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Fine allegations : Judge reserves decision on venue change during hearing Tuesday

first_img Published on February 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments Onondaga County Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph reserved decision Tuesday on a request by Syracuse University and men’s head basketball coach Jim Boeheim to move the defamation suit against them to a court in Syracuse.The suit was filed in a New York City court Dec. 30 by Bobby Davis and Mike Lang, two former SU ball boys.On Tuesday, lawyers representing SU and Boeheim appeared in Syracuse with an attorney representing both Davis and Lang to trade arguments at a hearing before DeJoseph.DeJoseph said he will likely be prepared to issue a decision by the end of the day Wednesday.Davis and Lang were represented by two attorneys, Mariann Wang and Julie Ehrlich, and Wang spoke on behalf of the plaintiffs. Neither Davis nor Lang appeared in court.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFour attorneys represented SU and Boeheim on Tuesday, with Mary Beth Hogan speaking on behalf of the university. Boeheim also did not appear in court.Boeheim’s lawyer, C. James Zeszutek of Pittsburgh, filed a motion to move the case to Onondaga County on Jan. 17 because none of the parties involved currently live in New York City.Wang argued Tuesday that moving the case to Syracuse would be unfair to her clients. The ability to put together an impartial jury in the city of Syracuse would be difficult given the ‘extensive, deep influence in power that the defendants have in this community.’She explained that Boeheim and the university are so prominent and vital to the Syracuse community that weeding out biases of potential jurors would be exceedingly difficult. The basketball team brings in $19.5 million in revenue for the city, and SU is the second-largest employer in Syracuse, Wang said.Wang said SU acts as an economic engine for the city of Syracuse. And when the basketball team wins, even more revenue is pumped into the community through clothing sales, hotel bookings and boosts in restaurant business.Wang said the voir dire process to select jurors would be long and tedious as a result of this presence because the task of ‘weeding out biases’ would be a difficult one.In her rebuttal, Hogan pointed out that the standard for a change of venue request is a ‘showing of a strong possibility’ that an impartial jury could not be found. She stressed that this means it must be beyond speculation, a belief or a suspicion. And with this in mind, she said she doesn’t see how an impartial jury couldn’t be compiled.She alluded to a similar request in the Pennsylvania State University sex abuse scandal that asked for a change in venue out of State College, Pa. That request was denied.Hogan said Syracuse is a much larger community than State College, Pa., and finding an impartial jury in Onondaga County would not be impossible.Hogan did concede that a former ball boy, basketball player or fanatical fan probably should not sit on the jury, however. But she said the jury questionnaires used during the voir dire process should weed out those biases.She said her and the other three lawyers have every reason to believe the court will be able to find an impartial jury in Onondaga County.Both Wang and Hogan declined to comment after the hearing, which lasted just less than a half-hour.mjcohe02@syr.edu center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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‘It’s an addiction,’ The anatomy of SU football’s scalping market

first_imgAt 2:14 p.m. on the first fall Saturday of the year, a 50-year-old man in an SU long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans clothing hiked up the staircase on Irving Avenue. It was Sept. 22, and inside the Carrier Dome, Syracuse primed itself for its first 4-0 start since 1991. Outside Gate C, around the corner from a ticket window, Raj paced in front of Falk College on the concrete path which marked his office, one he fought for in the early half of his 38-year ticket scalping career.He pulled a laminated piece of paper out of his pocket. In bold lettering it read, “I NEED TICKETS.” Raj flaunted it earlier on Marshall Street, but now, closer to the Dome, it drew too much attention. He tucked the sign behind a garbage can. He continued to the box office, checked the price of the cheapest seat available, $25, and smirked. He could buy tickets from fans for $5, and then sell it later for a profit.A bearded SU fan with four extra tickets approached Raj outside of Falk. Raj pleaded with the fan. He had kids in college, and this deal could help cover tuition. The fan asked Raj for his final offer, $40 for the set, and laughed in Raj’s face. As the fan walked away, Raj turned around and looked for his next customer.“I’ve been doing this since I was 12,” Raj said. “… It’s an addiction. It’s fast money. I bought a house doing this.”In Syracuse, ticket scalpers are a game day staple. They’re situated around campus from the tailgates in the Stadium Lot to the bus stop at College Place. According to New York state, individual ticket sellers don’t require a license. Tickets can’t be priced at more than face value and scalpers can’t operate in the 1,500-foot “buffer zone” around a venue’s box office. Scalping has spread since then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer helped loosen the state’s laws in 2001, Kimbel, another Syracuse ticket reseller, said. Raj, like other scalpers in this story, don’t comply with the buffer zone.