28 June 2022 04:58

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The Denver Broncos and the Walton-Penner family have entered into a purchase and sale agreement, it was jointly announced on Tuesday.

The purchase and sale agreement calls for the Walton-Penner family to acquire the Denver Broncos from the Pat Bowlen Trust. The agreement is subject to approval from the NFL's finance committee and league ownership as well as the satisfaction of customary closing procedures.

Please see below for statements from Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis and Rob Walton on behalf of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group:

STATEMENT FROM BRONCOS PRESIDENT & CEO JOE ELLIS

"I have enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process. Learning more about their background and vision for the Denver Broncos, I am confident that their leadership and support will help this team achieve great things on and off the field.

"I sincerely appreciate the cooperation of our football leadership, executive team and staffs at both UCHealth Training Center and Empower Field at Mile High over the last few months and years. We also want to recognize the work of Allen & Company and Proskauer Rose, which have guided us through this process in a timely and efficient manner.

"While this purchase and sale agreement is pending approval from the NFL's finance committee and league ownership, today marks a significant step on the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history."

STATEMENT FROM ROB WALTON ON BEHALF OF THE WALTON-PENNER FAMILY OWNERSHIP GROUP

"We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans.

"Having lived and worked in Colorado, we've always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we've learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months.

"We are excited to announce that Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, has agreed to join our ownership group. Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation.

"Mellody currently serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team.

"Thank you to Joe Ellis and the staff of the Broncos for the first-class manner in which they have conducted this sale process. In addition, we thank Hogan Lovells for their guidance and support in this effort.

"We look forward to earning the confidence and support of the NFL as we take the next step in this process. When the necessary approval procedures are met, our family is excited to share more with Broncos fans, the organization and the community."

Tuesday, 07 June 2022 00:00

Zoom Hires Greg Tomb as President

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today announced that Greg Tomb will join the company as President effective June 7, 2022.

Tomb brings more than 20 years of experience and comes to Zoom from Google Cloud, where he was most recently Vice President of Sales, Google Workspace, SMB, Data & Analytics, Geo Enterprises, and Security Sales.

Reporting directly to Zoom founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan, Tomb will oversee the company’s go-to-market strategy, revenue efforts, and office of the Global CIO. Tomb will help shape Zoom's next chapter as the company continues transforming into a multi-product platform that enables communication, hybrid work, and an expanding number of business workflows.

Mr. Yuan said, “I am so excited to welcome Greg to the Zoom team. Greg is a highly-respected technology industry leader and has deep experience in helping to scale companies at critical junctures. His strategic thinking, can-do attitude, and value of care he brings to customers make him the perfect addition to our strong leadership team.”

Mr. Tomb said, “I’m thrilled to join forces with Eric and the Zoom team to help drive growth. I strongly believe that Zoom has an impressive foundation with its multi-product platform, and I look forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead to help businesses around the world address their communications and collaboration needs.”

Top Indian brands show resilience in post pandemic business conditions

Tata Group retains top position as most valuable Indian brand at US$24 billion

Taj is the strongest brand in the nation with AAA Brand Strength rating

Banking, IT services and telecoms brands achieve high brand value growth post pandemic

Infosys becomes second most valuable Indian brand, overtaking LIC

Reliance brand value grows marginally to retain fourth place, while SBI is most valuable bank brand in South Asia

Tata Group (brand value up 12% to US$24 billion) continues to be the most valuable brand in India. The brand retains its top position as it led by example through the COVID-19 crisis by innovating using technology to reach the masses. The brand strengthened its strategic business and leadership initiatives with brand building activities across the globe. The brand’s growth with sustainable and inclusive actions at its core is the driving force behind brand Tata.

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands to the test, and publishes around 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. India’s top 100 most valuable and strongest brands are included in the annual Brand Finance India 100 ranking.

Taj is the strongest brand in the nation with AAA Brand Strength rating

In addition to brand value, Brand Finance determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in more than 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors. Taj Hotels (brand value up 6% to US$314 million) is the strongest brand in the ranking with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.9 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand rating.

The pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns hit the hospitality sector the most, brands had to re-invent their strategies to remain relevant to the need of tourists. Taj was at the forefront of this with agility and strategic initiatives – offering support to the healthcare sector. The hospitality industry is recovering as five-star business hotels in metropolitan cities across the country have seen occupancy reach 75% to 80% in the past month.

Banking, IT services and telecoms brands achieve high brand value growth post pandemic

Brands in the banking (brand value up 16%), IT services (brand value up 15%) and telecoms (brand value up 7%) sectors in India achieve high brand value as the economy is recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

The Indian banking sector is led by State Bank of India (SBI), the brand is the top banking brand in South Asia with a 29% growth in brand value, valued at US$7.5 billion and is 6th most valuable brand in India and is among the top 100 valuable brands in India.

2022 is a tipping point for the Indian IT services industry – the year in which the industry crossed US$200 billion in total revenue and 5 million in total workforce. Indian IT brands are truly global today, TCS (brand value up 12% to US$16.7 billion) and Infosys (brand value up 52% to US$12.8 billion) are among the top 3 most valuable brands globally at the 2nd and 3rd spot respectively – behind Accenture (brand value up 39% to US$36.2 billion), Wipro (brand value up 48% to US$6.4 billion), HCL (brand value up 10% to US$6.1 billion) and Tech Mahindra (brand value up 30% to US$3.0 billion) feature in the top 15 most valuable IT services brands globally.

The Indian telecommunications industry is making its mark globally, India is the world’s second-largest telecommunications market with a subscriber base of 1.16 billion users and has registered strong growth in the last decade. Airtel (brand value of US$7.7 billion) ranks No.1 in telecommunication sector in India with an impressive 28% growth in brand value. At second position, Jio (brand value up 5% to US$5.1 billion) shows gains in growth followed by VI (brand value of US$767 million) which continues to be resilient despite its numerous business challenges.

Infosys becomes second most valuable Indian brand, overtaking LIC

Infosys (brand value up 52% to US$12.8 billion) has overtaken LIC (brand value up 28% to US$11.1 billion) to become the second most valuable Indian brand this year. The value of the Infosys brand has boomed during the pandemic, with its brand value skyrocketing from just under US$7.1 billion prior to the pandemic, up 80% to its current value.

The Infosys brand has benefited significantly from global demand for online digital corporate services, and Infosys has built a very valuable brand based upon helping enterprises to evolve and execute strategies for virtual-physical interconnections globally.

Reliance brand value grows marginally to retain fourth place, while SBI is most valuable bank brand in South Asia

Reliance (brand value up 5% to US$8.6 billion) achieved some marginal brand value growth to retain fourth position, while the State Bank of India (brand value up 29% to US$7.5 billion) improved one ranking position to increase from 7th to 6th. The State Bank of India has benefited from broader financial recovery in India as the nation recovers well from the last wave of COVID-19.

Reduce your carbon footprint and protect your planet with Nicktoons

In a bid to encourage kids to look forward to a greener tomorrow, Nickelodeon, a leader in the kids’ entertainment space, has joined forces with the United Nations in India for a flagship campaign, on the momentous occasion of World Environment Day 2022.

Everyone everywhere can help create a more sustainable planet. With the intent to save our Mother Earth from the global environmental crises, the leading kids’ entertainment franchise along with the United Nations in India will raise awareness on ways to reduce carbon footprint and emphasize on the importance of protecting the only planet we call home. The noteworthy campaign aims to highlight the need to reset the balance with nature through individual actions and reduce our carbon footprint. As a part of this campaign, Nickelodeon’s creative communication will deliver the fundamental message of collective climate action with an emphasis on ‘Yeh Planet Hum Sabka Ghar Hai’. Watching Nicktoons has been one of the daily habits and an integral part of every kid’s life. Nickelodeon with the help of Nicktoons, will also be leveraging the UN’s existing school network in India to amplify the ‘Act Now’ program, online as well as offline.

Through two inspiring stories, Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons bring alive the message of ‘Yeh Planet Hum Sabka Ghar Hai’. The first story titled ‘Kaagaz Ka Ghar’, throws light on human-wildlife conflict while the second story ‘Paani Ka Ghar’ emphasizes on marine and plastic pollution. With ‘Yeh Planet Hum Sabka Ghar Hai’, both the stories showcase kids taking the initiative to become climate heroes and bringing about positive change by teaching adults important climate action lessons.

