It wasn’t long ago that do-it-yourself Swedish furniture maker IKEA didn’t dominate the world of yuppy interior design. Okay, that’s not true, IKEA has had that market cornered for a long time but it was only recently that they moved into home manufacture itself. BoKlok Homes (a partnership between IKEA and Swedish construction firm Skanska) have been building homes in Sweden for a little over ten years and are now moving to the UK. A BoKlok (Swedish for smart living) development in Gateshead has already been approved and their British partners, Smart @ Home are very optimistic about becoming “a major provider of housing in Britain.” Pictured here is the original architect’s mock-up used to get planning permission for the development.
These houses actually seem pretty cool, they are all prefabricated pieces that can be assembled in a day cutting down in a big way on the waste associated with on-site construction. In addition to being less polluting on-site, BoKlok houses are also made of sustainable and durable materials. Perhaps most importantly, these houses are going to be filling a sorely-missed niche in the British housing market as property prices all over the country have soared astronomically in the past decade leaving most low-income families with very few options.
Global warming isn’t happening quite fast enough for sun-seeking Americans who have been moving to sunny Southern California and Florida at such rates that the property prices haven’t had time to catch up. “Business Week”:http://businessweek.com recently put out a special report about the 274 most appreciative zip codes in America. Quite why they’re appreciative is unclear, and there’s certainly no real understanding as to why they chose 274, but in an equally random number choice, here are the top 11 and here is a “link to the report.”:http://www.businessweek.com/investing/special_reports/20070302luxuryreal.htm
The BBC ran an “article”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6355593.stm four days ago about an upcoming conference to be held in Japan aimed at overturning the global ban on commercial whaling. Since the ban, which went into effect in 1982, Japan and other countries have continued whaling under the auspices of scientific research. Environmental groups have been trying to close this loop hole of “scientific” whaling, pointing to the fact that whales captured for scientific purposes are sold on the same markets that used to sell commercially hunted whale. The practice of whaling was one of the first successful bans in the ecological movement and it’s hardly a wonder to anyone with a brain why it should be banned. These creatures tend to not have more than 1 calf every 2-3 years and it takes 15 years for a single humpback to reach maturity. Clearly this is one link in the food chain we can’t afford to lose.
In a move straight out of George Bush”s playbook, Sony has declared the format war between HD-DVD and Sony”s BluRay. Apparently BluRay outsold HD-DVD 2 to 1 in January and are using the numbers to declare their platform to be the victor of this quick, Sumo-like clash of the titans. I didn”t actually think of this story, or the analogy, both come from the irreverent technology news site “the Inquirer”:http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=37592 .
Liverpool soccer club has just been sold to American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks. The pair already own a number of sports franchises with Hicks owning the NHL”s Dallas Stars and Major League Baseball”s Texas Rangers and Gillett owning the Montreal Canadiens. This whole affair begs the question: who the hell becomes a sports franchise tycoon? They don”t make a video game for that.
Deloitte”s Football Money League is an annual report of the highest grossing soccer clubs. Here are this year”s rankings for the top 10:
Interesting things to note about this year”s rankings are that Spain”s La Liga has the two top spots but no other presence at all. It”s also hard to ignore the over-representation of English Premiership teams with Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
From a marketing perspective and on the court, Miami Heat superstar Dwayne Wade is on track to be the ONE to take on Jordan’s throne. I’ve said it before about other promising up and comers, so don’t take my word for it, but watching Wade play you have to feel it.
Winning the NBA Finals MVP in 2006, this 3-time All Star’s basketball credentials are perfect, but what really makes you sit back and take note though is the rapidity with which he is moving far beyond Wade the basketball star to a marketing icon. In addition to gracing the cover of GQ last November, Wade is leading the Converse comeback under new Nike ownership as well as cross-branding with T-Mobile and Lincoln. Maybe he’s not making as much as Jordan did in sponsorships, but remember, he’s still 25.
Maybe it’s just my wanting to see a new king crowned in the NBA, but I think Dwayne Wade has what it takes. Check out all of Wade’s commercials