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLaura Angle | Digital Design EditorThere’s no data on ticket scalping at venues, Victor Bennett, a professor of strategy at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, said. The “big money” days of ticket scalping — the Donovan McNabb era — are in the past, multiple scalpers admitted. The emergence of online secondary sellers such as Stubhub, combined with SU’s middling attendance (it’s averaged 34,494 fans per game in 2018 for football, a 1.7-percent bump from last year, in a stadium which seats 49,262), and five-year bowl drought has stripped the market of its prosperity. Still, on any game day, fans can walk by and partake in an underground economy that’s figuring out how to turn a profit.“All of this hinges on the game selling out,” Bennett said. “… Nobody is getting rich off the secondary market on something that’s not selling out.”An hour and a half before the Orange’s home opener against Wagner on Sept. 8, a scalper who goes by “Gutty” took a drag from his cigarette. He sat next to a patch of flowers and soaked in one of the few moments he was off his feet, waiting for a new crop of fans to arrive. Gutty sold newspapers at age 12 before converting to scalping 30 years ago.Around him, other scalpers roamed College Place. A clump of tickets in his left hand, Gutty’s eyes tracked three “944” buses hauling in potential customers. Fans who park in the Skytop lot are bused to College Place, making it the hub of the SU’s secondary market. Gutty yanked up his denim jeans as the bus doors opened, fixed his blue pullover and jogged over, waving his tickets high.Few fans paid attention to Gutty. Another scalper ran over from the Quad, he had found sellers and buyers.“They’re looking (for tickets) over there, Gutty,” the other scalper said. “I just sold two for $70. I’ll buy yours off you if want?”Gutty refused and turned back to the road as another bus pulled in. In the scalper ecosystem, seniority determines placement. Kimbel, Gutty and others populate College Place. The Quad, where SU Athletics often hosts pregame events, is open. Before the Wagner game, a scalper in a football jersey worked by the statue of Syracuse legend Ernie Davis. Department of Public Safety officers patrolled the grounds, but as usual, didn’t bother scalpers.“They prefer you stay 1,500 feet away (from the box office),” Kimbel said. “If you’re a little bit inside, they’re not going to come out with a measuring tape.”Raj’s spot, the slab of concrete between Irving Avenue and the Dome, is about 95 feet from the ticket office next to Gate C. Connected by a bridge to a five-level parking garage, the location was premier real estate. Raj “established” himself and earned the spot, he said. Raj said he has “regulars” who give him tickets at reduced prices because they’ve known him for so long. Some season ticket holders sell an extra seat if it can pay for a round of beers inside the Dome. When Raj was younger, he physically fought other scalpers for the space.A native of Syracuse, as a child, Raj sold Carrier Dome game programs for 25-cents each. One day, he was given a pair of tickets by an established scalper as a hand-out. Raj, now 50-years-old, sold the tickets for $150. He was hooked. Two years later, he converted to scalping full time.Raj and other sellers benefited from a boom period from 1998 to 2002, which spanned from McNabb’s freshman season to Carmelo Anthony’s. Scalpers made upward of $500 a game, Raj and Kimbel said. But with SU’s football team failing to capture a conference title in 20 years,  attendance has decreased, and scalpers suffered.Syracuse’s week three matchup against Florida State was supposed be a big game, scalpers said. Instead, it “sucked.”  A 20-year scalping veteran, Kimbel didn’t see an energized fanbase. It felt like the last five years, he said. The contest drew 37,457 fans, barely eclipsing the attendance at the Orange’s week four win over UConn: 36,632.  For Syracuse football games, scalpers rarely make more than $150, they said.“Once (scalping) went viral, you couldn’t make money,” Kimbel said. “I can’t, anyway.”Scalpers like Kimbel, a manufacturer of factory parts, consider ticket selling a hobby. Greg, a longtime reseller clad in a leather football helmet, white SU sweatshirt and studded Converse, said, “It’s something to do for six Saturdays in the fall.”Raj and other scalpers are committed to reselling, making it their primary source of income.Like many full-timers, Raj had to travel. He routinely drove to other Division I FBS schools like Ohio State and Penn State. He followed the NASCAR season, frequenting the speedways in Dover, Delaware, and Concord, North Carolina. He even scalped Syracuse Crunch and Utica Comet games, often making $75 an hour. Raj said he once earned $400 at a Crunch playoff game. Raj funnels his earnings through his girlfriend, who has a “legit” job, for tax purposes.“These guys are basically commodity traders,” Bennett said. “They are betting on the likelihood of a event selling out. They are making some money on some games and lose money on others. They hope that it balances out.”As the SU-UConn kickoff neared, Raj bounced between the remaining tailgates. In the past, he’s attended Super Bowls and NCAA Tournament Final Fours. But the interest wasn’t there on Saturday.Instead, he went back to the home that scalping bought him and flipped on the Syracuse game.“I used to go and watch,” he said. “I get tired of it now.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 26, 2018 at 12:19 am Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarezlast_img read more

