Russia, FIFA and the Power of Sport

Russia's President Vladimir Putin with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino and riding a horse in Siberia
Mega sporting events like the Olympics or the World Cup attract global attention to host countries as well as the athletes. Russia, hosting the World Cup through mid-July, views such events as “a way to prove the world it is a guardian of universal norms,” writes Michal Romanowski, Eurasian expert with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “Yet by invading Ukraine in 2014 and intervening in the Middle East on Syria’s behalf, Moscow could not be farther away from the high-minded principles of international sporting organizations.” Football is the world’s most popular sport, and hosting a mega event like the World Cup requires rapid and massive investment in infrastructure and mobilization of resources that are too often linked to corruption and mismanagement. Money dominates global sporting events, making them another tool for powerful forces, and Romanowski concludes that principles such as human rights and peace have become secondary goals. – YaleGlobal

Yale Club of Shenzen: 2018 Summer Gathering and New Admit Welcome Reception

Yale Club of Shenzhen (YCSZ) and Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Yale (ACSSY) collectively invite you to join our Summer Gathering and New Admit Welcome Reception on June 23rd, to welcome the newly accepted students and scholars entering Yale this fall, as well as new Shenzhen arrivals. We are looking forward to meeting new faces and old friends.

耶鲁深圳校友会(YCSZ)与耶鲁大学中国学生学者联合会(ACSSY) 共同诚邀您参加我们于6月23日举行的夏日聚会暨迎新招待会。我们期待与新老朋友共聚一堂,共度美好夏夜。

June 23, Saturday

6月23日,星期六

7:30-10:00 pm

Floor 4, Hilton Shenzhen Futian

No. 1003 Shen Nan Road

Futian District, Shenzhen

(Gangxia North Subway station on Line 2, Exit A )

大中华希尔顿酒店四楼深南大道1003号深圳福田区(2号线岗厦北站A出口)

Free for new admits, current students and recent graduates;

RMB 250 for Yale Alumni. You can transfer it via WeChat or pay in cash.

耶鲁新生,在校生以及新近毕业生免费;

耶鲁校友每位250元;微信转账或现金支付皆可。

Please reigister with Janet Zheng – the club manager (WeChat: janet425251).
请与校友会经理Janet Zheng联系报名 (微信号:janet425251)。

Yale Club of Ireland – Friday June 29 – Dinner and Ulysses

Dinner and Ulysses, Friday June 29
Dermot Bolger’s acclaimed stage version of Ulysses is the final Yale Club event before people start to slip away for the summer. The play is in its second run at the Abbey and – in case you’re Joyceaphobic – it’s quite an accessible interpretation of the play.

The event begins with dinner at 6pm in Le Bon Crubeen, which has a theatre menu of between €21 and €25.
From there we walk 500 metres to the Abbey Theatre, where the play starts at 730pm. The tickets for Ulysses cost between €20 and €45 if you want to be in the audience and €30 if you want to be on stage (that’s a thing apparently.) Click here to book your ticket.

If you’re planning to attend, please e-mail ciaran@aya.yale.edu, so that I will be able to give reliable numbers to Le Bon Crubeen. Also, if you just want to join us before or after, that’s OK too.

We have two dinner-and-theatre bursaries for any current Yale students who would like to attend, or for alumni who have graduated between 2013 and 2018, so if any of the younger folk are interested in free food and culture, then drop a line to ciaran@aya.yale.edu.

Ken Ofori-Atta ’88 Is African Finance Minister Of The Year

Ken Ofori-Atta Is African Finance Minister Of The Year

Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has been awarded the prestigious African Finance Minister of the year at the Annual African Development Bank (AfDB) Meeting in Busan, South Korea.

The award follows Ghana’s recent macroeconomic performance.

Recognised as Africa’s most results-oriented Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s prudent economic management has boosted confidence and optimism in Ghana’s economy – hauling it out of a deeply pessimistic economic outlook from a little over a year ago.

Investor confidence in Ghana has been bolstered with the country’s strong showing in its recent bond issuance, which raised US$ 2.0bn in 10-year and 30-year Eurobonds of $1.0bn each.

https://www.modernghana.com/news/855951/ken-ofori-atta-is-african-finance-minister-of-the-year.html

Yale Club of Singapore: Volunteering Opportunity – Code in the Community

Code in The Community is a community initiative in which Google is sponsoring free coding classes for 3,000 underprivileged children in Singapore, in conjunction with the four ethnic self help groups (CDAC, MENDAKI, SINDA and the Eurasian Association).

The program consists of 10-week terms in which kids learn either Scratch (8-11yo) or Python (12-15) in a fun and engaging way, allowing them to build digital literacy, confidence and resourcefulness.

At the end of the term, kids will have created a project that they can present to their parents and classmates, and also be empowered with resources to continue their learning journey at home.

The next run of Code in the Community starts in July, with classes at the following venues:
– Jurong West Public Library
– Sengkang Public Library
– Yishun Public Library
– Vibrance@Yishun
– Marine Parade Public Library
– SINDA
– Tiong Bahru Community Centre

A typical class consists of 20-25 students, with one instructor and four assistants. We are looking for volunteer instructor and assistants that can not just instruct but also inspire! Continue reading

Jackson Institute for Global Affairs: Class of 2018 graduates

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs celebrated its graduates May 21 with a diploma ceremony and lunch at Horchow Hall. The Institute awarded 28 M.A. degrees and one M.A.S. degree in Global Affairs.

