Thousands expected at Zuma’s inauguration

first_img15 May 2014Thousands of people, including current and former heads of state and eminent persons, are expected to attend the inauguration of Jacob Zuma as South African President on Saturday, 24 May, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane told journalists in Pretoria on Thursday.The inauguration will be held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Government expects thousands of people to show up for the ceremony, with 4 500 people to be accommodated in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre, including Members of Parliament, current and former heads of state and various eminent persons.Chabane would not be drawn in on which names were on the VIP guest list. “Confirmations of attendance will be provided in due course, as guests are still responding to invitations,” he said.The remaining guests will be accommodated on the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings, while other members of the public will be able to follow proceedings on live television, radio broadcasts and public viewing areas at 47 sites across the country.On the question of developments in the platinum belt possibly overshadowing the inauguration, Chabane said the government remained hopeful for a solution to the labour dispute, which started 16 weeks ago. “It’s our hope that the role players … will continue to search for a solution to the problem and also that parties conduct themselves in a manner that will encourage peace and stability and avoid intimidation.”In response to another question, Chabane said the cost implications of the inauguration ceremony would be “far less” than those of previous presidential inaugurations.Ahead of the inauguration, the National Assembly will convene its first sitting of the new term next Wednesday, when members of Parliament will be sworn in. This will be followed by the swearing in of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Republic.By the time the inauguration takes place, the nine provinces will have elected their Premiers and provincial delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), which will have its first sitting on 22 May.Chabane said the government once again thanked the nation for contributing to the success of the 2014 general elections, emphasizing that it would now be “work as usual for the national executive, in terms of the Constitution.“We look forward to the coming milestones being as well-managed as the election process itself, and hope that South Africans will derive new hope, optimism and energy for an even better future.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Key Considerations for Building a Robust Data Strategy

