves constantly. However, today one of the most exciting and effective new forms of advertising is digital outdoor, here’s why 1. Cost Effectiveness – the economic climate means companies are under pressure to make advertising budgets go further – so digital is good news. It is far more cost effective to run a digital ad than one on almost any other platform; companies looking to advertise can buy slots as short as 10 seconds which means lower space and production costs. 2. Time Specific Advertising – Another great thing about digital advertising is that it can be timed in the same way as television advertising. Different demographics ‘self select’ subject to the time of day and digital advertising has the nimbleness to respond to this, allowing advertisers to reach specific target markets. For example, digital ads can be created in a ‘playlist’ that means business people are targeted during the morning commute hours, mums on the school run then older people during the day 3. Quick Lead Time – The production benefits of digital are two-fold; depending on the ad production can be very cost-effect and additionally, lead times are much faster. Not only does this give advertisers the ability to change targeted messages much quicker, it also gives them the chance to test and tweak campaigns so they can tailor the most effective offer or creative. 4. Community Benefits - Small or local businesses are not the only new market who have the chance to benefit from digital advertising, now media owners frequently offer community groups their sites as a low-cost or free resource. This means that these sites have the potential to be this century’s community noticeboard. 5. Environmentally Friendly – Posters are not only looking outdated, they are increasingly off-message environmentally too. Aside from the paper saving, smartscreen technology is powered by LED and uses very little energy. Maxx Media is launching the Brighton big screen at the end of 2012 and for all the reasons listed above this will be a great way for businesses of all sizes to advertise using a form of dynamic media in a regional area. The Brighton Smartscreen will be the first of its kind outside of a major city in Europe making it a truly cutting edge opportunity. Brighton media is taking the lead in regional advertising. Bio Maxx Media creates dynamic media and digital outdoor advertising, changing the face of the media in Brighton and the South Coast with its Brighton big screen.

Losing Weight the Right Way with Nutrilite

The fact that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year suggests just how big a struggle some people find it. Nutrilite has some helpful advice for you when embarking on a health kick this January. Set a specific goal – Just saying that you want to lose weight isn’t enough; set yourself a number that you want to achieve that is safe and attainable. Use a realistic timetable and set mini targets that you can hit on your way to your final goal weight. Use a food journal – Many people are grazers and consume calories in-between meals that they do not even think about. Writing a log of everything you eat ensures you can keep track of how your diet is going, it will help you see where and when you are coming across problems and it may encourage you to put down the chocolate bar if you know you are going to have to record it later! Stay healthy – Don’t let your hard work become unravelled by getting sick and abandoning your exercise regime. You are up to 80% more likely to get a cold in winter so making sure your immune system is in tip top shape is vital. Garlic has been used for centuries for its health benefits, including strengthening the constitution and improving resistance to illness. If you’d like to avoid the unpleasant odour side effects then try taking Nutrilte Garlic* which is an affordable supplement alternative. Avoid comfort food – Sometimes in winter it is easy to get caught up consuming excessive amounts of food and wine whilst bundled up indoors by the fire. Start small when forming healthy eating habits, cut out a few unhealthy foods at a time and use a nutritionally balanced meal replacement such as Positrim Crème Mix Meal Replacement* to start you off, then gradually replace it with healthy meal options. Keep Your Calories Up – To eat nothing or very little, reduces the intake of essential nutrition, vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. If you cut back too severely on your calorific intake your body can go into starvation mode causing your metabolic rate to drop and your weight loss to slow down. Making sure you are getting an adequate number of calories for your age, weight and gender ensures you will see the best results. Stick to it! – Rome wasn’t built in a day and your fabulous new body won’t be either. The key to success is not expecting results over night. Reward yourself along the way as you meet milestones. Make sure these rewards are not food based, instead reward yourself with a bubble bath or a facial. Relevant Products • Nutrilite Garlic £17.30 for 120 tablets • Nutrilite Positrim Crème Mix Meal Replacement £23.00 for 14 sachets Editor’s Note: Nutrilite is the world’s number one selling vitamin and dietary supplements brand. Part of the Amway Group portfolio, Nutrilite products are enjoyed by millions of customers in over 55 countries, including the athletes at AC Milan. What makes Nutrilite different? • Nutrilite’s products can be traced back to their source as they are grown, harvested and processed on its own certified organic farms. For example, the pomegranates and alfalfa which are in Nutrilite’s Double X product are grown on the 45-hectare Lake View Farm in California • Carl Rhenborg, the founder of Nutrilite, was a pioneer in the vitamins and minerals industry as in 1934 he produced his first plant-based multivitamin product. Nutrilite is now under the careful management of Carl’s son, Dr. Sam Rhenborg • At the Nutrilite Health Institute in California experts conduct over 25,000 products tests a month, ensuring that customers know that what they are buying is safe • Nutrilite products are suitable for all demographics, such as chewable multivitamins to help children get their ‘five-a-day’, iron folic acid for expecting mothers and calcium magnesium to help calm stressed workers The ‘Nutrilite Family Health – Naturally’ campaign aims to encourage people to think of different ways to be healthy, for more information please visit www.facebook.com/nutrilitefamilyhealthnaturally or @nutrilitefamily. Amway has over three million distributors through its direct selling programme, 25,000 of which are based in the UK. For sales information please visit the Nutrilite website (http://www.amway.co.uk/en/our-brands/nutrilite), call +44 (0)1908 629400 or visit the London experience centre at Victoria House, Southampton Row, WC1B 4DA.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails Tips for the New Year

After the decorations have been packed away, the party season comes to a close and the New Year dawns we often find ourselves in the depths of winter, only to realise we’ve somewhat neglected our health over the past few months. Your skin, hair and nails can be reflections of biochemical imbalances in your body. Taking Nutrilite Biotin C Plus* is a great way to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients and ensure you stay looking your best. Below Nutrilite offers you some more handy tips for starting the New Year feeling great: - Keep Cool - As tempting as it may be to fire up a hot bath on a cold night, it is simply no good for your skin. A very hot bath or shower can break down the lipid barriers in the skin, this can result in a loss of moisture, leaving your skin dry and prone to cracking. Try using a warm temperature instead and moisturize straight after bathing whilst your skin is still moist so that you can trap in some of the water - Eat a Healthy Diet – You’ve heard it a thousand times, but it’s true, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as whole grains are vital to your health. In addition drinking more water enables the kidneys to flush toxins from the body, resulting in healthy skin, hair and nails. Alternatively, supplement use is a great way to get your body what it needs, try Nutrilite Concentrated Fruit and Vegetables* as a handy option for when you don’t have time to eat properly. - Quit stressing and start sweating! – Cortisol is a hormone the body releases when we are stressed. Excess cortisol can result in oily skin and other skin related problems. Try to get in some light to moderate exercise a few days a week, even when you don’t feel like it. - Add some zinc to your diet – A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss, as well as a flaky dry scalp. Zinc helps your body repair itself, boosts immunity levels and fights adult acne. Nutrilite Zinc Mineral Sticks* are a quick and easy way to get your daily fix. - Stay dry – make sure you keep your feet and hands dry, wear 100% cotton socks as they are great for absorption and air out your shoes after you’ve been outside. If you are getting around with damp feet your nails may become infected. Never leave the house with wet hair this leaves it exposed to the elements and more like to become damaged and discoloured. When styling your hair try not to blast it on the highest setting, use a low heat for styling. Relevant Products • Nutrilite Biotin C Plus £15.10 for 90 tablets • Nutrilite Concentrated Fruit and Vegetables £24.20 for 60 tablets • Nutrilite Zinc Mineral Sticks £17.50 for 30 sticks Editor’s Note: Nutrilite is the world’s number one selling vitamin and dietary supplements brand. Part of the Amway Group portfolio, Nutrilite products are enjoyed by millions of customers in over 55 countries, including the athletes at AC Milan. What makes Nutrilite different? • Nutrilite’s products can be traced back to their source as they are grown, harvested and processed on its own certified organic farms. For example, the pomegranates and alfalfa which are in Nutrilite’s Double X product are grown on the 45-hectare Lake View Farm in California • Carl Rhenborg, the founder of Nutrilite, was a pioneer in the vitamins and minerals industry as in 1934 he produced his first plant-based multivitamin product. Nutrilite is now under the careful management of Carl’s son, Dr. Sam Rhenborg • At the Nutrilite Health Institute in California experts conduct over 25,000 products tests a month, ensuring that customers know that what they are buying is safe • Nutrilite products are suitable for all demographics, such as chewable multivitamins to help children get their ‘five-a-day’, iron folic acid for expecting mothers and calcium magnesium to help calm stressed workers The ‘Nutrilite Family Health – Naturally’ campaign aims to encourage people to think of different ways to be healthy, for more information please visit www.facebook.com/nutrilitefamilyhealthnaturally or @nutrilitefamily. Amway has over three million distributors through its direct selling programme, 25,000 of which are based in the UK. For sales information please visit the Nutrilite website (http://www.amway.co.uk/en/our-brands/nutrilite), call +44 (0)1908 629400 or visit the London experience centre at Victoria House, Southampton Row, WC1B 4DA.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Jargon Busting in Advertising – Ten Industry Terms Translated

