By Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsIt didn’t matter if the opposition was from the East or West Kootenay this season Shawn DeGroot has managed to overcome roots, rocks and mud to finish ahead of the pack.So obviously the next test was a trip to the B.C. High School Cross Country Championships.DeGroot, 16, did not disappoint his followers as the LVR runner finished 24th overall at the recent championship event at Beaver Lake near Victoria.“Ya, I’m happy with the result,” the Grade 11 DeGroot said when asked about his finish. “I did a lot of training for provincials and it paid off.”“My goal was to finish in the top 25, so I guess I just barely achieved my goal,” he added.One of biggest supporters of DeGroot is coach Jon Francis, who was definitely impressed with the top-25 result.“It’s the best Kootenay finish since I started coaching in 2002,” said LVR and Salmo coach. “(Shawn) had an incredible race.”When DeGroot runs in the Kootenays the field generally consists of 20-30 racers. At the provincials, there were more than 300 runners at the start line.“It was crazy at the start,” explained the 5’9”, 140-pound DeGroot. “There were about 300 runners in mass start that narrows down about 50 meters away. I didn’t really have that great of start and got sandwiched in the pack.”DeGroot found the going tough stuck in the middle for the first lap of the 6.5 kilometer race.However, during the second lap the pack thinned out allowing DeGroot to put the feet in overdrive.“Eventually I made my way up where I wanted to be,” said DeGroot, having to run in cool, drizzly conditions over a muddy track. “The first kilometer I couldn’t move anywhere.”DeGroot posted a 51st place finish in 2009 along with an amazing sixth-place spot in 2008 in the Junior Boy’s race.The provincial meet concludes the cross-country season for DeGroot. But the competitive season doesn’t end there.DeGroot simply shifts gears from muddy ground to ice white snow as a member of the B.C. Nordic Development Team.“Hopefully the snow will fall soon so I’ll be able to start training,” he said.DeGroot’s goal this season is the Canadian Nationals set for Canmore, Alta., in March.Results of other racers from West Kootenay School include:Lukas Smith, J.V. Humphries, Kaslo, 142; Steven Hernandez, Mount Sentinel, 158; Hunter Stanway, JVH 202; Luca Stattler, L.V. Rogers, 214; Eli Bukowski, JVH 222; Eli Cogswell, JVH 251; Tyler Exner, LVR 260; Young Jinyu, LVR, 261; Nico Boelter, LVR 263.Girl’s results had Ellie Hewat, JVH, 170; Kiraya Spencer, LVR, 193; Darya Huser, Salmo, 240; Danica Long, LVR, 243; Kia Weir, Mt. Sentinel [email protected]
My experience has taught me that you win deals very early in the process. It’s also likely that you lose deals very early in the process, as well. You can also create enough of a preference to win a deal early in the process, only to lose it down the final stretch.One of the things that allows you to position yourself and build value early in the process is differentiating yourself from your competitors. It also helps to differentiate your offering from your competitor’s offering. It’s especially important to do this if buying what you sell requires the client to make a more significant investment. Your higher price is a sword, not a shield. Price is an offensive weapon that demonstrates that you create greater value, and greater value always commands a more significant investment.Differentiate Or DieThere are people, however, who never want to mention their competitor, and hope to differentiate themselves and their company without having to do so. They believe that by not saying anything about their competitors at all, they are seen as real professionals, above the fray. By doing so, they are leaving it to their client to determine for themselves how they are different, and if that difference makes any difference to the results they produce versus their competitors. Sometimes, this is what happens. Other times, the client either doesn’t recognize the differences, doesn’t value the differences, or believes that there are no significant differences at all. In that case, the opportunity to differentiate yourself has mostly been lost.If you’ve ever handed your price to your prospective client and had them tell you that your price is higher than your competitors without having already done the work to differentiate yourself and your offering, then you missed the opportunity to do so. What happens now is that you decide to differentiate your offering from your competitors late in the game. Because you are defensive about your pricing and your differentiation, what you say in the context of a price conversation is not part of a discussion around value and outcomes.Sour GrapesInstead of sounding like a proactive, value creating, potential partner, you sound like sour grapes. You look like you are negative by trying to differentiate your offering and defending your higher value, but only because your client suggested your price was too high compared to theirs. The time to have separated yourself and your offering was early in the process when it was in the context of differentiating before it was a price contest.Reasonable minds may disagree on how or when you should speak about your competitors. For my money, it’s always better to say something nice about them and differentiation very early in the process to establish the differences in the investment and the differences in outcomes before there is a price conversation. There is nothing you can do about your competitor’s pricing, so there’s little reason not to speak about the investment in differentiation early in the process.Recent research from gong points to this being a better and more successful strategy. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now