first_imgMany business and IT leaders are focused on developing comprehensive data strategies that enable data-driven decision making. A 2016 IDG Enterprise survey found that 53% of companies were implementing or planning to implement data-driven projects within the next 12 months—specifically projects undertaken with the goal of generating greater value from existing data.1 With the growing importance of AI and advanced analytics today, it seems a safe assumption that this number has only increased over time.The concept of building a data strategy is such a hot topic that top-tier universities are creating executive-level courses on the subject,2 while industry observers are predicting that by 2020, 90% of Fortune 500 companies will have a chief data officer (CDO) or equivalent position.3Yet despite all of this momentum, the concept of a data strategy remains new to many organizations. They haven’t thought about it in the past, so it is uncharted territory, or maybe even an unknown-unknown. With that thought in mind, in this post, I will walk through some key considerations for building a robust data strategy.Why is a robust data strategy important? A data strategy is a business-driven initiative, and how technology is involved is an important factor. No matter what, you always start with a set of business objectives, and having the right data when you need it results in business advantages.The Big PictureA well-thought-out data strategy will have components specific to one’s own organization and application area. There are, however, important commonalities to any approach. Some of the more important ones include methods for data acquisition, data persistence, feature identification and extraction, analytics, and visualization, three of which I will discuss here.When I give talks about the data science solutions my team develops, I often reference a diagram describing how many data scientists organize the information flow through their experiments. A good data strategy needs to be informed by these concepts—your choices will either facilitate or hinder how your analysts are able to extract insights from your data!Figure 1. The standard data science workflow for experimental model creation and production solution deployment. EDA: Exploratory Data Analysis.Data Acquisition and PersistenceBefore outlining a data strategy, one needs to enumerate all the sources of data that will be important to the organization. In some businesses, these could be real-time transactions, while in others these could be free-text user feedback or log files from climate control systems. While there are countless potential sources of data, the important point is to identify all of the data that will play into the organization’s strategy at the outset. The goal is to avoid time-consuming additional steps further along in the process.In one project I worked on when I was but a wee data scientist, we needed to obtain free-text data from scientific publications and merge the documents with metadata extracted from a second source. The data extraction process was reasonably time-consuming, so we had to do this as a batch operation and store the data to disk. After we completed the process of merging together our data sources, I realized I forgot to include a data source we were going to need for annotating some of the scientific concepts in our document corpus. Because we had to do a separate merge step, our experimental workflow took a great deal more time, necessitating many avoidable late hours at the office. The big lesson here: Proactively thinking through all the data that will be important to your organization is a guaranteed way to save some headaches down the road.Once you have thought through data acquisition, it’s easier to make decisions about how (or if) these data will persist and be shared over time. To this end, there have never been more options for how one might want to keep data around. Your choices here should be informed by a few factors, including the data types in question, the speed at which new data points arrive (e.g., is it a static data set or real-time transactional data?), whether your storage needs to be optimized for reading or writing data, and which internal groups are likely to need access. In all likelihood, your organization’s solution will involve a combination of several of these data persistence options.Your choices are also likely to change in big versus small data situations. How do you know if you have big data? If it won’t fit in a standard-size grocery bag, you may have big