Connect with us

Latest

Synchronoss Technologies Inc (SNCR) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool

Published

on

Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Synchronoss Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SNCR)
Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Aug 10, 2020, 8:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

Good morning, everyone. I’m Leslie Gahagan, Investor Relations Analyst for Synchronoss Technologies. Welcome to our Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Call. Joining me here is Synchronoss’ President and CEO, Glenn Lurie; David Clark, our Chief Financial Officer and Joe Crivelli, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations.

During today’s call we will make statements about expectations for the second half 2020 and beyond. These may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws and include statements about financial trends, future results of operations and financial position and market opportunities. Generally, forward-looking statements are identified by words such as expects, believes, anticipates, intends and other indications of future expectations.

Forward-looking statements are based on the business environment as we currently see it and include risks and uncertainties. Please refer to our SEC filings for more information on the risk factors that may cause actual results to differ. Forward-looking statements on this call are based on assumptions as of today, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements as a result of new information or future events.

In addition to US GAAP reporting, we report certain financial measures that do not conform to GAAP. We believe these non-GAAP measures enhance the understanding of our performance. Reconciliation of the GAAP measures to their non-GAAP measures in addition to the description of the non-GAAP measures can be found in today’s earnings press release.

Finally during the Q&A session, please submit questions in the chat function located at the bottom of the screen. Thank you again for joining us today, and I’ll now turn the call over Glenn Lurie. Thanks, Leslie and thank you everybody for joining us this morning, it’s a big day for Synchronoss and a busy morning. Earlier this morning, we announced the renewal of a Verizon contract for an additional five years, as well as earnings for the second quarter. I’ll cover earnings first. As you can see, we continue to build on our momentum from the start of the year despite the most challenging economic environment of the last two decades. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the economy, we delivered revenue of $76.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of $11.5 million, as well as $13 million in adjusted free cash flow, which all exceeded internal and external expectations. The robust EBITDA result brings us back to a double-digit EBITDA margin and reflects with prudent cost cutting we executed before and after the pandemic struck. Furthermore liquidity continues to build and topped $42.8 million at the end of the quarter, up from $31 million at the end of the first quarter. Based on these financial results it is clear that Synchronoss was able to perform and execute well during the quarter. We are responsibly navigating through the pandemic to maintain overall company health for the short and long-term. The last two quarters are a testament to the diligence of the entire Synchronoss team, which had to adapt, evolve and adjust to a work from home environment. Most of us have been working from home for over five months now, as most of our offices remain closed, despite this continued global challenge we’ve been able to close and deliver the deals, sourcing the business and move the ball forward with customers and prospects alike. I want to give a shout-out to our technology team headed by our CTO Pat Doran, which reacted quickly when COVID-19 first became an issue and make sure we had best-in-class business tools to maintain our business momentum and help our more than 1,500 employees transition to the new paradigm and remain productive. It is their hard work that has helped set the stage for the strong second quarter results we are discussing today. In addition, the execution of our cost reduction initiatives has gone well. We are on track to achieve the $45 million in-year cost savings and $55 million annualized cost savings we announced earlier this year. David will provide more commentary on this when he discusses our financials. I’d like to take a few moments now to discuss some key commercial activity during the quarter. I’m incredibly proud of the customer wins our sales team headed by our CCO, Jeff Miller was able to achieve in the second quarter. This team has truly risen to the occasion to find new ways to reach customers despite a virtual work environment and critical industry events being canceled. Let me start with cloud. Now let’s turn to the Verizon deal. We secured a new commercial agreements with Verizon, including a five year extension to our long-standing personal cloud relationship at substantially similar structure and financial terms to our previous cloud agreement, this was great for Synchronoss and it’s shareholders long-term, because of the increased certainty and stability. This new contract extension with our largest customer also demonstrates Verizon’s commitment to the Verizon cloud and to Synchronoss. This extension further solidifies our relationship with Verizon and shows the value they and their subscribers see in our personal cloud platform, which deliver solid incremental revenue and profits for Verizon and a better user experience for their subscribers. Another important component of our extension with Verizon is a joint marketing agreement to step up our marketing efforts to sell Verizon cloud to their wireless subscriber base. We have not previously had to this degree a dedicated and coordinated direct marketing effort to Verizon’s existing wireless customers. To-date, we have predominantly focused on the cloud adoption in the setup flow when Verizon is on-boarding a new customer or an existing customer upgrades to their device. We believe this joint marketing effort will be powerful catalyst to drive adoption of Verizon Cloud and deliver incremental growth and revenue for both us and Verizon as we move forward. We also expanded our relationship by securing additional cloud initiatives in the quarter that will augment Verizon’s service offerings in other areas. This provides us with expanded access to Verizon customers and help us continue to grow cloud revenue. We will share additional details regarding these new initiatives as they are launched to the marketplace. Verizon cloud subscriber performance continued to grow during the quarter and is ahead of our business plan objectives and projections. Also, we delivered a family cloud enhancement offering that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance the customer experience for Verizon’s subscribers during the quarter. So to recap the developments with the Verizon relationship, we have extended our relationship with our largest and longest-standing cloud customer. We are organically growing our collective subscriber base platform in the setup flow, when new customers switch to Verizon or existing customers upgrade