Polynesian Bowl announces Doug Williams, Trent Dilfer as coaches

… Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council, Hawaii News Now, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel …

(October 14, 2020) – The Polynesian Bowl announced today that two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, Doug Williams and Trent Dilfer have been selected as head coaches for the 2021 Polynesian Bowl.

The Polynesian Bowl is an annual all-star game featuring 100 of the nation’s top senior high school football players. This year’s game will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2021 (6:30 p.m. HST) at Aloha Stadium on O’ahu, Hawaii and will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.

Doug Williams will serve as Head Coach for Team Mauka (Mountain). Doug was named Super Bowl XXII MVP, making him the first black QB to both start and win (Washington) a Super Bowl. Following his playing career, Williams began coaching, most notably serving as the head coach of the Grambling State Tigers. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Player Development for the NFL’s Washington Football Team. Doug is only one of a handful of players honored in two NFL Stadium “Ring of Honors” (Washington and Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

“The Polynesian Bowl is going to be an incredible cultural experience,” said Doug Williams. “I’m looking forward to coaching the nation’s best high school players in paradise.”

Trent Dilfer will serve as Head Coach for Team Makai (Ocean). Trent played 14 seasons in the NFL including starting QB for the Baltimore Ravens during their Super Bowl XXXV championship. After his NFL playing career, Trent was hired by ESPN as an NFL analyst, a position he held until 2017. He currently serves as head coach of the Elite 11, a quarterback camp featuring the nation’s best high school quarterbacks and at Lipscomb Academy.

“I’m excited to be part of the 2021 Polynesian Bowl,” said Trent Dilfer. “The talent is off the charts. It’s going to be a lot of fun coaching these elite athletes.”

Past Polynesian Bowl head coaches include: Dick Tomey & June Jones (2017), Dick Vermeil & Terry Donahue (2018), Mike Bellotti & Jim Zorn (2019) and Frank Beamer & Steve Spurrier (2020).

About the Polynesian Bowl: The world’s top high school football players gather in Hawaii to celebrate culture & play the game they love. It is televised live on CBS Sports Network, presented annually by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. Major partners include adidas, BodyArmor, CrossCountry Mortgage, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council, Hawaii News Now, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel and Riddell.

For more information, visit www.PolynesianBowl.com and www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org.

The Polynesian Bowl began in 2017 with current Stanford running backConnor Wedingtonthe inaugural Offensive MVP and Iowa defensive lineman A.J. Epenesa the Defensive MVP. The 2018 game was the second year and Washington cornerbackKyler Gordonand Stanford quarterback signeeTanner McKeewere named Co-MVP’s. The 2019 game saw linebackerDaniel Heimuliand receiverPuka Nacua, both now at Washington, earn co-MVP honors. The 2020 game saw BYU signeeSol-Jay Maiavaand Washington preferred walk-onMeki Peiwin co-MVP.

The fifth Polynesian Bowl is set for January 23, 2021 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, with nearly 40 players already selected to the 2021 game.

For a look at the 2021 Polynesian Bowl roster,go here.

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SoFi Stadium: Naming rights sold for Los Angeles’ new arena

… think SoFi is a terrific partner because under Anthony’s leadership, you can see their vision for financial technology, for changing banking and loans, …

LOS ANGELES — SoFi Stadium is the name of the palatial new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.

The growing personal finance company formally known as Social Finance has reached a 20-year agreement for the naming rights to the multibillion-dollar stadium complex in Inglewood, California, the teams announced Sunday.

SoFi Stadium is on schedule to open next summer in Hollywood Park ahead of the 2020 season for Los Angeles’ two NFL teams. One season later, the stadium will host the Super Bowl.

SoFi was only founded in 2011, but the Bay Area-based online lending startup has grown rapidly into a prominent financial services business particularly successful among people refinancing student loan debt. Led by CEO Anthony Noto, a former NFL executive, and fresh off a $500 million round of equity financing led by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in May, SoFi bought the naming rights to reap extraordinary exposure from the world’s most prominent new stadium.