data. In all seriousness though, my rule of thumb is, once infrastructure (i.e., the grocery bag) is a central part of your data persistence solution, one is effectively dealing with big data. There are many resources that will outline the advantages and disadvantages of your choices here. These days, many downstream feature extraction and analytical methods have libraries for transacting with the more popular choices here, so it’s best to base one’s decision on expected data types, optimizations, and data volume.Feature Identification and ExtractionIn data science, a “feature” is the information a machine learning algorithm will use during the training stage for a predictive model, as well as what it will use to make a prediction regarding a previously-unseen data point. In the case of text classification, features could be the individual words in a document; in financial analytics, a feature might be the price of a stock on a particular day.Most data strategies would do well to steer away from micromanaging how the analysts will approach this step of their work. However, there are organization-level decisions that can be made that will facilitate efficiency and creativity here. The most important approach, in my mind, is fostering an environment that encourages developers to draw from, and contribute to, the open source community. This is essential.Many of the most effective and common methods for feature extraction and data processing are well-understood, and excellent approaches have been implemented in the open source community (e.g., in Python*, R*, or Spark*). In many situations, analysts will get the most mileage out of trying one of these methods. In a research setting, they may be able to try out custom methods that are effective in a particular application domain. It will benefit both employee morale and your organization’s reputation if they are encouraged to contribute these discoveries back to the open source community.Predictive AnalyticsAgain, I think it’s key for an organization-level data strategy to avoid micromanagement of the algorithm choices analysts make in performing predictive analytics, but I would still argue that there are analytical considerations that should be included in a robust data strategy. Overseeing data governance—the management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of your organization’s data is a central part of the CDO’s role—and analytics is where a lot of this can breakdown or reveal holes in your strategy. Even if your strategy leverages NoSQL databases, if the relationships between data points are poorly understood or not documented, it’s possible that the analysts could be missing important connections, or even prevented from accessing certain data altogether.Overarching ConsiderationsTo take a step back, a data strategy should include identification of software tools that your organization will rely upon. Intel can help here. Intel has led or contributed actively to the development of a wide range of platforms, libraries, and programming languages that provide ready-to-use resources for data analytics initiatives.To help with analytical steps and some aspects of feature identification and extraction, you can leverage the Intel® Math Kernel Library (Intel® MKL), Intel® Math Kernel Library for Deep Neural Networks (Intel® MKL-DNN) and the Intel® Data Analytics Acceleration Library (Intel® DAAL), as well as BigDL and the Intel® Distribution for Python*.Intel® MKL arms you with highly optimized, threaded, and vectorized functions to increase performance on Intel processors.Intel® MKL-DNN provides performance enhancements for accelerating deep learning frameworks on Intel architecture.Intel® DAAL delivers highly tuned functions for deep learning, classical machine learning, and data analytics performance.BigDL simplifies the development of deep learning applications for use as standard Spark programs.The Intel® Distribution for Python adds acceleration of Python application performance on Intel platforms.Ready for a deeper dive? Our “Tame the Data Deluge” whitepaper is a great place to get started. For some real-life examples of the way organizations are using data science to make better decisions in less time, visit the Intel Advanced Analytics site. 1 IDG Enterprise Data and Analytics Survey 2016.2 For an example, see Data Strategy for Business LeadersOpens in a new window, an educational offering from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.3 DATAVERSITY, “2017 Trends in Data Strategy,” December 13, 2016.last_img read more

