A local company here in Kirkland, WA has created a new app that users can earn money just by creating and sharing content. Ripl is a platform that streams all social media content into one feed and allows customized posts. We are currently planning on pairing athletes and celebrities with the Ripl platform to promote local and national brands. These marking endevarors are the future and we are excited to be at the forefront of it with an amazing team. The following is an article from John Cook on Geekwire.
Paul Ingalls and Andrew Wright tried to crack into the sports content business with Fanzo, but the Seattle entrepreneurs quickly realized that their application just was not differentiated enough from other sports-related services.
So, the entrepreneurs — who previously worked together at Redmond-based Smilebox and Seattle-based RealNetworks— did what most entrepreneurs do. They adjusted.
Today, Ingalls and Wright are unveiling a new service called Ripl, which is designed to help social media influencers build their followings and monetize their social streams with targeted promotions.
The name Ripl may ring a bell to long-time watchers of the Seattle tech scene. After all, former Classmates.com executive Bill Messing started a social networking service for college students by that name back in 2006.
But after Fanzo failed, Wright and Ingalls started kicking around a new way to share trending content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and they approached Messing about buying the domain name Ripl for the new service.
Wright sees big things ahead for the new Ripl, so much so that the angel investor is devoting most of his time to the new project as executive chairman.
What makes Ripl unique from other services like Buffer, Tweetdeck, NeoReach, TapInfluence and Izea?
“We are the only ones that help influencers build and monetize their following and enable brands to effectively engage influencers with followings in the 1,000 to 50,000 range that happen to reach the largest audience,” said Wright, who sold Smilebox to IncrediMail for up to $40 million in 2011.
The Ripl app, which is launching today in Apple’s app store, helps social media influencers find original content that may resonate with their specific audiences, and it helps them craft custom posts from photos, text and links with animations in order to help boost the content in social circles. (This is a nod to the work that Ingalls and Wright did at Smilebox, a company that allowed users to create customized greeting cards using personal photos and video).
Even more interestingly, Ripl also allows social media users to make money by sharing promotions with their followers.
“They can choose and personalize the ones they like and share them across social media,” Wright tells GeekWire. “We do this by treating promos like other posts and enabling influencers to customize the copy, imagery and overall look for their audience.”
At the same time, Ripl tracks the engagement of these posts — including the number of likes, comments and clicks — and then pays the social media user based on the amount of engagement the posts get multiplied on a fee-per-engagement basis. The content creator keeps the majority of advertising revenue generated through the promotions.
For the most part, brand advertisers have focused their efforts on celebrities with large social followings of one million or more. Ripl is hoping to open the door on those with followings in the 1,000 to 50,000 range.
In a release, Ingalls said that Ripl is designed to help advertisers “find the right experts to advocate their products to the right people.”
Ripl has raised $2.1 million, which includes the capital that previously flowed into Fanzo. The company employs nine people, including Wright.
“I have invested with 12 companies in my angel role and I just thought this was an extraordinary opportunity to create a breakthrough product again with Paul and his team,” said Wright.
For more information contact a Seattle NFL Agent.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had as high as a first round projection in some experts mock draft when he tore his ACL in December. Luckily he had filed Loss of Draft Value Insurance, which until now was just a precaution. Looks like he will become the player to set the precedent on collecting his insurance money. Currently a Cleveland Brown, smart planning by his representation on taking out this policy. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports has the story.
Former Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is expected to be the first player to collect on a loss of draft value insurance, according to the man who underwrote the policy.
Keith Lerner told CBS Sports Thursday night that Ekpre-Olomu is in the process of collecting a $3 million claim after suffering a season-ending knee injury in December. The All-American corner, projected to be a first-round draft choice last May, slipped to the seventh round after blowing out his ACL before the College Football Playoff National Championship.
“That claim is close to getting paid,” said Lerner, the Gainesville, Florida-based head of Total Planning Sports Services.
Lerner added the claim should be paid in the next 30-60 days. Ekpre-Olomu was the 241st player taken in the draft by Cleveland. Loss of draft value claims are paid if a player slips one round lower than projected previously by a panel of draft experts.
“His hope is that he is going to come back and play,” Lerner said. “Hopefully he’ll come back and have a great career.”