“It was something that really took a while for us to convince them that we were the right partner, and really gain the confidence that we could make that long-term commitment,” Noto told The Associated Press. “We’re super excited to have got to this point. They’re building something that’s unprecedented, and I think the impact it could have (on SoFi) will be equally unprecedented.”

The 70,000-seat stadium is the centerpiece of a 298-acre complex developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and shared by owner Dean Spanos’ Chargers. Along with the 2022 Super Bowl, the arena also will host the 2023 College Football Playoff national championship game, an annual college football bowl game, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics.

With SoFi’s name out front, the entire complex will have a prominent role in the future of the NFL and the Los Angeles metroplex.

“It’s one of these forward-thinking companies,” Spanos told the AP. “It’s in the forefront of innovation in their industry. That’s something and somebody we want to be associated with as our stadium takes on that same sort of energy, because it’s something that nobody has ever done before. I think what Stan has built here and done here, in his creativity with this whole development, this probably is going to redefine this area of Los Angeles for the next century. It’s going to be something that LA is going to be very proud to have.”

Spanos and Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff are both pleased by the addition of a young, technologically savvy partner with the naming rights deal.

“When Stan started to imagine what sports and entertainment district at Hollywood Park to be, he wanted to find not only world-class partners, but innovative partners,” Demoff told the AP. “He wanted to bring someone unique to the table that hadn’t been there before, and I think SoFi is a terrific partner because under Anthony’s leadership, you can see their vision for financial technology, for changing banking and loans, and really that process of putting the customer first is very similar to what we want to do at the stadium. I think it’s a unique fit for what we believe will be the greatest stadium in the world.”

Kroenke and Demoff also were pleased by the compact, alliterative name for such an expansive project, Demoff said.

“SoFi Stadium — I’m a fan of alliteration, so I love it,” Demoff said. “That may be very 10th-grade English of me, but I think it’s a very natural-sounding name.”

Noto has a personal connection to the stadium and to its primary sport: The former Goldman Sachs partner also is the former chief financial officer of the NFL, and he worked on the league’s groundwork efforts a decade ago to return to the Los Angeles market. After he became the chief operating officer of Twitter in 2014, Noto worked on its agreement to stream NFL games on the platform.

“I really had a front-row seat on seeing the impact (the NFL) could have on a business like ours,” Noto said. “It’s a small component of our overall marketing budget and our overall spending budget, but the benefit we get from reallocating the investment into this from other things is magnitudes greater.”

SoFi recently has partnered with sports brands ranging from college basketball conference tournaments to the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the X Games. Noto said SoFi aggregated the audiences that saw their combined sponsorship efforts in 2018 and came up with about 15 million unique viewers for the entire year.

That’s roughly the same amount of exposure they’ll get from one prime-time NFL game in SoFi Stadium, Noto said.

Noto praised his former boss, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, for this culmination of the league’s years of patient planning for a return to the nation’s second-largest market.

“It’s a result of Roger’s vision back in 2008 and ’09 when he established he wanted the LA market to be not just another stadium, but to be this iconic destination,” Noto said. “Stan and Dean are bringing it to life in a way that no one could truly comprehend when Roger laid out the vision.”

Along with the name, SoFi members will have their own lounge inside the stadium, and the company will stage additional events and seminars at the complex.

The money from a naming rights deal typically offsets construction costs, and Kroenke’s project is expected to cost more than $5 billion. The Hollywood Park project already sold separate naming rights last month to American Airlines for a year-round performance venue and stadium entrance area.

Finance start-up SoFi strikes deal to put its name on new LA stadium for the Rams and Chargers

Financial technology start-up Social Finance is putting its name on the most expensive NFL stadium ever built. The company announced a 20-year …

It’s common for financial services companies to buy stadium naming rights: Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, CitiGroup and Barclays all have their brands on U.S. sports marquees. But it is rare for a young, venture-capital-backed, private company to put its name on a major sports arena. SoFi will be the only Silicon Valley start-up in the NFL stadium ranks.