their devices. A new joint marketing agreement will enable us to intensify the marketing of our services to a broader Verizon customer base and have added new bundles with the potential that even more Verizon cloud subscribers. We are jointly developing and launching new product enhancements that will increase the value proposition for their customers. And we are working with Verizon, our new cloud initiative that will expand our access to Verizon customers beyond what we have today. We have always had a strong relationship with Verizon, but if there was ever a question about those facts [Technical Issues] those developments should be put to bed once and for all. With this renewal over the past 18 months we have now renewed four of our legacy cloud customers with multi-year agreements Verizon, BT British Telecom, SFR and Proximus. During that period we also launched three new customers in AT&T, TracFone and Assurant. Again, we feel this demonstrates the outstanding value proposition our white label personal cloud offering provides to our customers and to their subscribers. I want to highlight our progress with AT&T’s personal cloud launch and provide an update on where we stand. Since during our Investor Day in June, we shared that the COVID-19 had delayed our cloud related initiatives with Verizon. Starting earlier this quarter AT&T announced a growing list of Android devices that are being pre-loaded with the Synchronoss Out of Box Experience or OOBE with the cloud embedded. OOBE offers an enhanced device setup flow for customers and as you’ve heard us talk about has been proven successful for driving cloud adoption as seen with our other carrier customers globally. Now every new and upgrade Android subscribers will go through the OOBE flow at AT&T. Regarding TracFone, we started with simple mobile and are now preparing for the launch of the next set of brands within the TracFone family for personal cloud. Following our launch of Spectrum Mobile with Assurant, we have now launched a second brand with our cloud integration to their Pocket Geek application during the second quarter with two more cloud customers to follow. Across our personal cloud customers, we’re launching targeting campaigns to their existing base of customers and new acquisitions plus using new digital and social tools to highlight the customer experience and benefits of digitally protecting our assets on broadband and mobile devices. Turning to Messaging. The work on our advanced messaging solution with CCMI joint venture of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon continues to move forward. During the quarter, we won two additional contract with CCMI, totaling mid-seven-figures. An example of our momentum in Japan during the quarter, the top financial institutions in Japan select with the RCS-based +Message service provided by Synchronoss to enable a common user interface for safe and secure transactions. The service called Airpost provides a digital transformation to enhance the experience value and efficiency for customers. Participating companies include Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Musashino Bank, JCB and Tokio Marine Nichido more than 30 additional major companies are also investigating this application. This bodes well that the advent of A2P advanced messaging is here and that this new revenue source maybe nearing an inflection point, but we believe we can grow into a material revenue stream for Synchronoss for years to come. We are also seeing continued good traction and additional advanced messaging pursuits and are actively engaging proposals with global telecom providers in APAC and EMEA from multiple new opportunities. We believe our status as the only company that has launched advanced messaging and the provider of advancements in technology in both Japan and the US will be one of those things that differentiates us in these pursuits. Turning to core messaging email platform, during the quarter we won a competitive battle for email expansion with Proximus, this was a very nice win for our highly profitable legacy email business. Moving to digital, the financial pressures of COVID-19 represented continue opportunities to our digital access management portfolio with most multiple recent new customer sales and the on-boarding of customers to our integrated financial analytics, iNOW and new spatial cloud offerings. These include a seven-figure financial analytics SaaS agreement with a nationwide service provider and a spatial management contract with Globe Telecom in the Philippines. We also executed a five year contract extension with Sage Management, who is our partner providing audit services to our financial analytics customer base. We believe this commercial agreement will continue to contribute millions of dollars in revenue to our digital business unit per year and continue to add value to our financial analytics customers. Through our continued work with Wireless Advocates, we delivered the DXP Care Activation Accelerator Pack in the second quarter, which enables the integration and management for third-party companies to sell activations for AT&T and Verizon with T-Mobile expected to follow later this year. A quick update on Sequential Technologies or STI under the new leadership team STI quickly completed its Minority Business Enterprise Certification, which we believe will lead to new Fortune 500 opportunities and future growth for both STI and Synchronous. Turning to IoT, while access to physical customer locations, due the pandemic slowed some of our customer deployments, our Smart Building solutions are receiving increased interest from businesses as they prepare to turn to work. As a result of COVID-19 every building owner and operator will be looking to understand real time wellness and health information of their build. We plan to leverage our Smart Buildings Platform, which already provides visibility and control to a broad array of sensor technologies by exploring pathogen remediation solutions for inclusion in our offering. During the quarter, we enhanced our Smart Building Solutions with the new technical — excuse technician application to further expedite the integration process for new sensors and providing visibility to those insights through our dash boards. We are also making steady progress on a number of multi-site deployment opportunities, which we expect to communicate during the second half of the year. In conclusion, we are very happy with — I’m very proud of our second quarter results. The team’s execution and our ability during the quarter to overcome the extremely challenging COVID-19 economy and environment and delivering strong financial results. We renewed our largest customer to a five year deal, one new deals and set the stage for short and long-term growth in each of our business platforms. And we delivered positive free cash flow of $13 million built on our cash and liquidity to $42.8 million and ensuring that we have sufficient cash to execute on our business objectives. All while we continue on the target to reduce cost by $45 million in-year and $55 million on an annualized basis, this is a greater accomplishment on the part of the entire Synchronoss team and I thanks every one of our employees for their role in making it happen. With that, David will provide additional financial details. David?