Talon Outdoor, the leading independent out of home (OOH) specialist, is aware that theirs is a sector full of jargon. Consequently the team has put together a list of commonly used terms and has translated them. So if you want to know your OTS from your PCI read on… 1. OTS/H – This term is used to describe the opportunity to see/hear an advertisement. Online this is similar to a page view. Similarly, LTS is the likelihood to see, this is a media measurement achieved by discounting the total audience to only include those people who in probability will see an outdoor advertising face. 2. PCI Rate – Cost per column inch for print display advertising, usually referencing newsprint. 3. CTA – Call to action is a marketing message that directs visitors to act in some specific manner, such as requesting a brochure, visiting the website or texting a certain word to the listed number. 4. Creative – This is the technology used to create a banner or other type of advertising material. Common creative types include GIF, JPEG, Java, HTML, Flash or streaming audio/visual. 5. Geofencing – One of the newest ideas inout of home advertising it is the idea that a virtual boundary, or "fence" is set up around a particular location. If you enter the geofence area, you may qualify for a discount or promotion, for example, you walk past a store and you receive an SMS with a discount code encouraging you to enter the store and make a purchase. 6. Psychographics – Involves the identification of personality characteristics and attitudes that affect a person's lifestyle and purchasing behaviours. Psychographic data points include opinions, attitudes, and beliefs about various aspects relating to lifestyle and purchasing behaviour. 7. DEC - Daily effective circulation is a measurement of the adult audience that has the opportunity to view the advertising message each day. For OOH it is based on the annual average daily traffic (AADT) count of a location taking into account the average number of persons 18 and over in each vehicle, the visible traffic flow and the hours of illumination of the display. The resulting number is expressed in thousands to facilitate the calculation of the costs per thousand (CPM) impressions per month. 8. EVMS - Electronic variable message sign is a digital out of home (DOOH) sign depicting action, motion, light, or colour changes through full motion video, electrical or mechanical means. Although technologically similar to flashing signs, the animated sign emphasizes graphics and artistic display. 9. Wall Scapes - These signs are murals that are typically painted onto the side of a building or other massive structure. In certain applications, vinyl advertising copy may be applied to or suspended from a wall. These signs may be huge vinyl signs draped down or wrapped around buildings, suspended from construction scaffolding, or other supporting framework. These signs are sometimes referred to as "building warps". 10. Street Furniture – Outdoor media advertising displays, many that provide a public amenity, positioned at close proximity to pedestrians for eye-level viewing or at a curb side to impact vehicular traffic. Street furniture displays include, but are not limited to: transit shelters, newsstands/news racks, kiosks, shopping mall panels, convenience store panels and in-store signage.

AMBER Alerts: The Social Importance of Digital Advertising

Every year around 250,000 people go missing in the United Kingdom alone, that’s enough people to fill the Olympic Stadium three times over. Roughly 140,000 of those who go missing are children, some of whom may never come home. When a child goes missing time is of the essence and this is where great advancements in technology, such as, Amber Alert systems and digital advertising are helping to rapidly raise alarms in those crucial few hours after a disappearance. The AMBER Alert system started in America. It stands for ‘America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response’, it is a backronym for a little girl named Amber who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996. An AMBER Alert is issued when a child is missing and is distributed across radio stations, television channels, email and electronic traffic signal signs and via SMS to people who opt to receive these alerts. This system has since succeeded in seeing more than 300 children returned home to their parents after an alarm has been raised. Since its implementation in the United States different versions of the AMBER Alert have been legislated in countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, France, Ireland, Malaysia and Mexico. In the UK every police force has had an alert system in place since 2005. As of Missing Children’s Day 2010 there has been a nationally co-ordinated system. In July of this year the mother of missing British child, Madeleine McCann, launched a digital billboard campaign in major cities London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. These billboards were a follow on from the success of the charity, Missing People’s ‘Big Tweet for Missing Children’ day in May. The big tweet campaign resulted in the safe return of two missing children. Digital advertising offers the unique chance for real time outdoor advertising. If a person goes missing, their picture, description and any other pertinent information may be uploaded to the digital sign almost instantaneously assuring the public is aware and on the look out for such persons. Before now this technology was only available in major cities, Maxx Media is now bringing it to the Brighton big screen, so that the community can have access to one of the fastest forms of alert available. They are offering this dynamic media advertising space for free to the local police and are hoping that their contribution will have a big impact. The Brighton Smart Screen will have a weekly OTS of 360,000 people a week, hopefully one of those people will know something and in 2013 they can help increase the number of missing people who are found.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Olympics Inspired Women – Well It’s A Good Start

When Sport England announced last week that 700,000 more people in the UK played sport this summer, the real story was that 500,000 of those people were women. Clearly the Olympics had had an amazing effect on inspiring females in their thousands to get active, which just goes to show that the link between sports broadcasting and sports participation is irrefutable. I appreciate that there is a big dose of ‘well durr’ associated with that last remark. There are always kids using jumpers for goalposts and kicking footballs and rugby balls about (depending on where you are in the country) but anyone who has driven past a sunny tennis court just before, during or after Wimbledon knows that the UK, for one month only, takes to racquet and ball in droves. The sad part is that this enthusiasm usually lasts until the strawberry season fades. Whilst there is a lot good in British sport, there is a lot wrong too and it starts early. Ask any group of adults, especially women and, outside the truly sporty, each one will have a tale of school-sport misery. Whether this is a mean PE teacher, shocking facilities, political team selection, enforced participation of a sport they hate … the list is endless. One of the biggest ironies of sport in schools is that the very time girls need physical education most, ie when they have more independent food choices, feel more tired, need better focus at school and probably discover alcohol, is the time the majority turn off sport. Increased sports broadcasting alone won’t entice women back en masse – the thing that the Olympics did was an excellent sports PR job. Suddenly athletic physiques of all types were more admired than overly spray tanned skeletons with surgically enhanced boobs. Much was made of the years of hard training as opposed to overnight celebrity based on minimal talent. Olympic and Paralympic women were judged by what they achieved not how they looked. In short, suddenly everyone – including the media - was much more sensible and positive, the knock on effect of which is clear. The secret now is to keep this going; funding and interest levels are potentially already dwindling but with the right investment in broadcasting and sports public relations, this incredibly exciting trend can grow. Without this, the Olympics is in danger of being a happy memory rather than the life-changing event it genuinely could have been. Bio ENS Ltd is a sports PR agency based in central London, tasked with promoting and protecting brands in sport. It specializes in rugby PR, football PR and Olympics PR.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Golden Opportunities?

In hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, it was LOCOG’s vision to create a “real and lasting legacy” that would create economic, social and sporting opportunities for the UK. Following the recent extensive media exposure of our nation’s athletes and the ensuing positive public reaction, The Sports Reputation Group offers some practical advice to British athletes as regards how to take advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by this legacy. Building a Brand The members of Team GB have become familiar faces on our television screens and in the newspapers over the course of the summer, with relatively unknown athletes such as gold-medallist long jumper Greg Rutherford becoming a household name overnight. Many athletes have boosted their media presence further since the games ended with appearances on chat shows, celebrity reality shows and even at London Fashion Week. Whilst such experiences are no doubt enjoyable for the individuals concerned, they should also be viewed as a useful step towards building a personal brand for any athlete who wishes to generate revenue from their success and personality. An athlete's personal brand strategy may, in addition to the methods of publicity generation described above, include personal sponsorship and endorsement deals. Every individual in the UK has the right to prevent unauthorised use of their name, likeness and other personal attributes associated with them such as their nickname and signature. These rights are collectively known as “image rights” which are protected in a slightly piecemeal manner by a number of UK laws. To facilitate profitable exploitation of these rights, athletes can enter into contracts with sponsors whereby the athlete will promise to provide a service in return for money or money's worth (such as sporting equipment) from the sponsor. Typical services provided by sponsored athletes include appearances in advertising campaigns, product endorsement and personal appearances at sponsor events. Athletes who find their image rights being used without consent may be entitled to bring a claim for false endorsement under the law of passing off (as occurred in a case involving Eddie Irvine) or for trade mark infringement if they have a registered trade mark which is being used unlawfully. Injunctions, damages, an account of profits and/or orders to deliver up any offending materials may also be obtained in some circumstances. Various advertising standards codes offer further protection by prohibiting references to people with a public profile without their permission and complaints of inappropriate behaviour can be made to the Advertising Standards Authority. Handling Agents A number of those athletes whose star is on the rise will look to appoint an agent, who will hopefully bring useful knowledge, experience and contacts to the table, to deal with their commercial agreements. Agents operate both nationally and internationally and may be sports specialists or general celebrity agents. When negotiating representation contracts with agents, athletes should consider taking legal advice and should carefully consider the fees payable to the agent, the events that trigger payment and the length of the contract. One need only look at the case concerning Wayne Rooney to witness the effects of an overly restrictive representation agreement with an overly long term. Agents are able to enter contracts on behalf of the individuals they represent, so a relationship of trust and confidence is essential. The activities of sports agents are regulated by UK law and the national and international regulations of various sports. The regulation of football agents is particularly detailed and complex and RFL, cricket and boxing agents are regulated in the UK by their respective National Governing Bodies. Agents must in all cases act in accordance with the terms of their appointment and a number of common law duties set out under UK law (e.g. to use due care and skill, to disclose any conflicts of interest, not to make any secret profit etc.). The Sports Reputation Group is here to assist and advise players, agents and clubs with their reputation management and crisis management. Taxation Revenue (which includes goods such as sports equipment and services received as value in kind) received by an athlete from their sponsors will constitute income for tax purposes. Athletes must therefore plan their finances to prepare for each year’s tax bill and would be well advised to engage a suitably qualified accountant in the event they procure any significant sponsorship deals. To avoid higher rates of income tax, some athletes choose to assign their image rights to a limited company which then licences their use to sponsors. Legal and accountancy advice should be obtained before the formation of such a company, including in relation to VAT implications. Regulatory Issues Special care should be taken in relation to sponsorship deals with organisation selling products considered contrary to the ethos of sport (tobacco, alcohol, fast food or gambling services). This is especially the case as regards youth sports, images of youth athletes, advertising likely to be seen by children and any sensitivities of member athletes. For example, images of individuals aged under 25 of those whose religion prohibits gambling should not feature in adverts for gambling services. Athletes must also check the rules of any applicable national and international governing bodies, including those relating to leagues or competitions in which they participate, for further restrictions on sponsorship. Finally, please take comfort in the fact that The Sports Reputation Group here to help you ensure that your golden opportunities are realised in the best possible way. Bio The Sports Reputation Group is a new and unique entity offering complete media management and reputation management exclusively for clients in sport.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Talon Outdoor Secure New Business

Talon Outdoor today announced that it has agreed with AMS to manage all its future out-of-home business, which has previously been handled by Kinetic. Talon’s Managing Director, Nick Jarman, said ‘When Eric Newnham joined the business six months ago we were determined to make Talon different from the industry standard; we are proud to be independent as this enables creative, nimble thinking. We are delighted that both clients and industry figures are starting to see this for themselves.’ Duncan Collins, AMS Media Group’s Managing Director, said ‘Talon’s independence and experienced personal coupled with their vision for the future of OOH was a very exciting proposition for us to consider, we have always been a challenger brand among media specialists and we feel Talon are now set to do the same within OOH.’ Jarman added ‘The team at Talon is a strong one with a clear shared vision. We only want to recruit the best in the industry and we have some exciting plans for continued expansion.’ Talon, which hit the news back in the summer when former Kinetic head, Eric Newnham, re-entered the out of home media sector by becoming a shareholder, has seen significant growth over the past few months. Not least of these was when it was announced that Frank Bryant will be joining the business in late February 2013, in the capacity of Director and Shareholder. At the time Newnham explained his rationale for re-entering the sector, he said ‘I have spent quite some time developing my passion and understanding of the latest in digital and mobile communications. Consequently I have a clear vision as to how outdoor can adopt some new technologies and Talon’s size and independence gives us the perfect platform to explore these to the full. The current specialist sector is polarized and we think there is huge potential for an independent agency – such as ours - to introduce some fresh thinking. Clearly traditional outdoor delivery will be a fundamental part of our business but we want to work with new clients and embrace the exciting opportunities technology presents.’ Talon was founded in 2007 by Nick Jarman and is the UK representative of IOOH (International Out of Home), a global network of independently owned outdoor specialists which cover 15 countries and collectively bill over £100m. In a rapidly evolving media and communication landscape, it is determined to remain independent of the large group owned networks in order to offer more flexibility to its customers. Talon’s services include traditional outdoor media, digital, mobile, experiential, poster advertising and event sponsorships communications. Bio Talon Outdoor is the only independently owned out of home media specialist. It offers a fresh approach to the planning and buying of all outdoor media.

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Career in Sports Public Relations, Part Two - The Five Biggest Mistakes Job Candidates Make in Interviews

Perhaps you have a polished CV and you are now receiving invites to interviews! However, this is where so many people, many of whom probably could be good employees, let themselves down. Here are just a few of the mistakes we’ve witnessed that were deal breakers… 1. Make a good impression throughout the interview, not just at the start: if you are going to work in public relations then this is your chance to show the interviewer how presentable you are to their clients. Stand up when they come into the room, shake hands, look them in the eye and speak clearly (avoiding ‘you know’, ‘kinda’ and ‘sort of’). On top of this, avoid the following – ALL of which we have witnessed first hand a. Switch off your mobile – oh yes, a candidate once answered his ringing phone during an interview (which finished about 10 seconds after he hung up on his call) b. Present yourself sensibly – sport can be pretty conservative so think about whether this is the place to showcase your tattoos or facial piercings c. Be careful what you choose to share with an interviewer – it is refreshingly honest to admit you slept with your best friend’s partner but may not make the right impression d. Don’t cry – if you are so emotionally vulnerable that talking about school or your parent’s divorce brings you to tears, take time off and do some healing e. Don’t patronize the interviewer – responses like ‘good question’, especially from someone who is applying for their first job, are inappropriate. Assume the interviewer knows what they are doing and can do this without your endorsement of their skills 2. Demonstrate some commitment to the subject: there are two distinct sides to sport and if you want to join a sports PR company it is as well to grasp it early. There are tracksuits and suits, or, to put it another way, playing sport and overseeing the commercial side of it. By all means let the interviewer know that you are a season ticket holder at your favourite club or that a certain star is your hero, but don’t look like a wannabe. Talk about your understanding (and desire to learn more about) brands, sponsorships, fan engagement etc – that’s the type of work you’ll be doing so seem enthusiastic about it 3. Prepare for relevant questions: we aren’t talking about the ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses’ type question here. If you claim to be a huge sports fan ‘of all sports’ then it is not unreasonable for the interviewer to test this out or expect you to have an opinion that goes beyond rugby, cricket or football PR. Typically we ask candidates what sport they would take out of the Olympics and why; there isn’t a right answer but it tells us a lot about the candidate’s true sporting knowledge as well as their ability to think on their feet 4. Read history: if you are applying to an established company the chances are they were a sports PR agency when you were still in nappies. Check what their successes have been and try and get an understanding of what the sports landscape was before you became aware of it. You will look like a serious contender if you can talk about the evolution of commercial partnerships in sport sensibly 5. Read current affairs: go in prepared to talk about things that attracted you to sport beyond your own sporting skills. There are plenty of examples of PR campaigns that you could talk about and it is very impressive to hear a candidate talk intelligently on these sorts of topics ENS Ltd is a sports PR agency based in central London, tasked with promoting and protecting brands in sport. It is one of the best connected sports PR companies globally.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Top 7 Tips to Start Marathon Training

Deciding to run a marathon isn’t a decision to be made lightly. It is a huge achievement when you have completed it but, as many people can testify, marathons can be graveyards of egos – especially if you haven’t trained correctly. Here are some tips from the team at the Limassol Marathon to help you get started 1. Check with your Doctor before you begin training - Running a marathon is a gruelling test of mental and physical strength so check with your doctor that you aren’t taking on more than you can cope with 2. Learn about the course – Once you have chosen your marathon, research what kind of route it is – eg flat or hilly; warm or mild weather; crowded or quiet? Find out the conditions and then adapt your training program to reflect this, for example, when training, only run in the sun. For novice runners whilst it may be fun to get a race like the London or New York marathon under your belt, it is less intimidating – and you will get a much faster time – if you look at flat marathon courses and less crowded options – Limassol is a perfect beginners marathon. 3. Prepare a schedule – This will depend on how long you have to prepare but regardless of lead time, marathon training is a big commitment which will be much easier to cope with if you have a proper training schedule 4. You can’t out train a bad diet – Training is not an excuse to stuff yourself with all the junk food you want simply because you are burning more calories. Long distance running requires sticking to a good nutritional plan, you need to eat fat-friendly starchy and carb loaded food to ensure you have plenty of energy to go the distance – and stay hydrated! Drink at least a litre of water before running and keep taking on water whilst you train 5. Dress for success – If nothing else buy a decent pair of running shoes as this will ensure you avoid nasty knee, hip and back injuries. Ideally this means getting your gait (running stride) analysed which is a service a lot of running shops offer. Otherwise wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and if you are training at night on the roads, wear something with high visibility so other road users can spot you. 6. Mentally prepare – Many people make the mistake of thinking marathons are a purely physical endeavour but being prepared mentally is just as important. Start a training log so you can track your progress, adopt a mantra to get you through your long workouts and create a playlist of songs or stories that motivate you to keep going. It may also be worth finding a training buddy or running club – you are less likely to bail out of a training run if you know you have someone waiting for you 7. Push your limits – Don’t get stuck in a rut where you stick to a pace and routine within your capabilities. Mix things up with hill runs and sprints – they will improve your speed and fitness as well as keep your training more interesting The Limassol Marathon in Cyprus is being run on the 24th of March in 2013 and that means you’ve got just over four months to get yourself fighting fit for the challenge! Bio run by the sea, Limassol is the host venue for one of the most picturesque international half marathons.php in Europe. It is popular amongst experts seeking fast marathon courses or novices simply wanting to run abroad

