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The Failure of Adidas

June 29, 2015
Arguably the worst uniform line ever assembled

Arguably the worst uniform line ever assembled

 Adidas has now written the textbook on how to fail. Unbelievable to see brand that was the leader in the entire industry fall to the much justified criticism and ridicule. Literally couldn’t agree more on this outstanding article by Jim Weber of Lostletterman.com. I have had many of these same ideas in my head for years and just never typed them out. See the piece below.

The niche for each of the Big Three sports apparel companies is abundantly clear:

Nike is the gold standard, Under Armour is the millennial brand and adidas is a running joke.

Just how bad are things for the Three Stripes?

The German-based apparel company fell behind Under Armour in U.S. sales for the first time last year and is now being lapped by Nike.

2014 U.S. Sales (through August)

Nike: $11.8 billion

Under Armour: $2.6 billion

Adidas: $1.6 billion

Even more alarming than the new pecking order is how Adidas has become the butt of jokes:

If adidas is going to catch back up to Under Armour and become a respectable challenger to Nike, it’s going to have to start by earning its dignity back.

The number of missteps adidas has taken over the last two decades to fall behind an apparel company that didn’t even exist in 1995 are long and numerous.

They range from botching a shoe deal with Kobe Bryant back in 1996 to acquiring the sinking ship known as Reebok to having its splashiest recent endorsement deals in basketball and football backfire. See: Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin and Robert Griffin III.

In fact, the biggest name to endorse adidas right now isn’t even an athlete, it’s Kanye West. Meanwhile, Nike has a who’s who of sports clientele (Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Aaron Rodgers, Mike Trout, etc.) and Under Armour is partnered with the two biggest rising stars in their respective sports, Stephen Curry and Jordan Spieth, not to mention the super couple of Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen.

Adidas also didn’t have even one of the top 10 best selling sports shoes last August, as their current selection of footwear is extremely uninspiring. And with the NFL dropping Reebok for Nike in 2012 and the NBA moving om from adidas to The Swoosh for the upcoming season, the only one of the four major professional sports the Three Stripes now outfits is the NHL (technically, it’s Reebok).

Just pouring salt in the wound, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank called adidas “our dumbest competitor” this past February — and he wasn’t wrong.

While there are certainly plenty of hurdles facing the company and adidas America president Mark King if it wants to reverse course in the U.S. market, adidas must start with repairing its tattered image.

When I was growing up in the 1990s, I viewed adidas as Europe’s version of Nike. While it wasn’t marketed much in the United States, I associated it with luxury because it was classic and foreign.

But in failing to copy both Nike and Under Armour’s appeal to young consumers, adidas has lost its identity as a premium product.

And a lot of that is related to the heinous uniforms its been responsible for in the last several years.

Yes, Nike and Under Armour have had their misses with new uniforms — but also a lot of hits. Adidas, on the other hand, has almost exclusively had misses.

That includes sleeved NBA jerseys and college basketball abominations like the infamous “Zubaz” and “Made in March” uniforms.

Making good-looking sports uniforms isn’t rocket science. All it takes is basic fashion rules and common sense.

Unfortunately, adidas no longer has either.

As a result, you will find an unlimited amount of college sports fans on the Internet who hate that the Three Stripes outfits their favorite schools and can’t wait until their apparel contracts expire.

Notre Dame just left adidas for Under Armour, which was cause for celebration in South Bend. And adidas’ other biggest college client, Michigan, is thinking about leaving the company after a revolt by its fanbase.

It’s hard to blame either group. Adidas took arguably the two best uniforms in college football and mucked them up with eye-searing alternates that must have had Knute Rockne and Bo Schembechler rolling over in their graves:

Just adding to the embarrassment, adidas’ Michigan basketball uniforms have had several wardrobe malfunctions that make the company’s product appear not just incredibly ugly, but horribly cheap.

Even the base uniforms for adidas schools are fugly, as the football uniforms have a ridiculous shredded pattern on the shoulders and the basketball uniforms keep getting tinkered with — usually for the worse.

