The communication services sector is making a change accessible via exchange-traded funds such as the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE: XLC).
In 2017, index providers S&P Dow Jones and MSCI stated that it would be creating the communication services sector. This will be a new look on the telecommunications sector that includes well-established telecom companies as well as companies formerly classified as consumer discretionary and or technology names.
While communication services is not a new sector, it carries with it a new look compared to the previously overblown telecommunications sector with the addition of some well-known growth stocks from the consumer discretionary and technology sectors. That does not mean traditional telecom stocks will benefit from the sector shift.
Dow component Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) are the telecom stocks in the communications services sector.
“The telecom sector has been the biggest loser among the S&P’s 11 major sectors with a 4.4-percent decline so far in 2018, driven by AT&T’s 13.3-percent drop. In comparison, many of the other companies joining the group have shown strong gains for the year with Netflix rising 91.5 percent, Twitter (TWTR.N) rising 21.7 percent and Alphabet rising 10.8 percent,” according to Reuters.
Inside the Telecom Stocks Sector, Verizon is a top 10 holding in XLC.
XLC is the first ETF sole built for the new communication services sector. The new ETF follows the Communication Services Select Sector Index and “seeks to provide precise exposure to companies from the media, retailing, and software & services industries in the U.S.,” according to State Street Global Advisors (SsgA).
“But many active investors may still ignore telecom stocks, which are typically viewed as defensive investments because of slower, though relatively predictable, growth rates and high dividends,” according to Reuters. “Instead, they may look to the faster-growing internet or media companies for exposure to the growth-oriented communications sector.”
Investors See New Opportunity In Sports Technology: Cognitive Tech Industry Worth $7.5 Billion & This Company Has The Winning Strategy
It may seem like stating the obvious but for athletes of all skill levels, there is always room for improvement, and right now investors could have the opportunity to score big. An individual’s athletic ability is traditionally measured by their speed, strength, agility, and endurance. Rarely is one’s cognitive development taken into consideration with their capacity to perform.
Take, for example, a Major League Baseball player, standing at home plate, ferociously awaiting their home-run pitch. From the time the pitcher throws a 95-mph fastball until it gets to the plate is roughly 430 milliseconds. On average, it takes 150 milliseconds for a Major Leaguer to get their bat around, leaving tens of milliseconds on the middle to decree whether to swing or not.
If the batter manages to connect with the ball, it’s based on the player’s years in developing the processing speed and reaction time needed to hit that ball; both are factors of cognitive development. Cognitive assessment technology for professional athletic development represents a multi-billion dollar industry that is piping hot with investor opportunities. As athletes recognize a never-before-seen realm of competitive edge over their opponents, one company, in particular, has what it takes to get ahead of the ball and connect.
ESPN Says That This Is A True First! XSport Global, Inc. (XSPT) Knows The Future Of Peak Performance & Investors Could Score Big Points!
Every seasoned athlete knows that every sport, be it basketball or golf, is ultimately a test of cognition. When we watch NBA players like Lebron James hit a game-winning 3-pointer or professional golfers like Tiger Woods putt their way to a PGA trophy, rarely do we consider their mental toughness and ability to perform under stress.
Enter XSport Global, Inc. (XSPT). This company is leading the cognitive assessment technology industry as they seek to further the success of high-performance athletes around the world through “leading sciences, innovative technologies, and pioneering digital media.”
The opportunity that XSport (XSPT) presents right now could be unparalleled as the market is wide open for this technology to take hold. Keep in mind that all of this is happening while XSport is showing no signs of slowing down. In September 2017, XSport (XSPT) strategically acquired Head Trainer, Inc; an innovative tech company focused on improving cognitive functioning for high-performance athletes through the use of their user-friendly mobile applications.
ESPN Senior Writer, Darren Rovell said[i] the HeadTrainer app “is the first sports-based app and offers to train the brain in the areas of focus and concentration, visual and spatial awareness, processing speed, memory, and decision-making.”
But unlike other sports technology and app development companies, HeadTrainer already has a laundry list of athletes endorsing the technology! Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jose Bautista, golfer Rickie Fowler, racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., football player Richard Sherman, and soccer player Alex Morgan, among others, are endorsing the new tool.
“Everyone is looking for that edge there’s only so far you can go with talent and your physical traits…The mental part of the game is the hardest to explain because you can feel it and, the sense was that until now you couldn’t practice it like having pitches thrown to you or fielding fly balls.”