6 tips for working from home (and one great grilled cheese recipe)

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Working from home seems so glamorous when you’re stuck in a more traditional work environment. You don’t need to get dressed. There’s nobody around to bug you, check up on you, or tell you what to do. And you can make grilled cheese for lunch every day!Then it happens: you look around your home office and realize, well, it’s pretty lonely here. And wearing these pajamas every day has really been stifling your productivity. That daily grilled cheese probably isn’t helping either.So, how do you work from home without losing your mind or in turn, driving your family insane? I’ve been doing this for 5 years from an 800-square-foot Brooklyn apartment and I didn’t even have a home office or spare closet to convert. Here’s what I consider to be essential to making your home-office employment a positive experience:**1. Get dressed. Seriously **Whenever I delay getting ready for too long, I can feel my energy levels sink, and my entire day winds up being less productive. One of the perks of working for yourself is that there’s no dress code, but for the love of all that’s holy, please mandate some sort of regular attire for yourself other than the clothes you sleep in.2. Have a designated office spaceThere’s something about sitting in a chair, at a desk, with your feet on the floor that lets your brain know you’re in “work mode”. Even if you live in a small studio, create your work space in a corner or keep your table clean and ready for your laptop. A space that has a door and doesn’t offer a view of the dirty laundry or dishes is best.3. Get out of the house at least once each dayYes, I’ve been guilty of not leaving my house for 2 days or more. It’s just so easy to do. But those days wind up leaving me anxious, so I make sure to take a walk, run an errand, or work in a coffee shop. Don’t let the “I’m so busy” excuse prevent you from getting fresh air daily, as your mind and body physically need it to function at peak performance.4. Exercise when you wantIt’s such a blessing to be able to take that noon yoga class and not panic about getting back to your desk if the class goes too long. Try to make exercise a priority in your routine, and commit to doing what you enjoy when you enjoy it at least 2-3 times a week.5. Interact with othersJoin a coworking space, create a mastermind group, or just schedule a regular hang with your fellow work-from-home entrepreneurs. This doesn’t have to be expensive at all, just a way for you to be around people who understand your situation. I introduced a small group of Brooklyn-based female entrepreneurs to each other, and we take turns hosting a brunch each month. It’s been happening for years and I always look forward to hearing their updates and challenges, while offering them my resources and empathy!Join the nation’s largest group representing the new workforce (it’s free!)Become a member6. Take advantage of working from homeYou have to take time to do the special things that would only be possible working from home. For me, it’s all about buying a ticket to a Wednesday matinee or knowing that I can spend the afternoon on a Tuesday in a playgroup with my daughter. You obviously can’t do this all the time because you’ll never get your work done, but on occasion it’s worth having to play catch up on nights and weekends, in order to do the things you’d have to get permission (or use vacation days!) to do previously.If you’re not yet at the point where you’re working from home, but you dream about it often, join me for the free broadcast of Ditch Your Day Job on June 11-12th right here on CreativeLive.Want more tips on how to conquer the freelance life? Join our Hive: **Freelance Lifestyle: Best Practices **for tips on taking care of your health, prioritizing, staying productive but sane, and much more!Michelle Ward will help you transition out of a soul-sucking job and into work that feels like play. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, the Forbes Top 100 Websites for Your Career list, and more.last_img read more

2015 Queensland State Championships

first_img42 teams from across Queensland will compete in the 2015 Queensland Touch Football State Championships this weekend. Teams from Queensland’s six regions will converge on Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe for the two day event, which starts on Saturday, 24 October. Teams will compete across eight divisions at the event – Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Mixed Open, Men’s 20’s, Women’s 20’s, Women’s 35’s, Men’s 40’s and Men’s 50’s. Games commence at 8.00am on Saturday morning, with finals commencing from 12.35pm on Sunday. 2014 Queensland State Championships winnersMen’s OpenSouth Queensland 8 defeated North Queensland 6Women’s OpenSunshine Coast 7 defeated Brisbane City 2Mixed OpenBrisbane City 13 defeated Central Queensland 12Men’s 20’sNorth Queensland 8 defeated Central Queensland 5Women’s 20’sBrisbane City 6 defeated Sunshine Coast 4Women’s 27’sBrisbane City 4 defeated North Queensland 2Men’s 30’sNorth Queensland 9 defeated Brisbane City 5Women’s 35’sCentral Queensland 8 defeated South West Queensland 3Men’s 40’sSouth Queensland 8 defeated Central Queensland 3Women’s 40’sBrisbane City 4 defeated South Queensland 3Men’s 45’sSouth Queensland 7 defeated South West Queensland 6Men’s 50’sSunshine Coast 3 defeated Brisbane 2Men’s 55’sNorth Queensland 6 defeated Sunshine Coast 4Regional Champions – Brisbane City Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 Queensland State Championships in the following ways:Website – www.qldtouch.com.auFacebook – www.facebook.com/QldTouchTwitter – www.twitter.com/QueenslandTouchInstagram – www.instagram.com/QldTouchRelated LinksQLD State Champslast_img read more