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Thanks, Glenn. And thanks everyone for joining us. I will review our second quarter results. Revenue for the quarter was $76.5 million down slightly, compared to $77.8 million in the year ago quarter, as increases in cloud messaging revenue were offset by a decrease in digital revenue due to the new operating agreement with STI and the sunsetting of our universal ID products.

For the six months ended June 30, 2020 revenue was $154.1 million, compared to $166 million in the first six months of 2019, again driven by a decrease in digital revenue. Our recurring revenue was 78.4% of total revenue in the second quarter, compared with 72% in the first quarter and 80% in the second quarter a year ago. As we noted at Investor Day, approximately 85% of our revenue is under multi-year contracts, which provides strong foundation and base of revenue that has served us well in the COVID-19 economy.

Cloud revenue was $42.4 million in the second quarter, a 5% increase, compared to $40.4 million in the year ago quarter, driven by additional subscriber and professional services revenues. Note on our — on the Verizon renewal, due the extension of the contract approximately $10 million deferred revenue that was on our balance sheet on the renewal date and would have been amortized over the remaining quarters in 2020, we’ll now be amortized over the new term of the contract. While this will reduce recognition of non-cash deferred revenue 2020 by approximately $5 million per quarter or $10 million for the balance of the year, it will also result in a more cohesive match between EBITDA and free cash flow generation in the future on a quarter-by-quarter basis.

Quarterly recognition of non-cash deferred revenue is expected to be negligible going forward. Messaging revenue was $19.1 million in the second quarter, compared to $15.2 million in the year ago quarter, a 25.7% increase, largely driven by the continued success in Japan, an additional revenue from the work with the CCMI joint venture.

Digital revenue was $15 million in the quarter, compared to $22.2 million in the year ago quarter. The decrease is due to lower revenue from STI and the new operator agreement, compared to the agreement that was in place last year and the sunsetting of our universal ID product.

I’ll now discuss profitability metrics. Total costs and expenses were $88 million in the second quarter, down 8.4%, compared to $96.1 million in last year’s second quarter. For the six month, total cost and expenses were $182.4 million, and that’s down 10.9%, compared to $204.6 million in the first six months of 2019. For both the three months and the six month period, the change was largely driven by lower cost of goods sold and lower depreciation, which in turn related to our migration from company-owned data centers to the cloud. These were offset by higher restructuring charges in the current period.

The reduction in total cost and expenses reflects the cost reduction initiatives we executed in 2020 are delivering the expected results. As noted in the prior earnings call and Investor Day, in total we have targeted a reduction of $55 million in annual operating cost from our expense base of which we expect to realize approximately $45 million of savings in 2020.

Adjusted gross profit in the second quarter was $47.9 million, compared to $45.1 million in last year’s second quarter. Adjusted gross margin in the second quarter was 62.6%, compared to 57.9% in last year’s second quarter. The second quarter improvement in gross profit and gross margin was due to better cost management in this year period.

For the six months ended June 30, 2020 gross profit was $90.4 million, compared to $94.9 million in the first six months of 2019. The six months ended June 30, 2020 adjusted gross profit was 58.8%, compared to 57.2% in the first six months of 2019. The decrease in the second — in the six month period primarily resulted from the decrease in digital revenue due to the new operating with STI and the sunsetting of our universal ID product.

Adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was $11.5 million, compared to $8.7 million in last year’s second quarter and this was largely driven by execution of cost reductions. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 15%, well in the double-digits, up from 11.1% in last year’s second quarter, and this is our highest EBITDA margin since Q4 of 2018.

