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3 Reasons Why I Love Soccer

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America’s run in the World Cup was simply exciting. Any opportunity that I get to yell the U.S.A. chant over and over I’m in. Outside of that, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the world’s most popular game. However, as the soccer tournament of the universe is about to come to an end, I thought I share three reasons why I now love soccer!

1. No commercial interruptions – While we are huge fans of great marketing, we really love digital marketing. It makes complete sense to not disrupt the flow of the game with paid for advertisement. 

2. 90 minutes – While I’m not quite smart enough to figure out stoppage and adding minutes to an athletic contest. Soccer, for the most part, is a 2 hour investment of life’s most important commodity, that being time. 

3. Athlete Super Models – Soccer by far has the most good looking athletes per captia than any other sport. It’s not even close and the toughness of these beauty queens (no offense to beauty queens) equally matches. I love watching grown men flop and wince in pain every time they’re breathed on by an opponent.

3A. – FIFA World Cup on XBox is Awesome!

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Parenting In the Digital Age, Poor Us!

 

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 Put the books away it’s time for summer! School kids everywhere anxiously await this rite of passage to run into the streets wildly in search of the endless pursuit of fun, otherwise known as summer vacation! But wait how about that summer reading list, ah yes, but who still reads books?

I’d venture to say that if you’ve got young kids they already know how to operate your smart phone or tablet. I’ve heard stories of kids as young as 2 buying apps of iTunes, showing grandparents how to operate an iPad and understanding how to Skype. I have three kids under 5, two of which are using these devices right this moment as I scribe this blog. The third is 1 year old and I caught her today accessing Hulu Plus.

 

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We live in the age where kids are growing up on social media, literally in front of our eyes. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have since replaced the piles of photo albums and shoe boxes full of aging pictures my parents have stored in a spare bedroom. These digital images are captured, stored for future prosperity and often times in the digital camera taking world, never see the light of day (did that one come out OK, let’s do it one more time!)

Not only are kids growing up on the internet, we are providing them with technology in order for themselves and us (parents) to keep constant contact. Life is much different. Kids can now text parents when they’ve forgotten something for school, from school and Mom’s everyone go running. Parents have 24×7 access to their kids. Tracking mechanisms in phones and phone plans can give you a detailed idea where your kid is at all times. 

I cannot argue with this at all, so this is not a criticism, but my parents had a way more difficult job than we do now. Think about it…Although I grew up in a small town, they would send me out with friends on a Friday night at and tell me to be home by midnight. There was no Facebook or Twitter. They could not text me to ask if I was “OK.” No phone calls and certainly no GPS systems. They had no ideas of my whereabouts, except for where I told them I went and trust, oh and a little thing called their network.

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We are so concerned with blocking TV stations, parental controls on internet sites and monitoring an iPod. Rightfully so, it’s a little uncomfortable on a Sunday afternoon when you are watching an NFL game with family and friends and every TV timeout you are subjected to a middle aged man giving a creepy look to the gal of his dreams or commercials advertising upcoming networks shows that contain human eating zombies. 

However think about it for a minute, as parents in the digital age we have the ability to control so much, not sure that’s a good thing. I do know this, the difference is: While kids nowadays are in their bedrooms at night looking at what is considered adult matter. I was out running around trying to see and experience these things in real life. 

We use to say read a book and get to experience the world, sounds pretty boring now if you think about it. While an imagination is an awesome thing, not only can you travel 20,000 leagues under the sea but you can interact with it. The internet is the ultimate Montessori school, links provide you an opportunity to explore relevant and interesting content. There’s no less creativity, my only pushback is that you hope that it doesn’t stifle the imagination. Or better yet that they will still want to go places and travel, nor the lack of human engagement.

While the “heads down” world we live in, with everyone studying meaningless information on their smartphone, it’s become an epidemic. People no longer communicate in person. The next conference, grocery store, subway or coffee shop you go to, take a look around and see how many people have their head buried in their phones. Google Glass seems to want to fix that problem but the reality is our kids are growing up in this digital culture. It’s up to us if we are going to let our two young boys ask a girl out on their first date via text. I’m old school I’m expecting both boys to learn to open doors, pick up the phone when necessary and do it with a handshake. Never will I support my daughter saying yes to a date if it’s done via a digital medium.