Oh You Won Your Ring On A Superteam Big Deal 🙄

1990s28.539.4C. Barkley (’92) • S. O’Neal (’96) • C. Barkley (’96) Despite all the advances statheads have made in how we measure NBA greatness, many fans still regard championship rings as the ultimate arbiter of a star player’s legacy. And although some scoff at such a simplistic measure, basketball is deterministic enough that the top players do generally tend to accumulate more than their share of championships. There are always anomalies — nobody thinks Robert Horry (seven rings) was better than Charles Barkley (zero) — but for the most part, ring-counting isn’t a total diversion along the path to understanding a legend’s place in the pantheon of the game. Sometimes it can even (gasp!) offer insight.The trouble is, the players began to realize how they were being judged. They saw how long a shadow Michael Jordan’s six titles cast over subsequent generations of would-be GOATs. They also saw what happened to Barkley’s and Karl Malone’s legacies after never winning a ring. “I don’t want to be 31 with bad knees and no championship,” LeBron James reportedly told friends before signing with the Miami Heat in the spectacle that was The Decision (Part 1) in 2010. He knew that, for all his individual accolades, history wouldn’t be kind if a player of his talent didn’t rack up titles. And in an era of players who increasingly control their own destinies, James took considerable steps to ensure a championship future.In economics, there’s an adage about what happens when people know they’re being evaluated on specific criteria; it’s called Goodhart’s Law. As professor Marilyn Strathern would phrase it: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” In other words, when you focus on the measurements others are using to judge you, you start altering your behavior to optimize for those measurements — and the measurements begin to lose their meaning.When that happens, there are often unintended consequences. (Such as the famous parable of a Soviet nail factory responding to production targets by making thousands of tiny, useless nails.) And when it comes to ring-chasing, NBA stars have started to run seriously afoul of Goodhart’s Law. They’ve made championships the target — and, in the process, have fundamentally changed the meaning of those championships for a player’s legacy.Moving to a contending team in pursuit of a championship used to be a last resort for a veteran star, such as when 32-year-old Clyde Drexler was dealt to the Houston Rockets in 1995, or when Kevin Garnett went to the Boston Celtics at age 31 in 2007. Each had requested a trade to a contender, but only after exhausting attempts to win with his original franchise. James flipped that paradigm on its head when, at the tender age of 25, he left Cleveland to play next to Hall of Fame talents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. That move gave prime-age Kevin Durant a precedent for joining the record-setting Warriors in 2016, and it paved the way for DeMarcus Cousins to sign with Golden State this summer on an absurdly cheap contract.1Yes, Cousins is coming back from a serious injury. But he’s also a superstar talent who was specifically brought in to boost Golden State’s chances of winning in the playoffs.Durant’s decision ended up working out (and we’re assuming Cousins’s will, too). But there are other, more dismal ring-vulturing moments, such as when the Brooklyn Nets tried to recreate the 2008 Celtics in 2013, or when Steve Nash and Dwight Howard joined Kobe Bryant on the Lakers in 2012. Either way, in recent years, good players jumping from team to team in search of rings went from a rarity to the norm. In the 2010s, the top 10 players who switched teams between seasons2As measured by a consensus of the following value metrics over their previous three seasons: Estimated Wins Added, Value Over Replacement Player and Win Shares, all scaled to wins above replacement and averaged together. have been much younger and better than their counterparts from previous decades: 1980s28.534.0M. Malone (’82) • A. Dantley (’86) • A. Gilmore (’82) 2010s26.748.4L. James (’10) • L. James (’14) • C. Paul (’11) DecadeAvg. AgeAvg. Wins CreatedTop 3 Modern team-hoppers are younger and betterAverage age for the top 10 players, by wins created,* who changed teams between seasons in each decade, 1980-2018 It’s not the players’ fault that they’ve been presented with the opportunity to pursue championships on stacked megateams. Unlike baseball, maximum contracts cap the amount of money any team, good or bad, can offer a superstar. Because of this, the decisions of NBA stars often turn on non-monetary concerns — such as the desirability of a team’s city and, yes, how much of a chance new teammates would give them to contend for titles. Add in the occasional shock to the NBA’s financial system, like the massive salary-cap spike that allowed the Warriors to sign Durant, and the league hasn’t exactly set up the right conditions to discourage its stars from trying to pad their championship tallies.3The Player’s Association does share in this blame as well. The league proposed salary-cap “smoothing” to reduce the impact of a big spike in the summer of 2016, but the players’ union turned it down. Then again, years of tough negotiating left union head Michele Roberts rightfully skeptical that the offer wasn’t going to hurt her clients’ earning potential.At the same time, it isn’t completely clear whether ring-chasing will bring modern players the boost in historical prestige they’re seeking. Although James’s legacy as an all-time great is written in stone, his disappointing NBA Finals record — particularly without the help of Wade and Bosh, as he was 1-4 in Finals appearances as a Cavalier — may hurt his pursuit of Jordan as GOAT. Durant’s two titles with the Warriors have been met with grudging respect by most hoopheads, but they’ve also launched a thousand RealGM and Reddit threads debating how much his superteam-aided rings are “really worth” relative to those of other stars. And who knows how little credit observers will give Cousins if he helps Golden State win a third straight title? In an effort to please the ring-counters, this generation of championship-seekers may have only angered them further by irrevocably changing the historical meaning of championships in every player’s record.4As another unintended consequence, perhaps pre-/nonsuperteam rings (such as Wade’s first Heat title in 2006 or Dirk Nowitzki’s championship with Dallas in 2011) will gain more value in the grand scope of NBA history.But winning is fun, and lifting trophies is even more fun. And it’s possible that, once the moment for heated online debate has passed, all that’s left is the championship count on Basketball-Reference.com. Fans who witnessed the state of the league at the time may go through their own calculations, boosting the value of some rings and devaluing others, but every title counts the same there. And if that sounds offensive, maybe that means it’s time for measures other than rings to gain weight when assessing the careers of the game’s greatest stars. * An average of the wins above replacement-scaled versions of three metrics for the three seasons prior to the player’s team change: Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), Win Shares (WS) and Estimated Wins Added (EWA).Age is as of the offseason in which the player changed teams.Source: Basketball-Reference.com, ESPN 2000s30.343.1K. Garnett (’07) • T. McGrady (’04) • S. O’Neal (’04) read more