ESPN/SmithESPN personality Stephen A. Smith is in a bit of hot water again, this time for a perceived sexist comment he made on SportsCenter Thursday night. Smith, while doing a highlight of the Women’s World Cup, commented that Germany’s defenders didn’t want to “mess their hair up” while defending a free kick (which leveled the game) against Norway. Smith’s choice of words, which don’t even make sense given the replay, offended a number of people, including some of his ESPN colleagues.Here’s video, if you haven’t seen it:Kate Fagan, ESPNW writer, was among those who weren’t thrilled. There were others too.What happens when you’re uneducated about something, don’t get educated, but talk about it anyway? –> http://t.co/ZthyoQHhts— Kate Fagan (@katefagan3) June 12, 2015Smith has since apologized for his comments in a four-part Twitter message. 1-of-3: Folks, as usual, something I’ve said is gaining steam so let me address this right now: on @SportsCenter, doing highlights, I made a— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015Flip comment in fun about a women’s soccer team not wanting to mess up their hair. Obviously, my comments were in poor taste. I have nothing— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015But the utmost respect for athletes of all genders — Especially since most are better than I’ll ever be — so please KNOW I’m very sorry.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015I apologize. It certainly was not my intent to offend anyone.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 12, 2015It remains to be seen as to whether ESPN will suspend Smith. It wouldn’t be the first time.[The Big Lead]
Ashley BrandsonAPTN NewsIndigenous leadership gathered on an urban reserve in Winnipeg to release a report that challenges the notion that First Nations people in the province are a burden on taxpayers.According to the report Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy, First Nation peoples added $9.3 billion into the province’s economy in 2016.The report is a collaboration between the Southern Chiefs Organization, Manitoba Keewatinowi and the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University.Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels says it was important to implement this analysis.“We want to bring clarity – you know there’s a lot of misconceptions and people don’t really have a good understanding of the reality that’s really happening,” said Daniels.“This is an opportunity for us to state for the record that Indigenous peoples are creating huge impacts on the economy and they’re going to continue to do so with the growing trend of workforce and business going forward.”The report says – the Indigenous economy added $2.3 billion to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP).That represents 3.9 per cent of Manitoba’s GDP – more than manufacturing, accommodations and food services, mining or oil and gas extraction.Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee says this is a historical day and this is only the beginning.“Now it is incumbent upon us to invest in training and education so the youth – the demographic of the youth is exploding and in the future that is what we have to work with,” said Settee.“We must invest in education and training to allow the youth to continue to be stronger participants.”[email protected]@ashleybrandson
VANCOUVER – Health-food eatery chain Freshii Inc.’s stock shed about a third of its worth Tuesday after the company scaled back its aggressive expansion plans.“Today’s announcement is extremely disappointing to me,” said founder and CEO Matthew Corrin during a conference call with investors Monday evening.After markets closed Monday, Freshii (TSX:FRII) announced its growth has been slower than expected, resulting in some store closures and a reduced target for net openings this year.The Toronto-based company’s shares fell $3.11 or about 35 per cent to $5.75 on Tuesday.Freshii’s revised outlook anticipates between 90 and 95 net new store openings in its 2017 financial year, down from 150 to 160 locations.The company also scaled back its longer-term expansion targets, saying it now plans to open between 730 and 760 stores by the end of its 2019 financial year, rather than the 810 to 840 stores previously anticipated.Robert Carter, executive director of food service at NPD Group, amounted the news to “growing pains” as the relatively young chain adjusts to “such dramatic growth.”In its 2017 financial year, roughly 60 fewer restaurants will be opened partly because Freshii and department store Target ended their relationship, the company said.It closed 17 of its eateries located in Target stores in the third quarter, ending Sept. 24. One additional Freshii Target store will close by the end of this year.Corrin attempted to reassure investors that the closures don’t signal an end to such partnerships in the future.Freshii launched an extensive review of its Target partnership and learned it can make future relationships more successful by, for example, offering fewer menu items to reduce prep work and improve labour efficiency, he said.The company remains excited about similar partnerships being a pillar of growth for Freshii in the future, Corrin said.Carter pointed to an announcement earlier this month that a selection of the company’s food will be served on hundreds of Air Canada flights daily starting next month as an example of the many opportunities Freshii will have for strategic partnerships.Freshii also said its expansion in the United Kingdom and several U.S. states has been slower than expected because its multi-unit franchisees have been more conservative in their real estate selection than anticipated.The company also faced delays facilitating “a far greater number” of store openings this year than last, which led to further challenges. Freshii has hired additional people and engaged a global project management firm to help with the logistics.Carter said the company is making the right moves to address these issues and once the stores are opened, Freshii will continue to experience growth.“This is a brand that’s here for the long term,” he said of the fast-casual restaurant that serves salads, wraps, bowls, burritos and other meals to health-conscious consumers.The company’s stock began trading publicly in January at $12 after a $125-million initial public offering of its stock.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.1 per cent to $63.3 billion in January, helped by the food, beverage and tobacco subsector and the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.The agency says sales were up in four of seven subsectors, accounting for 66 per cent of total wholesale sales.Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector rose 3.1 per cent to $12.3 billion in January, following a 1.8 per decline in December.The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector climbed 1.6 per cent to $13.1 billion.Offsetting the gains, the building material and supplies subsector fell 4.0 per cent to $8.9 billion, the first drop since August 2017.Motor vehicle and parts fell 1.6 per cent to $11.6 billion, the lowest level since June 2017.
Fez- Morocco’s Raja of Casablanca managed to take the lead in the first half of its game vs Mexico’s Monterrey. The Moroccans’ goal was scored at the by Sham Eddine Chtaibi at the 24th minute. The game is not over yet and Moroccans have to be very careful to prevent the Mexicans from making a comeback in the game.
Week 8 of the NFL season was rough for the Carolina Panthers. On Sunday, they squandered a chance to steal a win against the suddenly vulnerable Seattle Seahawks, losing 13-9 at home. That night, the Saints — Carolina’s only NFC South rival of consequence — routed the Green Bay Packers 44-23. The Panthers’ lead in the NFC South is now so small it actually takes some arithmetic to determine that their 3-4-1 record is superior to the Saints’ 3-4 mark.Going into Week 8, we estimated the Panthers’ playoff probability to be 55 percent.1As a reminder, playoff probabilities for this article are derived from a betting-market-based ranking system that is separate from FiveThirtyEight’s Elo-based playoff probabilities. In the case of the Panthers, the estimates did not differ much, with the Elo rankings giving Carolina a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs. But with our latest simulations, that number has tumbled to 30 percent. Only about half of this drop can be attributed to game outcomes and resulting win-loss-tie records. The remainder of it is due to an update to the rankings (derived from Vegas point spreads), which has widened the gulf between the Panthers and the Saints.But this week, the Panthers have an opportunity to claw back some of their losses. On Thursday night, they host the Saints at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. As you can see in the above charts, the Saints and Panthers each have 32 percentage points of playoff probability riding on this game. This is a remarkably large number at the midpoint of the season.Several factors have combined to make this game a perfect storm of playoff implications. First, the Panthers’ tie game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6 renders the divisional tiebreakers moot, removing a layer of uncertainty from our projections and throwing the playoff implications into starker relief. The NFC South also exists in its own playoff bubble, quarantined from the rest of the NFC (see the NFC chart above — the South is surrounded by a healthy buffer of gray cells). The second-best team from the NFC South is unlikely to contend for one of the two wild card seeds, making playoff probability synonymous with division title probability. With fewer teams with which to exchange playoff probabilities, the amount of each weekly probability “swap” becomes that much larger. And finally, the Panthers and Saints go into Thursday night’s game with near-identical records, thus the winner will emerge with sole possession of the lead in the NFC South.In the AFC, the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in the North is similar. It’s also a divisional matchup with significant implications for the participating teams, and little to no consequence for the rest of the league.At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans. This game features a total playoff swing of 73 percentage points split among 19 NFL teams. More than half the league has a rooting interest in the outcome. As one would expect, AFC teams do better with a Houston loss and NFC teams do better with a Philadelphia loss. Somewhat surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff hopes only swing by a relatively small amount, despite being in a tight race with the Eagles for the