Adidas needs to stick with a classic and clean look that honor the uniforms of yesteryear at its partner schools — especially with nostalgia so popular these days — and put just a couple modern touches to bring the uniforms forward to the year 2015.

For instance, the University of Miami just started its partnership with adidas. After Nike went crazy with the Hurricanes’ uniform combinations and alternate helmets over the last several years, adidas needs to harken back to the heyday of “The U.”

It’s an easy, two-step process:

  1. Take Miami’s glorious uniforms from the 1980s and ‘90s.

2. Update the fabric, fit and font for the present day, like designer Jake Nevill did with these:

And voila! You have a masterpiece.

Adidas should do the same with fellow new client Arizona State, ditchingthe ridiculous
“Fear the Fork” helmets that Nike came up with
and update the “Sparky” uniforms adorned by the likes of Jake Plummer.

Of course, adidas won’t do that. It wants to make a big news splash with its new clients, which means coming up with ridiculous new concepts.

It appears the company already has plans on changing Miami’s facemask toorange and introducing six uniform combinations that include ugly shoulder designs and a blasmephous all-black set.

I don’t want to hear that classic uniforms don’t appeal to 18-year-old kids. High school recruits will love wearing any great uniform, not just ones that look like they came from some dystopian future.

After all, Alabama never changes its uniforms, and the Crimson Tide isn’t exactly hurting on the recruiting trail.

The same logic goes for alternate uniforms. Alternates are fine, as long as they are done the right way. But there’s no reason for adidas to keep pushing the brink of sanity, like with these “Uncaged” Louisville football uniforms unveiled last week that look like they need an exorcism.

There are plenty of great alternate uniforms to be had with throwbacks. The Pittsburgh Steelers “bumblebee jail” throwbacks aside, you can’t go wrong with throwback unis. In fact, the only successful alternate uniform adidas has made for Michigan is these 1989 national title throwbacks:

And if adidas is intent on designing new alternate uniforms, make it sleek and keep it simple. The best example of that is Baylor’s gold chrome helmet designed by Nike that has proven to be wildly popular.

And if Adidas is intent on designing new alternate uniforms, make it sleek and keep it simple. The best example of that is Baylor’s gold chrome helmet designed by Nike that has proven to be wildly popular.

Adidas’ recent decline starts with a very basic rule of fashion: Image is everything.

And right now, adidas’ image is a Zubaz-ified mess.

Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

Most Underrated Players In the NFL

June 25, 2015

KJ Wright was determined at the most underrated player on the Seahawks

KJ Wright was determined at the most underrated player on the Seahawks

Every offseason NFL Network releases their “Top 100 Players in the league”. This supposedly is determined by the voting of their NFL peers, however, the Seahawks we have talked with have said they have never received an invite to vote on the top 100. With now the longest break of the NFL season between mini-camp and training camp why not discuss the players we love, the “hidden gems”. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports put together a solid list below:

Here are the NFL’s most underrated, team-by-team:

Arizona Cardinals

Left tackle Jared Veldheer: He stepped in as a free agent last season and did a good job protecting the blind side. He is good in pass protection and has improved as a run blocker. The Cardinals love him.

Atlanta Falcons

Cornerback Desmond Trufant: He is a smooth cover player who was clearly the best defensive player on a bad defense last season. He has a chance to be a top-five corner by the end of this season.

Baltimore Ravens

Nose tackle Brandon Williams: He has developed into a quality player in the middle of their defense. He makes it tough to run on the Ravens inside. Now entering his third season, he should be even better.

Buffalo Bills

Cornerback-Safety Corey Graham: He did a nice job at corner last year in his first with the team, but he moved inside to safety this offseason and could win a starting spot there. Wherever he plays, corner, nickel, safety, he’s a player who has a knack for making plays.

Carolina Panthers

DT Kawann Short: He came in as the other tackle in the 2013 draft class withStar Lotulelei, but Short had played close to the same level as Lotulelei, who was the team’s first-round pick. They make for a nice, young duo. Short is more explosive.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback Jay Cutler: Forget the contract. And just focus on the player. Yes, he makes a lot of mistakes, but wouldn’t any quarterback if they threw 249 passes when trailing by 14 points or more like he did last season? Based on perception, you’d think he was garbage. Watch what he does this year in the Adam Gase offense.

