Zika Alert Prompts Bug Spray Maker To Become Australia Olympics Sponsor


SYDNEY Feb 3 A small Australian maker of bug sprays became an unlikely beneficiary of the mosquito-borne Zika virus outbreak this week when the country’s Olympic team signed it up as its first official insect repellent sponsor.

As authorities around the world scramble to contain the virus declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, Melbourne-based Juno Laboratories Pty Ltd said it would supply 1,000 tubes of its Bushman “Heavy Duty” repellent gel for Australians at the Rio de Janeiro games in August.

The move points to the unpredictable nature of health planning for the first Olympic Games in a tropical location since Mexico City in 1968. Six months before they begin, doctors have yet to confirm a suspected link between the virus and thousands of birth defects in Brazil, let alone stop it spreading. 


The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by health officials who said it likely was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite. The virus is spreading rapidly in the Americas, and WHO officials expressed concern that it could hit Africa and Asia as well.

Australia plans to send 450 athletes and 330 support personnel to the world’s biggest sporting event.

“We’ve been talking with our team members about (health preparations) for the last couple of years,” the Australian Olympic Team medical director, David Hughes, told Reuters. “While Zika is new, the issue of mosquito borne-diseases is not, and we’re prepared for that.”

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) was in sponsorship talks with Juno for several months before Zika hit pandemic status in South America in 2015.

The AOC was concerned about other mosquito-borne diseases in Brazil like yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya, as well as the effects of Brazil’s water pollution on sailors and other competitors in aquatic events.

“They asked us to supply the product, then the Zika virus hit and it became a lot more pointed,” said Juno managing director Andrew Raper.

He added that the company would stick to its regular formula of 80 percent diethyltoluamide, known as DEET. Juno will tell AOC officials to ensure athletes are covered in the gel, as well as taking other mosquito-proofing measures like using bed nets and air-conditioning and keeping away from still water.

Australian Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller, who competed in the pentathlon in Sydney in 2000, said none of the 1,000 athletes hoping to compete had expressed any concern about Zika, but “from a duty of care point of view we need our athletes to be aware of what the status is and what the risks are”.

Lafayette High School’s Boxing Venture Is a Step In Right Direction


John Starkey has seen the graduation and drop-out rate numbers at Lafayette High School among Latinos.

The phrase “not pretty” would be an understatement because they are among the lowest in the nation with a 5 percent graduation rate among the school’s Latinos, ranking dead last in the country. It’s his job as principal to turn things around, a challenge he faced while rising up the education ladder in New York City.

So Starkey asked the Latino children at Lafayette, what will it take to help them become more engaged in school? What would it take to get them to want to show up for class?

The answer: Science – the sweet science of boxing that is.

Starkey is still working out logistics (there will be an academic requirement worked into the rules of the club, along with attendance and zero drug-tolerance guidelines), but Starkey cleared a huge hurdle by forming a partnership with the New York State Golden Gloves. Organization president Don Patterson will train club members for free (potential boxers still must pay $50 to join USA Boxing for insurance coverage) so that the Gloves can do its part in providing youths with a positive activity that not only keeps them off the streets but can also be used to teach life skills and help with school work.

The likely start for the program is in August or September, but Starkey wants to get some candidates into the gym for training during Easter or spring break. Besides Patterson’s Northwest Buffalo Community Center, Lafayette and KC Fitness have also teamed up to provide a facility where the students can work on punching technique. Starkey plans on introducing candidates to the boxing workouts, and those who show a legitimate interest will then be allowed to graduate to learning punching and in-ring skills.

“The goal is to turn that around by getting them involved in things that are interesting and positive,” said Starkey, a former Amherst High School basketball player.

The Lafayette Boxing Club took a step closer toward official formation last week with 12 students – Latino as well as some international students from Cameroon and Congo – attending the first round of the state Golden Gloves Tournament at Buffalo RiverWorks. They were introduced to some of the area’s top trainers, including Ring 44 Hall of Famer Juan DeLeon, and got a firsthand look at the boxing talent that have been training for years.