NFC East title. The reason for the relatively low stakes is that a win by the Eagles largely trades division title probability for wild card probability. An Eagles win would drop the Cowboys’ division title chances from 48 percent to 42 percent, but their wild card outlook would increase from 30 percent to 34 percent, resulting in a net playoff loss of only 2 percentage points.The most anticipated game of the week figures to be Sunday’s matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. But in terms of playoff implications, the latest iteration of the Brady-Manning rivalry ranks fairly low. The Broncos are a virtual lock for the playoffs in our simulations. A loss to New England would be but a scratch, dropping their playoff prospects from 99 percent to 98 percent. The stakes are higher for the Patriots but far from make or break. A loss would drop their playoff chances from 79 percent to 73 percent.This game does have a significant impact on the race for the top playoff seed in the AFC. Going into Week 9, the Broncos are the clear favorite, with a 79 percent chance of winning the No. 1 seed. If New England is able to pull off a victory at home, the race opens up considerably. The Broncos’ chances drop to 59 percent, with the benefit largely accruing to the Patriots: The Patriots’ top-seed probability would increase from 9 percent to 21 percent. And because the first tiebreaker used is head-to-head matchups, a win against the Broncos is worth two games to the Patriots.A New England victory would also increase the Colts’ chances from 4 percent to 7 percent. The Colts opened the season with a loss to the Broncos, thus the head-to-head tiebreaker works against them here. The chart below summarizes the anticipated top-seed probabilities under both outcomes of the Denver-New England matchup.Our game summary table features some new columns this week. Each game’s impact to the finer points of playoff seeding is also assessed and summarized. The Ravens-Steelers game has the largest impact on division title probabilities (seeds No. 1 through 4). The Cardinals-Cowboys game is most consequential for which teams qualify for a first-round bye (seeds No. 1 and 2). And as we have already called out, the Broncos-Patriots game has the largest impact on which team gets the top conference playoff seed. NFL Playoff Implications, our weekly guide to what games matter, and whom they matter to, returns for Week 9 of the NFL season. For an explanation of the methodology, see here. The rankings behind these probabilities can be found here, at the co-author’s blog.
UPDATE (Sept. 3, 10:45 a.m.): Sure, Tom Brady can play a full season again after a judge reversed the league’s four-game suspension. But the Patriots still lost a first-round draft pick in the Deflategate fracas. In May, Neil Paine wrote that the draft pick was the real penalty for the Patriots. We originally published this article after the punishment was first announced. In the wake of the NFL’s Deflategate report, the league announced late Monday that it would fine the New England Patriots $1 million, suspend quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season, and strip New England of two draft picks — a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017.After news of the disciplinary action broke, much of the coverage has centered around the loss of Brady and how his absence will affect the Patriots next season. Certainly questions abound in that department; chief among them is whether backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo can steer the ship while Brady sits. In response to the punishment, sportsbooks in Las Vegas downgraded New England’s line by 4 points in their opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers and have scratched half a win off the team’s 10.5-win opening over/under (now it’s 10.0, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook).1A half-win may seem like a somewhat modest amendment — after all, whenever a future Hall of Fame quarterback is lost, there’s always the concern that the team will completely fall apart without him — but even an extra half-loss could have big implications for New England’s Super Bowl odds.Lost amid the hand-wringing over Brady’s suspension, though, is the value of the lost draft picks. Teams with New England’s 2014 Simple Rating System (SRS) score tend to pick 22nd in the first round of the draft two years later and 21st in the fourth round (or 117th overall) the year after that. Those numbers probably understate the quality of the picks, since without four games of Brady, the Pats may fare worse than the average 10.9-SRS team. But they serve as a good gauge of what the Patriots were stripped of in Monday’s decision.Turning to Chase Stuart’s invaluable research on the value of draft picks, those two picks are worth 19.2 points of marginal Approximate Value (AV) over the first five years of the draftees’ careers. Brady himself has averaged 15.7 AV per season over the past three years, and a replacement-level QB produces about 8.5 AV per 16 games, so Brady’s marginal value in the first four games of the 2015 season figured to be somewhere between 1.5 and 2 points of AV.In other words, according to AV, the cost of New England’s two lost draft picks dwarfs the cost of Brady’s four-game suspension (assuming its original length is upheld after appeals). While the latter will cause a glaring hole in the Patriots lineup on opening day, the former is a long-term disadvantage that may ultimately prove more damaging.