I blend the old with the new. It is a different world. Having a GPS in a smartphone could potentially be lifesaving, in the same note I’ll encourage my kids to put the phone down and put the tablet away and get out an experience life. While I preach this I do live it. No phones at the dinner table ever, I break for work on normal nights from 5 – 8, that’s family time. I ask my wife to put her phone down, she often gets mad, but I tell her all the time that it’s a part of my job however we can’t both be on the social media checking for updates and postings with our friends.

Yes, I’m on my soap box, I travel with it frequently. I’m not the old guy telling kids to stay off my lawn. However as I fumble through this parenting thing, I’ll take any advice I can get if it’s going to make me a better Dad. It’ll be great to get some feedback on what you think about parenting in the digital age! Now, time to grab a lemonade, kick my feet up and read a good book on my iPad!

 

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Youngstown – Get Your Business Online

Google and the City of Youngstown recently rolled out a fantastic program to help get local businesses online. Did you know that only 58% of small businesses have a website. We are living in a time where 90% of all purchasing decisions start with online search. Google is partnering with cities like Youngstown, Ohio and all around the country to get small businesses help with their web presence.

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This is a free an easy way to get your business a website. Additionally if you sign up in the next by July 4, 2014 you will get free hosting for 1 year, which is about a $300 value. Not to mention your business will qualify for a $5,000 technology grant. This will be given to a selected winner in Youngstown, Ohio.

CYO Marketing is proud to be working with the City of Youngstown to promote this program to support small businesses. We are providing additional resources by offering a free 60 minute consultation for anyone that is in need of help. In the works we will be out in the community at such events like: The Festival On Phelps, Mahoning County Young Professionals networking nights and many others. 

Be sure to connect with us, we will have free swag, promotional brochures and be able to answer questions on best practices. We are working on in person and online training events, these dates are in the works and will announce the details soon! 

In the meanwhile you can go to www.gybo.com/ohio/ and start the process. If you get hung up and are in need of help be sure to contact CYO Marketing. This is a great opportunity for a free website so pass this along to friends, peers and family members that have been considering to get a website but did not know where to start. Here’s there chance!

We are here to help make the Youngstown GYBO a success for the City of Youngstown and more importantly your business! For a free 60 minute consultation hit the contact us button and complete the form. CYO Marketing will follow up immediately!

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The Vicious Period. The Evolution of Language Part 5

We’ve reached the fifth and final week of our exploration of the evolution of language. This week I’m not going to talk the plainest and humblest punctuation mark – the period.

Growing up, I was taught that most sentences should end with periods. Occasionally you’ll ask a question and utilize a question mark. Or you’ll use an exclamation point to convey excitement or emphasis. But recently, the period is not the go-to punctuation mark because it isn’t just a way to end a sentence; it can be seen as aggressive and, well, it makes you look pissed off (at least in the world of quick, Internet communication).

In text messages and instant messages, the period has been replaced by no punctuation, or an excessive use of exclamation points. New Republic gives an example of someone texting their girlfriend, “I know we made a reservation for your bday tonight but wouldn’t it be more romantic if we ate in instead?” If she replies,

“we could do that”

Then you can order pizza for dinner. But if she replies,

“we could do that.”

Then you’re going out and she’s not pleased.

So, when did the tone of the period change? When did it change from a way to end a sentence to a way to announce you’re not pleased? Will the future generations look back and wonder why we were always so angry?

In the past few weeks, we’ve covered some interesting trends and evolutions in language:

  • I know, right?
  • The interrobang (?!)
  • I can’t even
  • The vicious period.

And while this is very interesting, it was also a reminder to you to stay on top of these changes. As language continues to evolve through the influences of social media, marketing will also need to adapt and evolve!

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You Probably Already Know This…

I had a guy on the phone that said to me, “You probably already know this…!” And I thought to myself, “than why are you telling it to me?” At least we’ve managed to move on from “with that said.” Maybe Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm had something to with that movement.

Isn’t it about time to move on from using “really” as a question with the likes of the other Saturday Night Live creation, “not!”

There is always going to be jargon that finds a way to permeate the professional and causal lexicon. Either I’m the ultimate contrarian or just trying to be an original. Either way the things I like and say seem to be in/out of vogue hence I’m at the cool kids lunch table about once every ten years. 