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InHouse Regular or Freelance Hired Gun When Why and How B2B Businesses

first_imgTo outsource or not to outsource — that’s the question when it comes to many B2B marketing initiatives.outsource marketing initiativeApril Dunford has worn a myriad of titles over the course of her career. A self-described engineer by training and metrics-based marketer by trade, the Canadian marketing executive has seemingly run the marketing gamut, serving in senior-level marketing positions for big corporations like Siebel Systems, IBM, and Nortel, and executive-level roles for a handful of technology startups.Today, Dunford is an Independent Marketing Executive (or, what Dunford also calls a “temporary marketing exec”) who does project-based marketing work for growth-stage technology companies and big corporate brands alike. And in that role, she’s acquired one playful title that she gets a particular kick out of: Marketing Gun-for-Hire.Because she’s been on both sides of the table, Dunford can relate when expansion-stage B2B technology companies find themselves deliberating between executing new marketing initiatives in-house, or outsourcing them to qualified — and often more experienced — freelance consultants like herself. There’s no right or wrong answer, Dunford says. It largely depends on the scope and complexity of the project, and its long-term value to the business.Dunford recently sat down with OpenView to talk about when and why expansion-stage B2B companies might want to outsource marketing initiatives, and which factors they need to consider before choosing to go with a hired gun.Why is the outsourcing versus hiring in-house debate seemingly more relevant for growth-stage technology companies?Because I think that’s when the biggest transition in how companies view marketing occurs. In the earlier stages, the founders might have managed basic marketing initiatives or activities, or hired a junior person to help them execute those things. As a company begins to scale, however, those founders either need to re-direct their attention to areas of the business that better align with their strengths, or take on the more operationally-focused duties required of a growing company’s senior executives.The expansion stage is also the time when a lot of companies begin to accept outside financing or venture capital, and that influx of cash allows them to step on the gas a little bit. The business can start investing in marketing initiatives that it couldn’t afford or justify before, and the company begins to look at marketing as a more specialized department with its own unique needs and skill sets.At that point, does it make sense for a company to outsource marketing until it can determine the activities that are most valuable to the business, or is it better to hire specific roles in-house and have those people learn on the job?It really depends on the activity or role we’re talking about. For example, you can’t outsource your marketing strategy. That’s like outsourcing how you make money, or deciding which products you’re going to build. A great marketing strategy is very specific to the exact business you are in, so anyone building that needs to have a very deep understanding of his or her customers, their buying process, and the company’s product offerings. That strategy is critical to your business and it’s far too important to have a consultant design it for you.That being said, when it comes to tactical execution, it’s hard to build a team that has expertise and experience in every aspect of marketing. For example you might determine that to take your business to the next level you want to increase your investment in content marketing, advertising, strategic partnerships, media relations, and email marketing. Yet, you are still a startup so you won’t be hiring someone to look after each of these initiatives separately. That’s where getting some outside help might make a lot of sense. An outside expert can help get programs up and running quickly, while at the same time passing their knowledge and experience on to the in-house team. The in-house team can then take over that work and continue to improve the programs by making them more and more customized for your business.For example in content marketing there are great experts out there in video, podcasting, blogging, infographics, e-books, and a host of other specific tactics. Working with an expert on a project often will give the in-house marketing folks enough insight and expertise to do the next project alone or with a smaller amount of outside support.Most of the work I do is focused on processes and best practices. My role is to work with the executives and the marketing team as an advisor to help them develop more