Got a Billion Dollars Buy the Clippers

UPDATE (May 29, 7:45 p.m.): The Los Angeles Times has reported that Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, will purchase the Clippers for $2 billion. Earlier this month Nate Silver wrote about team valuations in the NBA, and whether the Clippers were worth more than was commonly believed. The original piece is below.A billion dollars? For the Clippers?That’s the price my Grantland colleague Zach Lowe’s sources are saying the Los Angeles NBA team could fetch if its current owner, Donald Sterling, agrees to sell the franchise or is forced to do so. With stars from Magic Johnson to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., to Oprah Winfrey to Larry Ellison reportedly interested in a piece of the club, it’s not hard to see why league officials have starry-eyed visions about what the team could be worth.And yet, when Forbes Magazine published its valuations of the 30 NBA teams earlier this year, its figure for the Clippers was considerably more modest: $575 million.1It’s not as though the valuation doesn’t account for the Clippers’ recent on-court success. Two years ago, Forbes valued the Clippers at only $324 million. NBA officials, I’ve found in the past, aren’t fond of the Forbes figures. The league has incentives to underplay its financial performance when in the midst of a labor dispute, and to frame its finances in a more favorable light when it has a couple of franchises up for sale.In this case, however, there’s reason to think Forbes considerably undervalues the Clippers. You might describe why with the old real estate adage: location, location, location. It’s not breaking news that there are lots of people with lots of money in Los Angeles and its suburbs. What’s more interesting is that the number of billionaires in a given community historically has been a strong predictor of the degree to which its NBA franchise appreciates in value.Take a look at the annualized change in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014, according to the Forbes estimates. In the chart below, we’ve highlighted the teams that played in metro areas that had a gross domestic product of at least $250 billion as of 2004. You can see that there’s a relationship. The New York Knicks, despite their mostly poor play over the past decade, saw their franchise value appreciate by 13.3 percent per year, according to Forbes. The Lakers and Clippers saw theirs grow by 11.7 percent and 10.7 percent per year, respectively. Most other big-market teams, like the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, have also done well.There are also some exceptions to the pattern, the most obvious being the Seattle Supersonics, who saw their franchise value increase a lot after moving to Oklahoma City and becoming the Thunder.2This even though Oklahoma City is a considerably smaller and less wealthy market. The Miami Heat, despite playing in a mid-sized market, have seen a massive increase in franchise value. On the flip side, the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards have considerably underperformed the rest of the league despite playing in reasonably large markets.These differences partly reflect on-court success: Building a future around LeBron James is a much more attractive option than building one around Gilbert Arenas. But they also reflect the differences in the number of super-wealthy people in these cities. In 2004, there were 14 people from the Miami metro area3The Forbes lists do not specifically break out the list of wealthy people by metro area; I did this by hand. I tried to follow the Census Bureau’s definition of Metropolitan Statistical Areas as much as possible — however, there are some debatable cases. Those interested in using this data for rigorous research should double-check my work and ensure that it corresponds to the particular definition of urban areas that is most suitable for their project. on the Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest people, compared to eight from Washington and seven from Philadelphia. The differences have grown since then: On last year’s Forbes 400 list, whose threshold was about $1.3 billion in net worth, there were 26 really rich people in Miami, compared to eight in Washington and just three in Philly.4The Forbes 400 list includes data on the United States only. For Toronto, I’ve compiled data from other sources to reflect the number of Torontonians that would have made the Forbes 400 list if Toronto were in the U.S. The correlation between the rate of increase in franchise value and the number of billionaires in a metro area has been reasonably strong,5The correlation coefficient is 0.53, or 0.67 without the Sonics/Thunder included. as I’ve mentioned, with the Sonics/Thunder representing the main outlier. This helps explain why the Golden State Warriors have seen their value increase so much, for instance. The San Francisco-Oakland metro area6By the Census Bureau’s definition, this MSA does not include San Jose, Calif., or most of Silicon Valley. ranks 11th in the U.S. in population and eighth in gross domestic product. But it has ranked second or third in billionaires, behind only New York and sometimes Los Angeles, depending on the year.Why do we see this relationship? Owners of sports franchises tend to hold onto their teams for a long time — the average NBA franchise last changed hands 14 years ago. In a period that long, the player roster will completely turn over, perhaps several times. The coaching and front office staff will very likely turn over, too. A team’s uniform might change; its nickname might change; it might move into a new arena. What’s a lot more permanent is a team’s home city. Franchises can move, but that doesn’t happen often. The Clippers’ greatest asset isn’t Chris Paul or Blake Griffin. It’s the City of Los Angeles and the billionaires who live there.We’ve seen evidence in other sports that franchise values are driven less by profits and losses — many player contracts are plainly irrational from that standpoint — and more by the extent to which a team can be resold to another billionaire or multimillionaire at a higher price down the line. There aren’t that many billionaires in the United States — about 500 — but there are far fewer NBA franchises. In a city like Los Angeles or New York or San Francisco, there will be several billionaires, perhaps even dozens of them, competing for sports franchises when one comes up for sale.7The limited supply of sports franchises may also explain why we don’t see much, if any, of