Brexit, the Millennial question and the endurance sport industry

first_img Related The morning of 24 June has confirmed that the British people have voted to leave the EU. It also coincides with the mainstream cinema release of Independence Day: Resurgence across the UK. As the politicians from the Leave camp spoke in recent weeks about 24th June being the UK’s chance to ‘have their independence day’, few commentators spoke about how bad the original Independence Day movie was.It really was bad. Although, few people probably care right now how good or bad the movie sequel is. After all, most of us will start to think about how this all impacts us. Of course, that’s the tricky bit. No-one at this moment is clear on what the outcome of Brexit is going forwards.For the endurance sport industry, just like any industry, there will be implications. Some companies may experience some short term pain; others may get a short term gain. The key thing is to try and get a sense for the medium-term and long-term effect of Brexit. That’s where it gets really difficult.For any industry, uncertainty isn’t a good thing as it impacts consumer confidence. In the endurance sport world, the consumer (or athlete, or age grouper – however we wish to think of ourselves) will face some challenges.An interesting meme has featured recently on social media. This shows the Spartan Race logo and the phrase ‘Keep calm and burpee on’. It’s a nice, irreverent way of taking on all this uncertainty. We can also see it as a way of showcasing that the endurance sport industry is fairly robust. After all, it has delivered healthy growth in recent years – and there is a strong participant base out there across a diverse range of endurance sport categories.It is worth remembering that age group athletes across the endurance sport world are generally often well-educated, in well-paid jobs and should weather any economic storm that could be on the way.However, in order to grow and flourish, the endurance sport industry needs to bring in more athletes rather than simply rely on an existing base of consumers spending more. Within triathlon, for example, we are starting to see a stalling in the demographic make-up of the athlete base. In other words, the sport of triathlon is seeing growth in participation for those aged over 40. Yet, there is evidence of contraction in tri participation for those below 40.The Millennials (or Generation Y, who were born from the 1980s to around 2000) are already feeling the financial squeeze. These younger adults typically find it harder to buy property, and in general have less disposable income.Large groups of Millennials have embraced obstacle racing, for example. Triathlon is a sport in need of a ‘Millennial recruitment solution’, and could look to obstacle racing to determine how best to entice the younger adult consumer.This may now be more difficult. Arguably, it is the Millennials who will take the biggest hit from any economic impact from Brexit.The UK consumer/athlete (across all demographic groups) is now facing a weakened British Pound. This of course means that imports will become more expensive; and, in turn, this could also mean the return of inflation, which will be a shock to many as prices have been relatively stable for so long.Another worry for the UK endurance sport industry about a threat from inflation is a possible rise in interest rates. While, in a bid to stem inflation, this does make Sterling more attractive, it does mean that the cost of borrowing for investment goes up. In turn, this could impact endurance sport brands, event organisers, retailers, etc., who are seeking to borrow and invest to grow their businesses.Also, for those home-owning consumers/athletes out there, a rise in interest rates can mean that the cost of monthly mortgage payments could go up too – putting more of a strain on household finances, and making that online order for some expensive gear or a new bike that bit harder to justify.Another impact of a weakened Sterling is that overseas travel becomes more expensive. Endurance sport races in Europe priced in Euros will therefore be relatively more expensive for the travelling UK athlete.So, from the middle income and middle aged, through to the more cash-squeezed Millennials, at a macro level there are some fundamental challenges on the horizon.Of course, a weakened Sterling also means that UK exports are cheaper. So, those overseas athletes buying British products may experience the reverse; and, for major international retailers based in the UK, such as Wiggle & Chain Reaction, the weakness of Sterling could present a boost and an even stronger hand when it comes to price competition overseas.As the impact of Brexit sinks in for all of us, we can hopefully put all the political rhetoric to one side, keep calm – and try not to be too gloomy.Perhaps the best thing to do now is go out for a run, get on the bike, hit the water… The endorphins we all get from exercise make us feel better, happier and healthier. This is arguably the key motivator for driving the endurance sport industry onwards and upwards. Whether it is buying gear or entering events, people like to feel good; and training, racing or just participating gives them that feeling.So, in the words of the late, great musician Ian Dury, there are still reasons to be cheerful.last_img read more

Is NCUA ready to supervise a credit union that conduct its own stress test?

first_imgby. Keith LeggettThe transcript from the April 24 NCUA Board meeting makes it pretty clear that NCUA does not have the staffing or resources to supervise a credit union that conducts its own stress test.NCUA Chariman Debbie Matz asked Scott Hunt, the head of the Office of National Examinations and Supervision, the following questions.“The final rule provides that three years after enactment, a credit union can apply to conduct their own stress test. Does your office have the necessary staffing to supervise that if you agree that a $10 billion credit union at that point can do their own stress test? Are you staffed to handle that?”You have to go to the fourth paragraph of his response to get the answer, which is no.Scott Hunt said: “So basically it would pull together both personnel resources, information data gathering as well as an investment in software that we don’t have today so the short answer on that is no, we are not ready to take this on.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Reading between the lines of process and progress