The Inglewood, California stadium has gained attention for its size — and its price. Los Angeles Rams owner and real estate mogul Stan Kroenke is financing the stadium as a part of his 298-acre sports and entertainment district. The project is expected to cost just under $5 billion, more than double the average cost for a new NFL stadium. The new Raiders stadium, for example, was estimated to cost just under $2 billion.

“It was critical for us to find a tech-focused partner who is on the cutting edge and genuinely understands the needs of all of our constituents and who challenges us to think in creative ways to make every visitor to SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park feel special and at home,” Kroenke said in the press release.

The indoor-outdoor facility will host Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football National Championship game in 2023, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games.

SoFi is already well known in the financial technology world, but the new stadium deal will likely put it on the map as a mainstream brand. Its marketing budget has exceeded $200 million in previous years, and the stadium deal would likely be a part of a larger effort to gain name recognition.

SoFi started in 2011 with millennial student-loan refinancing. Since then, it has expanded to personal and mortgage loans, mortgage refinances and wealth management services. SoFi has been on a product-launching spree this year. It announced cryptocurrency trading through a partnership with Coinbase, zero-fee SoFi branded exchange traded funds, and said it plans to debut a credit card later this year. It also rolled out SoFi Money — a cash account with 2.00% APY.

While the start-up offers a suite of traditional banking services, it’s not a bank. SoFi partners with WSFS Bank, which handles the federally regulated lending and deposit side. The set up is common among fintech start-ups who don’t have bank charters, and instead focus on building apps and platforms for digitally savvy consumers.

Earlier this year, SoFi closed a $500 million funding round led by Qatar Investment Authority that brought the company’s valuation to $4.8 billion. To date, it has raised $2.4 billion from investors including Peter Thiel and SoftBank, according to PitchBook. SoftBank, the Japanese holding company founded and run by billionaire Masayoshi Son, has made headlines in recent weeks for its investments in controversial real estate company WeWork. That start-up has seen its $47 billion valuation challenged as it heads toward an IPO.

Noto, Twitter’s former chief operating officer and a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, took over as CEO of SoFi in March 2018. He replaced SoFi founder Mike Cagney, who was ousted amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Noto said earlier this year that going public is “not a priority” in 2019. But long-term, he said an IPO remains on the roadmap.

General Catalyst to bring in veteran software executive

The investment firm General Catalyst is bringing on longtime software executive Lou Shipley as an adviser. Shipley was most recently chief executive …

INVESTMENTS

General Catalyst to bring in veteran software executive

The investment firm General Catalyst is bringing on longtime software executive Lou Shipley as an adviser. Shipley was most recently chief executive of Black Duck Software in Burlington, which sold to the tech giant Synopsys Inc. in 2017 for $565 million. Shipley left the combined company last year. He’ll be part of General Catalyst’s “executive in residence” program, which brings in seasoned company leaders to help guide startups that have received funding from the company, evaluate new business opportunities, and perhaps create new companies. “It’s amazing how similar many of the problems are that companies have. Everybody has the same problems,” said Shipley, who will work with enterprise software companies on bringing their products to the market. “This is a really interesting and flexible and creative way to work with a good group of people that are really successful and smart both as operators and investors.” Shipley joins current program members Kirk Arnold, Stephan Dietrich, Tom Ebling, Jonathan Klein, and Yuchun Lee. Governor Charlie Baker is a former member of the executive program. — ANDY ROSEN

MEDIA

Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad angers the corn lobby

Bud Light’s Super Bowl campaign called out competitors that use corn syrup — and the corn lobby is not happy about it. In Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ads, a medieval crew delivers a cask of unwanted corn syrup to Miller Lite and Coors Light. Bud Light used “brewed with no corn syrup” on its ads for the night. The National Corn Growers Association tweeted at Bud Light that “America’s corn farmers are disappointed in you. Our office is right down the road! We would love to discuss with you the many benefits of corn! Thanks @MillerLightand @CoorsLite for supporting our industry.” Anheuser-Busch said it “fully supports” corn growers and will continue to invest in the industry. “Bud Light’s Super Bowl commercials are only meant to point out a key difference in Bud Light from some other light beers,” it said in a statement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