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Rhino Recruits Rugby League Brand Ambassadors

This week Leeds Rhinos star Ryan Hall was appointed as a brand ambassador for Rhino and can be seen wearing the RhinoGB AW12 Core Polo by following the link below. Ryan Hall RhinoGB Ryan Hall is an English professional rugby league player for the Rhinos of Super League. An England international representative winger, he has played his entire professional career to date with the Leeds Rhinos, having won the 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2012 Super League Grand Finals with them. Rhino Rugby, having recently won the contract as Official Ball Supplier for the Rugby Football League and the Super League for the next three years, have also recruited James Roby of St Helens as a Rugby League Brand Ambassador. Managing Director of Rhino Rugby League and former Saints CEO Tony Colquitt comments: "I am delighted to welcome two world class English players to the Rhino Rugby League brand. Both Ryan and James will be working with Rhino Rugby League to activate our plans within the game. "The players will feature in promotional materials and in store activation programmes with Rhino Rugby League’s key trade partners. "The players will also be developing their own range of balls. Rhino Rugby League is committed to delivering world class bespoke products to the game and the signing of Ryan and James signals our intentions." James Roby commented, "I am delighted to sign with Rhino Rugby League and very excited by some of the plans that they have in place. "It’s great that a famous brand such as Rhino is now committing to League." Ryan Hall commented, "Rhino is a world class brand and I am delighted to be working with them. "I know fans and clubs alike will be delighted with the plans in place." The navy core polo is RhinoGB's essential polo; redesigned and continued from season to season it is a trusted and fundamental part of the RhinoGB retro rugby collection. Because the core polo shirt is so popular RhinoGB retail this classic polo all year around. The White Core Polo and the Navy Core Polo that Ryan Hall is wearing in the picture above are available throughout the year and are always popular with rugby teams, rugby supporters and followers of the heritage clothing brand! RhinoGB also produces the core polo in seasonal colours as well as the ever popular rugby hoody.. Made from 100% Cotton Piqué, it has the RhinoGB rugby crest badge embroidered on the chest as you would find on traditional sports teams polo shirts. On the opposite side it has the GBR embroidery in a contrasting colour.

Take a Lesson From Our Cycling Heroes and Get On Your Bike!

In the aftermath of the Olympics and Bradley Wiggins’ historic performance at the Tour de France there was a huge spike in the numbers of Brits cycling in the UK on their bikes as the nation relished in the glory of their athletes and harnessed the inspiration brought by a summer of sporting splendour. Cycling’s fan base soared, with Halfords recording a 14.7 per cent rise in cycling sales in its second quarter. While you may not be the next Pendleton or Wiggins, cycling has endless health and fitness benefits, so here are five good reasons you should consider following in the footsteps of your cycling heroes: 1. A study done by the British Medical Association on 10,000 people showed that riding a bicycle for at least 20 miles per week lessens your risk of contracting coronary heart disease by almost 50 per cent. 2. Cycling gives tremendous results for improving your cardiovascular fitness. This is because cycling makes the heart pound steadily, increasing your heart’s fitness by three to seven per cent. 3. It can help shed those extra pounds. Depending on the speed of your rides and the terrain you're covering, mountain biking can burn between 10 and 16 calories a minute, or 600 to 1,000 calories per hour from more challenging forms such as off-road. Visit 1 South West’s mountain biking UK page to find some challenging MTB trails. 4. Biking just two to three hours a week can improve your lung capacity by up to 20 per cent, making hiking up stairs or running for the bus in everyday life more of a breeze. If possible, consider cycling to work or school and you will complete two to three hours in no time each week. 5. Biking gives you the same hard-core aerobic exercise as a run, but without all those shocks to the ankles, knees and hips. For the same reason, it's a good sport for those returning from injury and can help to improve tendon strength without any load-bearing. The South West is one of the most popular destinations for cycling holidays in the UK and indeed Europe due to its array of beautiful scenery for the inexperienced riders and challenging trails for the more accomplished cyclists. It is home to some unforgettable cycle routes that are certain not to disappoint. So whether you are looking for a fun way to get in shape or the perfect family activity, head to the South West this Summer. Don’t worry if you don’t own a bike, there are plenty of bike hire facilities throughout the region. 1 South West provides information on cycle routes, MTB trails , UK cycling holidays and cycling news for all, from novice riders to experienced mountain bikers.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Will McAlpine bring order to the Twitter playground?

From personal privacy to the reputation (and finances) of company brands, the influence of Twitter is profound. Twitter users have been operating under the misapprehension that Twitter is a safe haven to abuse, scandalise and defame for some time now. Lord McAlpine’s reported legal action against “10,000 Twitter users” may well be the jab in the arm the Twittersphere needs. Many commentators have argued in recent weeks that Twitter is a different case and should therefore be treated differently in the eyes of the law. Not so. Publication on Twitter is the same as publication in any other medium and as such should take its place in a comprehensive media management package. The microblogging site, and other social media and blogs, are increasingly influential, to the extent that Philip Schofield and ITV (in creating their own difficulties) relied wholly on “3 minutes” of online search to “out” alleged paedophiles to David Cameron live on This Morning. A campaign (whether against a company’s product or service, or whether a spiteful campaign against an individual) can very quickly pick up pace and support online and become a reputational or privacy nightmare. Following legal advice, Lord McAlpine has reportedly accepted £185,000 damages from the BBC relating to the original false allegations - what can the Twitterati expect? The first question Tweeters will be asking (or asking their lawyers) is whether their Tweet was defamatory of McAlpine. Sally Bercow, the most high profile individual in the McAlpine headlights, has already publicly claimed that her Tweet was not defamatory. She seems to rely on the fact that her Tweet made no actual allegation (the Tweet said simply “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*”). To be defamatory a publication must make a false allegation which lowers the claimant in the opinion of readers. The test is what the ordinary reader would understand the publication meant. In order to show that the ordinary Bercow Tweep would draw the defamatory meaning then McAlpine’s lawyers will have to show a so-called “innuendo meaning” - that the ordinary reader is likely to have extrinsic facts in mind when reading the Tweet (i.e. the BBC allegations and the claim that the identity of the person alleged was being routinely leaked on Twitter). And what of ReTweeters? Well, the law is no kinder to someone who passes on a defamatory allegation. Each new Tweet, or ReTweet, is a new publication. The FA held Rio Ferdinand responsible for ReTweeting the infamous “choc ice” Tweet and a court of law would be no different in relation to a defamatory Tweet. Bercow’s Tweet was ReTweeted 146 times. Those individuals may have less to fear than Bercow though. McAlpine’s lawyers have reportedly assured “ordinary people” (whatever they are!) that McAlpine will only be seeking nominal charitable donations of between £5 and £100 from them. Bercow, and other high profile Twitter users such as George Monbiot, may not be so lucky. Bercow had 56,000 followers when she Tweeted about McAlpine. Given the 146 ReTweets the potential audience is very large. Mrs Bercow has embraced her public figure status, kept a verified account with a large following and must therefore accept that she held a high responsibility in what she Tweeted. Damages in libel are assessed on the basis of many factors including distress to the victim and the extent to which his/her reputation is damaged. The seriousness of the allegation and the size of audience will have a massive bearing on both. Assessing damages in libel is notoriously difficult. Knowing the amount of damage caused is incredibly difficult as it is unknown exactly where the allegations have been read. Twitter is instant and cannot be undone and, within hours or even minutes, a damaging Tweet can spread and spiral out of control. Ashley Cole deleted his infamous #bunchoftwats Tweet within 1 hour, not before it had been ReTweeted 19,000 times. Tweet in haste, repent at leisure.