Cincinnati Bengals

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth: Year in and year out, he’s consistently one of the best of the left tackles in the game, and rarely gets noticed. Andy Daltonnotices.

Cleveland Browns

Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins: This smallish receiver caught 63 passes for 824 yards last season, including six games of five or more catches — all with bad quarterback play. He’s a perfect slot receiver.

Dallas Cowboys

Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford: He moved inside last season and did a nice job at tackle, even though he’s a bit undersized. He can play outside in a pinch, but it looks like he’s settled in at tackle for now.

Denver Broncos

Defensive end Malik Jackson: He has been quality player on their defense the past two years, and is poised for an even bigger role this season. He will start at end in their 3-4 scheme, but in Wade Phillips’ system, he will get more chances to get after the quarterback.

Detroit Lions

Cornerback Darius Slay:He improved greatly last season, showing off the ability to play press-man coverage, which all the good ones can do well. Entering his third season, Slay might be poised to take an even bigger step in 2015, maybe even the Pro Bowl. .

Green Bay Packers

Defensive end Mike Daniels: You’d be hard-pressed to find many outside of Green Bay who know his name, but he’s a big part of their defense. In his first season as a full-time starter, he had six sacks and did a nice job against the run. Daniels was my choice in this space last season, so maybe it’s time he starting getting the recognition.

Houston Texans

Right guard Brandon Brooks: He was their best lineman last season, developing into a good starting guard. He was a big reason why they ran the ball so well. He could push for the Pro Bowl this season.

Indianapolis Colts

Tackle Anthony Castonzo: On a line that had issues last season, he was rock solid. He might not be an elite tackle, but he shows up every week and competes and does a nice job protecting Andrew Luck‘s blindside.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Linebacker Telvin Smith: This run-and-chase linebacker is in the mold of former Tampa Bay Hall of Fame player Derrick Brooks. Smith played at 220 pounds last season, but is a little bigger this season. His speed is such a weapon. Watch him fly to the football now that he knows the defenses and assignments better.

Kansas City Chiefs

Defensive end Allen Bailey: After getting four starts in his first three seasons, he had 14 last season and took advantage of it. He had five sacks, played the run well, and is now considered a full-time starter. He also earned a four-year contact extension during the middle of the 2014 season.

Miami Dolphins

Defensive end Olivier Vernon: The fourth-year end has 30 starts and 18 total sacks the past two seasons. At the age of 24, heading into a contract year, expect him to be a valuable commodity on the open market next season if he gets there. Vernon has great speed off the edge and playing on a line with Cameron Wakeand Ndamukong Suh, he should see a lot of single blocking, which means the sack numbers will go up.

Minnesota Vikings

Safety Harrison Smith: Entering his fourth season, he has yet to play in a Pro Bowl, despite being one of the better young safeties in the game. This could be his year. He is rangy and he can tackle. That’s a good combination in today’s game.

New England Patriots

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower: He stepped in when Jerod Mayo went down and did an incredible job as the signal caller on defense. He was good against the run and pass and got eight sacks as a blitzer.

New Orleans Saints

Left tackle Terron Armstead: He was solid in his first season as a starter — he did start some as a rookie in 2013 — but he has the tools to be a Pro Bowl player. He is a great athlete and with a year of starting, he should be much improved. He missed time in December with a neck injury last season, but he’s back healthy again.

New York Giants

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins: He was on my top-100 list, which surprised some. But he’s that good. Entering his third season, he could end this season as a dominant interior player. He’s not just one-dimensional either. He can rush the passer.

New York Jets

Inside linebacker Demario Davis: A 16-game starter last season, he led the team in solo tackles with 79 and was second in total tackles to David Harris. This fourth-year player excels in the run game. He does need to improve in pass coverage.

Oakland Raiders

Defensive tackle/nose tackle Justin Ellis: He didn’t get a sack in 2014 as a rookie, so many fans probably have no idea who he is, but he’s a good run player inside and should be even better in year No. 2. Watch out for this kid in 2015.