Turning to the balance sheet and cash flow statement, liquidity at the end of the quarter, which is primarily cash and marketable securities totaled $42.8 million. Note that our $10 million line of credit from Citizens Bank remains fully drawn at the end of the second quarter and is included in this balance. We generated $13 million of cash in the quarter. At the quarter end liquidity was bolstered by our utilization of the CARES Act at the quarter end. the utilization of CARES ACT provision provided liquidity, which enable — under the provision, enables company to carry back net operating loss for the tax years for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Accordingly, after quarter end in mid-July, we received approximately a $10 million refund in taxes paid in 2016, which further bolstered our liquidity.

We feel very good about our liquidity throughout 2020 and as Glenn discussed, we’ve taken several actions to conserve cash in-year and our business plan is calibrated to ensure that we have sufficient liquidity throughout the year. Refinancing our preferred stock and positioned the company with a cost-effective permanent capital structure is a top priority for Synchronoss. We are actively evaluating financing alternatives, we believe it is essential that we are positioned to move quickly when markets move our way.

In connection with our objective, we expect to file that the universal self in conjunction with our 10-Q later this month, which enables us to quickly access public markets when it is prudent. The shelf filing will mean — no, will not mean fancy, it at all imminent, but rather we are positioning ourselves to move quickly at some point in the future.

On our last call, we maintained our original adjusted EBITDA guidance of $25 million to $35 million for the year. As I noted earlier, the Verizon renewal removes approximately $10 million of non-cash deferred revenue from the latter half of this year. Under 606 accounting rules this remaining $10 million of deferred revenue will now be amortized over the new term of the contract. The implied adjusted EBITDA range would be $15 million to $25 million. However, we are narrowing the range on the top half of the range, accordingly, we are now expecting adjusted EBITDA for the year of $20 million to $25 million.

Again, I want to reiterate, the only reason for the change in EBITDA guidance is due to the amortization of the $10 million of non-cash deferred revenue over the life of the new contract instead of over the next two quarter.

Before we open Q&A, I want to mention that Joe Crivelli, who has served as our Vice President, Investor Relations since December of 2018, leaving the company on August 14. Joe has been part of the Synchronoss team in a consulting capacity and will assist with Leslie Gahagan, who will take over the day-to-day responsibility for Investor Relations as an Investor Relations Analyst. Joe and I have been collaborating for quite a long time, I want to thank Joe for his contributions over the past year and a half and wish him well in the future.

I will now turn it back over to Glenn.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Thank you, David. Before we open for questions, I want to recap everything we just discussed with these critical point. First, we are incredibly proud of our team for delivering revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow that exceeded internal and external expectation. Our prudent cost cutting initiatives and execution drove a robust double-digit EBITDA margin.

We have demonstrated the strength of our long-term customer relationship with multiple renewals and with the closing of several important new deals. We are obviously very excited about our five year contract extension with Verizon. This renewal shall give some shareholders comfort about our long-term stability and predictability of our revenue base. If you have not seen this morning’s press release related to this announcement, please visit our website for more information.

Along with the renewal, we’ve expanded our relationship with Verizon, which in turn expands access to Verizon’s customer base. We have security and joint market agreement and we believe will accelerate growth and cloud revenue. At the same time, we are moving to a new state of deployment with AT&T cloud and we believe that having the cloud embedded in OOBE device flow, our new Android devices will enable revenue from AT&T to begin to accelerate as well. All of this along with strong second quarter results represents good news for the company and our shareholders.

With that I’ll now open for questions. Leslie do we have anybody in the queue?

Questions and Answers:

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

Let’s go ahead and take off with Sterling Auty. It seems we might have a technical difficulty. I’ll just ask the question directly. What is the average contract length of the extensions?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

The average — of the multiple extensions? I mean, some of the extensions, Sterling, are three years and some are five. And obviously, we were very upfront with Verizon extension being five years. I think on the other extensions, some of our customers are a little shyer and don’t want to discuss how long the extensions are, but you should assume between three and five years.

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

Okay. Next question is from Mike Walkley.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

There he is. Hey, Mike, saw you pop up. There you are.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Okay. Great. New format for this…

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. We appreciate you guys’ patience. We just think Zoom’s kind of the future and so we appreciate you guys working with us. How are you, Mike?

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

I’m doing well. Hope everybody’s doing well on the call.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Yes. So I guess first question for me is just on the strong free cash flow in the quarter with the Verizon renewal. Was there an aspect of upfront cash for that or can you maybe walk through the steps that drove the strong cash flow?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

I’ll let David answer that. Let me say there’s no cash from that. No. So, go ahead, David.

