Update on the latest sports Selected by Buffalo in the 1962 draft, Stratton spent his first 11 seasons with the Bills and finished his career with the 1973 Chargers. He was a three-time All-AFL player and earned second-team AFL All-1960s team honors.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-WASHINGTON STATE-BEEKMANPolice: Washington State safety Bryce Beekman found deadPULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State senior defensive back Bryce Beekman has died.Police in Pullman, Washington, say the 22-year-old was found dead in his apartment by an officer who responded to a call for help involving “breathing problems.” — The Kontinental Hockey League has given up on trying to reschedule its playoffs and canceled the remainder of the season. The Russia-based KHL is widely considered to be the strongest league outside the NHL. It was due to play its conference semifinals when play was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.— The Boston Bruins say they are putting 68 full-time employees on temporary leave and cutting the pay of 82 others who work for the team or Delaware North, which owns the TD Garden. The Bruins call the moves “temporary business stabilization measures” and go into effect April 1. The Bruins were the last team in the NHL to offer help to gameday employees who lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic — and then only if postponed games aren’t made up. The team is owned by Hockey Hall of Famer Jeremy Jacobs. Forbes Magazine estimates the Jacobs family is worth $3.3 billion.— Major League Soccer has extended its moratorium on team training through April 3 and still wants players to stay in their team’s local market. MLS has targeted May 10 as a potential return date. Team training facilities may be used only for physical therapy purposes at the direction of the team’s medical staff.— The All England Club says it is still evaluating whether to postpone or cancel Wimbledon because of the coronavirus pandemic and plans to make a decision next week. That’s when the club’s main board is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting. Main-draw play at Wimbledon is slated to start June 29 and preparations for the tournament are supposed to begin in late April.— Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns says his mother is hospitalized and in a medically-induced coma after contracting the new coronavirus. Towns said both his parents went to the hospital recently and were tested for the disease. While his father was released and told to quarantine at home, his mother’s condition deteriorated to the point where she was put on a ventilator and placed in a coma. Toppin led the way in one of Dayton’s greatest seasons, averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds. He was a unanimous choice for The Associated Press All-America first team and He beat Iowa’s Luke Garza for AP player of the year honors.NFL-PANTHERSBridgewater inks dealCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have officially signed free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year contract.A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press last week that the contract is worth $63 million. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSJays GM proposes 7-inning twinbills if season beginsUNDATED (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is pitching an idea to help big league teams squeeze in more games once the season resumes. General manager Jim Rutherford says Guentzel has not encountered any setbacks after undergoing shoulder surgery on Dec. 31. Guentzel was expected to need 4 to 6 months to recover, but Rutherford indicated his high-scoring forward is near the front end of the timetable.Guentzel had 20 goals and 43 points in 39 games this season before the injury.TRANSGENDER ATHLETES-HIGH SCHOOLUS Justice Department: Don’t treat trans athletes as girlsHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a federal civil rights lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing as girls in interscholastic sports. March 25, 2020 Atkins is floating the prospect of playing seven-inning doubleheaders, allowing MLB to add more games in a condensed season without exhausting pitching staffs. Seven-inning twinbills have long been a staple of minor league baseball.Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Blue Jays were set to begin the 2020 season at home against the Boston Red Sox Thursday afternoon.In other baseball news:— Injured Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge still hasn’t resumed baseball activities. Judge didn’t play in any spring training games because of discomfort in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder that he felt when swinging. The Yankees said March 6 that the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year had a stress fracture to his first right rib, an injury likely dating from a diving catch late last season. Yankees manager Aaron Boone says Judge will be evaluated again in a few weeks.— Major League Baseball will air 30 games across its digital platforms on Thursday, giving fans plenty of hardball to choose from on an opening day postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. With its season delayed until at least mid-May, MLB will air one memorable game for each franchise on its YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages. Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a statement of interest Tuesday, arguing against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees the state’s high school athletic competitions.The conference allows athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify, arguing it is following a state law that requires high school students be treated according to their gender identity. It also argues the policy is in accordance with Title IX, the federal law that allows girls equal educational opportunities, including in athletics.The lawsuit was filed in February by three female runners who say they have been deprived of wins, state titles and athletic opportunities by being forced to compete against transgender athletes.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Bridgewater replaces 2011 No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, who was released on Tuesday after nine seasons with the team. Bridgewater enters his seventh NFL season after spending four seasons with the Vikings and two with the Saints.NFL-BILLS-OBITEx-Bill Stratton diesUNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Bills say former star linebacker Mike Stratton has died due to heart complications stemming from a recent fall. He was 78.Stratton was part of a Bills defense that holds the pro football record of not allowing a touchdown rushing in 17 consecutive games, spanning the 1964-65 seasons. Associated Press The Tokyo Games were scheduled to begin July 24. Several countries last weekend called for the Olympics to be postponed until next year, but the IOC did not decide to push back the games until Tuesday.In other developments news related to the pandemic:— NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees by 6 p.m. Wednesday. In a memo to the teams, Goodell said the restrictions meant as a safeguard against the new coronavirus will be in force until at least April 8. Then the league will re-evaluate, using advice from medical experts and health authorities. The few exceptions include trainers and doctors treating players, security and technology personnel.— The NHL’s chief medical officer expects the coronavirus pandemic to get worse before it gets better in North America. The officer says it is difficult to predict when cases of COVID-19 might peak or decrease. That uncertainty makes it unclear when players might be able to get back on the ice in small groups, let alone when games might resume. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly believes it’s too early to know whether fans would be allowed in whenever hockey is back.— The NHL has announced that it is postponing the scouting combine, the league awards ceremony and the draft due to the ongoing uncertainly resulting from the coronavirus. All three events were scheduled to be held in June, an impossibility if the league resumes its regular season and holds a full playoff schedule. The NHL added that the draft and draft lottery will be announced when plans are finalized. — NASCAR says in a memo to teams that one of its employees at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee was not identified and NASCAR said the individual has been receiving medical care and all potentially exposed have been told to self-quarantine. NASCAR was scheduled to race at Atlanta March 15 without spectators. But two days prior to the race, NASCAR postponed Atlanta and last weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.— Experts are pointing to a Feb. 19 soccer game as one of the biggest reasons why the Italian city of Bergamo (BEHR’-gah-moh) has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. On that day a third of the Italian city’s population made the short trip to Milan to watch their team play Spanish club Valencia. Nearly 2,500 fans from Spain also traveled to the match. Two days later, the region’s first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 was reported. More than a third of Valencia’s team eventually became infected following what some are calling “Game Zero.”COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOPPIN-NBAToppin entering NBA draftUNDATED (AP) — Dayton All-American forward Obi Toppin (OH’-bee TAH’-pihn) is entering the NBA draft after leading the Flyers to a 29-2 record and No. 3 ranking as a redshirt sophomore. VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSIOC chief invokes Trump in defense of Olympic decisionUNDATED (AP) — A day after postponing the Tokyo Olympics, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is invoking comments by President Donald Trump to defend himself from criticism.Bach spoke to about 400 reporters on a conference call and was asked why it took so long to postpone the Tokyo Games amid growing concern among athletes about the coronavirus pandemic. He noted that many governments have imposed social limits only into next month or early May and pointed to Trump’s hope of easing restrictions by mid-April.Bach said “we were in line with these developments” until World Health Organization leaders said Monday that the outbreak was accelerating. Former teammate Charles Henderson posted on social media that Edwards died of complications from the new coronavirus. The Associated Press couldn’t independently confirm Henderson’s account.Edwards held the single-season school record for assists for more than 25 years. He averaged 13.5 points for the Aggies and is second to Alex Caruso on A&M’s career lists with 602 steals and 228 steals.NHL-PENGUINS-GUENTZELGuentzel progressing nicelyPITTSBURGH (AP) — It’s possible that Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star forward Jake Guentzel (GEHNT’-sul) could return sometime this season if the NHL is able to resume the campaign. Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins says there were no signs of foul play and that the Whitman County coroner will determine the cause of death.Beekman started all 13 games last season for Washington State after transferring from Arizona Western College.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-OBIT-DAVID EDWARDSFormer Texas A&M basketball player David Edwards dead at 48COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Former Texas A&M basketball player David Edwards has died at 48.
