World Relays debut excites Thompson

first_imgNASSAU, Bahamas: Reigning Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson says she is excited ahead of her IAAF World Relays debut in The Bahamas, where she’s hoping to lead Jamaica’s defence of the women’s 4x100m title. The two-day championships is set to begin here today. Thompson missed the first two stagings of the championships in 2014 and 2015 due to personal reasons despite initially being selected for both teams. However, Thompson, who, last year, established herself as the leading female sprinter on the planet, says he is eager to get going at the event and is looking forward to a strong showing. “I am super excited,” said Thompson. “I have been selected for the third time for the World Relays and this is my first time going and so I am really excited and looking forward to it.’ The Jamaican women’s team will be without veterans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown for the championships, but despite this, Thompson believes they have a very talented team that will do well in The Bahamas. “Despite the fact that two of our main athletes are not on the team, I believe that once we can take that baton safely around, then we can definitely take home that gold medal,” she said. “They (Fraser-Pryce and Campbell-Brown) are my role models and for me to be a trendsetter now, I am just going to keep pushing so that we can take home the gold for Jamaica,” Thompson said. Along with Thompson, the other members of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team are Simone Facey, Natasha Morrison, Christania Williams and Sashalee Forbes. Facey is the only returning member of Jamaica’s team, which finished first in a time of 41.14 seconds in The Bahamas two years ago. Defending the 2015 victory will not be easy for the Jamaicans as strong competition is expected from the rebuilt United States team. It’s why there will have to be careful selection of the legs for each runners. Thompson said that she is not sure which one of the legs she will be competing in at the championships, but that she will be “more than happy” to run any of the legs. “I am not sure which leg I will be running, but any leg I am selected for, I will take it on,” the Manchester-born sprinter said. The 24-year-old Thompson opened her outdoor season in winning the women’s 100m in a wind-aided 10.75 seconds at the UTech Classic on April 15. Thompson established her pedigree with gold-medal runs in the 100m and 200m at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ANTICIPATING A WINlast_img read more

Blending up an infomerical success

first_imgSHERMAN OAKS – The most potent weapon in Lenny Sands’ arsenal is a blender. Sands, a soft-spoken man with towering, spiky hair, runs a company that makes the Magic Bullet, which is not just any blender, but a device that promises to change your life in 10 seconds. It chops, blends, dices and purees, making dips, drinks and dinners in a spot that dominates the late-night infomercial world. This whirring blades of this little appliance, about the size of a deflated football, have stirred up nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worth of sales in the past 17 months. With the holiday season approaching, orders should get even heavier, and Sands says he’s just starting. “We’d like to see this in every home in America,” he said. “This should be no different from your coffee-maker. Everyone should have one.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Sands serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Alchemy Worldwide LLC, a holding company that oversees companies that sell everything from self-help CDs to nutritional supplements. He and his partners Brady Caverly and Jeff Clifford are seasoned infomercial experts, well-versed in the nuances of how to pitch a product, how to turn it from a commodity into a must-have item. They’ve sold enough bun-rockers, get-fit videos and weight-loss products to build Alchemy into a $200 million annual company, but none sells as well as the Magic Bullet, which has brought in $250 million in sales in the past 17 months. One of the tricks in marketing the gadget – which is, at heart, a blender – is to never use such a commonplace description. “You don’t use the term ‘blender’ when you’re selling it,” said Caverly, co-president and a founding partner of the company. “You say it’s got a food processing use. It’s a smoothie maker, a meal preparer. If people perceived it as just a blender, it wouldn’t be special.” It’s those little nuances – and the $75 million spent in worldwide advertising – that make the device sell so successfully. Alchemy has transformed its pitch into 48 languages, selling it in 60 countries through its TV pitch, the Web and traditional retail outlets. At either $59.99 in stores or $99 for a pair plus 21 attachments via direct sales, the Magic Bullet logs between 70,000 and 80,000 call-in orders each week. “With an infomercial, they put them on on the weirdest times of day and night, you find it by accident, then you have to be so enthralled, you watch the entire thing,” said Steve Dworman, an infomercial consultant based in West L.A. “By the end, you’ve got to be so enthralled you’ll call the producers and give them money – that’s a miracle that they can pull that off, and they certainly do it with the Magic Bullet.” This is particularly striking, because, unlike many infomercial products, the Magic Bullet isn’t a radically new gadget. With its collection of attachments and the promise that it can prepare an entire meal in 10 seconds, it takes a familiar device kitchen device and makes it new. “A food processor’s too much trouble to take out and put together for something like making guacamole,” said Mick Hastie, the pitchman who’s both vice president of new product development and the rapid-fire on-air host of the infomercial. “You can do it with this in less time than it takes to take a knife out of the drawer. … It’s basically an extension of your arm.” Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more