discipline with how they execute marketing planning and operations. I always work very closely with the in-house marketing team, both because that team has a much deeper understanding of its market than I do and because the ultimate goal is for that team to own the execution moving forward.What other factors should a company consider when it’s deciding whether to outsource marketing or hire in-house?I think long-term value is critically important. If, for instance, you want to create a video but you only plan on publishing one video per quarter, then hiring someone in-house and buying all of the equipment needed to produce a video — cameras, editing software, etc. — is probably cost prohibitive and inefficient. If, however, you want to start a company blog, publish several case studies every year, and totally revamp your Web content, then hiring an editor or writer in-house makes a lot of sense.You have to look at the specific marketing tactic you’re hiring for and consider its long-term value. If it’s something that produces significant value to your business in both the short and long-term, and you plan to continue doing it for years to come, then hire someone in-house. If you’re simply dipping your toes in the water and attempting to test whether a specific tactic could be valuable to your business, then hire a freelance consultant, run some tests and decide later if you want to bring that expertise inside the company.When companies do outsource marketing, what can they do to find and hire high-quality freelance consultants?I think the most important thing is to ask people you trust for personal referrals. The best consultants are the ones whose customers will sing their praises to anyone who will listen. You should always seek a referral before you cast your net any wider.If you can’t source any referrals, then I think companies need to create a very specific statement of work before reaching out to consultants. The more specific you are about the work you want to hire for, the better your chances are at getting a consultant that has the right expertise for your project.Lastly, it’s important to consider outcomes and how you will define or measure success. Factor that information into your interviews with potential consultants and have them provide examples of their work that have produced those outcomes. If they can’t do that or they haven’t worked on a project like the one you want to execute, then keep looking. April DunfordApril Dunford is an independent marketing executive who has helped numerous expansion-stage businesses build and scale marketing departments that continue to drive profitable revenue growth. Dunford is also the founder of RocketWatcher, a content resource site for marketers, and an in-demand speaker, having delivered keynote speeches for MarketingProfs University, Forrester Research’s Product Marketing Summit, and the International Startup Festival.   AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

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Lightning Opens Reservations Ahead of Strike Launch

first_img Lightning Teases New Long Range, Low Price Electric Motorcycle Lightning LS-218 Electric Super Bike Enters Production Would you reserve a bike prior to its launch?Silicon Valley-based Lightning Motorcycles, the self-proclaimed manufacturer of “the world’s most advanced electric motorcycles”, is now officially accepting reservations for its recently-announced Strike. The company claims that it is the world’s first premium mass-market electric motorcycle.More E-Bikes Source: Electric Vehicle News Lightning is currently allowing US customers to reserve their spot in line prior to the official launch. Reservations for the motorcycle are fully refundable. The manufacturer is offering two versions of the bike: Standard and Carbon Edition. The latter is the standard bike fitted with all of the available upgrades. The base retail price for the Standard Lightning Strike is $12,998. To reserve the Standard, you’ll need to drop a $500 deposit. For the Carbon edition, that deposit skyrockets to $10,000.The Carbon Edition will be produced and delivered first, so if you need to be the first kid on the block with this nifty new toy you’d better send them a $10,000 check immediately. The Standard model will start production after Carbon Edition. Full product details won’t be available until the official Strike launch in March 2019, but here’s what we know so far:Lightning claims that the new Strike has a 150-mile range, 150 mile per hour top speed, and 35 minute charge time. The Lightning website, which lists the prototype LS-218 superbike, 100-mile range, 200 horsepower, 168ft-lbs of torque at 10,500rpm, and a top speed of 218mph. Charging times reported on the website are method-dependent: 30 mins on a DC fast charger or 120 minutes on level 2 charger.We don’t yet know how much the production Strike will differ from the LS-218 prototype, so the difference in numbers between the prototype and the production bike may just be a result of more real-world testing.We impatiently await further information from Lightning, especially given the maybe-too-good-to-be-true pricetag with those specs! Lightning Motorcycles Is Moving To A New Facility Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 29, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more