Well-known NASCAR racer Dick Trickle has dies of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Trickle was 71 years of age.
According to reports, police in Lincoln County, NC were informed via an anonymous phone call (very likely made by Trickle himself) prior to the suicide where to find the body. Trickle's body was found at the Forest Lawn Cemetary in Boger City, NC, next to his pickup truck.
Our thoughts go out to Trickle's friends and family. Please keep any comments respectful and remember that this is not the time for jokes.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Over the last decade or so, competition in NASCAR has led to some pretty funky looking racecars. And when the sport was still up and coming, the tight competition actually led to some interesting production cars. The Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird are perhaps the most well-known cars of the sport's "aero wars" era but the Ford Torino King Cobra might have been the most memorable of all, if not for some different homologation rules established in 1970. The Torino King Cobra never made it to production and never competed in NASCAR, but three examples exist including this one now for sale on eBay.
Designed as a successor for the aero-tuned Torino Talladega, the Torino King Cobra has a sleeker front end with hidden headlights and a sloped nose. As the story goes, NASCAR made a rule change in 1970 requiring 3,000 of the vehicles to be produced, which was substantially more than the 500 units required by the previous rule. One of the three prototypes ever built - and the only one built with the Boss 429 engine - is now for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $500,000. With a little more than three days left on the auction there are still no bids, but in the grand scheme of things this seems like a relatively fair price for a rare piece of automobile and racing history.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Report: Piquet Jr. spins Scott, post-race altercation leads to kick in the jewels, arrests [w/video]
It seems as if NASCAR drivers are hellbent on blurring the line between their sport and pro wrestling. Nelson Piquet Jr. and Brian Scott got into a little scuffle after a Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway recently. The two drivers have had a running rivalry for some time now, and when Piquet spun Scott in a bid for 15th place, Scott stopped by Piquet's car post-race. Some shoving ensued, and Piquet decided to kick for Scott's groin in an attempt to put an end to the argument. Apparently, that wasn't enough.
Later, crew members for both drivers got into a further altercation at the track's motor home lot that culminated in two of Scott's boys getting arrested. Michael Searce was booked on two charges of misdemeanor assault while Thomas Costello was arrested on one count of the same. Both were released early Saturday. You can watch a video of the collision as well as interviews with both drivers below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
I grew up in a family of football fans. How could you not be a football fan though, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 90s with the five-time Super Bowl Champion 49ers and their high-scoring West Coast offense? It was an exciting time, and I feel fortunate that, as a kid, my dad turned down the announcer chatter and explain the action to me.
But not everyone has a dad with that much patience, though. The announcers of today, although they’re entertaining, don’t do much for the sport in terms of attracting and retaining new viewers. That’s because they expect those who tune in to have a moderately deep knowledge of the game. It’d be great if you could customize announcers’ content so their commentary was commensurate to the football knowledge level of each and every viewer.
But while we probably shouldn’t hold our breath for that to happen, YouCommentate offers the next best thing. YouCommentate democratizes the role of the announcer, allowing anyone to provide his or her own commentary to almost any game. Users can turn down the volume on your TV and turn up the volume online to an announcer that fits their style. It’s sure to attract armchair quarterbacks, or even aspiring sports broadcasters, who can get an early start and practice calling the big plays.
The platform won’t scale, however, if it only attracts a bunch of wannabe sportscasters who immitate what they hear on television. It must reach markets not being served, such as the aspiring sports fan, while not alienating the deeply knowledgable viewer.
I talked to YouCommentate CEO Steve Bealing when his company launched at the Launch Festival. But don’t turn down the sound. There’s no replacement broadcaster for what he has to say.
[Image Courtesy: http://www.djsymphony.com
With music and sports publisher partnerships, ZEFR cements its position as the dominant YouTube monetization platform for enterprises
When ZEFR announced its rebranding in August, moving away from from its initial name MovieClips, it wasn’t some half-baked marketing gimmick, or the desire for a more startup-y name with fewer vowels. Rather, it was part of a master plan that involved the company parlaying its success in managing Hollywood studio movie content on YouTube into doing the same for television, music, and sports content.
Today, the company has announced the first fruits of that labor in the form of global partnerships with Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment, Ultra Music, and NASCAR, among others that it wouldn’t name publicly. These are in addition to existing movie studio partnerships with Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers, and others.