first_imgCarolyn                                                AlisaOberholtzer                                        LyonsPartner, Bergin, Frakes,                       Principal, SLOAN LYONSSmalley & Oberholtzer                         Public Affairs The members of Valley Partnership are optimistic that 2015 could finally bring the arrival of the elusive economic recovery that has yet to take hold in the Phoenix Metropolitan. The organization will be working on many fronts to foster a favorable environment for development and redevelopment to ensure process does not stand in the way of progress.At the local level, the Valley Partnership City/County Committee will continue to work closely with municipal partners to address ways to expedite development without compromising careful consideration of development proposals. As the volume of development has ticked up for commercial projects, neighborhood groups have activated, calling on city councils to tighten regulations on existing and future projects. The committee is focused on new municipal regulations to address these issues and will work with councils, staff and citizens to navigate a path forward that is sensitive to neighborhood concerns while enabling growth.The Valley Partnership Legislative Committee will maneuver through similar terrain as the 2015 legislative session begins. Valley Partnership will be urging a “do no harm” approach to legislators, with a proactive push toward the continued streamlining of regulatory requirements. We also will advocate for the continuation of policy set in the Brewer Administration in the form of an executive order that halted all non-necessary regulation by state agencies. This “rule-making moratorium” expired on Dec. 31, 2014, and governor-elect Doug Ducey has pledged to consider continuing the measure. Valley Partnership will support the continuation of this policy and other efforts to eliminate regulations that unnecessarily impede progress.Finally, the Federal Affairs Committee is engaged with Arizona’s congressional delegation to comment on and influence regulations coming out of Washington that will negatively impact Arizona’s economy. Specifically, sweeping new rules could vastly expand the way the Clean Water Act applies to “waters” in the state, the impact of which could be compounded by the designation of several new endangered species.As always, Valley Partnership remains committed to its mission of responsible growth and working with members to make 2015 a prosperous year.last_img read more

Brain scans show we prefer low-alcohol wines

first_imgShare There are many factors that influence consumers to buy a certain wine, including the brand, price, origin, and taste. Recently, winemakers have begun shifting toward making wines with a higher alcohol content– but new research suggests this might not be the best idea.A team of researchers in California set out to explore this question. Published in PLoS One this January, the researchers used Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to determine what our brain activity looks like while tasting wines with a low versus high alcohol content. Everything else about the wines (including the color, PH, and sugar).For the study, participants laid in the scanner and were given either a low alcohol-content wine, high alcohol content wine, or a tasteless liquid. Researchers scanned participants’ brains while they tasted each drink type, and participants rated how much they liked each drink on a 1-20 scale. Email LinkedIn Pinterestcenter_img Share on Twitter Share on Facebook First, the researchers compared both wines to the tasteless solution, allowing them to get a baseline reading. Next, the researchers compared the low alcohol-content wines to the high alcohol-content wines. The researchers found that overall, people preferred wines with a low alcohol content. In particular, areas of the insula and cerebellum showed differences in activation, and these areas are involved in taste intensity perception.“Our finding thus seems to suggest that the low-alcohol content wines induced a greater attentional orienting and exploration of the sensory attributes of wines relatively to high-alcohol content wines,” the researchers explained.They also found differences in activation in regions of the cerebellum. This brain area is responsible for attentional orienting—when we try to pay more attention to something or divert our attention away from something. In this case, participants oriented their attention toward the low alcohol-content wines, savoring them. Lower activation was observed in these regions while participants tasted the high alcohol-content wines, suggesting that they were savoring these wines less, or even trying not to savor them.“Our findings regarding the stronger activation in the cerebellum for low-alcohol content wine seem to support the intuition of some professional wine experts that such lower-alcohol content wines have a better chance to induce greater sensitivity to the overall flavour expressed by the wine. Especially striking then is the fact that these differences were found for wine consumers that were not professional or experts,” the researchers said.Considering that winemakers have begun making more wines with a high alcohol content, these results are surprising. The researchers also pointed out that the high alcohol content of some wines can overshadow its’ various smells and flavors.The researchers said future research should explore how other attributes of wine, such as its acidity, influence our like or dislike toward these wines. Further research in this area has important implications for the wine industry, as well as wine consumers.last_img read more