Take Your Cycling to the Next Level

While you can build your leg muscles to the point of bulge research has shown that improving your core strength could be just as important in improving your cycling stamina. To prevent those lower back aches and slowing corners it is essential to strengthen your core muscles to get the best out of your legs. By gaining stability in your abs and lower back you will help to eliminate unnecessary upper-body movement so that all your energy can be delivered in smooth pedal strokes, which are essential when tackling the tough terrain of somewhere like Cardinham Woods. Cycling’s tripod position, which requires the saddle, pedals and handlebar to support your weight, relies on core strength, but unfortunately doesn’t help to build it. So if you’re ready to take your cycling to the next level why not try the following core-building routine as recommended by 1 South West. It takes just 10 minutes and if performed three-to-four times a week could see you achieving your cycling goals. Love cycling and mountain biking in the UK and looking to improve your every pedal? Let’s get to work! 1. Plank a. What it works and why: Transverse abdominals, upper and lower back. This will help to build strength and muscular endurance in your torso which will prevent reliance on the bike’s handlebars. b. Lying on your stomach place your elbows at shoulder level with hands and forearms in front. Keeping feet together lift your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from shoulders to heels. c. Hold for 30 seconds and rest for 15. Repeat 3 times. 2. Power Bridge a. What it works and why: Hip flexors, glutes and lower back. This movement will stretch hip flexors and strengthen the link between your lower back and glutes. b. Lie on back and place heels near glutes with arms at side. Squeezing your glutes raise your hips towards the ceiling to form a straight line from shoulders to knees and hold for 2 seconds before lowering your hips a couple of inches from floor before raising again. c. Repeat movement continuously for 20 seconds before resting for 10 and repeat 3 times. 3. V-Sit a. What it works and why: Transverse, abdominals and lower back. As with the plank this move will improve the core strength needed for when bent over the handlebars for hours. b. Sitting on the floor lift your legs straight to form a 90 degree angle with your upper-body by extending your arms forward at shoulder height. Hold your abs tight. If you feel your hamstrings tightening bend your knees a little. c. Hold the following move for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds rest. Repeat 3 times. 4. Scissor Kick a. What it works and why: Transverse abdominals, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs. Improving these muscles which help you achieve hip, knee and forefoot alignment, which will deliver an efficient pedal stoke. b. Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms by your sides. Raise your shoulders off the floor as your raise your legs around 3-4 inches off floor and cross them over one another repeatedly, ‘scissor’ them. c. Do exercise continuously for 20 seconds before resting for 10. Repeat 3 times 5. Transverse Plank a. What it works and why: Transverse abdominals and obliques. By improving these muscles you will improve your saddle stability. b. Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder placing your one leg on top of other and raise your free arm overhead. Lift your hips to create a straight line down your body then lower hips a few inches off floor before lifting again. c. Repeat exercise for 20 seconds before switching sides. Repeat 3 times each side.

Rhino Rugby has the X Factor

Last weekend on the very popular British talent show The X–Factor, contestant Rylan Clarke made a dramatic entrance, parachuting on to the stage to start his medley of Spice Girls hits. The stunt was a feast for the eyes, not just because of his high energy performance but because he was wearing RhinoGB’s very own Union Jack Jacket as a clear call back to Geri Halliwell’s infamous Union Jack dress. The X-factor stylist’s added their own sparkle to the jacket by customising it with jewels especially for Rylan’s performance. Rylan is just the latest of an ever growing list of celebrities who are donning the Union Jack. The cult following of this unique piece of clothing started in 2010 when JB Gill, of the X-Factor produced boy band JLS, donned the jacket in their video clip ‘The Club is Alive’ which has close to half a million hits on YouTube. Later in 2010 Louis Spence, of Pineapple Studios fame, was spotted in the jacket at an event with X-Factor alum, series seven winner, Matt Cardle. Even cult figure David Hasselhoff is on the action. The former Baywatch and Britain’s Got Talent judge wore the jacket when he was a guest on Sky TV’s Soccer AM show at Christmas time 2010. A few months after that Ollie Locke, one of the stars of Made in Chelsea, stopped by heritage clothing and retro rugby brand RhinoGB to get his hands on one, he was then filmed wearing it on the hit TV show. In May this year the jacket was included in a special fashion exhibition down in Brighton. The exhibit was displaying fashions that used the Union Jack as a fabric or design inspiration. RhinoGB, which also produces rugby hoodies, was featured amongst top British designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran, John Rocha, Alice Temperley, Stephen Jones, Barbour and Doctor Martens. Other stars that have been spotted out and about donning the Union Jack include Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrel star Ronnie Fox who wore it to the St George’s Day film premier and Gia Marie Barbera who wore it to London Fashion Week. 2012 has been a tremendous year for Great Britain with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, there is no better time to show your true colours and where your national pride on your sleeve! Rhino’s values of toughness, reliability, integrity, heritage and team spirit are born out of the game of rugby itself.

Why you should swap the gym for the Great Outdoors

Sick of spending time in sweaty, crowded gyms? Why not turn to the great outdoors. Not only will using mother nature as your fitness playground look to save you money but studies have proven it is better for your health. cycling in the UK is accessible to everyone. Here are five good reasons to grab your trainers, mount your bike and head for the hills: 1. Rocket your levels of Vitamin D. With many of us trapped in the confines of our office for the majority of the day don’t put yourself back into a sweatbox gym. Sunlight on your skin (we aren’t talking sun worshipping here) sparks vitamin D production, which has been suggested to fight a magnitude of conditions from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Try to combine this limited sun exposure with a good source of vitamin D supplements to secure a healthy regime. 2. Work yourself harder! Instead of sitting on a stationary spin bike why not grab your mountain bike and head for some off-road cycling, which will test you against the elements and push your body to its limits. If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion. 3. Improve your concentration. It has been proven that children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. So if you find you have trouble concentrating why not try some outdoor activity to help you focus. 4. Prevent Injuries. Exercising on a natural surface can have tremendous benefit on your musculoskeletal system. In order to continue to improve musculoskeletal health uneven or natural terrain like grass fields, trails, hills, and other obstacles should be tackled. This can significantly decrease the risk of foot, ankle and knee injuries. 5. Get that happy feeling. According to Dr. Andrew Lepp at Kent State University, outdoor activities can prevent and reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and offer a sense of challenge and adventure. So if active outside pursuits replace inactive slumps in front of the TV, it might also mean more smiles. 1 South West can help you find where to go cycling and give you some ideas of things to do in the south west. For more information, visit the website here .

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Devil is in the Detail

There is a drive towards increasing professionalisation within the world of sports PR, marketing and sponsorship as well as agency which has developed over the past decade. This has led to an increased focus on the minutiae within contract negotiation; an absolute necessity when you consider some of the recent evidence. In early August Manchester United was reported to have broken the world record for a shirt sponsorship deal signing a seven year, £357m agreement with Chevrolet. Meanwhile, Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ market report at the end of 2011 said that sponsorship was now only two or three years away from outstripping gate receipts as a source of income across all major sports. With large amounts of money at stake the potential for disputes is significant with disagreements over what each side hopes and expects to receive thrown into sharp focus. Wayne Rooney’s case against his former agents Proactive illustrates the tension between the sides when the terms of the deal – in that case the length of an agency contract – can raise questions about restraint of trade. Five and ten year deals are not uncommon in sports sponsorship and when one party is tied to a long deal the same question has to be asked as to whether the contract is reasonable and enforceable. Disputes are often the result of insufficient business planning from one or both of the parties and often happen because of a lack of vision, attention to detail and communication. It’s all about measuring performance and success (metrics) and placing a value on that achievement so if you take for example the sponsorship of a player by a brand or the contract he or she has with a club, milestone payments will have to be considered carefully; how will that player be remunerated for scoring winning goals or tries, becoming player of the season and so on? David Casement QC provided legal advice for Charlie Adam in his dispute with his then club Blackpool who argued, wrongly, that Charlie was entitled to a bonus if they stayed in the Championship but not if (as happened) they were promoted to the Premier League! Conversely the club will have expectations of its own, such as the player’s or brand’s promotional responsibilities and any potentially competing duties they may have. The awarding party’s expectations of a player’s behaviour when under contract has also been placed under the spotlight recently by the actions of players accused of racism on the pitch. Also, sponsors have to ensure they are not embarrassed and a well planned contract will include a “non-embarrassment clause” to this effect which should allow for termination and/or a claw back of money in the event of the need for crisis management. The hope is that sponsors will bring pressure to bear on clubs to ensure that players conduct does not damage the brand.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Beginner's Guide to Off Road Cycling