Philadelphia Eagles

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox: It was stunning that he didn’t get a spot in the Pro Bowl. He’s a disruptive player who didn’t pile up sacks, which hurt his chances. Opposing players know how good he is inside for the Eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Left tackle Kelvin Beachum: He has made himself into a top-10 left tackle. The Steelers had a bunch of problems at times at that spot over the years, but he has put those fears to rest.

St. Louis Rams

Cornerback E.J. Gaines: Gaines started 15 games as a rookie last season, playing both outside and in the slot. He was their best corner, outplaying the gambling Janoris Jenkins. Gaines was consistent in both the run game and, more importantly, against the pass. He was a steal as a sixth-round pick.

San Diego Chargers

Tackle King Dunlap: He has blossomed into a quality left tackle in his two seasons with the Chargers, which is why they gave him a new four-year deal in March. Dunlap turns 30 this year, but he is still doing a good job protecting the backside for Philip Rivers. Dunlap was the lone bright spot on a bad line last year.

San Francisco 49ers

Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch: He had six sacks as a rookie and played so well he put Ahmad Brooks on the bench at times. Lynch has pass-rush ability, but he’s also solid against the run. He has a bright future.

Seattle Seahawks

Outside linebacker K.J. Wright: Bobby Wagner gets a lot of deserved attention in the middle, and we know the secondary gets its share of credit, but Wright is a speedy linebacker who is also a big part of why the Seattle defense goes as well as it does. The Seahawks made the smart move to re-sign him last season and prevent him from hitting the market. A lot of teams would have come calling.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Right tackle Demar Dotson: He held out of some work this offseason because he wants a new deal, and, quite frankly, he’s earned one. He has become their best lineman and he showed his versatility last year moving to the left side late in the season. He will be back on the right side this season.

Tennessee Titans

Tight end Delanie Walker: He caught 63 passes with four touchdowns last season on a team that isn’t exactly known for its passing game. Walker is also a good blocker for a tight end who is just over 6-feet tall.

Washington Redskins

Inside linebacker Keenan Robinson: After missing all of 2013 with an injury, he emerged as a force on their defense in 2014. He is a thumper in the run game who should be better in coverage with a year of starting under his belt.

Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

Mariners First MLB Franchise to have In-Stadium Golf Simulator

June 24, 2015
Golf Simulator at Safeco Field

Safeco Field has come up with another innovative way to interact with its fans. Taylor Soper of Geekwire has the story.

Golf is meeting baseball at Safeco Field.

Mariners fans can now not only watch baseball, but also take some virtual golf shots at the ballpark thanks to a new high-tech golf simulator that opened this week underneath the centerfield bleachers.

The new 800-square foot interactive center is operated by Gregg Rogers’ Golf Performance Center, a Bellevue-based company offering instruction, fitting, and retail products that inked a sponsorship deal with the Mariners to open the facility.

Founder Gregg Rogers, a 30-year golf industry vet, told GeekWire that he’s looking forward to reaching Mariners fans — 42 percent of which are golfers — who may want to take a few swings before or during a game.

“It’s a perfect fit for our business,” said Rogers, whose company is part of the Golf Channel Academy.

Fans can hit range balls into a 120-foot wide curved screen that features projected images of real holes on courses like Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and TPC Sawgrass (Chambers Bay, home of this week’s U.S. Open being played just south of Seattle, may be coming soon). Swings are tracked by an aboutGolf device with high-speed 3D cameras that run at 2,300 frames per second which help detect how fast, far, and in what direction the ball travels.

“It takes an image of the golf ball leaving the club face and then extrapolates data to estimate where a shot would be,” Rogers explained.

The simulator opened on Wednesday and Rogers said there’s been a good amount of interest from fans.

“There was a guy who had front row seats and ended up taking swings and hanging out here for 30 minutes,” he said. “We must be doing something right.”

Rogers hopes that the new Safeco Field attraction helps grow the game of golf, which has seen decreased overall interest in the past decade among Americans.