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Yes, so of the Verizon renewal, obviously, is this quarter and there was no cash in the second quarter. Really second quarter cash driven by just good liquidity management and obviously stronger EBITDA, certainly than was expected both internally and externally.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. I’d add, Mike, that David and team did a fantastic job. Once we made the decisions on the cost-cutting initiatives that we already — as you remember, we already had some cost-cutting going on when we started the year. We obviously added to that with COVID hitting. The team has just executed fantastically and that’s what you’re seeing.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Okay. Great. And I guess while I have the line here, a follow-up question.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Sure.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Just on the strong cost reduction, how should we think about operating expenses levels going forward? Is it more cost coming out of the model? If so, where’s — is it coming out of more cost of goods sold or opex or just trends we should think about on the cost line?

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Now, the cost reductions are across the board. Costs will kind of be flat to slightly down for the remainder of the year by quarter is our expectation. We took costs out of business across the board. Obviously, our largest cost components will probably be a little larger because that’s where the cost is and that’s where we’ll take out the majority.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Great. And then, Glenn, a follow-up question for you just on kind of the fundamentals in dealing with operators. Can you talk about some of your cloud trends now that smartphones slowly picking up off some of the bottoms maybe earlier in the quarter? And just with the AT&T and the timing, when you think some of these Android deals, you’ll start to see like a step-up in subscriber base based on adequate share over the last couple of months?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. Actually appreciate that. Couple things to think about in this environment that we’re living in, you’re absolutely right, the carriers obviously had closed doors. Carriers have announced that they’re not even going to reopen some of the stores. The good thing is we’re still seeing strong results. As we said, we’re ahead of plan with our largest customer. One of the reasons is, is that actually these enhancements that we’ve been working with them on have obviously led to very decent gross adds, but we’ve also seen the churn drop way down with these customers. So, we are actually in a good spot with the majority of our customers, as far as how they’ve executed working with us. And as I said in my comments, we have marketing work we’re doing, which we are hoping to increase in the second half of the year, not just with Verizon, but with all.

And then when you asked about AT&T, yes, we were very candid as we would plan to always be that some things got pushed back based on COVID. But you saw AT&T make announcements around their devices and did some very exciting announcements that they’re going to focus on cloud in those Android devices. So we expect to start seeing that pick up immediately here in the third quarter. I think the opportunity, though, Mike, is there. I mean the carriers are looking for opportunities to grow revenue. This is a fantastic opportunity that they see and understand. I’m very, very optimistic that we can continue that trend for the remainder of the year and to 2021.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Last question and then I’ll pass on the Zoom call here. Just, Glenn, overall, it sounds like IoT, maybe some digital, some things got pushed out because it’s just tougher to engage with customers face-to-face. Can you about any deals that’s been lost or for existing maybe pushed out a little bit or just kind of how your remote sales is interacting in this tough environment?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. I’d tell you this. First of all, we haven’t lost anything. The environment is as we all know. You’ve got to work twice as hard to get it done and we are doing that. Digital actually is performing very well. I hope from my comments, you didn’t take that away. The digital business is doing well. Most people, when they hear us talk about digital think about DXP, but we have a host of products in our digital platform as I said, and we’ve cut numerous deals during the quarter that were very, very exciting for us and whether on a financial and analytics side or the spatial side, as well as the continued work.

I would tell you, Mike, that this environment, the future is all about digital. The future is all about touchless experiences. The future is and every company that we do business with is looking at how they’re going to make it work in the new normal. And we have a lot of opportunity in our digital business to continue to grow it.

On the IoT side, without question, we’ve done well. But the future of IoT is not just smart building; it’s a healthy building. And we have a SaaS platform that’s extensible and flexible with machine learning and analytics attached. And candidly, a lot of people are coming to us now on the IoT side to talk about how not only can they make their building smart, but how can they make it healthy and no real time that it’s healthy.

The other thing that we’re talking about is real-time remediation of pathogens in a building. And I would just say there’s not going to be a building, a venue, a restaurant that, as we go forward, people aren’t going to want to know it’s safe. And we believe we have a platform that can help do that, so we’re — I’m — my enthusiasm around IoT has actually gone up. And I think we’ve got work to do, but so do others, and I think we’ve got a very competitive platform and product to offer.

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Thanks for taking my questions and congrats on the strong margins.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Thanks, Mike.

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

Okay. Our next question will come from Mike Latimore with Northland.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Hi there, you all.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Hey, Mike.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Hi there. Good morning. Good to see you, guys. So I guess on the Verizon deal, that was great. Congratulations on that and also the quarter, obviously. Last time, these big deals, like they got renewed a month or two before they’re kind of set to expiry. You guys renewed this fairly early here.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Can you continue to talk through, you know, what was the catalyst to do this kind of early renewal?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Sure. I mean, I think couple of things. One, the success that we’ve been having for a long time with them and I would throw out the relationship as well. This is a very important product for Verizon. It is for us, obviously, then as our largest customer. But as carriers — not speaking outside of Verizon — as carriers look to how they’re going to find incremental revenue and the dollars that they’re all spending on 5G, massive amounts and billions of capex, we’re going to continue to look for these opportunities.

