Unnamed U.S. Sportswear Company Implicated in FIFA Scandal

A "major U.S. sportswear company" allegedly agreed to pay Traffic Brazil for additional "marketing fees" following a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian team.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Unnamed U.S. Sportswear Company Implicated in FIFA Scandal

Soccer’s culture of corruption extended to sponsorships

An indictment released by the Department of Justice on Wednesday alleging a widespread culture of corruption at soccer’s highest levels may involve a U.S. sportswear company, according to the Washington Post. Though the company is not identified, the indictment mentions a ten-year, $160 million sponsorship deal with the Brazilian soccer team in 1996, which closely resembles a deal involving Nike from that year.

This week, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment against nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, accusing them of illicitly profiting from the sale of lucrative media and marketing rights for major soccer tournaments, according to a press release. By bribing FIFA officials with more than $150 million over the past 24 years, the Justice Department contends, marketing executives secured lucrative contracts for broadcasting networks and corporate sponsors seeking to promote their brands.

Among other charges, investigators say that, in 1996, a “major U.S. sportswear company” agreed to pay Traffic Brazil, a sports marketing conglomerate, for additional “marketing fees” following a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian team. Prosecutors say these fees amounted to tens of millions of dollars in bribes over the next three years.

Nike is “concerned by the very serious allegations,” a representative for the company said in a statement to the Post, adding that the company is cooperating with the authorities and “strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery.”

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A group of about 30 met in Yosemite and brainstormed on how to improve inclusiveness in the outdoors.     Photo: Jeff Pang/Flickr

Yosemite Meeting Tackles Diversity in Parks

Included 30 conservation leaders

One hundred and twelve years after Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir met in Yosemite to discuss an idea for a national parks system, a group of conservationists gathered in the park earlier this month to hash out how to keep the parks relevant in the face of an increasingly urbanized population. About 30 men and women attended the meeting, called the Muir Campfire Discussion on Diversity and Relevancy, to discuss how outdoor recreation and environmentalism can be more inclusive.

“As two different people as [Muir and Roosevelt] were, Yosemite gave them the place to create solutions and have discussions that would speak to future generations,” Robert Hanna, Muir’s great great grandson, told High Country News. “We now find ourselves going back to the exact same place to address head-on the serious issues of our time.”

As HCN reports, minorities, millennials, and city dwellers aren’t as likely to visit national parks as white suburban baby boomers. Meeting attendees hailed from agencies including the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Sierra Club, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment and from various backgrounds and ethnicities.

The group tossed around ideas for three days on how to improve inclusiveness in the outdoors, including outreach to historically black universities, community colleges, churches, and youth groups and the Boys and Girls Club of America. The attendees also acknowledged the need to adapt the dynamics of their organizations to promote more engagement among their target audiences.

“The lasting hope for this summit is to have tangible solutions in place that are cost effective, so that one less obstacle is in place for diversity and inclusion in outdoor spaces,” Theresa Baker, organizer of the conference and leader of the grassroots group African American National Parks Event, told the Huffington Post before the meeting.

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Jurek Attempts Appalachian Trail Speed Record

Scott Jurek stands at the border of Georgia and North Carolina on the Appalachian Trail.     Photo: Scott Jurek/Twitter

Jurek Attempts Appalachian Trail Speed Record

Needs to beat 46 days, 11 hours

Forty-one-year-old ultrarunner Scott Jurek set out on Memorial Day to attempt to break the speed record on the Appalachian Trail, according to Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. Asheville’s Jennifer Pharr Davis set the current record of 46 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes in 2011. Davis averaged 47 miles per day and was supported by her husband Brew Davis, trail runner David Horton, and 16-time A.T. thru-hiker Warren Doyle. 

Jurek has won a number of elite ultrarunning events, including the 153-mile Spartathlon, the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon, the Miwok 100K, and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. In 2010, he set a new U.S. all-surface record in the 24-hour run with a distance of 165.7 miles. 

Jurek was a central character in Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book on distance running, Born to Run. He ran in the Copper Canyon Ultra with the native Mexican Tarahumara runners.

Jurek is currently heading north on the A.T. and will be passing through Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia in the next three weeks. He hopes to reach Maine’s Mount Katahdin in early July.

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GoPro to Release Drone, 3D Camera Mount

GoPro founder Nick Woodman did not reveal exact prices or specifics on any of the new products.     Photo: TechCrunch/Flickr

GoPro to Release Drone, 3D Camera Mount

Stock climbs after new products unveiled

GoPro CEO Nick Woodman announced Wednesday that the company will release two new products: a four-rotor drone and a new mount meant to capture “spherical content,” TechCrunch reports.

Woodman did not reveal prices or specifics other than that the cameras will be of “DSLR class,” which TechCrunch estimated in the $1,500 to $2,000 range. Woodman said the drone would be available toward the end of 2016 and the 3D array later this year. The 3D camera setup will be composed of six Hero4 action cameras arranged in a circle and shooting simultaneously for spherical shots and will generate content for virtual reality. It was also announced Wednesday that GoPro created a similar 16-camera mount for Google’s new Jump virtual reality ecosystem.

“This is really going to be most appealing for production companies and prosumers,” Woodman told TechCrunch, referring to consumers of GoPro cameras. He added that normal consumers would end up buying the products, but the first versions would be available only to professionals. GoPro expects the mount to be used to capture video for virtual reality systems like Oculus, HoloLens, Cardboard, and YouTube 360 videos. Such technology is already being deployed in the Grand Canyon

The announcement caused GoPro’s stock to jump 7 percent, according to Bloomberg News, which estimated the company can take between 10 percent and 25 percent of the drone market due to its strong name recognition.

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WATCH: ‘A Walk in the Woods’ Trailer

Robert Redford plays Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte plays his friend Katz in “A Walk in the Woods.”     Photo: Moviefone/YouTube

WATCH: ‘A Walk in the Woods’ Trailer

Movie premieres in September

Broad Green Pictures released the trailer for the film adaptation of Bill Bryson’s best-selling book A Walk in the Woods on Wednesday

The film chronicles the journey of two aging men who attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. Robert Redford (as Bryson) and Nick Nolte (as Katz, Bryson’s surly hiking partner) star as two estranged friends who reunite when Redford’s character decides he wants to make the journey but will not go it alone. The movie premieres September 2, 2015.

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