Lerner’s Total Planning Sports underwrote the policy for Lloyd’s of London. Oregon paid the injury and/or loss of value insurance premiums for several players last year, including Ekpre-Olomu and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The ethics of schools’ paying of those premiums has become a talking point in NCAA circles. The money comes from the NCAA Student Assistance Fund. The fund typically totals $300,000 or more and is earmarked for all athletes in a school’s athletic department budget.
Premiums for a first round-rated player could account for 20 percent or more of that total. Typically, premiums cost $8,000 per $1 million of insurance, Lerner said.
Loss of draft value policies have been around for 25 years, according to Lerner, but only in the last 2-3 years have they increased in volume.
Lerner said only one player he has ever insured collected on a disability (career-ending) claim. That was former Florida defensive tackle Ed Chester in 1998.
For more information contact a Seattle NFL Agent.
With the news that Kam Chancellor has officially ended his holdout, one has to wonder what did he accomplish? Maybe a statement that he is unhappy with his contract. Not sure how that resonates given that he signed his contract two years ago and was extremely happy at the time. Also, he has apparently raised concerns over his knee injuries. Unfortunately that is the nature of NFL contracts where the most important issue is how much money is actually guaranteed. I would go on to focus that frustration towards his agent how had Kam sign a contract that currently has him only as the 27th highest paid strong safety according to percentage of contract that is actually guaranteed. Really questionable decision to holdout also knowing that the Seahawks are 29th in cap space and didn’t have assets to allocate to him. The report that Kam just wanted $4 Millon moved from 2017 to 2016 was a feeble attempt by his agent. That would mean Kam would play the last year of his contract, 2017, for just $2 Million. Really doubt that Kam would do that knowing that the Seahawks renegotiate deals when players are in the last year of a contract. Carroll and Schneider held strong and did not cave. The Seahawks lost their first two games of the season and one has to wonder if he would’ve been the difference to a 2-0 or 1-1 start. Kam lost two game checks and incurred massive fines which may or may not be waived or partially waived by the Seahawks. I would recommend Kam find new representation as instead of accomplishing anything he actually cost himself money and hurt his team. Glad he is back and now has the opportunity to show the Seahawks he is worth every penny and more. For more information contact a Seattle NFL Agent.
I’ve written about CTE results in former NFL players before. Here is a good follow up article with even more alarming numbers on how CTE is affecting the NFL. Jason Breslow of PBS with the Story.
A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.
Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.
In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.
Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.
But the figures come with several important caveats, as testing for the disease can be an imperfect process. Brain scans have been used to identify signs of CTE in living players, but the disease can only be definitively identified posthumously. As such, many of the players who have donated their brains for testing suspected that they had the disease while still alive, leaving researchers with a skewed population to work with.
Even with those caveats, the latest numbers are “remarkably consistent” with pastresearch from the center suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease, said Dr. Ann McKee, the facility’s director and chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.
“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” said McKee, who runs the lab as part of a collaboration between the VA and BU. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”
In a statement, a spokesman for the NFL said, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”
The latest update from the brain bank, which in 2010 received a $1 million research grant from the NFL, comes at a time when the league is able to boast measurable progress in reducing head injuries. In its 2015 Health & Safety Report, the NFL said that concussions in regular season games fell 35 percent over the past two seasons, from 173 in 2012 to 112 last season. A separate analysis by FRONTLINE that factors in concussions reported by teams during the preseason and the playoffs shows a smaller decrease of 28 percent.
Off the field, the league has revised safety rules to minimize head-to-head hits, and invested millions into research. In April, it also won final approval for a potential $1 billion settlement with roughly 5,000 former players who have sued it over past head injuries.
Still, at the start of a new season of play, the NFL once again finds itself grappling to turn the page on the central argument in the class-action lawsuit: that for years it sought to conceal a link between football and long-term brain disease.
The latest challenge to that effort came two weeks ago with the trailer for a forthcoming Hollywood film about the neuropathologist who first discovered CTE. When the trailer was released, it quickly went viral, leaving the NFL bracing for a new round of scrutiny over past efforts to deny any such connection.
The film, Concussion, starring Will Smith, traces the story of Bennet Omalu, who in 2005 shocked the football establishment with an article in the journal Neurosurgery detailing his discovery of CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. At the VA lab and elsewhere, CTE has since been found in players such as Hall of FamerJunior Seau, former NFL Man of the Year Dave Duerson, and Indianapolis Colts tight end John Mackey, a past head of the player’s union.