Starting out in any sport can be intimidating and it’s never nice admitting you’re a ‘beginner’, but don’t let it put you off from experiencing the adventure of a lifetime. The 1 South West project in England, who are dedicated to ensuring everyone experiences a great off-road adventure in the area, has worked with cyclists at all levels and has put together some great advice to get you on the off-road track and on your way to achieving your south west mountain biking ambitions. Firstly, If you haven’t been on a bike for a while or don’t feel like a confident rider then don’t let it put you off. Being honest about your current ability is the most important step to having a great adventure. Fitness also comes into it; perhaps you don’t want to find yourself climbing steep hills. You may have never ridden a bike off-road. Most good off-road areas will have graded MTB trails to help you determine the best option. 1SW for example has green or blue trails, green being the easiest and great paths for beginners or those wanting to improve their rusty-technique. Blue trails are then for the next step up, once you’ve gained some confidence these will provide you with a bit more of a challenge. For those who are just learning to ride a bike, try a Trail Hub or Promoted Route as these will offer a mostly care-free experience and should have a well-maintained surface throughout the year. While you may have bundles of enthusiasm when starting out it is always good practice to remain aware when going off-road. Novices contemplating Green or Blue graded landscape rides should keep in mind that trail conditions may have deteriorated since the route was last surveyed. Landscape Rides tend to vary depending on weather conditions as many are un-surfaced. These types of routes will tend to suit novice riders who are already outdoor enthusiasts but are looking to explore on two wheels rather than on foot. Remember that the grading system refers to the technical challenge of the trail, not how long it is, so it’s always good to check this before setting off to make sure your fitness is up to the challenge. Check out the 1SW site at www.1sw.org.uk for a complete guide to starting out on an off-road adventure and make sure you are set for the ride of your life.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Image is Everything

In our society we are consumed by our obsession with celebrity status. Businesses recognise this and are increasingly eager to show personalities endorsing their products. Exploitation of “image rights” is therefore big business and a giant revenue generator. What is an “image right”? An image right is a person’s right to their own persona, including the right to prevent or restrict others from using their name, likeness or logos/slogans How are image rights protected? It seems strange then to think that, under UK law, there is no codified regime of image or personality rights which means that when individuals wish to protect proprietary rights or “brands” and prevent unauthorised use of names, likeness or other characteristics, they need to rely on a variety of statutory and case law. The various rights and causes of action are explained below: Passing Off In its traditional sense, the law of passing off protects the goodwill or reputation attached to goods or services sold by a trader under or by reference to a brand name, trading “style” or “get up” and gives the owner of that goodwill or reputation the right to bring an action to prevent the “passing off” of the offending imitation. Passing off occurs where the owner can demonstrate that: (1) the mark/style/”get up” is recognised by the public as distinctive of the owner’s goods or services; and (2) a misrepresentation has been made by the offending trader leading or likely to lead the public to believe that its goods or services are either those of, or are endorsed by or associated with, the owner; and (3) that it has suffered or is likely to suffer damage as a result. The Eddie Irvine decision in 2002 (Edmund Irvine & Tidswell Ltd –v- Talksport Ltd [2002]EWHC 367), however, marked a watershed in the evolution of the law of passing off (at least as far as image and personality rights are concerned) and it became clear that passing off could be extended to allow famous people with sufficient goodwill in their name and image to protect that name and image from unauthorised exploitation in a way in which suggested that the celebrity had endorsed a product or service. In this case, Eddie Irvine, the Formula One racing driver issued proceedings against Talksport radio for their unauthorised use of his image on promotional literature. The photograph used by Talksport was one of Irvine with a mobile phone but Talksport digitally manipulated the photo to show him, instead, listening to a radio with “Talk Radio” emblazoned across it. It was the digitally manipulated photo that was placed on marketing literature. Irvine argued that the use of the photograph amounted to passing off as it gave the impression that he had endorsed the promotional literature. The court found in Irvine’s favour and ruled that for a passing-off action to succeed in a false endorsement case, the claimant needs to prove that at the time of the acts complained of he had a significant reputation or goodwill and that the actions of the defendant gave rise to a false message which would be understood by a not insignificant section of his market that his goods had been endorsed, recommended or approved of by the claimant; and that, on the evidence, the claimant raised a significant reputation management issue, in that not an insignificant number of recipients of the brochure would assume that he had endorsed the defendant’s product. So, in light of this decision, celebrities have solid ground upon which to object to any promotional or advertising material that may suggest that they have endorsed or are associated with the products or services in question, when in fact no consent or authorisation has been given. In such cases, the remedies available are injunctive relief – i.e. the removal of the offending material from sale/circulation and damages equivalent to what the celebrity in question would likely have received for the endorsement had it been legitimate. Furthermore, following the implementation of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, claiming a product has been endorsed when it has not is also now a criminal offence – carrying a possible unlimited fine and up to a two year prison term. Trade Marks Trade Marks protect signs capable of distinguishing goods or services of one trader from those of another. The sign must be capable of being represented graphically (e.g. words, logos, symbols) and must be “distinctive”. Personalities who are interested in exploiting their image or brand for commercial gain are now routinely registering trade marks both to commercialise their brand and to strengthen their rights so as to help to prevent unauthorised third parties from using their names, images or other characteristics. Examples of trade marks registered by personalities include the words DAVID BECKHAM for a range of goods, including perfumes, shaving lotions, hair lotions, sunglasses, watches and precious stones; and the words GORDON RAMSAY for goods and services including, food items, condiments, menus, stationery and catering services, . However, recent Trade Mark Registry guidance and practice has indicated that a famous person’s name will generally be regarded as merely descriptive of goods which are “mere image carriers” – such as posters or stickers. Descriptive marks are devoid of any distinctive character and therefore not registrable. For example, Sir Alex Ferguson‘s application to register the mark ALEX FERGUSON was refused in relation to “image carrier” goods such as posters and stickers. The registration was, however, allowed for goods such as clothing and wrist-watches. It is easy to understand how the mark ALEX FERGUSON is considered merely descriptive of a picture bearing Alex Ferguson’s image and in instances where pictures or images are used without consent in a way which suggests an endorsement, celebrities will have to rely on the common law right of passing off. And in those instances where images are used in such a way as to suggest no endorsement it seems that there is no recourse for celebrities under either trade mark or passing off law. There may yet be some redress in the areas of privacy and data protection (in certain circumstances) as explained below. Privacy The Human Rights Act provides that all UK legislation must be interpreted in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 of the Convention provides that everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life. So if publication of a photograph is likely to be particularly invasive to a personality’s private life then the Courts can intervene to prevent publication of such photographs. For example in Theakston v MGN [2002] All ER (D) 182 an injunction was granted to prevent publication of photographs depicting a TV presenter’s brothel antics even though the Court refused to restrain publication of a verbal depiction of the story. Privacy laws will not, however, prevent the publication and/or sale of images which do not invade a person’s privacy. So, privacy law may prevent the publication and sale of photos of sports personalities’ children or personal events where such publication would be considered an invasion of privacy but would not prevent the publication and sale of posters depicting footballers playing football. Data Protection There may also be some scope to rely upon the Data Protection Act for compensation where photographs of celebrities are published without their consent. A photograph of a celebrity will be considered “personal data” within the meaning of the Act provided that person can be identified from the photograph. Further, personal data can only be processed where certain conditions are met and usually only where the “data subject” has consented to such processing. Consent can, however, be implied in certain circumstances and again where a footballer is playing a game, it is arguable that by playing the game on the public stage he has impliedly consented to personal data about him during that game being processed. However, if photographs are taken which a personality would objectively object to, then the publication of those photos is likely to be a breach of the Data Protection Act, for which the celebrity can claim compensation. Advertising Standards Finally, the various advertising codes may afford some level of media management protection to sports personalities for unauthorised use of their images. The CAP code which covers non-broadcast advertising (i.e. magazines, bill-boards etc) includes a provision that marketers should not imply personal approval for an advertised product where consent has not been given and the TV Code states that living people must not be portrayed, caricatured or referred to in advertisements without their permission. However, whilst the Codes can be used by complainants to seek withdrawal of the adverts in questions, damages are not available to the complainants – unlike in a passing off action. Conclusion Whilst we do not have a perfect “unified” system to protect image rights in the UK, the combination of the above rights and causes of action do afford a decent level of protection which enables celebrities to exploit and protect their image and brand very effectively. The above rights should form part of a comprehensive crisis management plan for sporting celebrities.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Talon Outdoor Recruits Head of Retail