Despite ranking fourth in the Big Ten, the Wisconsin women’s softball team has been one of the hottest teams in the country for the past month with a record of 15-2 in April. The Badgers looked to carry that momentum into the month of May.Wisconsin (33-17, 15-7 Big Ten) traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., in the last regular season series against the conference’s top-ranked Michigan (40-11, 18-5), and in an upset, walked away with the “W” in two of the three games.In the first game of a three-game series, the Badgers hit the ground running, scoring a run right away in the top of the first. After leadoff hitter Mary Massei reached first base on a dropped third strike, teammates Michelle Mueller and Stephanie Peace hit her the rest of the way around the bases on a single and a lineout to center field, respectively.The Wolverines responded in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Taylor Hasselbach hit a home run to center field off UW pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart, and again in the next inning when shortstop Sierra Romero did the same, taking the early lead away from Wisconsin.The Badgers kicked it into gear over the next two innings, however, putting up a couple more runs of their own.Right fielder Katie Christner started things off in the fourth with a single to the right side of the diamond, followed by Massei who was intentionally walked by Michigan. With two of Wisconsin’s fastest players on base, second baseman Sara Novak doubled to right center, bringing in both runners and taking the lead back.Novak had a little more in her yet. After pinch runner Caitlyn Warren scored another UW run in the fifth, Novak nearly doubled Wisconsin’s side of the scoreboard with a 7th-inning grand slam to right field, bringing in teammates Marissa Mersch, Christner and Maria Van Abel. The Wolverines put up an additional run of their own in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t undo Novak’s work, ending the game at 9-3.Wolverines tie the seriesMichigan wasn’t going to go quietly in the second game of the series Saturday.The Wolverines were the first to score this time around, with Hasselbach scoring the first run after she reached second on a double, and catcher Lauren Sweet capitalized on a UW throwing error, scoring a second run of the inning.Wisconsin fought back and scored a run of its own when Mueller, having singled through the right side herself, reached home on a single by teammate Ashley Van Zeeland.But Michigan proved relentless, tacking on three additional runs in the bottom of the third off a series of singles and doubles, including ones by Romero and Sweet.The Wolverines solidified the win three innings later when they put together another string of hits, with Abby Ramirez, Nicole Sappingfield and Caitlin Blanchard all singling, Romero hitting a double, and Hasselbach polishing off the inning with another home run to centerfield off Wisconsin pitcher Cassandra Darrah, making the final score a lopsided 10-1.Wisconsin takes the series win in extrasWith only one game left in the series between the No.1 and No. 4 ranked teams in the conference, both came prepared and determined, fighting tooth-and-nail and pushing the game into extra innings.The score remained 0-0 until the bottom of the third inning, when Michigan finally broke through. After Sappingfield doubled to right field, Romero hit her second home run of the weekend, bringing in two RBIs for the home team.UW responded by putting four-spot in the top of the next inning, starting with a single by Mueller. Marisa Gonzalez pinch ran for the third baseman, and advanced to third when Peace doubled to center field. Van Zeeland loaded the bases when she reached on a fielder’s choice, and catcher Chloe Miller brought in the first run when she drew a walk. With bases still loaded, Mersch brought in both Gonzalez and Peace on a single to right field, and Miller scored an unearned run when she made it home on a Michigan error, putting the score at 4-2.Michigan tied the score back up in the bottom of the inning with a single from third baseman Lindsey Montemarano right before a home run from center fielder Lyndsay Doyle, bringing in both batters. Both teams brought in an additional run in the seventh inning, keeping the score tied and forcing the game into extra innings.After a scoreless eighth inning, Sara Novak hit her well-placed second home run of the weekend in the ninth, pushing Wisconsin into the 6-5 lead. Michigan failed to respond in the bottom of the inning, giving the Badgers a 2-1 series win on the weekend. Wisconsin couldn’t ask for a higher note to finish out the regular season on as they head into conference tournament next weekend.
