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If you look back through history, you will notice that the kind of pastimes people engaged in was very different from what we do with our free time now. In the 21st century, there is a common notion of ‘work hard, play hard’ that tends to run through a lot of us. Many of us work long hours in challenging jobs, so by the time the weekend comes around, we want to celebrate – and more often than not, that means going out drinking, partying and socializing. There’s nothing at all wrong with this, of course. Going out with friends is healthy, and it can often be in your best interests to let your hair down every so often. But if you entertain yourself in this manner week in, week out, you may soon find that it starts to become a little monotonous. Humans are complex creatures, and we need a rich range of stimuli to feed our intricate minds. In days gone by, hobbies would tend to be more refined and more interesting as a result. If you feel the need to add a little more flair to your personal life and have something to look forward to other than going on a big night out, here are some refined hobbies you may want to consider taking up.
Art and photography
If self-expression is your thing, there’s no better way to embrace your cultured side than by getting into art and photography. Art can make you see the world differently and requires you to look for meaning in every frame – so it’s a great way to broaden the mind and think creatively. Consider purchasing pieces from a company such as Sulis Fine Art so that you can surround yourself with stunning art right at home. If you’re interested in the more practical side of things, rather than merely appreciating the art, entry level DSLR cameras are relatively cheap and can still produce some amazingly HD images.
It sometimes seems like the mark of every refined gentleman is a well-stocked whiskey cupboard or a wine cellar. Whatever your tipple of choice is, buying, selling and tasting alcohol is a classy hobby that people world over still do today. It may also give you a new appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into each bottle, rather than just downing the cheapest drink you spot at the bar! Invest in some quality glassware so that when your friends come round, you can share your hobby with them and socialize over one of your favorite drinks.
For centuries, sport has been considered a refined hobby due to its emphasis on discipline, teamwork, and skill. If you are looking for a hobby that can keep your focus and allow you to indulge in a bit of ‘me time,’ why not pick up something like golf or tennis? These sports are typically played individually or in pairs, which means you may find it more relaxing than playing in a large group. You may also want to take it right back to the olden days with an elegant sport such as fencing – it’s certainly unique if nothing else!
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If you love sports and sporting events, but also like to enjoy the finer things in life, then it can often be hard to find things that will combine the two. Heading to a rodeo and munching on boiled peanuts is hardly going to be classed as luxury. So if you’re looking for some fun sporting events to experience that are a playground for the rich and famous, then how about these?
Monaco Grand Prix
A list of luxury sporting events would never be complete without including the jewel in the Mediterranean coastline; the Monaco Grand Prix. At the end of May, the coastline sparkles with many rich and famous people coming to see the unique race around the city. It helps that it always seems to coincide with the end of the Cannes film festival, to make sure you get a list of A-listers at the event. The place itself is stunning, with many luxury hotels, yacht parties, and helicopter charters to fly over the course. The area is perfect for boating, so could be worth looking for a professional boating school, so that you could take a boat out when you’re there. Being on a boat can be one of the best ways to see the race.
A fancy sports list has got to have Wimbledon on it. The tennis event is just much more luxurious than any other. Whether it is the dress code, or that you can munch on strawberries and cream and sip on champagne when watching, it just screams luxury and always attracts celebrities and even British royalty each year. You can still enjoy the atmosphere sitting on the ‘Murray Mound’ by just purchasing a day ticket and watching on big screens. You can still get the strawberries and cream, though, so totally worth it too.
Golf has often had the reputation of being quite exclusive and elitist. So it would make sense that a golf tournament might be a bit more luxurious than a baseball game, right? The Masters is held in Augusta, Georgia, each year, and one thing that makes it the most exclusive and luxury event is that it can’t be filmed or even tweeted about when you’re there. So it does have an air of exclusivity about it. You could watch the tournament at the National Golf Course. But there are many other golf courses in the area if you want to play rather than just watch.