a valuation penalty for NBA franchises that play in multi-team markets. The Lakers and the Clippers, like the Knicks and the Nets, compete with one another to some extent for fans. However, there’s an undersupply of NBA franchises relative to the number of billionaires in these large cities. If one of the 77 billionaires in the New York metro area buys the Knicks, there are still 76 billionaires left to buy the Nets.It’s also worth contemplating whether cities that attract hedge-fund billionaires and oil barons have an intrinsic advantage in recruiting multimillionaire NBA players. Compare Miami and Philadelphia, for example. Philadelphia’s gross domestic product is about 33 percent higher. But — and meaning no offense to Philadelphia — Miami is presumably a lot more fun for a really rich person. Miami will still have South Beach long after LeBron takes his talents to the next town. It will also have no state income tax.But if NBA franchises in billionaire-rich cities can be counted on to appreciate at a higher rate, shouldn’t the market account for that? In other words, shouldn’t they be selling at a higher value to begin with?Keep in mind that we’re looking at Forbes’s estimates of franchise values and not actual sale prices. It could be that Forbes is lowballing the values of big-market clubs. We don’t get all that many data points on actual sale prices because the rate of franchise turnover is low, and because the transactions are often complicated and involve other assets that are bundled with the sports teams. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with some real estate assets) sold for $2 billion two years ago, a figure that far exceeded Forbes’s estimated value of the MLB team.Nonetheless, it’s plausible that the market will eventually catch up to the pattern, or that it already has to some degree. To check this, I ran a regression analysis that sought to explain the increase in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014 based on two variables: the number of people a team’s metro area had on the 2004 Forbes 400 list, and its Forbes franchise value in 2004 relative to the league average.8I included the Sonics/Thunder in the regression despite their having changed locations. Although NBA franchises change metro areas only rarely and face restrictions when seeking to do so, some of the value in purchasing an underperforming franchise consists of the potential to relocate the team. The coefficient on the 2004 franchise value variable is statistically significant and negative. What that means is that a franchise can be overvalued by Forbes, and prone to seeing its value revert to the mean, when that value is out of line with the number of billionaires in the area.We can use this regression equation to create estimates of NBA franchise values that may be more reliable than Forbes’s. (The process for this is explained in the footnotes.9To do this, I used the regression equation to determine each team’s projected rate of return over the next 10 years, based on its current Forbes franchise value and the number of billionaires in its metro area. However, I assumed that rates of return in excess of the league average would be captured immediately and reflected in a team’s potential sale price. This is how a rational market would behave, unless the higher projected rates of return were associated with higher risk.) I calibrated the estimates such that the average value of an NBA franchise is the same as what Forbes lists — about $630 million. (The NBA would probably contend that Forbes’s estimates are low across the board — based on the recent sale prices of the Sacramento Kings and the Milwaukee Bucks, for instance — but our interest here is mainly in seeing how franchises are valued relative to one another.) Because the estimates are not all that precise, I’ve listed them as a range based on their standard error.For the Clippers, for instance, the range runs between about $580 million and $950 million. So the billion-dollar estimate might be a little high, but the Forbes valuation of $575 million is probably too low.There are two other teams whose Forbes valuations fall outside the recalibrated range. One is the Brooklyn Nets, which our formula estimates is worth between about $900 billion and $1.5 billion, and not the $780 million that Forbes estimates. Perhaps Mikhail Prokhorov knows what he’s doing in throwing his resources behind establishing the Nets as a major brand in New York. The number of billionaires in New York continues to skyrocket — so he’ll have plenty of people to sell the franchise to at a profit down the line.The other team that falls outside of the range is the Lakers. The formula implies that their Forbes valuation, at $1.35 billion, is a little too high.I personally don’t think the Lakers would have much trouble selling for something in that range if the team were put on the market today. But the logic behind the calculation is something like this: Sure, the Lakers have a much more powerful brand than the Clippers, but they don’t have much of an advantage apart from that brand. The two teams play in the same city, in the same arena. The Clippers have the better roster and a very good coach. The brand advantage can shift over time: At various points in the past 50 years, for instance, the New York Mets have outdrawn the New York Yankees. Another couple years of Blake and CP3 making deep runs into the playoffs while the Lakers struggle with the albatross of Kobe Bryant’s contract will erode some of the Lakers’ edge.Are the Lakers still worth more? Yes, but the formula implies that they should be worth 20 or 25 percent more than the Clippers — and not 135 percent more, as the Forbes valuations say. Perhaps that means the Clippers are undervalued and not that the Lakers are overvalued. If you’d consider buying the Lakers at the Forbes price of $1.35 billion, and would require a 25 percent discount to take the Clippers instead, that implies you’d pay about $1.1 billion for the Clips.The Clippers’ other big handicap, of course, has been Donald Sterling. But that problem resolves itself the moment he sells. He may be banned from basketball. He may have embarrassed himself and his franchise. But if he sells quickly — before doing further damage to the Clippers’ brand — he could have a billion-dollar check coming his way.Correction (May 3, 11:20 a.m.): An earlier version of the NBA Team Valuations chart misstated what the range in green indicated. It signifies a team’s valuation adjusted for number of billionaires in metro area. read more