GAMBLING

FanDuel loses $5m on first legal Super Bowl bets in New Jersey

FanDuel Inc. reported losses of $5 million on Sunday’s Super Bowl — suggesting the first big test of New Jersey’s nascent sports-betting business was better for customers than bookies. More than 75 percent of the money was bet on the favored New England Patriots, which beat the Los Angeles Rams in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. Many customers also took advantage of an introductory offer that gave them favorable odds. But if you took the 53-1 they offered on either team, the payoff was in store credit. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

LABOR

New Jersey latest state to boost minimum wage to $15 an hour

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New Jersey became the latest state on Monday to boost its hourly minimum wage to $15 after Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a measure phasing in the higher rate over five years. Murphy signed the bill alongside Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver and Democratic legislative leaders at a raucous event in Elizabeth where advocates cheered, ‘‘Ready for 15,’’ carried banners with their union affiliation and applauded loudly once the bill was signed. New Jersey joins California, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia in phasing in the higher rate. The $15 wage is a prominent policy goal of left-leaning groups, as well as the fulfillment of a key campaign promise by Murphy. The bill raises the current $8.85 minimum wage to $10 an hour in July, and then increases the rate by $1 in subsequent years until it reaches $15 in 2024 — but not for all workers. Farm workers’ wages will climb to $12.50 over five years, for example. Workers for small businesses and seasonal employees will only see their minimum wage reach $15 an hour in 2026. Tipped workers, who currently have a minimum hourly wage of $2.13, will see it climb to $5.13 an hour by 2024. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUTOMOTIVE

General Motors begins laying off white-collar workers

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General Motors is starting to lay off about 4,300 white-collar workers worldwide this week. In November, the company said it wanted to cut 8,000 salaried and contract workers so it can raise profit margins and invest more in autonomous and electric vehicles. The company says 2,200 white-collar employees took buyouts, while another 1,500 contract workers were let go. Many of the layoffs will happen at GM’s technical center near Detroit. Most work on components for internal combustion engines and discontinued car models. GM also plans to close one Canadian and four US car factories, shedding another 5,000 jobs. But 2,700 US workers will be offered jobs at other factories. GM says the layoffs are part of a restructuring will add up to $2.5 billion to its bottom line this year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AVIATION

Chicago tops Atlanta as busiest US airport in 2018

O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was the busiest airport in the United States in 2018, surpassing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the first time in four years. The Federal Aviation Administration released data on Monday showing that O’Hare had more than 903,000 arrivals and departures during 2018. Atlanta’s airport was second, with more than 895,000 arrivals and departures. Los Angeles International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Denver International Airport round out the top five. O’Hare last held the top spot in 2014. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

FAST FOOD

Papa John’s looks to activist investment firm to engineer turnaround

Struggling pizza company Papa John’s has turned to activist investment firm Starboard Value to help it engineer a turnaround. Starboard CEO Jeff Smith will become chairman of Papa John’s board. Also named to the board are Anthony Sanfilippo, the former chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., and Steve Ritchie, Papa John’s current CEO. Smith was the chairman of the board at Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden chain, from 2014-2016. Papa John’s said Monday that Starboard Value will invest $200 million in the chain through the purchase of new convertible preferred shares. Starboard has the option to purchase up to $50 million additional shares by the end of March. Franchisees also have the option to purchase the shares. Papa John’s, which was founded in 1984, has 5,000 restaurants in 45 countries. It has been floundering after a series of missteps by its founder, John Schnatter, who blamed disappointing sales on NFL player protests and used the N-word during a company conference call. Schnatter stepped down as CEO in late 2017 and resigned as chairman last July. He still owns around one-third of the company’s shares. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INTERNATIONAL

EU investigators visit Poland after reports that meat from sick cows was exported

European Union investigators began a weeklong visit to Poland on Monday after reports that sick cows were illegally slaughtered and their meat exported to more than a dozen countries. Poland is a major exporter of beef and the revelation has sparked concerns across Europe, particularly since some of the suspect beef was distributed to restaurants and schools. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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