Verizon obviously has been a customer of ours for many years. We sat down with them and talked about the future and it just made sense for us to relook at the whole agreement. You also heard me talk about the fact that we now have a joint marketing agreement for the first time, which is really exciting for us, because majority of the success we’ve had with them has been in that start-up flow that we talk about for new and upgrades and we’ve done great, but might push and ask if we have so much more opportunity to go back to their base, which obviously we are now going to do and do it together.

The second piece of this is that the other initiatives that I mentioned. Obviously, we’re excited about those and having conversations about what we want to take this platform. And by the way, we do this with all of our customers, right? Our customers have a beautiful Personal Cloud Platform that they’ve obviously wanted to have advantages. And so that’s how we work with our customers individually. And so the opportunity on both sides, we’re really wanting to elongate the agreement. Timing was not about when our first agreement ends; it’s about where do we want to go in the future. And that’s really was the catalyst.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Great. Great. And then just from a rev rec standpoint, I know you talked about $5 million a quarter roughly this year. How should we think about the influence next year from this — on rev rec?

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

So that was specifically the deferred revenue. We had deferred revenue that we’ve been recognizing over the past couple of years that would have basically been amortized out by the end of this year. As a result of the renewal, it gets extended for the remaining contract or the new contract life, I should say. So our deferred revenue runoff from this contract, in particular, will be under $1 million for each quarter going forward. So that’s the change. There would have been $5 million recognized in each of the next two quarters. We’re not going to recognize that. It’s going to be pushed out.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. Mike, really important obviously I’ll repeat and David said it numerous times. This is a non-cash, right?

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Right.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

So not impacting our cash. I do think David’s comments are important for folks to note. This should really simplify how you all look at us from an EBITDA perspective as well. And then I think really important, as David said, going out, it’s negligible when you think about the total amounts and where it’s going to be. So, cleaned up a lot as well at the same time.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Great. Makes sense. So then, Glenn, did you say that going forward, pretty much every new Android subscriber at AT&T will go through the OOBE process and then they’re kind of exiting as more than anything?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. Not every. Obviously, it’s by device and as they get — you actually wrote a nice note about the devices that were coming out. We will see more of those devices coming out and that will continue to move up based upon their new device launches. So, yes, we’re starting to see that flow and we’re excited about it.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Great. And just last one. On CCMI, you mentioned some additional business there. What does that relates to and then when do you expect kind of the — maybe the first official service lines there?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes. Well, as you know, Mike, and I appreciate the question, we can’t answer and speak for CCMI. They’ve said 2020 and we’ll leave it at that as far as the launch. As far as other business, yes, we are working with them hand in hand. They are picking and looking at their strategies and in situations have asked for help with other things, which is what those agreements are. And that’s really all I can say at this point in time.

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

Okay. Thanks. Good luck.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

And with that, that concludes all of our questions.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Okay.

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

All right, and that concludes the call.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

If I can, Leslie, one last thing, I just want to thank everybody again for coming on the call this morning. I’m very proud of the Synchronoss team. Very proud of the results that we were able to deliver during the environment that we are in. The team has been incredibly prudent about its execution, taking care of our customers. I want to again thank Pat, our CTO, and Jeff, our Chief Commercial Officer, for the results that they and their teams have driven. And we are looking forward to the second half of the year. Thank you guys very much.

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Hey, Glenn.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Yes.

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Real quick. Rich Baldry asked a question about — he want to know about pipeline changes from any of the global carrier prospects?

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Great. Hey, Rich. Thank you. So far, as far as pipeline changes, really not a lot of pipeline changes. Obviously, as I said earlier, we’ve not lost business. We had obviously — things are going to take a bit more time. I would say our pipeline is still strong and growing. We are candidly having to be and change the way we think about how to drive pipeline. We’ve seen our events — our industry events be canceled. We expect that going into 2021, the CESs of the world, the Mobile World Congresses of the world are going to have a hard time putting those events.

And obviously, CES already announced it’s going to be a digital event. So we’re looking at other ways and actually executing other ways to continue to have conversations with our carrier partners, with new carrier partners looking at channels of distribution. So all of those things are in play, but right now, I’d say we feel good about where our funnels are.

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Glenn, Sterling has one more question.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Sure.

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

He’s not coming on.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Okay. We will — we can follow-up with Sterling…

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Then we’ll follow up with Sterling.

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Next day or so. Again, folks, appreciate the new technology. We are — I think Zoom is great and we’re going to continue to work with this. But thank you all very much for joining and look forward to speaking with many of you over the next couple of days.

Operator

Goodbye.