“Got to go little by little, but this is like a first step today,” Starkey said.

It’s a step Ana Millan enjoyed. The Lafayette junior and two-sport athlete (volleyball and softball) has been a boxing fan for years, ever since her older brother trained in the sport. She too has wanted to learn how to box, but lack of money held her back.

She has enough cash saved now to start training in the summer. However, a club at her school at no cost could provide another option.

“Most definitely I’m going to join the team,” she said. “I know a lot of Latino kids in school who are interested in boxing who don’t do anything else. I think they’ll join because it’s something they know. It’s something they have experience with.”

This isn’t a total miracle-cure plan. A boxing club alone won’t be enough to raise a 5 percent graduation rate to an acceptable standard. Only time will tell if Starkey’s boxing club makes an impact on the numbers.

But athletics have been known to be enough of a reason for potentially at-risk youths to show up for classes and stay out of trouble. Maybe, this club leads to renewed interest in other sports at the school.

One thing is certain. At least trying to change things up beats doing nothing at all.

And The Editors Ask:

Football’s popularity in the US stems at least in part because of team loyalty and team lore. Could boxing better build a “cult of personality” around boxers to get this same level of fandom? How can marketers help with this and benefit from it?

Let’s Continue Conversation

Syndicated Study Focuses on the Consumption of Sports by Hispanics in the U.S.


Wasserman, a culture-centric agency for talent, brands and properties, and Navigate Research, experts in measuring and evaluating marketing investments, last week announced the availability of their second syndicated study, “The Hispanic Playbook: More Than Just Goals.” The study focuses on the importance of Hispanic fans in sports marketing and provides brands, agencies and properties with insights to help guide their strategy and drive revenue from the largest multicultural segment in the U.S.

Using Wasserman and Navigate’s innovative analytics and research tools, The Hispanic Playbook provides an in-depth look into the viewership and engagement habits of acculturated vs. unacculturated Hispanics, female vs. male fans, millennials vs. other age groups, as well as their countries of origin, education levels and household incomes.

“We’re excited about The Hispanic Playbook because we know how important it is to understand the Hispanic sports fan,” said AJ Maestas, President of Navigate Research. “With key findings such as Hispanics being twice as likely to trust sponsorships, we anticipate that this study will add tremendous insights and value to marketers.”

“Through our daily work with brands and properties, it has become clear that the industry has a great need to better understand the many facets of the Hispanic sports fan,” said Heidi Pellerano, Executive Vice President, Brands at Wasserman. “The insights we uncovered in the study are hugely compelling and will give brands and properties a broad perspective of the sports Hispanic fans consume, their consumption behaviors and their attitudes towards sponsorships.”

Examples of findings from the study include:

-Soccer is not king – Hispanics are most likely to be NFL fans(66%), followed by NBA(61%), Summer Olympics(60%), MLB(58%) and Soccer(56%)

-Hispanics are leaders in digital use – They are more likely to share content via social media and use smartphones to follow sports

-Hispanics are attractive customers – They attend more live events and are more likely to purchase food, drinks and souvenirs at these events

The Hispanic Playbook features both static and dynamic reports available for purchase. The static report consists of a highly visual deck that communicates the study’s top-level insights and key findings, while the report gives users the ability to explore all topics through key filters, allowing for customization of the dashboards to mirror fan and demographic groups that are most important to an organization.

Additional information available at www.TheHispanicPlaybook.com.


BeIN Sports Selects Y&R Miami


BeInSportsAntonio Briceño, Deputy Managing Director of beIN Sports Americas said beIN evaluated over 20 leading agencies in the USA, before choosing Y&R

For Eric Hoyt, President& CEO of Y&R in Miami, his agency was able to craft an integrated creative approach that positions beIN Sports and connects viewers and advertisers  “It is always great to win new business,” he added, “But it is especially exciting to score with beIN SPORTS and leverage our natural passion for soccer and sports.”

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