NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Football
Gayle and Tom Benson started GMB Racing just two years ago. In that short of time, their first group of thoroughbreds reaped two spots in the Kentucky Derby – the Super Bowl of horse racing. To be this successful, so early, is practically unheard of in the sport.
By contrast, Benson bought the New Orleans Saints from John Mecom in 1985 and it was 25 years later that his football team won Super Bowl 44 in Miami.
While it's crazy to think how long it took to win the Lombardi, the "The Run for the Roses" invite came very quickly.
Mo Tom and Tom's Ready still have some work to do at Churchill Downs to grab the title in a packed field. It's fairly certain they'll be underdogs, but so were Drew Brees and Sean Payton in 2010 going up against the Colts.
During the U.S. 2018 World Cup qualifier last week against Guatemala, a banner flew overhead calling for the U.S. to fire coach Jurgen Klinsmann. It could have been attributed to growing frustration with an under-performing team, or expectations may have simply been too high.
Either way, the Stars and Stripes roster is aging, and needs a youth movement. Reliance on the Clint Dempseys and Michael Bradleys could hamper this team in 2018. A good start was 17-year-old Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund getting playing time at the end of the match.
The 4-0 win over Guatemala was nice, but it doesn't erase the embarrassing 2-0 defeat to the same team just four days earlier. Yes, the win jumped the U.S. into second place ahead of Guatemala by one point in their qualifying group. The top two teams will advance to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.
U.S. fans should rightfully expect more from their national team. Losses against inferior talent are starting to mount – just look at Jamaica in the Gold Cup last summer. Younger players could undoubtedly serve this team well going forward.
Now just put that on a banner.
Not too long ago, restaurants used traditional media like TV and newspapers to get their messages out. But the digital experience, and specifically social media, has quickly changed the game for the industry.
A prime example of this is Root, the fine-dining establishment opened in 2011 by co-owner Max Ortiz and Executive Chef Phillip Lopez. The team put all its capital into food, forgoing those traditional advertising dollars and relying solely on word of mouth.
"The reality was that we didn't have it in our budget to afford advertising," said Ortiz. "We had to rely on the press we received. We weren't on anyone's radar, so we decided that we would just have to put out a better product than anyone else. Try to be better at everything we do. The service and food would have to speak for themselves."
And word got out quickly on this new venture. The creative menu put together by Lopez had social media abuzz. It was only a matter of time that word started to circulate among the masses.
"I think social media has exploded, especially in the last five years. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, they're all good means to get your message out," says Ortiz. "You rely on your guests to have a good experience and then to publicize it for you. In many ways, it's more effective than advertising – nothing is stronger than word of mouth."
"You come in, you have a great experience, first thing you're going to do is tell your friends about it and post pictures on social media, and then it starts spreading like wildfire," says Ortiz. "We treat every single guest like they're a food critic."
More than four years later, Root is still a hot spot for this restaurant-crazy city. Now the formula is to keep them coming back over and over again.
The team of Lopez and Ortiz also owns Square Root, and Part & Parcel Delicatessen. The deli is aiming for a May opening in South Market District.