Archive for the ‘2014’ tag

A World Class Event for MKTG INC

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At MKTG INC, we pride ourselves on executing world-class events – but this time, the event was actually World Class.

Earlier this summer, the national finals of the USBG World Class Bartender Competition were held in NYC at the Monarch Room’s Gilded Lily, and MKTG INC was there to make sure it went off without a hitch!

The NYC Final was the culmination of the 2014 US World Class program. Presented by the US Bartenders Guild and sponsored by Diageo, 75 top bartenders competed in 5 regional finals in Boston, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta and Chicago. The top 3 from each region were chosen to move on to the national finals in NYC for a total of 15 national finalists.

In all stages of the program, nationally and internationally recognized industry luminaries served as judges. The competition challenges tested all aspects of the bartenders’ abilities, from speed and efficiency to presentation, creativity and service, using brands from the Diageo Reserve portfolio.

From the regionals to the finals, MKTG INC worked closely with Diageo, the US Bartenders Guild, Liquid Productions and all the judges and competitors to ensure that the program was executed within World Class standards.

Charles Joly from Chicago was named the World Class US Bartender of the Year and will represent the US in the Global Finals in the UK starting July 27th. He will be competing against bartenders from 49 other countries and the global winner will be named in London on Aug 2nd.

The Diageo World Class competition is considered “the best” in the industry and is in its 6th year globally with 50 countries competing each year. This is the 3rd year that the US has participated, with US winners Ricky Gomez placing 5th globally in 2012 and Jeff Bell placing 2nd globally in 2013.

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Johnnie Walker to U.S. Soccer Team: Keep Kicking!

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Photo courtesy of @alebedoya17 via Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @alebedoya17 via Instagram.

The US Men’s National Soccer Team arrived in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup as part of the “Group of Death” (contrary to initial reactions, not a heavy metal group) facing soccer royalty in the form of Portugal, Germany and Ghana. After an impressive showing that included defeating Ghana, the team that had eliminated them from the championship in South Africa in 2010, and facing Germany, currently reigning as the world champs for the next four years, they squeaked through to the first knockout round (the Round of 16) – a feat that they’ve only accomplished five times in the tournament’s 84-year history.

Though our men were eventually eliminated by Belgium and returned home on July 3, they didn’t leave Brazil empty-handed. Alejandro “Ale” Bedoya, a brand-new member of the USMNT, who made his World Cup debut this year, gifted each member of the 23-man team with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, engraved with the message “Brazil was just the beginning. Keep Walking.” – a fitting tribute to a team who inspired millions of Americans to chant “I believe that we will win.”

Not only was the advance to the Round of 16 “an epic achievement,” as Bedoya said, but the 2014 World Cup set the bar higher than ever for American engagement with the quadrennial event – an estimated 26.5 million people in the U.S. watched the Cup’s final (1.8 million more than the final between Spain and the Netherlands four years earlier).

The World Cup has officially been passed to Russia for 2018, and millions around the world are dealing with a bit of withdrawal without three matches per day to watch on their desktop monitors during work. However, with U.S. soccer die-hards inspired and a slew of brand-new fans watching, it’s safe to say that we will all be waiting with bated breath to see Ale Bedoya and his teammates’ next steps.

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US Open 2014: Domination, Evolution and a Bigger Banana

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martin_kaymer_champion_usatsiPhoto Credit: cbssports.com

The US Open was already rewriting the history books after Friday’s play. No one had ever posted a 65-65 on the first two days. This record was set by Martin Kaymer, who held the lead from start-to-finish, yet another feat, which only seven players had accomplished in US Open history. The win was doubly memorable for Kaymer, who also won the Players Championship to complete the bout of winning on both Mother’s and Father’s day. When asked how he felt about winning during the holidays, Kaymer noted,

“It was nice to win on Mother’s Day and our Father’s Day [in Germany] was a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t get him anything,” said Kaymer after a gargantuan eight-shot victory at Pinehurst on Sunday. “Maybe this works today.”

Yet another milestone to note, this time for the course, was Pinehurst’s first US Open back in its old form. Originally designed by famed architect Donald Ross in 1907, Pinehurst had seen a forward evolution through the years. As seen in the 2005 US Open, the fairways had become tight, the Kentucky bluegrass roughs were among the most formidable of any tour stop, and the bunkers were clean cut-outs, but quite scary, even for the most regarded professionals.

Back in 2010, the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were brought in to bring #2 back to its original lore. Their goal for the renovation was to bring the course back to Donald Ross’ original intent for his home course, epitomizing the philosophy of providing golfers “strategic choices” on every hole. They increased fairway widths, removed that bluegrass rough (approximately 35 acres, leaving native areas made up of sane, pine needs and wiry grass), simplified turf maintenance leading to firmer, faster fairways, and what was probably the most noticeable, reformed bunkers to make them more natural. All work was done following aerial images from the 1940s.

The “strategic choice” philosophy that Donald Ross aimed at providing golfers as personified by the shot of the weekend, Kenny Perry’s bender on the par-four 14th, a 479-yard hole. Perry, 53, and the oldest player in the field, had an errant drive that ended up in the native area that was part of the refresh in 2010. After pulling a hybrid from his bag, and peering around the trees at the pin that was 220 yards away, he proceeded to record the first eagle of the week on 14, with a shot that would rival the famous banana that Bubba had during his Master win in 2012. While Parry didn’t win, his shot immediately became the best of the weekend.

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All things considered, this year’s US Open was one for the storybooks. Next year’s US Open will be held at yet another throwback, the Robert Trent Jones II designed Chamber’s Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington. Much akin to Pinehurst from a standpoint of keeping native features alive, Chamber’s Bay is a links course that also tests the “strategic choice” philosophy. And with a hole named “Humpback,” you never know: another big bender could happen anytime.

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Taxi of Tomorrow

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taxioftomorrow_nissanpublictaxioftomorrow_karsan2taxioftomorrow_transitconnect4It’s yellow with 4 wheels, but the Taxi of Tomorrow is a different beast than today’s cabs. For starters, it’s a minivan. We know this because all three finalists in the Taxi of Tomorrow competition are minivans. Soccer moms not included.

Instead, passengers will find ample head room, sloping picture windows and a roomy trunk, among other cool perks. The winner will become the official taxi cab of New York City in 2014, replacing the current fleet of sedans and SUVs with a single design that’s both fuel-efficient and wheelchair accessible.

The winner will be announced early next year, and you could have an impact on the chosen design. Fill out an online survey for a chance to win $5,000 in free cab rides. With that kind of payout, who needs the Cash Cab?

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Written by Christopher Skinner
Christopher Skinner

November 17th, 2010 at 11:24 am