Speaking on the association, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network, Viacom18, said, Nickelodeon has always focused on empowering kids in the most meaningful ways through innovative initiatives. With a strong belief that these dynamic young minds are the true change agents of society, we felt it is crucial for kids to understand the importance of a greener future. We are very proud to join hands with the United Nations on World Environment Day. With the might of our franchise and our adorable Nicktoons we will bring alive the message of #OnlyOneEarth to as many kids and parents as possible”

Commending the initiative, Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said “This World Environment Day, the UN in India is excited to launch a partnership with Nickelodeon, empowering and inspiring children to become climate champions from an early age. The entertainment industry has the power to influence the largest youth generation in history for positive change. Through this partnership, we hope to give a platform to creative young minds to be the drivers of climate action and tackle the triple planetary crisis. When children lead, families and societies follow, and when India leads the world succeeds.”

To further amplify the initiative far and wide, Nickelodeon is undertaking an innovative campaign by initiating a consumer-engagement activity across malls in Mumbai and Delhi to signify the importance of making the planet greener. In addition to this, the campaign will create engagement across social media to motivate kids to take up a green heart pledge and adopt different ways to address climate change. The campaign is being brought to fruition through interactive influencer marketing, social and digital activities.

Russian invasion to Ukraine has once more revealed the versatile nature of the modern warfare and contemporary conflicts. Alongside with land, air and sea, cyberspace remains the area of fierce clashes between Russia and Ukraine. Internet, especially social networks are widely used for various types of information and psychological operations. Same time, the ongoing revolution in communication technologies makes almost impossible to hide the information. Accordingly, one of the main specific characteristics of the war is the fact that society is more informed about ongoing situation, than ever. This process cannot be discussed in a single dimension as far as it has its advantages and downsides.

On the hand it is extremely difficult to hide the atrocities and war crimes that has been conducted on Ukrainian soil, it is much easier to gather evidence and get information directly from the victims, or eyewitnesses. On the other hand, the war has become into a reality show type entertainment for millions of spectators all over the world. As one of the Ukrainian politicians has already mentioned, the western society is looking at the war as if it was some show, however everything what is happening is happening for real, and everything what people see is about the indescribable human tragedy, as far as the war at first place affects those people, who are not concerned or linked to the politics, conflict and just desire to have normal, peaceful lives where their rights are protected and their lives, dignity and personality are not at risk of destruction and humiliation.

At this extend the question rises, what role a facial recognition technology, like PimEyes can play? As far as the more advanced the facial recognition gets, easier to find a person who has ever been connected to the internet. One of the main characteristics of the war in Ukraine is that fighters from both sides upload material to various internet sources where their faces and locations are visible. Same time, from both side enormous amount of photo and video material are generated where faces of war hostages are displayed, where they publicly admit war crimes, or ask for mercy. Faces if refugees, internally displaced persons, or civilian hostages permanently are displayed by various media sources, users, or even fighters themselves. In such cases, efficient facial recognition solutions might be really handful to search or identify those people who represent subject of particular interest.

At the beginning of Russian invasion to Ukraine, PimEyes received multiple requests from Russian based users about permission to use the facial recognition technology to search for their family members or Ukrainian soldiers who have been posting videos in different online sources. After analysis of the requests and traffic from Russian Federation, PimEyes team saw the risk that their product might be used for illegal purposes or might be used by special services of Russia to identify Ukrainian individuals who are actively involved in information operations, or just create content to encourage Ukrainian society to resist Russian occupation.

To avoid using PimEyes services for such distorted purposes PimEyes team made up decision to bar Russian Federation from its services till the end of aggression. Every user who is based in Russia at this moment is unavailable to perform searches or use any other services offered by the company. Same time, PimEyes made a statement that they are ready to provide any possible assistance to investigation process of the war crimes, cooperate with international humanitarian organizations that work to find the missing people, identify war criminals, or military hostages who need to be returned to their country.

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