Jackson graduate students started the day with a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at Yale’s Old Campus, where the University symbolically conferred degrees on all undergraduate and graduate students from the Class of 2018. Jackson student Zachary Devlin-Foltz M.A. ’18 served as marshal and accepted the symbolic diploma for M.A. graduates.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m., the Jackson Diploma Ceremony opened with welcoming remarks from Professor Lloyd Grieger, Jackson’s director of graduate studies.

Grieger reflected on the benefits—and the scrutiny—that comes with attending a prestigious Ivy League institution, using Yale’s motto “Lux et Veritas” as a metaphor.

“The light here at Yale is bright—in and out of the classroom—and as graduates, you now inherit this light. You are now carriers of this light—and everywhere you go, you can shine it in the furtherance of truth,” Grieger said.

Continue reading

Yale Club of Beijing: Harbinger Interview with Julia Zhu (SOM ’98)

The Harbinger recently spoke with Julia Zhu (pictured left), Yale SOM alum, active Yale Club of Beijing member, and co-founder and CEO of Phoenix Live Entertainment Company. In the interview, Julia shares her views on key trends within China’s entertainment market, from monetizing IP and key content channels to the continued importance of offline models.

The Harbinger is an online, English language content platform covering innovation in China’s tech industry founded by Adam Bao, Yale ’12.

Can you tell us more about the key channels in China used to pipe entertainment content to consumers?

BATs (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) are huge.  They have resources to aggregate all types of entertainment content, and invest in many of the hot start-ups you hear about.  Bilibili, Douyin, some of the relatively newer content sharing platforms are also super popular. In China, the audience base is huge, much larger than in the US, and people are willing to pay top dollar.  For example, iQiyi, which is comparable to Netflix in the US and just went public, has over 60 million paying subscribers. This is a big change from back in the day… when everyone was just pirating content.  I remember trying to sell set-boxes in the past and no one would actually pay for it, what a change!

TV networks in China are huge.  But as users shift towards consuming content on mobile devices and over the internet, how are these traditional players responding?

As an overview, there are hundreds of TV stations with thousands of channels and these networks are generally controlled by central, provincial and municipal governments. Each province has a major satellite TV channel, each with its own positioning.  For example, Hunan TV has for a long time been entertainment focused leanings towards a younger audience. Hainan TV is more travel based.  Guangxi is more focused on fashion related topics. These TV networks are very important, and some are still quite popular.

And how do they make money?

Advertisement.  Advertising dollars from the commercials. Popular shows like “The Voice”, “China’s Got Talent”, etc. generate significant advertising dollars.  Furthermore, there are also competitions and road shows where they organize concerts before and after the program, which generate ticket sales, sponsorships and product placement.  All in all it’s quite dynamic and successful.

Some of these TV stations also seem active when it comes to investment, or trying to create their own internet based products.  What is their strategy there?

As an example, Hunan TV also has Mango TV, which is similar to iQiyi.  They’ll charge for subscriptions, with their exclusive international and domestic shows.  They are able to buy a lot of popular and good quality entertainment from around the world, including the Oscars, Grammy Awards, Eurovision, etc. That comes back to the philosophy Rupert Murdoch used to push through News Corp and all of its subsidiaries and affiliated companies that content is king.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what innovative technology or platform is used, it always reverts back to what the best content is.

That being said, mobile and internet distribution platforms make content easily accessible to a lot more people.  That helps enhance content, because there is more data… more feedback, faster feedback from consumers, which allows creators to better refine their content.

Content is king, but how can you best monetize it?

That’s the million-dollar question. That’s constantly on my mind, and I’m constantly looking for great IP, creating our own IP, and licensing our own IP from around the country and also overseas. There are multiple revenue streams from IPs. For example, there’s a popular Japanese book called 解忧杂货铺; there have already been two movies made (in Japan and China) based on the book. Early this year, it has been produced into a stage show. From a book, it has been made into movies, stage shows, and leveraged for merchandising as well. All these revenue streams extend from quality IP. People recognize this, and the market is becoming more and more mature. I would say this is where the investment should go into: top quality IPs, and not only just the IP holder but also the operators that are experienced in helping establish the commercial value chain of these IPs. At the end of the day, creating IP that is commercially viable is really hard  but the returns can be fabulous if you do it right with patience and capture the right timing to market.

Application of AI in entertainment industry?

In the future, everybody can be an author, a creator. That’s the beauty of the Internet, or what we call “personal media” (自媒体). You can put your work out there and let the market judge. The problem  is that the quality of 90% of internet “personal media” content is usually lacking in quality. AI can be an efficient and effective curator for the millions of work out there created by professionals and amateurs. Of course, AI can also help leverage all the data and intent signals generated to rank and cherry-pick the best chosen ones.  This is already being done (think Netflix, Spotify, Youtube recommended content), and will only continue to improve!

Why not just watch on the Internet?

The experience of going to live events cannot be compared with watching live streaming on your smartphone or TV. It’s very different. For live show events, you share this experience with your family members, friends and all the people around you. There has been revival of live entertainment probably because people spending too much time on the Internet.  In addition, Chinese consumers are going through a transformation of shifting spending power to more services and immersive live experiences, such as travel and live entertainment events.  Shopping malls and travel designations in China also need more live events to drive on ground traffic to these venues.
The trend I see in China and also around the world is that there’s a big come back for live events, and notably music festivals for outdoor and pop-up style entertainment exhibitions with merchandising opportunities for shopping malls.  For example, the growth of music festivals around the world is on average between 30- 50% on an annual basis. There’s a huge surge of music festivals. There are going to be Creamfields and Ultra in Beijing, and EDC was in Shanghai a few weeks ago. They are all coming to China!