While the story is not a new one, for the NFL, it represents a high-profile and potentially embarrassing cinematic interpretation of a period in which the league sought to refute research suggesting football may contribute to brain disease.
From 2003 to 2009, for example, the NFL’s now disbanded Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee concluded in a series of scientific papers that “no NFL player” had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions, and that “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”
In the case of Omalu, league doctors publicly assailed his research, and in a rare move, demanded a retraction of his study. When Omalu spoke to FRONTLINE about the incident for the 2013 documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, he said, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”
In a conversation with FRONTLINE, McKee said that her biggest challenge remains “convincing people this is an actual disease.” Whatever pockets of resistance still exist, she said, have primarily come from those with a “vested interest” in football.
“People want to make this just Alzheimer’s disease or aging and not really a disease,” according to McKee. “I think there’s fewer of those people, but that’s still one of our major hurdles.”
For more information contact, contact a Seattle NFL Agent.
NFL cuts are beginning to trickle in as team cut down their roster to 53 from 75. In addition to the 53 man roster teams are allowed 10 players on the practice squad. Currently front offices across the league are making the tough decision are who to keep, cut and risk cutting with intention of signing to the practice squad. We’ll see how it all shakes out within 24 hours. Thanks to Danny Kelly of FieldGulls.com with the clean piece on the practice squad rules.
Time to brush up on the NFL’s practice squad rules. First off, the deadlines:
Saturday, September 5, 1 p.m.: Roster cutdowns to 53 players
Sunday, September 6th: 9 a.m.: Last call for waiver claims on roster cuts
Sunday, September 6th, 9 a.m: Teams can start signing 10 players to Practice Squads
First off, players have to pass through waivers first to be placed on the practice squad. This means all other teams have a crack at claiming them. If claimed, those players have to be placed on the active roster. Once practice squads are set, teams can poach from other teams’ practice squads but they must place that player on their active roster for a minimum of three weeks. Players can refuse to sign with other teams if the fit doesn’t seem right or if they’d prefer to stick on the practice squad of their current team (in other words, if they see their current team as a better situation).
Here are the eligibility rules.
Rules on practice squad eligibility:
In order to be eligible for the practice squad, players must meet one of the following requirements:
- A player is eligible for the practice squad if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games. If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 45-man active gameday roster for fewer than nine regular season games.
- NEW RULE: Each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two Practice Squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a Practice Squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.
- If served two seasons on a practice squad, are eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player’s employment.
- A player has served one season on the practice squad if he is on the practice squad for at least 6 games. The rule previously required 3 games on the practice squad roster.
FB Rod Smith 6’3, 231
WR Kevin Smith 5’11, 215
WR Kasen Williams, 6’1, 210
WR Chris Matthews 6’5, 230
TE Rashaun Allen 6’5, 250
OG Mark Glowinski 6’4, 307
OG Kristjan Sokoli 6’5, 300
OC Patrick Lewis 6’1, 305
T/G Terry Poole 6’5, 315
OL Will Pericak 6’4, 296
NT/3T T.Y. McGill 6’0, 300
5T/3TJulius Warmsley 6’2, 290
LEO Obum Gwacham 6’5, 245
5T/DE David King 6’4, 270
LB Alex Singleton 6’2, 242
NB Marcus Burley 5’10, 189
FS/NB Steven Terrell 5’10, 197
SS Ryan Murphy, 6’3, 214
CB Douglas McNeil 6’3, 212
CB Mohammed Seisay 6’1, 202
SS Ronald Martin 6’2, 220
SS/FS Dion Bailey 6’0, 215
CB/SS DeShawn Shead 6’1, 225
CB Tye Smith, 6’0, 190
Tomorrow marks the start of the FBS college football season. This weekend will also commence the beginning of another season of 11am PST local kickoffs on the Pac-12 Network. When Portland State visits Washington State on Saturday at 11 in the morning, expect to see a late arriving crowd. Next weekend Washington and Colorado will kickoff at 11am and Oregon will do the same in week 3. The Pac-12 Network began this “tradition” last season in an effort to gain more East Coast viewers as opposed to kicking off at 10pm EST, sometimes as late as 8pm PST. I’ve written in the past about television dollars jeopardizing the tradition of college football and this is a prime example. I attended the 2015 NFC Championship game which kicked off at a local time of noon because of Television slotting. The Seahawks were at an obvious disadvantage with their earliest home kickoff in their history and the first half clearly showed those effects. The continuance of these early kickoffs on the west coast show that Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott, is more concerned about number of viewers and TV dollars generated than the season ticket holders, alumni and fans that may be affected and cause lower attendance numbers in stadium. As long as the viewership money is high, then the in-game experience will always come second. Cheers and here is to another season of breakfast and Pac-12 Football. For more information contact, contact a Seattle NFL Agent.