– Jose Bautista, Philadelphia Phillies
Brain Training Is Important, And Investors Should Pay Attention Now
XSport (XSPT), through the acquisition of Head Trainer, Inc. and their powerful mobile app, is creating an opportunity for athletes around the world to reach their full potential and take rise above the competition in their sports.
As the awareness of brain fitness rises among individuals and professional athletes, the demand for cognitive development technology increases. According to their official website, the Head Trainer app is designed to “engage and improve cognitive skills in five key area: Focus/Concentration, Visual-Spatial Awareness, Decision Making, Memory and Processing Speed.”
Cognitive skills are the core skills that the brain uses to think, learn, and, in the case of sports, perform. If professional athletes want to strengthen their game, they need to strengthen their mind, and the Head Trainer App, backed by XSport, is the key to unlocking an athlete’s peak mental capacity.
According to a recent market research report[ii] published by cognitive assessment industry professionals, the global assessment and training market is set to grow from $1.98 billion in 2018 to $8.06 billion by 2021, at a “Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.3%. Current cognitive training systems are generally designed for non-athletic training where a subject is in a calm, quiet environment. Along including traditional sight and touch cognitive training modules, XSport (XSPT), by contrast, is building its technology around replicating a true sporting event environment.
For instance, XSport (XSPT) can incorporate outside and background noise in future releases. By utilizing headphones with environment-specific, programmed noise, audio tracks, and prompts, the company has created its product with an integrated audio track, sight, touch, and sound training systems that allows the athlete to train in an environment that is similar to the actual competition. This fact alone could set XSport (XSPT) above and beyond its competition.
And the writing could already be on the wall for investors. The Brain Health Devices Market is expected to have a profoundly favorable outlook for the next five years 2018-2026 according to a recently released Brain Health Devices Market research report[iii]. Part of this growth is expected to be fueled by significant market developments like mergers and acquisitions. Big deals are already being struck.
For example, Vivity Labs Inc., the makers of Fit Brains Trainer, which offers a suite of brain-training exercises, was acquired by Rosetta Stone for $12 million[iv]. And though full details have not been disclosed, Hachette Livre, a company that delivered revenue of €2.289B in 2017, acquired a majority stake in Brainbow, which created its brain training application for non-sports based cognitive education[v].
The momentum is evident, and now XSport (XSPT) could be presenting a unique opportunity in the market specifically for cognitive function in sports applications.
Know Thy Self, Know Thy Enemy. A Thousand Battles, A Thousand Victories
Every coach worth their weight in wisdom knows that the key to beating the competition is extensive knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. In one of their recent annual fiscal reports[vi], Head Trainer, Inc., indicated that they were well aware of several companies in the industry that have developed rudimentary versions of cognitive training platforms, but believe that their product is far superior.
XSport’s biggest rival in the cognitive assessment space is Cogstate Ltd a science and technology solutions company based in Australia. The company’s goal, according to their official site, is to “invest in enhanced solutions to meet the current and future needs of clinical trials in central nervous system indications.”
While this is admirable and will benefit approaches to cognitive medicine, Cogstate’s short-sighted vision comes nowhere close to rapidly growing industry surrounding the application of cognitive assessment for athletes. This narrow focus seeks to “simplify the measurement of cognition,” and nothing else.
Market analysts looking at the cognitive assessment market should take this as an indication that there may be nothing standing in the way of XSport’s (XSPT) dominance over the sector. Don’t just limit the company to its strategic investment in the improvement of athletic mental performance either.
XSport (XSPT) Strategically Advances Into Corporate Holding Space Through Acquisition and Partnership with Shift Now, Inc.
Like any large market leader in their respective field, XSport (XSPT) is taking a strategic approach to the market and ensuring that it can handle a full-scale sports technology and media holding business. This is all while remaining focused on developing “disruptive sports-centric technologies and related media projects around the world.”
In early September 2018, XSport (XSPT) announced the acquisition of the Greensboro-based, brand agency, Shift Now, Inc., a “full-service creative and digital marketing” firm.
“With the acquisition of Shift Now, a profitable and scalable revenue generating firm, coupled with the outstanding team of professional employees Kristi Griggs has attracted, we now have our own leading agency to magnify our brands and transform the overall market. This highly complementary acquisition of Shift Now will serve as the foundation for XSport Global to develop our brands for the youth sports market without having to pay the high-margin, billable hours of outside creative agencies.” -Robert Finigan, CEO of XSport Global
The deal gives XSport (XSPT) round-the-clock access to innovative approaches to marketing and will allow for Head Trainer, Inc. and XSport’s other holdings to strategically reach market investors, and target desired audiences.
