Cultural learnings… Paddy Power launches Japan Slam for RWC 2019

first_imgShare Gearing up for this Friday’s kick-off of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC Japan 2019), Paddy Power has launched its ‘Japan Slam’ social media series.The series sees Paddy Power cast a number of Irish sports stars, such as champion jockey and long-term collaborator Ruby Walsh, former Ireland Rugby international Donncha O’Callaghan and WWE star Sheamus explore Japan as RWC host nation, taking on a number of cultural challenges. Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 Share Submit Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020center_img Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon The series sees  Paddy Power marketing continue its focus on building its brand through content and deeper narratives.Last summer, the bookmaker produced a five-part documentary about alternative football World Cup CONIFA, which was broadcast on national TV in Ireland.Furthermore, Paddy Power’s ‘Head-2-Head’ interview series, with footballers Robbie Keane, Mick McCarthy and Graeme Souness, was picked up by TV, while their sponsorship of the Champions League of Darts has seen a dedicated content stream.Spokesman Paddy Power said: “We’re saying konnichiwa to Japan as we head over there for our latest piece of travel content ahead of the Rugby World Cup.“I’m excited, but admittedly less enthused about taking on professional sportspeople at physical challenges like sumo or karting. Though I’m fairly confident in my abilities when it comes to the eating competition.”Paddy PowerPaddy Power marketing director Michelle Spillane said: “We are delighted to announce our latest content series – which sees Paddy and a team of celebrities head to Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup.“The series continues to highlight our focus on creating high-quality content, which perfectly matches the fun, sharp-witted tone people expect of Paddy Power.”The first full episode will be available to view on Friday  20 September, to coincide with the opening game of this year’s tournament, Japan v Russia.last_img read more

Alex Wood, Dodgers bullpen combine to shut out Cubs, 4-0

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Your rose bushes might not be doing that well. But Alex Wood has really blossomed in May.A capable starter at times in the past (mostly with the Atlanta Braves), the 26-year-old Wood has cleared that bar by a wide margin recently. He held the Chicago Cubs scoreless for five innings Friday night and combined with relievers Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher on a two-hitter in a 4-0 Dodgers win.Wood has not allowed a run in his past 25-1/3 innings, the longest scoreless streak by a pitcher in the major leagues this season, or five of his past six starts. Over that time, he has a 1.05 ERA and 0.96 WHIP while holding opposing batters to a .189 batting average with 46 strikeouts in 34-1/3 innings.“You talk about confidence in a player. He’s as confident as any player I’ve been around,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Wood. “He prepares. He works hard and he’s confident. Now when you’ve got that and he’s healthy – in spring training he told me he’s as healthy as he’s been in recent memory – that obviously lends itself to confidence. “Right now, yeah, you can look at him as a 1-A.”Dodgers starters have more often qualified as 4-F in the two years since Zack Greinke left Clayton Kershaw without a partner at the front of the rotation. It’s a long way to October and Roberts’ elevation of Wood to wingman status might be premature. But Cubs starter Jake Arrieta offered similar praise after coming up short in the matchup with Wood.“Alex pitched really good for five innings. He’s been throwing it well all year,” Arrieta said. “The guy who goes against Kershaw has to be lights out and now Alex has added another dominant starter for them. I was shocked to see him come out after the fifth.”Arrieta must not have noticed Wood’s pitch count racking up along with the zeroes. His Cubs teammates hit just one ball out of the infield in the first five innings (Jason Heyward’s two-out single in the second inning) and struck out eight times against Wood. But they also drew two walks and took the left-hander deep in counts. Wood needed 91 pitches to get through five innings.“They had some deep counts on me like they did my first start against them in Chicago when I walked five guys,” Wood said referring to a loss at Wrigley Field on the opening trip of the season. “They’ve got some guys who know the strike zone pretty well so you have to throw them competitive pitches throughout the at-bat to keep them from walking or getting quality hits.” Pedro Baez and Hatcher must have thrown almost nothing but competitive pitches then. Baez walked Ben Zobrist to start the sixth inning, but he and Hatcher retired the final 12 Cubs in order. Wood, Baez and Hatcher held the Cubs without a hit after the second inning.Arrieta couldn’t keep up. He only allowed five hits in his six innings but three of them were very loud.Chase Utley put the Dodgers on the board first with a solo home run in the third inning. He has homers in each of the past two games and is hitting .326 (14 for 43) since May 10. An inning later, Yasmani Grandal scorched a double to the wall in left-center field that drove in Corey Seager from first base.And in the sixth inning, Adrian Gonzalez drove a 92-mph sinker from Arrieta over the wall in center field for a two-run home run – something the 35-year-old veteran seemed incapable of doing while dealing with elbow and back issues during the first month of the season.Since returning from the first DL trip of his career, Gonzalez has begun to hit the ball with more familiar authority. He had four doubles in his first six games back and took it a step further Friday with his first home run since Game 2 of last year’s NLCS. The ball went out faster than it came in (an exit velocity of 103 mph) and it ended a string of 138 regular-season plate appearances without a home run, stretching to last Sept. 28 in San Diego.“Well, I knew I’d hit a home run before the season ended,” Gonzalez joked. “My body feels good so my swing can do things where I can drive the ball. I’ve been working on my mechanics to get rid of the bad habits from when I wasn’t good. It’s a work in progress. But it’s trending in the right direction.”Gonzalez’s matter-of-fact answers after the game contradicted the wide smile he took to the dugout after the home run.“I really haven’t seen him get into a ball like that in a couple years,” Roberts said. “You don’t expect a guy who has as many career homers as he does to hit his first homer of the year and be so relieved. But I think there’s a huge weight off his shoulders.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more