Duration: 40 minutes

Call participants:

Leslie GahaganInvestor Relations Analyst

David ClarkChief Financial Officer

Glenn LurieChief Executive Officer

Mike WalkleyCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Mike LatimoreNorthland Securities — Analyst

More SNCR analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

Fashion

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Published

on

Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

Reading List

Inside our coverage

Mack Weldon’s first CMO, Talia Handler, breaks down her integrated marketing strategy.

Text messages are Rebecca Minkoff’s most successful marketing channel.

Not everyone is embracing “workleisure.”

What we’re reading

Is Richemont dropping Yoox Net-a-Porter?

NFT sales are catching on in fashion.

It’s official: Zendaya’s style is iconic.

Continue Reading

Latest

South African bowler Tabraiz Shamsi: Amateur magician; professional tweaker-trickster

Published

on

wwe crown jewel results

Harry Potter fans would know this as the Room of Requirement; muggle cricketers dub it backend operations. Tabraiz Shamsi is an amateur magician. He is also a professional worrier of why some googlies don’t turn as much as he’d want, in cricket.

For the Proteas chinaman bowler, the room of requirement from where he could pull out any game data, used to be the dependable ‘P Dawgg’, former South Africa analyst Prasanna Agoram combining his ken and nous and fast processing laptop. Prasanna enviably would be privy to the trial (and error) runs of Magician Shamsi’s classical Tourniquet coin-drops with the cricket ball. Which was the unglamorous, quirk-in-progress of his left-arm leg spin.

At the stroke of 1 a.m, oftener than not, Shamsi would come looking for what he called ‘shit balls’, in what Prasanna reckoned were otherwise impressive, less-than-run-a-ball bowling spells. This was that one specific delivery that went for a six to sully Shamsi’s 4-0-22-3 T20 match figures. It was the bugs, not the features, that the 29-year-old would cussedly fixate on.

“I’d never point out that he’s missing his length or the back foot was collapsing, at 12.30 in the night. Because Shamo, you see, would then take me to the nets at 1 a.m! He’s capable of calling the manager and telling him at that hour that I have to practice NOW. You had to be careful about what you told him at 1 a.m,” Prasanna laughs, underlining ungrudging admiration for the Proteas spinner’s dedication.

A series of self-recriminations in staccato would follow the ‘Bhai, can you please put on the shit-ball that went for a six.’ “He’d curse himself watching replays: ‘no good, not international class, garbage ball.’ If you try telling him it is ‘well-played’ from Jos Butler and not exactly a poor ball, he’d be hard on himself and say, ‘This is nonsense from Shamo’,” Prasanna recalls of his exacting standards.

For, the South African World No 1 spinner – who lends mystery to the Saffer bowling attack if not entirely upstaging their thunderbolt battery of pacers – knows that all sleights of hand, can come with uncontrollable twists of fate. Both in magic, and cricket.

A young boy of 15 at Paarl who tried to bowl quick like Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, had wound up as a left arm leg spin all-sorts, after years of compulsive fine-tuning. And taken failures and omissions into his run-up’s five-strides.

***
Born in Johannesburg, Shamsi wanted to be a super quick in the land of bolting pacers. His progress though didn’t follow the regular route of being identified early for First teams at schools and playing age-groups. Also, he was told he wasn’t quick enough.

Speaking to the podcast ‘Pavilion conversations with C.S’ recently, Shamsi recalls his earliest break at age 15, bowling alone in the school nets, with the cricket coach’s office nearby. The coach would stop by and ask him what he was upto. “I said, ‘Sir, the U15 trials are coming up. I want to make the Paarl team wanna progress’. He told me – you are not gonna make it. But even there I thought he realised the type of character I am. That was just his way to push me even harder. He said ‘Don’t waste your time practicing coz you won’t get selected. And i was even more driven,” he told the host Mr. Chiwanza.

Shamsi would end up with most wickets that tournament, make the B team (“Still not A”), followed by U17 and U19s for the local side. “I didn’t get selected for SA U19s or invited to camps. My past was little different. In fact I got my opportunity at semi-pro cricket because one player got selected for U19s and went to the World Cup. A spot opened up because of him. I just knew that was my chance I had to make it work. And fortunately I performed. When he came back from the World Cup, he couldn’t get into the team,” Shamsi recalled.

It was around 2015-6 after he had zeroed in on Chinaman as his chosen bag of assorted tricks in franchise, provincial cricket, that he first sought out Prasanna, while closely following senior leggie and his ‘bruv’ Imran Tahir. Prasanna promised to compile a list of outstanding T20 spinners of that year for comparison, when Shamsi asked him: ‘Why just T20? I want to play all formats.’