Today (26th October 2012) it was announced that Joanna Fisher is joining independent out of home media specialist, Talon Outdoor, in the newly created position, Head of Retail. Nick Jarman, Talon’s Managing Director explained ‘We have seen significant growth and change over the past few months and it was apparent that we needed a retail expert to help us better meet our clients’ demands. We wanted to offer the authority expected of us so we were delighted to be able to recruit Jo. Her experience of nearly 20 years working with leading clients such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Specsavers and Orange, fitted the position perfectly.’ Jo Fisher added ‘I am truly delighted to be joining Talon and it is very exciting to be moving back to an independent agency. Over the past few months Talon has really started to grab the sector’s attention and clearly has some audacious plans for taking out of home forward - and I am looking forward to be part of this very much.’ Talon, which hit the news back in the summer when former Kinetic head, Eric Newnham, re-entered the out of home media sector (OOH) by becoming a shareholder, has seen significant growth over the past few months. Not least of these was when it was announced that Frank Bryant will be joining the business in late February 2013, in the capacity of Director and Shareholder. At the time Newnham explained his rationale for re-entering the sector, he said ‘I have spent quite some time developing my passion and understanding of the latest in digital and mobile communications. Consequently I have a clear vision as to how outdoor can adopt some new technologies and Talon’s size and independence gives us the perfect platform to explore these to the full. The current specialist sector is polarized and we think there is huge potential for an independent agency – such as ours - to introduce some fresh thinking. Clearly traditional outdoor delivery will be a fundamental part of our business but we want to work with new clients and embrace the exciting opportunities technology presents.’ Talon was founded in 2007 by Nick Jarman and is the UK representative of IOOH (International Out of Home), a global network of independently owned outdoor specialists which cover 15 countries and collectively bill over £100m. In a rapidly evolving media and communication landscape, it is determined to remain independent of the large group owned networks in order to offer more flexibility to its customers. Talon’s services include traditional outdoor media, digital, mobile, experiential and event sponsorships communications.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Proud to be British

London's original promise to 'inspire a generation' sounded grandiose, even glib, and yet the substance of that pledge has been reached this summer in the most stirring, moving fashion. The Olympic Games have had a positive effect on the UK. 2012 was a great year for our Olympians: 29 Gold Medals, 17 Silver, 19 Bronze gives an overall total of 65 Medals. The 30th Olympiad brought prosperity and pleasure to a downbeat nation. It was a much needed boost for the people of Britain and it really made its citizens proud to be from the British Isles. A tiny nation off the coast of Europe hosted the biggest party; it really put Britain back on the map and showed off its amazing culture. The spirit of the Olympics has been so inspiring. The scale of the Olympic Park made you realise that places can be turned around from derelict wasteland to top class sports facilities, or to any other creation depending on the dream. So impeccably constructed were these Olympic Games that Britain is imbued today - to an extent not even Lord Coe could have envisaged - with a renewed self-belief and a confidence that, for all the daily tensions and gripes in its metropolis, that it can still choreograph a spectacle of life-affirming splendour, one that is in every sense the envy of the world. From the second that sheep and geese were brought into the Opening Ceremony as part of Danny Boyle's bucolic idyll, these have been Games framed by the iconography of Britain. RhinoGB, the retro rugby brand born out of the scrum, is also feeling very British of late. It's in that brutal cauldron that strength, toughness and experience prevail, and the Rhino brand has been synonymous with optimum player preparation and performance for all levels of rugby, for over 25 years. The RhinoGB rugby leisure collection draws its inspiration from that rich heritage of performance characteristics, and is now being worn by players at the top of their game, and is already receiving a growing celebrity following. Their range has a fine balance of rugby authenticity, rugby vintage 'university' style and the latest materials that enhance comfort and style for all forms of relaxation. It seems everybody wants to celebrate being British; last month Ronnie Fox was at the Premiere for Frank Harpers St George’s Day Film, wearing a Union Jack T Design Jacket by RhinoGB.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Heineken Cup Predictions

Last weekend’s Heineken Cup delivered exciting rugby in abundance with a battering for Edinburgh at home by Saracens and an unexpected win for Racing Metro against Munster. With each pool flooded with hot competition London Sports Agency ENS spoke to its Rugby pro client, Rob Henderson, for his predictions on this year’s tournament. Read on further to find out Henderson's take on the field this year. Rob has enjoyed an impressive career; he racked up 32 caps for Ireland, toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2001 and played for some of the best Premiership teams across England and Ireland, including London Irish, Wasps, Leinster and Munster. With his experience of the game and the players in the H Cup here’s what he had to say: ‘After round one of this season’s competition, there were tries and tackles aplenty with the odd upset thrown in to boot! If I were to pick my semi finalists on current form, I believe we would see Saracens, Toulouse, Leinster and Toulon fighting it out for a place in the Final. Saracens destroyed Edinburgh in their own backyard at the weekend and I can see them progressing from their pool. Pool two is an unbelievably tough group where Toulouse showed their patient side in dealing with Leicester. Fingers have been pointed at Ben Youngs for his quick tap and go when only five points down but I applaud his endeavour. That being said, leaving Toulouse with nothing could prove costly and I only see Toulouse advancing. Pool three seems to be a straight shootout between Harlequins and Biarritz to me. I believe both of these teams will progress to the knockout stages. As for Leinster - going for an unprecedented hat-trick? Of course they can! Having been given a real fright by Exeter, who were excellent in defeat, I believe that Leinster will step up their efforts in a group that includes old adversaries, Clermont. They will have enough to go through and I believe at the expense of the French side who must wait for another year for their title tilt. Those teams are the ones my money is on, then again, if you followed my tips in the Grand National you would be empty handed! Roll on round two.’ Sports Sponsorship PR specialists ENS will be tuning in on Saturday to see how last year’s champions, Leinster, fair in their first away match of the Cup against Scarlets.

RhinoGB at Rugby Expo 2012

Rhino Rugby has confirmed its involvement at Rugby Expo for the third consecutive year, by signing as an official supplier to this year's event taking place at Twickenham on 14 – 15 November. As one of the world's most innovative and well-known rugby brands, Rhino will be showcasing a number of its leading product lines at this year's event including its rugby leisure range RhinoGB, which will showcase its heritage clothing and old school fashion. “We are very much looking forward to being a part of Rugby Expo 2012 and are delighted to see it return to Twickenham following the success of last year's event," confirmed Reg Clark, chief executive of Rhino Rugby. "Rugby Expo provides us with the perfect platform to showcase our brand and our various product lines to not only professional clubs but also to a significant number of community rugby clubs, facilitated greatly by the event's ticketing strategy." Rugby Expo will again be implementing a ticketing policy that will provide complimentary tickets for community clubs to attend day two of the event, made available through partnerships with a number of home unions as well as the community programmes of professional clubs. Rhino Rugby will also be teaming up with Browns Sports & Leisure Resort to promote a not-to-be-missed competition, where one lucky team will win a five night's stay at the popular training resort in Portugal. Clubs and schools can enter the prize draw by visiting Browns staff at Rhino Rugby's stand, with the winning team announced at the end of day two of Rugby Expo. Jonathan Wilson, event director for Rugby Expo said: "It's great to have Rhino involved again at Rugby Expo. Rhino Rugby is one of the sport's biggest brands and its involvement this year will be bigger than ever. We're looking forward to Reg and his team joining us for what promises to be a busy two days in November." The vintage rugby will also use Rugby Expo to launch the official ball range of the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia. As for the Lions 2009 Tour to South Africa, Rhino has moreover a dual role – the Somerset based company is to supply not only the training equipment the squad will use at each training venue in the UK & Ireland, Hong Kong and Australia, but also the Official Training Ball and commemorative ball collection for the Tour. Rugby Expo will welcome over 1000 delegates across the two days, combining an unrivalled conference programme, interactive workshops and busy exhibition floor.

Friday, 12 October 2012

British Summer of Sport 2012

It’s hard to remember there ever being a better summer of sport for Britain and what a start to the ‘golden decade of British sport’. The feats of Bradley Wiggins and Rory McIlroy before the end of the Games are almost distant memories given the more recent – and staggering achievements of Team GB, Andy Murray and the Ryder Cup team. Much has been made of the legacy of the Games but what does that mean beyond screen-filled competitive drama? British cycling is thriving like never before and can even claim to have helped Britain’s lagging retail sector with Halfords, the UK's biggest bike traders reported a 14.7% jump in bike sales in the three months to the end of September. On top of this Sky announced yesterday (11th October) that it had prematurely smashed its 2013 target of getting 1 million Brit’s cycling regularly. One area that can also claim a leap forward is women’s sport. An unprecedented 70,584 spectators supported the Team GB football stars as they took on Brazil in their group-game contest whilst female boxing was put on the map by Nicola Adams. Such was her impact (literally and figuratively) that not only are boxing gyms seeing more girls show up to train but the sport has now been selected for the Glasgow 2014 Games for the first time in the event’s history. While the increased numbers of participation help to serve the summer’s legacy, Rebecca Hopkins, MD of ENS, a London sports agency , says the triumphs off-court are just as important: “The summer of sport has been amazing to live through and has undoubtedly left a myriad of happy memories in millions of minds. However for the Games’ legacy aspirations to be realized that is not enough – and to my mind it isn’t just about the sporting endeavours on track, field, court and pitch. British sport isn’t all about tracksuits; there are a lot of us ‘suits’ too. “Clearly the more people doing sport the better, whether it is young people who are the future of professional sport or adults who realize just how personally rewarding sport can be. On the flip side of this – and I say this as the MD of a sports public relations firm – I would like to see the business side of sport flourish too. “Many British companies proved their metal during the London Olympics and it would be great to see those businesses go on to better things. The Olympics was the first event in a ‘golden decade of sport’ but it wasn’t always easy for British companies to win Olympic tenders – not that our track record on and off the medal podium has been proved, I hope the rest of the events staged here will embrace our hard-won expertise.”