Exercise reduces suicide attempts by 23 percent among bullied teens

first_imgShare Share on Facebook As high schools across the country continue to reduce physical education, recess, and athletic programs, a new study shows that regular exercise significantly reduces both suicidal thoughts and attempts among students who are bullied.Using data from the CDC’s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 13,583 high school students, researchers at the University of Vermont found that being physically active four or more days per week resulted in a 23 percent reduction in suicidal ideation and attempts in bullied students. Nationwide nearly 20 percent of students reported being bullied on school property.Previous studies have shown that exercise has positive effects on various mental health measures. This is the first, however, to show a link between physical activity and a reduction in suicidal thoughts and attempts by bullied students, who are also at increased risk for poor academic performance, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sadness and substance abuse. Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Email Pinterest Overall, 30 percent of students in the study reported feeling sad for two or more weeks in the previous year while more than 22 percent reported suicidal ideation and 8.2 percent reported actual suicidal attempts during the same time period. Bullied students were twice as likely to report sadness, and three times as likely to report suicidal ideation or attempt when compared to peers who were not bullied. Exercise on four or more days per week was also associated with significant reductions in sadness.“I was surprised that it was that significant and that positive effects of exercise extended to kids actually trying to harm themselves,” said lead author Jeremy Sibold, associate professor and chair of the Department Rehabilitation and Movement Science. “Even if one kid is protected because we got them involved in an after-school activity or in a physical education program it’s worth it.”High schools cutting physical edcuation programs nationwideThe release of Sibold’s study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry comes at a time when 44 percent of the nation’s school administrators have cut significant amounts of time from physical education, arts and recess so that more time could be devoted to reading and mathematics since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The same report showed that the percentage of schools offering physical education daily or at least three days a week has declined dramatically between 2001 and 2006.Overall, it is estimated that only about half of America’s youth meet the current evidence-based guideline of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department of at least 60 minutes of vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity daily. In its biennial survey of high school students across the nation, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly half said they had no physical education classes in an average week.“It’s scary and frustrating that exercise isn’t more ubiquitous and that we don’t encourage it more in schools,” says Sibold. “Instead, some kids are put on medication and told ‘good luck.’ If exercise reduces sadness, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts, then why in the world are we cutting physical education programs and making it harder for students to make athletic teams at such a critical age?”Sibold and his co-authors, Erika Edwards, research assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Dianna Murray-Close, associate professor in psychology, and psychiatry professor James J. Hudziak, who has published extensively on the positive effects of exercise on mental health outcomes, say they hope their paper increases the consideration of exercise programs as part of the public health approach to reduce suicidal behavior in all adolescents.“Considering the often catastrophic and long lasting consequences of bullying in school-aged children, novel, accessible interventions for victims of such conduct are sorely needed,” they conclude.last_img read more

High Court battle over King’s Cross

first_imgThe King’s Cross Think Again campaign is seeking to get developer Argent’s recently granted King’s Cross Central development planning permission quashed.Argent was given the Green light for a £2bn regeneration of the area at the end of last year that will include 4.5m sq ft (418,060 sq m) of offices, 1,946 flats, 500,000 sq ft (46,451 sq m) of shops and other facilitiesCampaigners claim that councillors were wrongly advised at the Camden development control meeting which gave final consent to the outline scheme last November. The campaigners say that members of the committee were wrongly ‘told they could not reconsider the provisional consent given by their predecessors in March 2006’.Leigh Day & Co has been instructed to launch the proceedings. The law firm will say that particular concerns include:• The ‘inadequate’ energy and environmental standards proposed for the scheme, ‘which could instead be making an exemplary contribution to reducing global warming’ • Demolition of key heritage buildings, such as Stanley North and Culross Buildings, ‘without adequate grounds’ • The need for a better balance between big corporate office blocks and smaller, more diverse, enterprises and housingThe campaigners and their lawyers are hoping that the case will be heard within three months.If the judicial review succeeds, the planning application would have to go back to committee for full reconsideration.last_img read more

Strutts’ private investor service

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Cap & Reg’s £40m Gloucester shopping centre buy

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Argentine judge orders seizure of Falklands drillers assets

first_imgA rig being used for offshore drilling in the Falkland IslandsBy Maximiliano RizziBUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – An Argentine judge has ordered the seizure of assets of oil drilling companies operating in the Falklands Islands, including property held by U.S. firm Noble Energy, as the country takes a firmer line on the disputed territory ahead of October elections.Lilian Herraez, a federal judge in Tierra del Fuego, ordered the seizure of $156 million (£99 million) in bank accounts, boats and other property, the government said on Saturday.The companies named in the order were Premier Oil Plc , Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd , Rockhopper Exploration Plc , Noble Energy Inc and Edison International Spa .A source with knowledge of the situation said the companies in question do not generally hold any assets in Argentina or use Argentine waters.But the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement that investigators “had identified the assets of the foreign companies and discovered that one of them, U.S. firm Noble Energy, has a local office registered in Argentina.” Authorities would move to freeze those assets, it said.Falkland Oil and Gas and Rockhopper declined to comment. Noble Energy, the British foreign office and the other mentioned companies could not immediately be reached for comment.“The foreign ministry will be notified of the court order so that by diplomatic means and in compliance with international treaties it can be carried out,” the statement said.Argentina claims sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands which it calls the Malvinas, located about 435 miles (700 km) off the coast of Tierra del Fuego and occupied by around 3,000 people who mostly say they wish them to remain a British overseas territory.Britain and Argentina fought a short war in 1982, after the then Argentine military dictatorship briefly seized the islands, and tensions have escalated again in recent years with the discovery of oil deposits.Argentina has promised to resolve the dispute through diplomacy, but politicians often ramp up rhetoric around election time.(Reporting by Maximiliano Rizzi, Additional reporting and writing by Rosalba O’Brien; Editing by Tom Brown)last_img read more

Which way to tender?

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more