As XSport (XSPT) shifts their focus to building out their corporate holdings, the addition of Shift Now, Inc with more than $3 million in annual revenue, presents an opportunity that can be vertically integrated into their business model. With investment potential growing by the second, XSport is designing their corporate infrastructure to be scalable and adaptive to the needs of consumers and market investors alike.
XSport (XSPT): Built By A Leading Roster Of Industry Professionals
XSport (XSPT) has been built and is being led by a team driven by success. Dr. Brian Monteleone, a Charlotte-based sports psychologist, helped build the framework for HeadTrainer. During his 25 year career, Dr. Monteleone has worked in private practice, as a sports psychologist, Clinical Coordinator for an inpatient psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, Clinical Director of a federally funded juvenile boot camp program, and counselor in a residential treatment center for dually-diagnosed adolescents.
In addition to Monteleone, Dr. Claude T. Moorman, III helped lead the charge to develop the specific sports-themed challenges that would be fun while also testing the brain’s vital cognitive areas. With the goal of getting people to recognize that cognition is a huge part of performance, the team designed a platform geared toward sharpening cognitive abilities specific to sports.
Once a team doctor for the Baltimore Ravens, Dr. Claude Moorman, also has a wealth of experience tending to athletes at the highest levels. Atrium Health, previously Carolinas HealthCare System, named Claude “T.” Moorman, III, MD as the new president of Atrium Health’s musculoskeletal institute and The Edward N. Hanley, Jr. Endowed Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.
Dr. Moorman also served as executive director of the James R. Urbanski Sports Sciences Institute at Duke University Medical Center, professor and vice chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and head team physician for Duke University Athletics.
Robert Finigan, XSport’s (XSPT) Chief Executive Officer, has a reputation in brand development that speaks for itself. Throughout his career, Finigan has served in various C-level roles for global companies in technology, health and Wellness and Media, in addition to several consulting and strategy firms, and has been recognized for many award-winning brand identity initiatives.
Robert also recognizes the importance of giving back to the community. In recent years, Finigan has served as President of the Heart and Soul Foundation; a 501(3)c focused on supporting and redefining music education. Finigan’s consumer and industry savvy, coupled with the vision of XSport, gives the company that competitive advantage that it needs to succeed.
Furthermore, Hank Durschlag is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of HeadTrainer, Inc. Mr. Durschlag previously served a President of Double Eagle Holdings, LLC, and as CEO of HealthSport, Inc., both R&D companies involved in the development of nutraceutical and other products for professional and amateur athletes. Hank was a founding partner and served as President of GlucoTec, Inc. (now Glytec Systems), a developer of FDA-approved software related to intravenous dosing of medications and other fluids.
Mr. Durschlag was also the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Diabetes Management Services, Inc. (DMS), a national diabetes products and service company with treatment modules focusing on acute care, and women’s health. Hank received a Bachelor’s Degree from California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
Funds Give Vote Of Confidence To XSport (XSPT)
During the middle of the fourth quarter, XSport (XSPT) reached yet another major milestone in attracting notable backing from an up and coming fund. TRITON FUNDS was started by three undergraduate students from Southern California aspiring to create an investment fund with a millennial touch. In November, the Fund inked a deal with XSport (XSPT) to push up to another $1 million in development capital into the company. And in their own words, the leadership of TRITON appears to be more than happy to be able to get an early opportunity with this company:
“We continue to seek out the best investment opportunities and XSport Global represents the type of early-stage, growth company we intend to add to our portfolio of investments. We believe their business acumen and strategy is sound, and we are confident with the tremendous upside potential in the multi-billion dollar cognitive sports training industry. We look forward to working together.” – Yash Thukral, Founder of TRITON FUNDS.
“A management team that is highly motivated in seeing through the Company’s vision is something we here at TRITON FUNDS highly emphasize, and Robert Finigan provided just that for XSPT,” added Dmitriy Slobodskiy, Junior Partner, of TRITON FUNDS. “As a millennial fund, we pride ourselves in working with companies such as XSport Global who directly affect our generation as well as the youth in providing new technology and insight in an ever-changing space.”