For example, I’m a beer snob, been one for quite some while now and of course we are in the midst of one of the biggest artisanal beer movements of all time. Now I’ve got to listen to someone on a bar stool talk like they invented beer. Everyone’s talking hops, IPA’s, blah, blah, blah, I just like good tasting beer and have for quite sometime.

If you recently discovered the Ramone’s, the Grateful Dead or the Cure, let me be the first to remind you they’ve been around for a very long time. Instead of acting like you’re an expert we will respect you more for you telling us you’re a novice, humility is and interesting and often quite enduring quality.

Our your next call, maybe your next great marketing plan, whatever the case…Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, however take a chance, strive to be original, unique and maybe even remembered!

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Hail to the Chief

YSU President - Jim Tressel

 

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

John F. Kennedy – 35th President of the United States of America

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NFL Draft, Must See TV

I’ll admit it, I’m a “draftnik”…that is to say, I really get into, and follow the NFL Draft.  I’m not alone.  The NFL Draft has become “reality TV”, no singing, no dancing, but pure energy combined with unbridled enthusiasm and anticipation.  The NFL Draft has become must watch TV, having gone galaxies beyond their beginnings when some room at a  Motel 8, or Howard Johnson’s or wherever (actually it was the Ritz) hosted the inaugural event.  Today it’s held at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, again, no dancing, televised live in prime time, with limited commercials…they don’t even need the ads, this thing sells itself.  The draft has become so compelling, not only for me, but for any Football fan, or fan of good TV, that this  blockbuster of an event is stretched out over three days.  Can Idol or DWTS say that…I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch those shows…but I know this, more people will watch the NFL draft than any other Professional Sport playoff game currently being PLAYED, that’s you NBA (Lebron James) and NHL (doesn’t everyone know who’s playing there).  This isn’t a game, it’s a made for TV miniseries.  Programming across three days, commentators and panels that could give the House and Senate a run for their money.  Everybody will be using Social Media. Participants from ESPN, The NFL Network, and their minions alike will be taking to Twitter to give up to the second information, no spoilers here tho, on all the moving and shaking taking place behind the scenes and within a team’s inner sanctum.  This is better than the original Real World show because it’s Football,  and I love Football, and so do a lot of people.  There is an Instagram channel that will capture the Draft’s highs and lows with photos.  Fans can get involved through interactive polling via ESPN, fans can follow their favorite team through their website, and social media channels.  What more can you ask for?  If you don’t like drama, suspense, interaction, social media, graphics, highlights, sorrow, more drama, or even Football, then grab a Netflix and call it a weekend. 

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I can’t even. The Evolution of Language Part 4

Today is part 4 of our exploration of the evolution of language. Yes, you read that correctly. “I can’t even” is a full sentence nowadays. It’s a shortened, Internet-friendly way of saying “I can’t even express or deal with how I’m feeling at this moment.”

Like I said in the first part of this mini-series, many people worry that texting and social media sites, like Twitter, are leading to the decline of literacy and language among young people in the United States and around the world. This expression is top of the list of lazy Internet slangs leading to the end of modern literacy as we know it (okay, was that a bit dramatic?)

But, like most of these expressions, “I can’t even” isn’t necessarily new. In fact, this expression utilizes an ancient figure of speech called aposiopesis. Merriam-Webster defines aposiopesis as “the leaving of a thought incomplete usually by a sudden breaking off.” And the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics defines it as “A speaker’s abrupt halt midway in a sentence, due to being too excited or distraught to give further articulation to his or her thought.” 

While you may not recognize it, I’m sure you’re pretty familiar with a famous example of aposiopesis – the Three Stooges’ “Why I oughta…”

Nonetheless, some people just can’t even with “I can’t even.” The Thought Catalogue begs that “if you find yourself in a troubling position where you can’t even…slow down and speak with enough declaration so that your thoughts are complete and not just recurring fragments. If someone lends an ear, don’t punish them.”

So, are Americans lacking crucial communication skills?  Or are they just doing more with less?

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All Players United, the Rise and Fall of the NCAA and How Social Media’s Played a Role!

 

“Something we’ve been missing, athletes that take a stance!”

Collegiate players for decades have been exploited to the point that institutions of higher learning have benefited in the billions. While it’s easy to argue that an ammature athlete is being compensated in the form of what should be a great education, a network of contacts and a lifetime of memories that should suffice as a job well done. However, this remained true until the profiteers began to sell jersey’s, TV rights and make billions on bowl games. The NCAA has similarly, as the governing body of collegiate athletics ruled with a lack of consistency and profited from the mismanagement of the lives of these kids.

