Category Archives: Sports

Let the Games Begin #London2012

The #London2012 Olympic stadium, via @VisitBritain on Twitter.

As the final touches are made to the Olympic venues in and around London, let’s take a tour of the insurance stories ahead of Friday’s opening ceremonies.

It should come as no surprise that insurers and reinsurers play an important role in providing billions of dollars in risk coverage for this sporting display that brings together more than 10,000 athletes from some 200 different nations.

Munich Re is shouldering a significant share of the risk in the event of the abandonment, interruption, delay or relocation of the 2012 Games.

Direct from Munich Re’s website, Andrew Duxbury, underwriting manager at Munich Re in London, explains:

Munich Re carries a substantial portion of this risk. If the Games were called off, Munich Re would provide cover of around ┚ ¬350 million [$425.5 million] through several policies. Guaranteeing this amount of cover requires not just financial strength, but also the necessary expertise to allow the risk to be assessed and managed in the best possible way.”

Over at Insurance Journal, an article by Lee Tookey, head of Aviation Reinsurance, Space and Specialty Lines, for Aspen Re speaks to the challenges insurers face in the transmission of the Games to the world.

New technology will allow the live broadcast of sporting events via mobile devices to viewers around the world. There are concerns about whether or not satellites and cellular networks will be able to meet the expected demand.

Tookey points out:

Some events at the games – most notably the opening and closing ceremonies- are expected to attract audiences around the world numbering perhaps four billion: the insurance industry will certainly play an important role in both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial aspects of these Olympic events as they are transmitted.†

And finally, an article from Business Insurance reminds us of the importance of detailed risk management when hosting a sporting event on this scale.

Business Insurance quotes Lance Ewing, hospitality and leisure industry practice group leader at Chartis Inc as follows:

These are formidable risk exposures including health insurance, cancellations coverage, terrorism, kidnap and ransom, travel insurance and property coverage. There also are exposures surrounding the construction of event venues, dormitories and other facilities.†

London’s heightened exposure to terrorist threats during the Games is one of the main areas of concern. Â  The British government has called in extra troops, police officers and civilian security workers to help keep the Games safe for athletes and spectators.

Predicting the Super Bowl Winner

Who will win Super Bowl XLVI this Sunday?

If you’re wondering whether you should be backing the New York Giants or the New England Patriots look no further than the Super Bowl Prediction System of sports statistician John Dewan.

In his Stat of the Week, the owner of Baseball Info Solutions and co-publisher of ACTA Sports asks us to consider four things:

  1. The Patriots rank 31st in total defense (yards allowed) in the NFL this year.
  2. The Packers, another juggernaut, ranked 32nd and lost earlier in the playoffs.
  3. Defense wins championships, “they† say.
  4. The Super Bowl Prediction System loves defense.

But if you’re thinking this must mean the Patriots are going to lose making the New York Giants the next Super Bowl champs, the Super Bowl Prediction System suggests you’re wrong.

Dewan goes on to note that while the Patriots rank 31st in total yards allowed, it’s points, not yards that count in the score. In points allowed, the Patriots are in the top half of the league ranking 15th (allowing 342 points during the regular season) while the New York Giants rank 25th (allowing 400 points).

He says:

The Super Bowl Prediction System was off its game last year picking the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Green Bay Packers beat the Steelers 31-25. But the system still has a great track record. It has picked 16 of the last 21 winners (76 percent). This year, the system thinks the Patriots will avenge their Super Bowl XLII loss to the Giants.†

Dewan adds  that the Super Bowl Prediction System comprises 12 different statistical indicators and each one correctly predicts the Super Bowl winner 55-65 percent of the time. Evaluated collectively, the system is 76 percent in the last 12 games.

By the way, for those of you throwing a Super Bowl party, the I.I.I. has tips on how to be a responsible host.

Super Bowl XLV: Who Will Win?

This Sunday’s Super Bowl is nearly upon us and in keeping with our annual tradition we take a look at the prediction of sports statistician John Dewan to see if we should be cheering for the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In his Stat of the Week, the owner of Baseball Info Solutions and co-publisher of ACTA Sports says:

The betting lines currently favor the Packers, but the Super Bowl Prediction system picks the Steelers.†

Dewan’s unique Super Bowl prediction system comprises 12 different statistical indicators: five defensive, four offensive and three based on overall stats (the defensive ones are the strongest indicators overall). Each one taken by itself predicts the Super Bowl winner 55 percent to 67 percent of the time.

Taken collectively, the indicators have an even better track record. The system favors the team that wins the most indicators and it has predicted 16 of the last 20 Super Bowl winners.

This year the prediction system picks the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their seventh franchise Super Bowl and third in the last six years.

The system has the Steelers winning nine of the 12 indicators. For the record, teams with eight or more indicators have won 21 of 26 Super Bowls.

Looks like the statistical odds favor the underdog, so place your bets!

By the way, if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party, check out I.I.I. tips for being a responsible host.

World Cup Risks Supported by Insurance

The 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa begins in a week. Before a ball is struck, it’s important to note that global insurers and reinsurers are providing billions of dollars in risk protection for the event.

Munich Re reports that staging the World Cup finals is an enormous undertaking for both hosts and organizers and presents risks on every scale. The list of those requiring protection ranges from FIFA, the official organizer of the World Cup, to broadcasters, sponsors, travel firms, airlines and retailers.