Dear Editor,The question is: When would GECOM, and especially this PNC-led Coalition, come to the stark reality that Guyana must have General and Regional Elections? That is the question on everyone’s mind. And may I add: When would GECOM and this Government stop the delaying tactics and get on with the people’s business of conducting a free and fair election and one that is free from fear in this country?These are all pertinent and searching questions, the answers to which are, up to now, not forthcoming from these two entities. All we are getting thus far are excuses after excuses, too numerous to mention.It is high time this foolishness comes to an end.September 18th, 2019, like the morning sun, looms bright and clear on the horizon; yet we are locked in gloom as the burdensome weight of a PNC Government, through its instrument GECOM, keeps us head-locked in foolish and nonsensical arguments, while we are no closer to experiencing the dawn of a new day; a fresh start.We want elections! The Constitution and the people say so, and theirs is the only voice that matters!Next Wednesday would mark another deadline that would have come and gone all because a Government is hiding behind some ludicrous excuses and refuses to meet the electorate. Guyana has laws, and our country is supposed to be governed by a Constitution. That Constitution states emphatically in Articles 106 (6) and (7) what ought to be done when a government falls.It is nine months to the date, and the dictates of the law have neither been honoured nor respected. Why is this so? It then becomes clear that this Government is most fearful. And why should they be? Why the fear? Why the apprehension? Is it that they see defeat coming?The head of this Coalition Government is supposed to be an ex-army man; he should then stand like the brave and go back to the people who brought him to power in the first place. Why the cowardice? Do not this President and his Government know that they have to face the electorate after the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion?Yes, they are well aware of this. So let us get on with the nation’s business, sir.Any Government — and this one is no different — when you have done your work, you must face the electorate for a fresh mandate to continue the “good work” started four year ago.Then I say: Let us get a clear evaluation of that work, whether good or bad, from the perspective of general election!Respectfully,Neil Adams
Pricing can be one of the most elusive strategies for a business to nail down, especially for B2B companies. But getting your pricing right can make or break your business – it’s not only a driving factor in your profits, it also impacts how your brand is perceived by your customers and market.Every business is different, so I can’t give you a single golden rule to set the perfect price (even “never lose money” doesn’t work, as you’ll see). But I can give you a trusted framework and warn you of the most common mistakes I see people make.The FrameworkThere are three main phases in developing your pricing strategy: identifying cost, determining value, and setting your price.1. Know Your True CostThis first step is more important and a lot trickier than you think. Knowing your true cost isn’t as easy as getting a quote from your suppliers and totaling it up. To make smart business decisions you need to know the true cost of servicing your customers.For a service business, the primary cost driver is labor hours. The bulk of costs are directly tied to the number of hours your team works on a specific project or account.But the costs don’t stop there. You may also invest in marketing strategies for each of your services. These costs would not otherwise exist if you didn’t offer that service, so those must be included in the true cost of service.The same can be said for businesses that sell physical goods. Your supplies, marketing efforts, and direct management expenses all need to be applied to calculate the true cost.Be careful not to include business-wide expenses. If the expense is incurred independent of the sale of your product or service, it should be ignored in this decision. For example, my salary doesn’t impact the cost of any particular product we offer. Yours probably won’t either, unless you are responsible for a single product offering.A good way to figure this out is to simply ask yourself: “If we stopped selling this product tomorrow, would this expense still need to be incurred?”Once you know this number, you can use it to make sure that you are achieving your target ROI and making profitable decisions. Not knowing the true cost causes many businesses to run a loss without even realizing it!But unless you are truly selling a nondifferentiable commodity, like copper or gold, you should not put too much weight on costs when setting your price.Sure, it’s important to know so that you can evaluate a product’s success, but what is much more important is understanding your product’s value.2. Determine Your ValueThe most profitable businesses measure value against cost when devising their profit strategy.For example, at my digital marketing agency, we consider how much our work will increase the profits of our clients, not how many hours we will have to bill to get them. Any price below that is reasonable. As long as you are providing more value to your clients than you are charging for, they will happily continue to employ your service.Of course, you don’t want to take advantage of your customers and overcharge them simply because you can. That bloated margin will leave room for competition to come in and undercut you.To determine the value of your product or service, you need to figure out what the business impact is on your client and how essential it is to their operations. You will know how to do this better for your business than I, but here are a few ideas:Ask them. Interview customers and potential customers to find out where your business fits into their bigger picture. Learn about the positive changes they experience when they switched from a competitor to you.Track results. In digital marketing, we know about the importance of tracking our success metrics. If the client’s