“We are just trying to make it cool and fun,” he said. “We are reaching a lot of juniors, which is really cool. That’s our future.”

Fans aren’t the only ones who can use the simulator, either — Rogers said he wants to help Mariners staff and players improve their golf games, too.

“For example, pitchers who have an off-day but need to be at the ballpark can come up here and do some instruction,” he said. “It’s a cool concept.”

For this weekend, fans can take swings for free. After that, there will be a $5 fee, a portion of which will go to the Mariners’ non-profit foundation.

Fans can also pay $20 for three swings to enter a “closest to the pin competition” during each game. Daily winners will receive prizes like autographed gear, golf lessons, or club fittings. Winners this week from Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will have a chance to compete in a hole-in-one competition on Sunday and take home $25,000 if they sink a virtual ace.

Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

Top 5 Ways Ways Sports Advertising Can Help Your Business

June 9, 2015
big-risks-amp-big-rewards-sports-marketing

A new blog post here to show how effective sports marketing can be. Thanks to Glide Slope LLC on the story.

Sponsorship can offer brands many possibilities to help grow their business. With many of the world’s leading brands signing sponsorship deals, they can’t all be heading in the wrong direction. Yet, still many companies don’t fully embrace and their sponsorship, don’t use their sponsorship to strategically drive the macro business objectives, or are not able to synchronize their brand alignment organically. Here are the top five ways brands can improve their business by implementing sports sponsorship:

  1. Enhance the Customer Experience
  2. Have a Sense of Purpose
  3. Engage your Audience
  4. Deliver Real-Time Activity
  5. Leverage your Flexibility

Enhance the Customer Experience

Sponsorship can create opportunities that make their audiences’ lives easier and increase their enjoyment of a passionate pursuit. These experiences will benefit from being innovative, relevant and authentic, thereby adding value in how the audience consumes the sport.

SAP teamed up with the NBA to demonstrate how its technology brought to life unlimited stats and data of the teams’ performance. Fans and officials alike are now able to easily recall stats and feed into their everyday routines from match day banter to fantasy league updates.

Sports are entertaining and used to get away from our careers. Sports fans are passionate. It will always help your business to be a transcendent as possible. Casting a wider net will help you catch more fish.

Have a Sense of Purpose

With the corporate and socially responsible worlds taking ever more notice of each other, the advent of purposeful marketing has risen to the forefront, along with authenticity. Sponsorship can add value to this approach through a variety of ways that show a sponsorship is offering more than just a channel to portray messages but also creating a social benefit. Research has shown that consumers are more likely to favor your brand if it has embraced a social purpose, which in turn can be shown to drive the bottom line.

Barclays’ “Spaces for Sports” program now exists in China, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, Spain, the UK, the USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through Barclay’s sports sponsorship pedigree, they are able to extend this position through using sport to help young people to develop skills such as communication, teamwork, resume writing and money management to gain qualifications and gain employment.

Engage your Audience

A set of sponsorship rights can allow a brand access to unique content to supplement its association, as well as add value for its audiences that its competitors could not do. Using the benefits of digital platforms and social media, this content can be shared to replicate the natural interaction that people have with friends, colleagues and family on a daily basis when discussing something of interest.

When BBVA signed on with the NBA as its official banking partner, it lacked a national footprint in the US. Using NBA content as its business driver, it set up a branchless bank account that used the digital space to target NBA fans and offer real-time services/updates, while building brand awareness and business.

Deliver Real-Time Activity

In an age when people have never had so much control over what they consume, when they want it, in which way and by how much, the lure of live action is still core to sport’s commercial appeal – especially if the values of recent media rights deals are anything to go by. The way television is consumed was changed when digital recorders were invented. Now most TV shows are recorded and watched at the consumer’s convenience, except for sports. This is why commercials for sports are the most expensive, because the most watched events in the world are sporting events. This immediacy is a space that sponsors, officially or unofficially, can benefit from, through adding value to the live dialogue. This could take the form of social media, sharing content, betting or just documenting your presence for posterity. This all takes place at a time that captures consumers in an emotional state of mind, being more receptive to messaging than a pure advertising play which can be more interruptive by nature.