The Game Has Only Just Begun
Old school agents and young reporters have recently shifted focus on what the next “Moneyball phenomena” will be. Mental, emotional, and health metrics are some of the common data points that these thinkers forecast will be part of the next sports analytical movement.
XSport (XSPT), backed by a roster of professional athletes and brand ambassadors, is leading the cognitive assessment industry to help athletes achieve their full potential. With HeadTrainer, Inc. and their mobile application, XSport (XSPT) can rise above the rest.
What separates HeadTrainer from other “brain-training” apps is not only the sports-themed user experience but the robust audio and video components – incorporating interactive messages and positive reinforcement from some of the top athletes in sports along with distractive sounds to help enhance the focus and concentration component of training.
“If I can process information faster and make decisions sooner, I can react quicker, and that can be the difference between a first down for my opponent or a pick-six for my team. The smart player wins.” – Richard Sherman, NFL Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers
With rapid advancements in technology, the adoption of cognitive assessment solutions is expected to result in massive market growth opportunities in the next five years. Because of the growing need for professional athletes to enhance their cognitive functions and annihilate their competition, this technology could build out its own niche within the sector.
The next big boom in the sports performance industry is technology designed to improve cognitive functions. Young athletes entering the professional levels of their sports are failing to recognize the importance of brain development. Factors like decision-making, processing speed, visual-spatial awareness, and reaction time will separate athletes from the pack, and XSport (XSPT) could lead athletes and investors to victory.
[ii] Market research report: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/cognitive-assessment-market-1039.html
[iii] Brain Health Research Report https://www.industrychronicle.com/brain-health-devices-market-exclusive-analysis-by-industry-recent-trends-size-and-forecast-up-to-2026/
[iv] Rosetta Stone acquires Vivity Labs https://www.fastcompany.com/3023881/rosetta-stone-buys-brain-training-app-seeks-to-expand-beyond-language-learning
[v] Hachette Livre acquisition of majority stake in Brainbow https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenduffer/2016/12/31/hachette-livre-acquires-majority-stake-in-brainbow/
[vi] XSPT Financial report: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1628104/000114036118014328/form10k.htm
DISCLAIMER: Pursuant to an agreement between MIDAM VENTURES, LLC an affiliate of JSG COMMUNICATIONS LLC and XSport Global, Inc. we were hired for a period from 11/4/2018 – 2/4/2019 to publicly disseminate information about XSport Global, Inc. including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We were paid $50,000 (CASH) for & were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares. We own zero shares of XSport Global, Inc., which we purchased in the open market. We may buy or sell additional shares of XSport Global, Inc. in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. Click Here For Full Disclaimer
Mnuchin Instigates Market Stampede
There comes a time in every person’s life when they reach an impasse. When I say, “impasse,” I’m speaking about one of life’s many obstacles that present itself to us at incredibly inopportune moments. For you cinephiles in the audience, you’ve witnessed the man/woman standing on a street corner, who just lost their job and screams at the top of their lungs, “how could this get any worse,” only to be drenched in sewer runoff following a taxicab who drives right through a puddle. For those of us less entrenched with stereotypical vehicles of slapstick in film, everyone, more or less, has a bad day. Well, suffice to say that the US stock market has had a series of rough days over the course of the last several weeks, and several analysts believe that our nation may be headed for a recession a la 2008.
Over ten years have gone by since our country underwent an industry-collapsing recession, and, although activity measures like retail sales, industrial production, and employment are at an all-time high, a growing number of economists and financial experts believe we are due for another recession in the next twenty-four months. Market growth has shown significant signs of slowing down over the last few months, with the Dow and several other indices dropping hundreds of points every week or so.
“Traditional signals of a U.S. recession from the shape of a yield curve to a fall in housing investment to corporate bond spreads are suggesting in late 2019, early 2020.”
–Constance Hunter, Chief Economist, KPMG
According to several media outlets, all eleven sectors of the S&P 500 have received a decrease in expected earnings growth in the last few months, “led by utilities, materials, and industrials.”
Before he even took office, President Trump made it clear that he wanted every product, service, and commodity to be manufactured in America and only America. As it relates to the oil industry, this has translated to a rush to pump oil out of shale fields around the country, most notably in West Texas, miraculously leading to record-high levels of production for black gold. Though domestic oil production couldn’t be higher, concerns about oversupply have sent oil prices every which way but loose.