average lead is worth $20 and you bring them 500 qualified leads a month, your services are easily worth $10,000.Ask yourself: “What would happen if I stopped serving them?” If you decided to stop serving that client, what would happen to their business? Would they have to use a more expensive competitor? Would they lose many customers? Or discontinue a product of their own?When you set your prices with value in mind (and it lines up with the costs you need to cover), you should be on the path to healthy profits. The last step of this framework is to use effective strategies to set the perfect final price.3. Use Psychological PricingOnce you have a ballpark figure for your pricing, you need to finalize it using psychological pricing strategies. This is where you tweak your price based on different psychological triggers and guide both their emotion and logic to make the decision that you want.One of the most well-known examples is adjusting your price in a way that reduces the first digit in your price. For example: $49.99 instead of $50.00. Although logically we know these prices are essentially equivalent, our subconscious mind has been shown to greatly favor the former.But a recent study has actually questioned the universal nature of that effect. They found that when a purchase was driven by more emotional status drivers, round pricing actually performed better.The theory is that uneven numbers require more energy to process and promote more thought. This results in the customer relying more heavily upon reason when making their decision. The round numbers are easier to process, allow customers to make the decision emotionally, and give them a greater feeling of being right.However, it’s worth noting that many business purchases are made on rational, and not emotional, grounds, so these latest findings may not be as important in B2B pricing.Another psychological strategy doesn’t actually involve changing the price, but rather how you present it. It’s called price anchoring.To convince customers that your price seems reasonable (or even a steal!) you need to give them larger numbers with which to compare. The oldest example of this is the “perpetual sale” like you find on Amazon.Of course $17.39 seems reasonable for a product that’s worth $25!There are ways you can leverage this in your business transactions. For example, add a screen question early on asking clients if their budget is above or below $2,000 a month. They will then find your proposal for $1,200 very agreeable since their minds have been thinking about $2,000.None of these tricks are magic and they can’t automatically triple the value you offer or cut down your costs, but they will increase your sales volume and profits if used in conjunction with the proper value-based pricing.Consider Long-Term Business ObjectivesSince your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum or in a single moment of time, it’s important to optimize your price for higher profits. But it’s also important to keep your eye on the bigger picture. Maximizing your price for profits should be a long-term goal, not a temporary fix.There are four main outside considerations I keep in mind when setting my prices:1. Market ShareSometimes to maximize your long-term profits, you need to sacrifice your short-term income in exchange for more market share. The increased name recognition, customer loyalty, and publicity you gain from cutting prices can be worth it in the long run if managed well. Sometimes it may even be profitable to run at a short-term loss. This strategy is especially viable for new market entries.2. Lifetime ValueMake sure you know your average customer’s lifetime value. If you sell repeat services (like SaaS) or have a strong upselling or cross-selling strategy in place, it may be worth it to sell loss leaders. These are introductory products sold at a loss in order to form a relationship with a customer who is expected to spend much more in the future.3. CompetitionAnother reason not to raise your price too high, especially in more mature industries, is the threat of competition undercutting you. If you charge prices in excess of three times your cost, competitors will find it easy to underprice you and steal your business.If you are a market leader for a particular product or manage a strong differentiation, you might be able to set your prices high at first, but you should keep an eye on the competition’s prices to make sure that you remain competitive as their offerings catch up.4. Brand ImageThis can go both ways. As a consumer example, Apple tends to keep their prices extremely high despite massive margins. This hasn’t shown much sign of decreasing their sales rate and certainly hasn’t dampened their profits or brand image. The high price point actually gives their customers a feeling of superiority and helps Apple position their products as top-tier luxury goods.On the other hand, if you raise prices too frequently or fail to deliver on your quality, the market may view you as greedy or overpriced which will leave a bad impression and make it very difficult for you to earn back their trust, even after your prices have been lowered.ConclusionThere is no single pricing strategy that works for all businesses, but if you test out these tips, you should be able to improve your price point. Try different psychological pricing techniques and interview more customers about the value you bring them. Track your results and record what you learn so you can improve each time and you’ll soon be on a constant train of price optimization and increased profits.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis4