I love baseball, and I love NASCAR. My idea of a fun afternoon is listening to Mike Shannon call a Cardinals game on the radio while I watch Dale Jr. and Carl Edwards round the track on television.
Lately, I’ve noticed that attendance numbers are slightly down for both of my favorite pastimes. So, I thought I’d look at what impact the economic downturn is having on these two industries.
There’s no question that climbing gas prices, unemployment and the housing crisis are affecting the amount of disposable or recreational income we all have. So, it’s logical to assume that ticket sales for major league baseball would be down, although they have not dipped as far as some would have predicted. Apparently, a bad team will keep fans away faster than a bad economy.
However, baseball as an industry seems to be fairly recession-proof, probably because a large share of its income is derived from other sources, such as television contracts and sponsorships. Some experts feel the latter may be hard to come by if the economy doesn’t improve with a new administration. (more…)
How many times have you complained about a product or service, and then dismissed your unhappiness with a shrug and a comment: “If they had asked me about this, I could have told them”but, well, they didn’t ask me.”
Well, they’re starting to.
Consumer-driven innovation â€“ or simply asking us what we as customers want â€“ has gained more traction in recent years. Seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? But for many decades, consumer goods and services were designed around what company executives and business owners thought we wanted.
Now, not only are they asking us more about what we want, in many cases they are asking us to design products ourselves, often taking the old-fashioned focus group into the new technological age using online communities and social networking. (more…)
This just in from our Department of Understatement: I’m not athletic.
After tryouts for my junior high softball team, on which I longed to be the catcher, I was named the “refreshment girl.” That pretty much says it.
But I love athletes, and like millions of others around the globe, I love the Olympic Games. I’m glued to the coverage. I’ll even watch table tennis. Rowing. Fencing. Whatever. I’m in awe of the discipline, dedication and tenacity of the athletes. That’s half of my fascination.
The other half is with the incredible creativity in the marketing strategies that surround this worldwide competition. I love to watch the play on emotions, the unique approaches and the way technology has changed this greatest of all sales platforms. (more…)
When Dorothy needed some additional help due to a back problem, her family called Lynette Yaeger at Bluegrass Terrace in Ashland to see if Dorothy could stay at the senior assisted living center for a few months.
After 24 hours at Bluegrass, Dorothy called her family in Columbia and said, “Sell my house, and bring me the rest of my belongings. I’m staying here.”
One visit to Bluegrass Terrace would explain Dorothy’s decision. Possibly the only place you would feel more at home is in your own home. And that’s just what Lynette and her husband, Randy, were wanting when they opened the 16-room facility in December 2007.
“The most satisfying thing for me is when people call this their â€˜home,’” says Lynette as she straightens the magazines on the coffee table in the spacious and elegant living area. “That’s when I know we have succeeded.” (more…)
It’s sad but true. One of the highest growth industries in the country is corporate fraud.
As a result of the high-profile white collar scandals in the past few years, federal, state and local governmental agencies, as well as businesses, have developed numerous ways to catch the bad guys and identify areas in which fraud might exist.
All of that bad news is good news for forensic accountants, specialists who are assigned to detect fraud, prove allegations of embezzlement or insider dealings, investigate books and potentially testify in legal proceedings. Forensic accountants are typically engaged regarding specific allegations of fraud as opposed to their auditor colleagues who are often consulted to offer an opinion on an organization’s financial statements.
As a result of the rising need for forensic accounting specialists, and the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, most colleges and universities are enhancing the number and depth of courses in forensic accounting, teaching students to conduct financial investigations when questions of fraud or financial loss arise. Often these programs are a combination of accounting, criminal justice and information technology courses. (more…)
Whenever I tell folks that our center is located in the MU College of Engineering, I get some quizzical looks in return.
“The College of Engineering? What are you doing there?”
It’s a logical question, especially from individuals who are unfamiliar with engineering or entrepreneurship. But the explanation is just as logical.
The first connection is in the mindset of the two disciplines. It’s a mindset that we’ve discussed in this column before. Both entrepreneurs and engineers are known for their problem-solving ability. Both are “idea people.” These are the folks who want to make things better, faster, stronger, more efficient, easier, more environmentally friendly, less expensive, more value-added”the list goes on and on. They are the “what if?” people. And thank goodness we have them, or we would be missing out on nearly all of the products we enjoy today. (Just stop and think of everything you have used today that required the work of an engineer, from the alarm that woke you up, to the air conditioning you will sleep under tonight. You’ll be amazed.)
This natural connection is behind a national movement to educate more engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset, professionals who possess not only solid technical expertise, but also the additional qualities of inventiveness, risk-taking, opportunity identification and a sense of adventure. This is a change in engineering education, and it’s a far cry from the preparation enjoyed by the engineers of the Cold War era, who were immersed in a narrow technical discipline, with the anticipation that they would work their entire career for a manufacturing concern, often of a defense-related nature. In a primarily product-oriented economy, the work of engineers was more narrowly focused, related to specific projects within a large corporate engine. (more…)
This is a test.
What product, service, corporation, movement or campaign is associated with each of the following?
- “It’s morning again in America.”
- “Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men?”
- “What happens here, stays here.”
- “A little dab’ll do ya.”
- “A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage.”
- “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
- “Generations of Style.”
- “There is nothing wrong with your television set.”
- “Think small.”
- “Perfection has its price.”
According to Steve Cone, these are “powerlines.” Beyond mottos or slogans, these are word combinations that deliver “an electric surge, a current that charges the mind long after the initial message is received.”
In his new book, Powerlines: Words that Sell Brands, Grip Fans and Sometimes Change History, Cone provides a fresh approach to creating promotional mechanisms that will set your company’s message above the rest.
Cone says powerlines tell a compelling story, ring true and create a memorable “sound,” meaning they evoke a particular emotion or experience as a result of their unique cadence, inflection, tone or pattern. In a world dominated by silent communication via email or the Internet, Cone reminds us that the actual sound of the spoken powerline is often what makes it memorable. (more…)