Boxing in Las Vegas
Big boxing matches, often held in Las Vegas, can be big money matches. With the likes of Jay-Z and Clint Eastwood often being spotted at various fights. Tickets can completely, depending on who is in the fight. For one of Mayweather’s last fights, the cost for a ticket was around $70,000! But there is the added element of placing a wager on the fight if you can afford the high ticket price. So it can be added to your list of luxury sporting events, for sure.
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We all know that one person who, at school, would always find excuses not to join the PE lesson. Whether they faked a cough to avoid the swimming pool or pretending that their imaginary asthma kept them from racing, they always had a way to stay away from sports. Maybe you can’t help but chuckle as you try to imagine the kind of excuse they would be giving today, as a grownup: From an appointment with the banker to pretending that they are in the middle of an important call, anything is possible. Yet, have you ever considered that there is more to sports than just exercising, and that, more important, people who didn’t like sports at school may be enthusiastic fans of their local basketball team? It is always an odd realization to think that you can hate doing sports but love watching it and following anything related to it at the same time. But it is nonetheless true: Every non-sporty people can get hooked on sports. So how does it happen?
Watching sports on TV
The Thrill Of The Action
Watching sports is a roller-coaster of emotions and excitement. You don’t need to be on the field to be part of the feeling. Therefore, whether they rely on their TAB app, or they choose to share a pizza with friends in front of the TV. For many, watching a game – whether it is basketball, golf, wrestling, or even hockey, to name a few of them – is the catalyst of deep and strong emotions. It is about wanting your team to win, feeling exhilarated with each point they score, and cheering with them at the end of the game. What non-sporty people like, sometimes, it’s not the game, it’s the emotional journey they go through as they watch; it’s the uncertainty of who is going to win.
They Join Digital Matches
There is another side to sports that most people don’t think about: Sports can be digital too. For years, you’ve probably come across video games that are inspired by the football world cup or the NBA games. This enables non-sporty people to become their favorite player, for the duration of a match, and to live the thrill of the moment. But it’s not all: digital sports have taken such a big part in the world economy, that the concept of eSports has brought new players to the video console. Indeed, competitive video gaming is now a thing that is accepted as a form of sport – in its loose sense. What this means is that expert geeks and nerds are now playing their favorite video game in front of a live audience. They are sporty while still sitting on the sofa.
The Admiration For The Skills
Last, but not least, there is a natural sense of admiration that people develop for their favorite athletes. The athlete, the professional player is more than someone who is just very good at sports – which is what it should boil down to – they become heroes. An athlete, indeed, shows a perfect control of their body, as it is their work instrument. But the athlete also displays a sense of fair play, a form of humility, and a sense of generosity with other players that go well beyond the scale of body practice. It seems, for a lot of non-sporty watchers, that athletes have a sane and admirable mind in a fit and admirable body. What’s not to like?
Runners help a fellow runner complete the marathon
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While sports are a great hobby we can do in our spare time, there’s nothing better than getting to do them for a week or two. After all, you can sharpen up your skills. And one sporting holiday which can tick all the boxes is a golfing holiday. After all, you get to try and score a hole in one while soaking up the beautiful weather. And you can often have amazing surroundings while you are playing. And it’s a social sport with plenty of time for chit chat with your family! However, if you are going to go on a golfing holiday, you need to ensure you pack some essentials. In fact, here are a few items you must remember to pack when you are headed on a golfing holiday.
A lot of people choose to go somewhere really hot for their golfing holiday. After all, there is nothing better than pitching while enjoying the glorious sunshine. But if you are going to be out all day in the hot sun, you need to make sure you protect yourself. After all, the hot sun could cause you to get sun stroke. And if you have no sun protection, you could even end up with a burnt scalp. Therefore, you must pack good headwear which will protect you when you are out in the sun. That way, you can enjoy hours out in the sunshine without risking a burnt head! And remember to get a good pair of sunnies so you can still have a clear view when it’s your turn to swing your clubs!
A sturdy golf bag
It’s likely you will want to take your own clubs on holiday with you. After all, it can feel weird using someone else’s when you are golfing abroad. And it can be expensive if you do have to rent them from a golfing resort. However, if you decide to take your own, you need to ensure you get a sturdy golf bag which will keep them safe on the flight over. After all, you don’t want them to get damaged! Therefore, make sure you have a good look online for the different bags available. In fact, if you look on sites like GolfBagsHub.com, you can find a good range of bags which are perfect for traveling. And make sure you check any weight limits before packing your golf clubs. After all, you don’t want to be charged an excess fee!
It’s easy to just pack flip flops when you are going on your holiday. After all, you don’t want your feet to overheat in that warm country. But as it says on http://golftravel.about.com/, to ensure you play golf properly while you are on your hol, make sure you don’t forget your golfing shoes. After all, you want to be comfortable and free from pain Otherwise, if you are in the wrong shoes, it might cause you to have a poor game. And remember to always pick a pair which are moisture-wicking. After all, it’s likely your feet will get hot and sweaty while playing in a foreign country.
And remember to check if there is a dress code at the resort. While some places are happy for you to play in shorts and a t-shirt, others can require formal wear!
Co-founder of zenruption
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Every parent knows how difficult it can be to get their child out of the house and active. With so much entertainment going on inside – think the internet, Playstation, and television – it’s a hard sell to say to your child, ‘why not go out into the cold and throw a ball around’ and then expect them to agree to it. If you’re able to get your child interested in a sport, however, then there won’t be a battle – they’ll go out there and play because they want to. And isn’t that the dream?
Let Them Decide
But of course, you can’t hand your child a football and expect them to take to it instantly. You have to let your child decide on their own which sport they’re naturally drawn to. If they express an interest, then sign them up for a taster training session. It might only take an hour before they realize they’re hooked, or they discover it’s not for them, and there’s been no great loss.
When they do find a sport they like, don’t instantly rush to buy all the equipment or make that sport their whole life. Start slow. Think of a passion for a new sport as a planted seed; it needs to be watered and given time and space to develop. If you get ahead of yourself, you might find that any interest they had in the sport has been quickly erased before it even began. Essentially you should adopt a cautious, casual approach until you know they’re interested in it.
Make It Fun
At the beginning of their sporting journey, the best thing you can do is to make it fun for them. Regardless of what the sport is, you should forget about making it competitive – save that for later, when they want to test their skills against others. On warm summer days, you can host silly games between the family, in which the objective is to have fun playing the game with just a hint of competitiveness. For example, if they’re a budding cricket player then look at buying cricket trophies and hand them out to whoever wins. Nothing breeds passion more than having a good time!
The Right Encouragement
In the early days you’ll be taking a backseat and letting the sport get its grips into your child, but eventually there’ll come a day where you need to offer some gentle encouragement. How you handle this might affect your child’s sporting future, so tread carefully. Come on too strong and you run the risk of sapping the fun out of the game; don’t offer enough robust encouragement and it’s possible they’ll let the sport drift away when really they should still be playing it.
If you have multiple children, then a good tactic is to introduce a game that everyone can play. If everyone enjoys it they won’t even see it as playing sport – they’ll just be having fun with their siblings; only you will know how active they’re being!
Also contributor at leading business site zenruption
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The term eSports still hasn’t made it into the mainstream vocabulary just yet. It’s getting there, and some outsiders have heard about people sat in gaming chairs, headphones on, controller’s lodged in their hands. Oh, yeah, your computer can do more than just browse stuff. Don’t worry, with eSports set to break the $1Billion mark in the next couple of years, the mainstream will start hearing a lot more about this huge business.
If you work in marketing, however, well, you’re most probably sick of the word eSports because it has been buzzing around the industry for a little while now, and it is a buzz that is only getting louder. There are no two ways about that. That’s because eSports isn’t new, it isn’t a fad, it isn’t one of these easy come, easy go trends like Pokemon Go. No. It is a full blown disruptive phenomenon.
It is proving to be a mega-business, far bigger than anyone could have ever expected, and it is single-handedly changing the face of both entertainment and culture thanks to the growing popularity it has among young people. It has grabbed their attention, shaken it with both hands and refused to let go.