In fact any party connected with the event will likely require insurance to cover their costs, expenses and profits should the event be cancelled. Munich Re observes:

The financial consequences of the event being cancelled, abandoned mid-way through or simply postponed due to a natural catastrophe or a terrorist attack are simply too great for the organizers to shoulder on their own.†

In addition to contingency cover, insurance protection against war or terrorist attack is another important protection. South Africa was among 16 countries that saw their terrorism threat level increase, according to Aon’s 2010 Terrorism Threat Map released earlier this week.

Reuters recently reported that at least $5 billion of cancellation and other insurance is in place for the 2010 World Cup, with coverage spread out among the global insurance and reinsurance marketplace.

Super Bowl XLIV: a Toss-Up

It’s Super Bowl weekend and whether you’re a Colts or a Saints fan, before you place your bets you might want to take a look at the prediction of sports statistician John Dewan. In his Stat of the Week, the owner of Baseball Info Solutions and co-publisher of ACTA Sports, says: “All the betting lines favor the Colts right now by five or six points, but in my book it’s a toss-up. If I were a betting man, I’d take the Saints and the points. But if you do that, don’t blame me if you lose. It’s that close.† Dewan’s Super Bowl prediction system comprises 12 different statistical indicators: five defensive, four offensive and three based on overall stats. The strongest indicators overall are the defensive ones and each one taken by itself predicts the Super Bowl winner 56 percent to 69 percent of the time. Taken collectively, the indicators have an even better track record. The system favors the team that wins the most indicators and it has predicted 15 of the last 19 Super Bowl winners. Not bad odds! By the way, if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party, check out I.I.I. tips for being a responsible host.

Super Bowl Odds

It’s that time of year again. The Super Bowl is upon us and if you’re wondering whether to put your money on the  Steelers or the Cardinals, you might want to take a look at the predictions of one of our favorite sports statisticians. In his Stat of the Week, John Dewan, owner of Baseball Info Solutions and co-publisher of ACTA Sports, offers a Super Bowl prediction system that comprises 12 statistical indicators: five defensive, four offensive and three based on overall stats. The strongest indicators overall are the defensive ones. Each of the 12 indicators successfully predicts the Super Bowl winner 55 percent to 68 percent of the time. Taken collectively, the indicators have an even better track record — increasing the odds of predicting  the winner to 84 percent. May the best team win! Oh, and if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party check out I.I.I. tips on being a responsible host.

‘The Best Shot in Golf’

Golfing aficionados among you might want to tune in to a documentary to be aired on CBS Saturday May 3 at 2pm, ET, illustrating how the 1,500-foot aerial shot has become an essential part of how CBS Sports covers the PGA Tour. Presented by MetLife, The Best Shot in Golf, will show how the MetLife blimp, Snoopy One, provides a birds eye view combining both the beauty of the courses with a unique above the ground view of the game. Whether it’s the nomadic journey of the 14-person MetLife Snoopy One crew, or the CBS broadcast team on the ground, it’s a fascinating process. From the rugged beauty of California’s Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines, to the low-lying resorts at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the documentary will take viewers behind the scenes to see how dramatic golf shots are captured.

Risking the Super Bowl

We can’t let the week go by without mentioning this weekend’s Super Bowl game. Whether your money is on the Patriots or the Giants, a few risk management tips appear to be in order. Before you head out to the game or switch on the TV Sunday, bear in mind that a study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that viewing a stressful soccer match more than doubles the risk of an acute cardiovascular event. Researchers examined the relation between emotional stress and the incidence of cardiovascular events during the FIFA World Cup held in Germany in the summer of 2006. The findings suggest the risk is higher in men, than in women, and particularly in men with known coronary heart disease. In view of this excess risk, researchers say preventive measures are urgently needed. Meanwhile, for those throwing a Super Bowl party, the I.I.I. offers tips for being a responsible host. The day of the big game is also one of the most dangerous days to be on the road as too many impaired drivers make their way home after the party. Making sure your gathering includes a number of designated drivers is the way to go.  

MLB Champ Forecast

With the World Series all but upon us, we happily give away the pen for today’s posting to I.I.I. executive vice president and resident baseball expert Cary Schneider for his take on the 2007 postseason finale: “Defying all odds, the team with the fewest wins among all the division champs went on to win the World Series last year. So predicting the outcome of the World Series is a riskier task than ever. Rather than speculate on which team should win, I prefer to identify the team that should lose. My overwhelming pick is the sentimental favorite, the Chicago Cubs. After all, they have not been in the fall classic since 1945 and have not won one since 1908.  I believe the team’s historic futility must continue. A Cubs victory in the World Series would alter the natural balance of the universe, the laws of physics as well as all established actuarial principles, particularly Simpson’s Paradox of Confounding Variables.  Besides, I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan.  World Series winner?  Anyone but the Cubs.†Ã‚  

Beckham Arrives

Move over baseball, here comes David Beckham. In case you hadn’t heard, one of the world’s leading footballers (I mean soccer players) arrived in Los Angeles last night and will be officially introduced as an LA Galaxy player today. Beckham has his work cut out. The stats show that soccer, with an estimated 14 million participants, lags behind other sports in the U.S. in terms of participation rates. However, injury rates tell a different story. According to a CDC-sponsored study, boys’ (2.43 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures) and girls’ (2.36) soccer had the third and fourth highest injury rates among nine high school sports in the 2005-2006 school year. In each sport, the injury rate was higher in competition than practice settings. For more on sports participation and injuries, check out I.I.I. facts & stats.