As of Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped below 22,000 following a statement issued by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that was intended to calm nervous investors in the space. In his ill-timed statement, Mnuchin said that:
“We continue to see strong economic growth in the U.S. economy with robust activity from consumers and businesses. With the government shutdown, Treasury will have critical employees to maintain its core operations at Fiscal Services, IRS, and other crucial functions within the department.”
–Statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Following Mnuchin’s statement, several major US indexes dropped due to the fact that his words were viewed as off-base and arguably unnecessary in the grand scheme of it all. One analyst told CNN that “this type of announcement raises the question of whether Treasury sees a problem that the rest of the market is missing.” Why else would Mnuchin call executives from every major US banking institution on Christmas Eve? In addition to Mnuchin’s bizarre statement, I can’t imagine it being helpful that President Trump shutdown parts of the federal government until further notice. Though many understand that the shutdown will have no major effects on the US economy, investors and executives across all sectors are concerned with the inability of lawmakers and the current administration to set aside their differences and approve the federal budget.
SpaceX Launches US Air Force GPS Satellite
Over the course of human history, there have been many collaborations that have tested the very fabric of time and space. Cain and Abel, Batman and Robin, and of course, the primordial combining of both the butter of peanut and the jelly. In more recent news, when one hears the name, “Elon Musk,” the first inclination is not to assume that the billionaire founder of Tesla (TSLA), The Boring Company, and SpaceX, would ever partner up with any entity that purports the military industrial complex. Well, sports fans, Musk’s latter venture, SpaceX, just announced its successful completion of launching the United States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite.
According to official reports, the Air Force’s GPS III satellite, manufactured by everyone’s favorite government weapons contractor, Lockheed Martin (LMT), was encapsulated in a SpaceX rocket earlier in December, with the launch date set for Christmas Eve. GPS III SV01 was nicknamed “Vespucci” after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian adventurer who accidentally discovered the new world and paved the way for conquistadors and colonizers hundreds of years ahead of his time. Disengaging from the political rhetoric, the US Air Force is launching Vespucci in an effort to upgrade the current “‘gold standard’ in positioning, navigation, and timing services for more than four billion users worldwide.”
For those unfamiliar with how GPS systems work, the quick and easy explanation is that when someone is trying to find their ‘global position,’ a signal will be sent from a smartphone or GPS-locating device, and the position of said device will be triangulated after the signal has been sent up to pinball of one of the GPS satellites in space. In addition to providing global citizens with improved ability to locate their Uber drivers, the USAF says GPS III will be used in conjunction with Space and Missile Systems Center’s SMC 2.0 which “focuses on innovation to deliver capability to the warfighter.”
In terms of the Air Force’s aforementioned focus on satellite improvements for the ‘warfighter,’ they are speaking in terms of providing the best possible equipment in the event that global warfare extends into the reaches of space. Several months ago, President Donald Trump decided that the United States should have, within its Air Force, a Space Force ready to be deployed in the event of literal Star Wars.
The official language of President Trump’s “Space Force” Memo states that:
“Pursuant to my authority as Commander in Chief…in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I direct the establishment, consistent with United States law, of United States Space Command as a function Unified Combatant Command. I also direct the Secretary of Defense to recommend officers for my nomination and Senate confirmation as Commander and Deputy Commander of the new United States Space Command.”
–President Donald Trump “Test of a Memorandum from the President Regarding Establishment of Space Command
Taking all the news of the United States Space Command into consideration, SpaceX’s collaboration with the USAF indicates a dramatic shift in how tech industry wunderkinder have viewed traditional government institutions. Previously, individuals like Musk invented products and experimented with rockets to rebel against the government and innovate for the future without federal intervention.
Several months ago, Richard Branson, a different billionaire with creative ideas, launched his own commercial aircraft into space.
According to reports, the aircraft climbed over 52 miles of altitude and hit a top speed of Mach 2.9, or 2225.08 miles per hour for you non-aerospace plebeians. Continuing the brief aerospace lesson for a hot moment. When reports say SpaceShipTwo reached the “edge of space,” they are referring to the internationally recognized Karman line. Referencing the always faithful Wikipedia definition, the Karman line “lies at an altitude of 100km (62 miles, 330,000 ft) above Earth’s sea level and commonly represents the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.” So, to put it nicely, the two astronauts aboard Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft didn’t quite reach space just yet.
Musk’s partnership with the United States Air Force reflects mood change that will hopefully see companies and governmental institutions work in tandem to create and invent to improve the lives of future generations.
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