I wrote about Kevin shining for the Seahawks earlier in the week. Today, John Boyle with Seahawks.com got a chance to catch up with the former Husky.
While the Seahawks were on their way to another NFC championship last season, receiver Kevin Smith was back home in Southern California working a slightly less glamorous job than he might have hoped coming out of the University of Washington.
“I was working at FedEx at a warehouse unloading and loading trucks,” Smith said. He then noted, “but I always felt like that was something temporary at the time, just something to keep me busy.”
Smith doesn’t have time for a warehouse job right now, because he is back with the Seahawks for his second training camp, and looking very much like a player who has a chance to stick around in the NFL for longer than three weeks of training camp this time around.
After going undrafted out of Washington in 2014, Smith first signed with Arizona, then after a brief stint with Jacksonville, he signed with Seattle, where he spent camp before being cut prior to the final preseason game. No teams called after that, so Smith went home, got a job, and kept working out knowing he would make the most of the next chance, wherever that might come. Smith was in talks with an Arena Football League team about a contract, but that deal was never finalized because the Seahawks called offering another shot.
Smith is part of a deep position group, and winning a spot on the 53-man roster, or even the practice squad, is far from a given, but he has impressed his coaches in his second go-around with the Seahawks. After two solid weeks of camp, Smith really caught Pete Carroll’s eye in Seattle’s preseason opener, catching two passes for a team-high 36 yards, including a very impressive catch on a ball thrown behind him across the middle of the field.
“Gosh, he sure did,” Carroll said when a reporter mentioned Smith making some nice catches. “He had two great plays and good finishes on catches. It was really cool to see that. He has been really active in camp and done very, very well for us. The catch on the one behind him was a fantastic grab to hang on, and he got whacked, too, so a good showing.”
Two days later, Carroll’s take on Smith’s game hadn’t changed after watching film: “Kevin Smith played really well. Yeah, he had some really nice catches and tough plays that he made. It was cool to see him.”
For Smith, it’s nice that his coach is noticing his play, but he isn’t letting that praise go to his head. If he is going to follow in the footsteps of fellow Husky Jermaine Kearse, who went from undrafted to NFL starter, Smith knows he has to focus on each practice, each meeting and each walk thru, and not worry about the nice plays he made a week ago or dream about what his future might hold.
“That’s always a good thing coming from the head guy, but all I’m looking for is one day at a time,” he said. “You can’t worry too much about the future or looking back… I’m doing a better job taking it one day at a time now than I was last year.”
The other change for Smith is easy enough to spot when you look at him up close—he has slimmed down quite a bit from playing at 225 pounds last summer. Smith said he was down to 197 pounds this spring, and carrying less weight is paying off in the form of more speed and agility.
“He was a little bit heavy last camp, and then he took his fitness very seriously,” receivers coach Dave Canales said. “He slimmed down, he’s explosive, he makes great plays on the ball, and his best attribute is that he’s really reliable and consistent. He’s been able to be versatile, he’s just on his assignments, and he really works hard studying and knowing the system.”
And like any young roster hopeful, Smith knows that making his mark on special teams will be just as important, if not more so, than anything he shows at receiver.
“Special teams is always a big key,” he said. “A lot of people talk about offense and defense, but special teams is one of the biggest parts of the game. Special teams is a way to make the team, so that’s a big emphasis for me. I played all four (return and coverage units) in college and I’m looking to make an impact here.”
Whether Smith or fellow Husky Kasen Williams or any other young player on the bubble can do enough to make the team remains to be seen, but training camp No. 2 for Smith has gone very well so far. And hey, this summer job sure beats working in a warehouse.
For more information about an NFL agent, contact a Seattle NFL Agent.