The UEFA Champions League sponsor, Heineken, was able to weave its Star Player app into the live action through providing an interactive way for friends to compete against each other on various outcomes as they unfolded, adding to the enjoyment of the experience.

Leverage your Flexibility

Having bought the rights, a brand is essentially tasked with being the shepherd to guide the sponsorship across the relevant communication channels as they see fit. For some, this may mean a wide path of appeal is required to support the launch of a product. For others, the focus may be on engaging employees as a vital goal. Either way, for these reasons and more, sponsorship can offer a cost-effective solution to add value to a brand’s objectives within sport.

Oakley, not known for its’ paid advertising approach, decided to use their sports athlete portfolio, when they launched their Beyond Reason manifesto. It showed how various sports stars sponsored by Oakley share a similar DNA – a passion to go above and beyond what is reasonably possible, refusing to accept boundaries.

Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

Deflategate Sets New NFL Precedent

May 12, 2015
Deflated footballs with Super Bowl XLIX logo at the

With the announcement of a 4 game suspension for the NFL’s biggest star, Tom Brady, the shield has officially stated that no one is above the rules. Obviously commissioner Rodger Goodell has had to fight vigorously to protect the integrity of the league. In the past 12 months, players such as Greg Hardy, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Michael Sam, La’el Collins, Aaron Hernandez and other players have had issues that affect how the NFL is perceived. Of all the recent news though, only Deflategate has actually affected the play on the field. An advantage no matter how significant was unfair and against the rules. Yes Cleveland was fined for sending tampering texts and Atlanta was fined for pumping in crowd noise, but these did not affect the play on the field.Unless, Brady’s appeal lifts his suspension, Goodell has shown that enough is enough. All owners, GMs, coaches, players and staff are on alert as second offense will bring even harsher penalties. Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

2015 NFL Schedule Release

April 17, 2015
2015 NFL Opponents

An NFL spokesman said today that the 2015 NFL schedule will be released next week. All teams already know who and where they will be playing. What has yet to be determined are the dates for the games, which games will be Nationaly televised and the bye weeks for every team.

The Seahawks are slated to play Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Carolina at home. While the road schedule will see Seattle travel to Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis, Green Bay, Minnesota, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas. Opponents are determined by three components, each team plays its three division rivals (play each at home and on the road). Each team play an entire AFC division and NFC division, that is predetermined in a 4 year round robin, (2 games at home and 2 on the road per division) and division rivals play the same divisions. The final component is that a team will play two other teams from separate divisions (one at home and one on the road) that had corresponding finishes in their respective divisions from the previous season. So the Seahawks play their NFC West rivals at home and on the road. They play the AFC North and NFC North opponents, two at home and two on the road for each division. Lastly, the Seahawks were slated to play the team that had the same division finish in the NFC East and NFC South (one at home and one on the road). The Seahawks won the NFC West, therefore, they will play Dallas and Carolina. Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

2015 NFL Free Agency Update

March 24, 2015
NFL-Free-Agent-Tracker-March-5-650x487

2015 FREE AGENCY UPDATE

Through the first two weeks of free agency, there were 153 total signings with $788,491,999 in guaranteed money and $1,802,821,620 in total contract value.

This breaks down as:

  • 97 unrestricted free agents signing with new teams (guaranteed: $644,104,999; total value: $1,413,501,620)
  • 56 unrestricted free agents re-signing with current teams (guaranteed: $144,387,000; total value: $389,320,000)

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club must average an 89% cash spend of the salary cap from 2013-2016.

The four teams which spent the least during the two-year period from 2013-2014 were the Oakland Raiders (80.16%), New York Jets (80.97%), Jacksonville Jaguars (82.24%) and New England Patriots (82.82%).

These four teams have spent the following in free agency thus far:

  • 30% of all guaranteed money
  • 27% of total contracts
  • 24% of first-year cash

*Numbers throughout represent deals for which contracts were received and processed by the NFLPA by 2 p.m. ET on March 24, 2015.

Fore more information consider contacting a Seattle NFL Agent.

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