What’s more, big brands are now getting involved because they’ve seen what an influence it has. Intel was the first big name and that has had the longest running sponsorship deal, but other brands, like Taco Bell, are also getting involved too. But before we get into why and who, let’s get stuck into some facts first.
What Is eSports?
In its most basic form, eSports is competitive video gaming being broadcast to a live audience. The first part of that statement, the gaming competitions, is nothing new. What is, however, is the size of the audiences that watch these competitions, which has radically exploded thanks to the growing sophistication of Windows VPS and the advancements broadband streaming.
How Big Is eSports?
In a word, huge. The fact it has managed to stay under the radar of mainstream entertainment is somewhat shocking because the leading eSports streaming site, Twitch.tv, snatches more peak traffic than any other online site, bar Google, Apple, and Netflix.
Yup, Twitch.tv stands at number four in the rankings, ahead of YouTube. Way ahead of YouTube,
actually. To give it a figure, Twitch.tv commands 45% more views than YouTube with users watching 420 minutes of competitive gaming each and every month. That’s the average. When it comes to the big game days, things like League Of Legends, all we can say is ‘wow’ because the only event that commands a larger live audience is the Super Bowl.
What Is Attracting Marketers To eSports?
The thing that has marketers rubbing their hands together is this idea of co-creation. It is something that live streaming has that makes it more attractive to those brands that are looking for places in which they can market themselves. Let’s take the popular site of Twitch.tv as a prime example.
When you open up Twitch in your browser and watch a game, you’ll see gamers sharing a screen that is being streamed by the broadcaster, you will also see a video of the broadcaster, which is usually made up of a pretty emotive and hysterical experience. But what makes the whole thing super important to a marketer is the live chat window. This is where the real action is; questions, answers, debates, suggestions, discussions and reactions. This is where the idea of co-creation comes in.
By having a live chat stream allows users to interact with the other fans and the other viewers, and from this, they can learn. That’s pretty cool. That’s where a streamer really gains in popularity because they take the time to explain a decision, what they did and why they did it. What’s more, though, the live chat also allows users to influence the decisions made by the
streamers. That’s the key.
The ability to influence decisions is what sets eSports apart from other forms of entertainment. It is this idea of social involvement that makes it active consumption, and that is is what makes it a co-creation experience.
Which Are Brands Already In?
This is somewhat similar to those life experiences where you and your mates are totally up for doing something, you’re just waiting for one of you to go first. Like you’re all sat at the top of a vert pipe on your skateboards, you’re just waiting for one of you to drop in. Saying that there are some big names already attached to the world of eSports.
Intel has been on board since 2006, and throughout that time it has focussed on sponsoring the Extreme Masters, which has a bunch of different titles playing in this tournament. In fact, it’s reach and influence in this industry has become so successful in terms of marketing that they get hundreds of thousands of people coming to their stage events every time they hold one.
Coca-Cola has been a major sponsor of a League Of Legends for a few years too, and through this, it has organically built a healthy reputation. This includes the Twitter handle @CokeeSports
becoming the brand’s second biggest social media account after @cocacola, not to mention the brands venture into a collaboration with IGN, together launching eSports Weekly.
These aren’t the only two big name brands that have seen the potential of eSports, though. Red Bull, Taco Bell, ESPN, and loads more are building their brands through their involvement within the eSports community.
Which Startups Should You Be Watching?
Okay, we have mentioned Twitch.tv, and from what we have said it is to think that this is already an established business, but it is still booming. It is still growing and expanding and breaking down walls of what is considered to be eSports.
Reddit is another one, given that it is a hub that is cherished and celebrated by communities that have mutual passion-points. That is where it’s eSports bridge comes in because hundreds of thousands of people spend hours each and every day discussing their favorite games, videos, live streams and more.
The last one on our list is Kamcord. In essence, what Twitch has done to desktop gaming, Kamcord is trying to do to the world of mobile gaming. What’s more, all early signs seem to be good because there are millions and millions of users already enjoying this platform, with the average stream time per person per day standing at around the twenty-minute mark.