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Who Owns Rugby

Once upon a time rugby jerseys were made from heavy cotton, with starchy collars and the minimum of colours to distinguish your team from the other. Those days are long gone, and some would say good riddance, as they slip into their pink leopard skin print tight fit top… over their base layer to keep them cosy and warm… and their shoulder pads so they don’t get hurt… oh, and don’t forget the fake tan!! It’s pretty obvious that rugby has evolved on the field in what we now wear – custom scrum caps, gum shields, forearm protectors, pink boots, etc. – but what about off it? Time was after the game you’d put on your miner’s overalls, barrister’s suit or student rags and off you went. The only thing distinguishing you as a rugby player to Joe Public would be your cauliflower ear or black eye! Even when supporters got their first England rugby jersey or Wales rugby shirt, the only fashion faux pas they could make was to wear the collar up or down! Well, the times they are a changing as a host of “rugby leisure” brands dip their feet in the rugby market and piggy back in on the values of rugby that have taken generations to create. The glaringly obvious one is Ralph Lauren, but more on them in due course. There are some obvious link ups between rugby and fashion – the Benetton factory in the town of Treviso, or French flair combined with the genius of Serge Blanco. Fashion from a rugby perspective – how many people does that cover? Rugby is getting more and more global, but even in the home nations, it is a minority sport. Reg Clark, owner of old school fashion and retro rugby brand RhinoGB, said “If it will be a niche market of real rugby fans and not the population at large, so be it. We don’t want to ditch quality for quantity for the sake of profit. Rhino is a brand over 30 years in the making and we are not going to abandon our values”. “The preppie/ivy league look has been overdone and is very un-rugby” says Clark. The approach he is referring to of course is the random rugby brand generator – Polo shirt + place name + some numbers + rugby = fashion. Columbus Rugby 1492 for example – with so many brands following this formula, it beggars the question – who owns the rights to rugby? Perhaps Rugby school? The town of Rugby? The RFU? The IRB? The first person to copyright “rugby”? So now we get to the elephant in the room. Ralph Lauren famously tried to copyright rugby as part of their fashion brand RL Rugby, and has been scaring off anyone who they think might be encroaching on their rights to the use of the word “rugby” on leisurewear. They have also pursued a similar tack in relation to the use of the polo logo and infamously prevented the US Polo national governing body from using a polo player on a horse logo on their apparel! One man who knows all about the fight to own rugby is American James Carlberg of LiquidRugby.com. Carlberg started printing rugby tees back in the eighties and had built a successful business that was experiencing rapid growth as rugby grew in popularity in the States. Things were going so well that a number of apparel reps had been in touch about getting into the larger department stores. His legal struggles brought this to a halt. Thankfully Carlberg stuck it out and six years later won his case convincingly against Ralph Lauren. “I’m an entrepreneur and I believe in the American Dream. No one should be able to tell you what you can or can’t sell and who you can or can’t sell to” said James. In true rugby spirit, James has some advice for those wishing to enter this field “If you love our sport the way I do and you have a product or brand you believe in, fight for it”.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Twenty-20 Cricket – A Threat to the Traditional Game?

This weekend’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka will include fireworks, music and rowdy crowds - a far cry from the quietly traditional game that is as English as tea and scones. Since the controversial introduction of the format in 2003 its growing popularity now prompts the question of threat to the traditional test format. T20 was the ECB’s response to poor match attendance - and its economic implications - but was originally intended only for professional inter-county competition, promoted under the slogan ‘I don’t like cricket, I love it’. When the first match was held at Lord's in front of a 27,509-strong crowd, both cricket PR and the game took a quantum leap forward. This was the largest attendance for any county cricket game since a one-day final in 1953. Australia and Pakistan soon adopted the format and similarly enjoyed record crowds. The first international T20 match was between Australia and New Zealand in 2005 and as the players ran out onto the pitch wearing retro sportswear and moustaches, it was clear that this was very different from the traditional game. The increase in match attendance, viewing figures and income that Twenty20 has generated has been way beyond the ambitions of the founder – but most impressively the format has attracted a wealth of young players to the sport. In 2011 an ECB report revealed club membership increased by 4% from 2009 and there were now 7% more cricket coaches. Additionally, Canada, the Netherlands and Afghanistan, nations less well-known for their cricket credentials, have taken to the game whilst the demographics of the average fan have changed dramatically. For example, BMRB’s TGI Sport+ survey in 2008 revealed that T20 viewers are less likely to be male, more likely to be in the younger age groups (20% are under 30 compared to 16% of cricket fans) and less concentrated in high social grades (28% are in the AB grades, compared to 35% of cricket fans). Money is an important contributor to the T20 debate; many feel the inherent commercialization of Twenty20 has damaged cricket’s core values. Those in the opposing camp argue that the income generated has revived the game. Rebecca Hopkins, Managing Director of ENS, which specializes in Sport Sponsorship PR, commented, ‘Sports that can introduce a short format successfully will attract new audiences, new players and new sponsors. Football and rugby have both done this very successfully; golf has tried with varied results however a workable short-game still eludes tennis. Traditionalists, especially in a sport as traditional as cricket, will baulk at any radical changes but hats off to the ECB’s vision and bravery – both of which have been repaid and done great things for their game.’

Friday, 28 September 2012

Top Triathletes Give You Tips to Try for Training

sports public relations is an area that is becoming increasingly important, especially after the Olympics, but it is hard for many ‘smaller’ sports to secure a share of voice in the media. One which is bucking this trend, thanks to the achievements of the Brownlee brothers, is Triathlon with the result that rapidly increasing participation levels are set to get even higher. Whilst this is great news for the sport in some respects, in reality many competitors find it hard enough to find race events without having to face even more competition. So whether you are a seasoned athlete looking to advance or a novice determining where to start, ENS has collated some tips from the top… Tom Lowe, British Ironman Record Holder “If you're coming off a season of racing, before you even start training over the winter, take a break. Your body will thank you for the rest and after a month without any hard physical exercise you'll be keener than ever to get out the door and put the hours in. Many people are carrying injuries in the latter half of the season that now need addressing; before you start on anything too structured ensure that your body is in good working order by visiting a reputable and relevant medical professional. Use the winter to include a strength and conditioning programme in your week. If you've raced all season you'll be more than aware of the parts of your body that are weaker than others, that hurt more during a race and that tend to cramp in the run. Use this knowledge to research and adopt specific, simple exercises to combat these problems so that your body is better adapted to handling the endurance load that you're going to put on it over the coming months. Then it’s on to next year's season.” Harry Wiltshire, Great British Triathlete “Get kit that works and keep it maintained. There is nothing worse for motivation than to know you’re heading out on a bike ride in the freezing cold with skipping gears rubbing mudguards, dodgy breaks and gloves with holes in. The right kit in good condition makes the winter so much easier.” Tom Bishop, British National Triathlon Champion 2011 “Winter shouldn't be dreaded by triathletes. It is the perfect time for relaxed training with friends. There is no pressure to stay race fit. Find a group ride that you can join and make the most of those fresh bright days. Try something different like mountain or fell running and have at least one or two races to keep you motivated and focused.” Hollie Avil, 2008 Beijing Olympian “Training over winter can still be enjoyable. Look into doing some spin classes at your local gym if you can't face the turbo. They are as hard as you make them and fun too. Look after yourself, take on board lots of vitamin C and wear bright colors when out on the roads so you’re always seen in the dark.” David McNamee, World U23 Silver Medalist 2011 “The winter is where you set the groundwork for next season’s successes; it’s a time for fine tuning your technique and building the aerobic base so when the gun goes next year you are ready.” Non Stanford, Great British Triathlete “Winter is the perfect opportunity to keep your training fresh and varied, for example try mountain biking instead. It's a great way of improving your bike handling skills, keeping you fit and having fun.” Matthew Gunby, British Triathlon Tri-Gold Member “I find one of the best ways to overcome the tough winter conditions is to incorporate low key races into my schedule, such as cross country running or cyclocross; they give you short term targets which help to keep you motivated. It is also important to be flexible with your training during the winter, if the weather is terrible then just go swimming or off road running instead.” Getting start can be difficult but maintaining your training regime can be even harder. Why not take some inspiration from the elite folk by regularly checking their social media? These days most players and athletes post regular updates on Twitter or Facebook as part of their online PR so make the most of what they can tell you. It may make facing a grim run in the dark just a little easier. Good luck