 

Whether you looking at Proposition 48 in the 1990’s, transfer and eligibility rules, there’s been a total lack of justification, a lack of consistency and no interjection of human judgement. The system is completely fractured and for the betterment of the system collegiate athlete’s have started a movement called, All Players United and is now the NCPA. Social media has played a tremendous role in this nationwide protest, staring with Twitter, just go and look up #APU.

 

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Sadly what is often overlooked, power sports in power conferences are subjected to these lucrative offerings. Look at any training facility at a major Division I program, it’s insane. Everyone else, well is living like everyone else. It’s no secret the that the revenue driving sports consisting of college football and basketball generate revenue that basically pays for the rest of the athletic programs. Including equipment, scholarships and coach’s salaries. Universities and the NCAA benefit significantly from these payouts.

 

However it’s frowned upon with inconsistencies that when a kid sells his autograph for walking around money or trades personal belongings (they own) in a bartering type system they are penalized. While we can all judge, these athletes and if we can say it without laughing are thought to be students. However games are scheduled (by the governing bodies) on the opposite side of the country on a Tuesday night, think that puts academics first?

 

Kids are given athletic scholarships with no commitment for annual renewals therefore hardworking kids get scholarships pulled by new coaches, it happens all the time! Sadly many student athletes leave college with no direction when it’s over or worse yet, end up with life limiting injuries.

 

During the 1960′s athletes stood for something, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Jim Brown fought for something, respect! Institutions of higher learning during this time period were the lightning rod of protest, a place for kids becoming adults to test the conventional wisdom of the world and fight for a change. Agree or disagree, the All Players Unite movement is commendable. 

 

I respect the movement. While we can argue for days about the payment of college athletes, it’s hard to deny the fact that coaches influence players to take courses that don’t interfere with athletics, that video game makers have copied the likeness of players (why else would we play the games) and universities fill up 100,000 seat stadiums every Saturday and sell jersey’s of the All-American in the book store. What’s even more truly amazing is that this movement and mini-revolutions are evolving before our eyes and spreading freakishly fast due to the use of social media! Best of luck to the #APU, fight the good fight and hope you get a good education, either in the classroom or in the process along the way!

 

 

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All Is Social at The Derby

 

The most exciting two minutes in all of sports has become one of the biggest entertainment events…period.  Aside from the Super Bowl, which governs not only football fans, but has a global antennae that reaches millions that is currently unmatchable, the Kentucky Derby ranks second in overall price point per ticket to watch racing’s “super bowl” of races.  But this isn’t a rant about Football or the Super Bowl…this is about how big the Kentucky Derby has become, and how it continues to resonate with not only “Horse Handicappers”, but captures the hearts, minds, and a couple of bucks of just about anybody!  For starters, beginning with this year’s 140th installment, Churchill Downs, the host racetrack, has installed a Jumbotron that “stretches” longer than the mammoth screen that currently resides  in Dallas Cowboy stadium, also known as “Jerry’s World”.  The strategy is to obviously enhance the the viewing experience for those in attendance.  

Also, worth noting is that Churchill Downs has actually seen  their split on the gambling pool wagers go down, but overall revenue for Derby Day increase significantly.  Why?  Easy as picking a winner…Marketing, or advertising, although the track could reap even more revenue, if they chose to maximize the sponsorship ads.  They’ve bet on the prestige, the fans, the non-fans, the entire entertainment value, much like any good business should. They’ve stretched their legs to incorporate all things Social leading up to, and including on Derby Day itself.  You want more proof, or past performance data?  Over half of the horses entered into this year’s Derby have Facebook and/or Twitter accounts.  Yes, you read that… HORSES have Facebook and Twitter pages!  If that isn’t sure fire evidence of how these social media strategies have become useful and necessary to building a base, a following, a business, or how about a winner, then let me make your bets for you.  

Social media and it’s usage in or around the Derby and other sporting events has emerged as the go-to outlet for information, back stories, real stories, while amping up the ado that would make Shakespeare himself throw down a sawbuck on his ponie of choice.  So, as we get closer to post time for the Derby, the Social Media race is under way, or off, as they say and if you don’t have a horse in this race… then you can prematurely give up working for the rest of your life, and just pick winners at the racetrack. 

 

 

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