Over the last two years, ZEFR has evolved from a standalone destination site for discovering premium movie content, to an owned and operated YouTube channel, to an enterprise content rights management and monetization platform for the YouTube ecosystem. The company has built a complicated technology to identify and claim infringing content posted to YouTube by third parties, and then subsequently serve ads against and drive traffic to that material. In a sense it makes piracy work for the Hollywood studios that have long complained about it, hijacking the video clips that were first hijacked from them.
For rightful content owners, this is found money, and an invaluable tool to drive engagement. For YouTube, it’s a way to keep more premium content on its platform and to incent premium content creators to look at the online video platform as a legitimate monetization channel.
Its NASCAR relationship is unique, relative to the others, in that ZEFR is offering the motorsports publisher channel management services. This means that in addition to managing the existing NASCAR content on YouTube, included that posted by the brand and that posted by third-parties, the company will use the learnings from its own highly successful owned and operated channel to help strategize and execute NASCAR’s future content strategies to drive maximum engagement and monetization.
Among its tools and tactics for driving engagement, which it collectively calls ContentID, ZEFR will take the brand’s existing content and break it down into topical bite-sized pieces, and then tag and annotate those content assets according to a sophisticated taxonomy. The company will then SEO optimize and publish that content among topical playlists and within postroll content ads. The strategy has worked well enough to grow ZEFR’s own MovieClips channels to more than 2 million subscribers, a figure that grows by more than 17,000 each day.
ZEFR uses a combination of sophisticated computer algorithms to measure and analyze each video clip for and a team of flesh and blood humans in sunny Venice Beach to put “real eyeballs” on every piece of content before it enters the system. Many of the company’s current tools, some of which it has yet to debut publicly, have been built at the request of its enterprise clients.
“YouTube needs to be altruistic and build products for everyone,” co-founder Zach James says. “But because we’re focused on just the enterprise, our technology can be much more customized. And because we’re supporting the global media company customers that YouTube covets, it’s a win-win-win.”
The Los Angeles startup has raised a total of $28.5 million across three rounds of financing from investors including U.S. Venture Partners, MK Capital, Shasta Ventures, SoftTech VC, First Round Capital, Richmond Park Partners, and other angels.
In its three plus years, ZEFR claims it has never lost a single customer, so its clientele must be getting some value from the service. Because it built its technology and business model stealthily out of the public eye, it has a head start on potential challengers. And it’s bagged some big enterprise elephants, which others would have difficulty replicating. Finally, YouTube has willingly outsourced the development of advanced content rights management tools to ZEFR, making it unlikely that it will one day choose to compete.
As ZEFR expands beyond movies into the full ecosystem of premium video content, its position as an enterprise platform for YouTube publishers gets more cemented. This relationship with Youtube is a double-edge sword. As long as YouTube fulfill its promise as the future of video entertainment, ZEFR is along for the ride, stacking its business on top of Youtube’s. Dependence on one platform, though, always offers risk. What if the studios decide that they no longer want their content on the platform? That’s not likely, of course, but anything is possible.
If you're a motorsports fan you've probably come across stories on the efforts Formula One has made to reduce its carbon footprint (KERS anyone?), but you might not have heard about what's being done in the world of NASCAR. Turns out it's pretty intense.
In 2008, NASCAR chairman Brian France got to work on creating a green initiative for the series. It wasn't unveiled until 2009 and it tackled the integration of biofuels, as in the switch to E85, employing alternative energy like the solar array at Pocono Raceway, and recycling. The initiative has a "managing director of green innovation," Dr. Mike Lynch, a website with ways everyone can get involved in making the Earth greener, hybrid pace cars and Miss Sprint Cup in a green race suit.
It's gotten bigger every year, and NASCAR will crank up its promotion with a 30-second spot that ran several times during the STP 400 at the Kansas Speedway. You can watch it below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
A suicide during this weekend's NRA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway will likely only add to the controversy behind the National Rifle Association's title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Kirk Franklin, 42, of Saginaw, TX, shot and killed himself in the infield of the track during late stages of the race Saturday night following an argument with other race fans.
According to a report from The Huffington Post, Franklin shot himself at 10:30 PM, and his body was found in the back seat of a pickup truck. Texas law prohibits guns at the racetrack, so it isn't clear how or why Franklin smuggled the gun in to the track in the first place.Permalink | Email this | Comments