Decades Before Moneyball The Dallas Cowboys Used Advanced Stats To Win Super

A. Salam Qureishi grew up in India and knew nothing about football — or America. And yet in the early 1960s, Qureishi, a computer programmer and statistician, helped the Dallas Cowboys overhaul their scouting system, replacing hunches with hard numbers.The result: five Super Bowl appearances and two titles. FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films present “The Cowboys and the Indian,” directed by Mark Polish. It’s the second film in our short series “Signals.” (Watch our first “Signals” film, “The Man vs. the Machine,” here.) read more

Rebic discusses Bayern link

first_imgAnte Rebic says he will decide his future after the World Cup, according to Goal.The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder has been linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions to reunite with former boss, Niko Kovac who replaced Juup Hynckes as the new manager of Bayern Munich.The Croatian star praised his former boss for the success he brought to Eintracht Frankfurt as he led them to a German cup final win over his current employers but refused to discuss rumors linking him with a move to Allianz Arena.Rebic who scored twice during the DFB-Pokal final told reporters: “He (Niko Kovac) was very successful in Frankfurt, and that earned him a move to Bayern”Ante Rebic, AC MilanBobic praises “unstoppable” Ante Rebic Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 The Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director is delighted that AC Milan has finally found their left winger in Ante Rebic.Ante Rebic joined AC Milan this…“I’m still under contract at Eintracht and right now my focus is on the World Cup. After the World Cup, I will talk about my future”.Rebic has been one of the standout players for Croatia so far at the World Cup and Zlatko Dalic would be hoping there’s more to come from the forward.“20 years is a long time ago, and football was different then, but we (Croatia) believe we can achieve something similar.” He told reporters.last_img read more

Rabiot would be a great signing for Barcelona – Xavi

first_imgFormer Barca star Xavi believes Adrien Rabiot would make a great addition to Barcelona’s midfield, yet stating he hardly takes rumours seriously.There have been reports in Spain this week that Barca officials met with Paris Saint-Germain Rabiot to agree personal terms ahead of a transfer as PSG were also reported to be willing to allow the midfielder leave for a fee in the region of €40million.“He’s a player of an excellent level technically,” Xavi told Mundo Deportivo quoted in FourFourTwo when asked about Rabiot.“He could play perfectly as a central midfielder at Barca. He could contribute a lot, but that’s already entering the realms of speculation.“I’ve been asked a lot about Griezmann this summer and, in the end, he stayed at Atletico. But if Rabiot comes, he’d be a great signing.”Xavi also believes that Arthur from Gremio – a new arrival – has the “DNA”  of the Catalans while admitting that having to compare the Brazilian with himself or former captain Andres Iniesta will mount so much pressure on Arthur.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I’ve seen a few videos of him. There are a lot of Brazilians here at the Aspire academy who have spoken very well of him,” said the Al Sadd midfielder.“I think he’s a player who is perfectly adaptable to Barca. He has what we call the Barca DNA, that technical quality, that talent you need. After that, it depends on him, his mentality and whether he is ready to play for a good team.”When asked about the comparisons between himself and Arthur, he added:“I don’t like it. I didn’t like being compared with [Pep] Guardiola or anyone, it’s not easy to digest, it’s a weight on top of you and that’s not good.“He has to make his own career, show his own personality. If we leave him in peace, he’ll succeed, but it’s very difficult at Barca, very difficult.”last_img read more