Prasanna promised to revert after two days on Friday, and on Monday, he had a message from the hotel lobby at 10.30 am that Shamsi was waiting. “Normally, cricketers will turn up at 11.30, if the analyst time is 10.30. This guy made me abandon my breakfast and was ready with a list of questions. I’d prepared a presentation earlier on bowlers like Warne, Ajmal and Herath and how they bowled on unhelpful tracks, what lengths to bowl at what stage, and offered to email it to him. He tells me: “No. I’ll write it down in my own words. I don’t want shortcuts.”

Shamsi would sit and plan for every batsman – his notes diary in tow, even on matchdays when he wasn’t in Playing XI. And once he would spill the beans on why brainwaves struck him at 1 a.m – his preferred time to brainstorm with the analyst. “He once told me he eats my brain at that hour, so that he gets dreams of how to get a Kohli or Sharma out, so he can wake up next day he can execute the training plans.”

Once he came angsty about his googlies not spinning as much as Kuldeep Yadav or Brad Hogg. “When he said it’s not spinning, I told him Shamo’ you didn’t bowl any googly. That’s it. He hit the nets and bowled 1000 googlies non-stop and then said, he’s now hitting the groove.”

But nothing had prepared Prasanna for Shamsi’s mic-drop in the pink ball Test against Australia where the Chinaman was fancied as it’s tougher to spot the wrist in the Adelaidian twilight. Shamsi was instructed to block for 20 balls and support Faf as Proteas were hanging on at 210-9. Shamsi would announce he would score a 50 – against Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Finally he was unbeaten on 18. “He came back and blustered ‘If someone had suported me, I’d have hit that 50’.”

***

This constant state of ‘upbeat’ – talking up his own abilities to score a 50 coming at No 11 against Cummins & Starc – might well be the sort of swag and sizzle that the staid South African teams need at ICC tournaments. For a large part of the last 30 years, the Proteas have entered tournaments with burdensome tags of ‘talented’ and ‘favourites’ and come up short. The tasteless mocking glee of choke-jokes has run its course, and being light-weights might well prove liberating.

For all their botched run chases in 50 overs, South Africa can stake claim to the historic highest run-rally to 438. And the innings-interval remark of Jacques Kallis, the most expensive bowler in Australia’s 434, who had quipped “Guys, I think we’ve done a good job. They’re 15 runs short.”

Shamsi likes his boisterous one-liners too. And his showboating and noisy over-the-top pantomime aggression.

After starring in a T20 win against Ireland earlier, he would tell South African journalist Telford Vice, “In my young age, I started as a seamer but was told I’m not quick enough to be a fast bowler so became a spinner. Grew up watching Andre Nel, Dayle Steyn, Allan Donald, that’s where aggression comes from.”

He knows it’s a double-edged sword and a bowler can be packed off, but it can disrupt batters too. “Whatever it takes to win. I’m in charge of making our presence felt on the ground and ensure the team never backs down from opponents,” he added.

Shamsi recently responded to Darren Sammy’s tweet on who would win the T20 World: “Come on skipper, you know the answer to this already…. South Africa of course.” Scroll down the thread, and some mocker mangles his grammar: “are you comedy me”. A good laugh was had by all. Pressure punctured.

“He’ll say things like ‘I’ll single-handedly win this,” Prasanna says, “Whether it happens or not, it gives confidence to people close to you – your team.”

***

Shamsi’s made it to the top of rankings, taking 49 wickets from 42 T20Is, at a strike-rate of 14.8 and averaging 6.6. There’s been a bucketful of wickets in franchise cricket and The Hundred. He’s 31 and has bidden his time to make it to the national team, and another 4 years into the Playing XI. The Wicket then, is an ocassion to celebrate, he reckons.

“I’m a human being and not a robot and want to make long-lasting happy memories that will live with me forever long after my career is done and that is the reason behind my celebrations,” he wrote in a social media post once. “My celebrations mean no disrespect to the opponents. They help me enjoy myself, switch on and off during the game to release some pressure, and put some smiles on people’s faces too.”

There’s the “Shoe” that got going in the West Indies, where within seconds of a wicket, he’d shrug his ankle open from the left shoe and pretend to speak on a landline receiver. Then there’s the bus driver-celebration with Carlos Braithwaite and something about a birdie’s chirp. A flying kiss to the wife and a mock punch to a fielder like a streets hip hopper. Though the untold back-stories raise anticipation of what he’ll whip up next.

Prasanna says there can be new hairdos before every game, sometimes “thrice a week”, and that magic tricks and celebrations are practiced as diligently as the googlies and top-spinners. “Not only will he say, ‘Tomorrow I’ll get Ben Stokes out.’ He’ll also ask you to watch the celebration.”

Amongst his most famous on-field triumph-trumpetings after snaring a batter is pulling a wand out of a hankey – a magician’s staple. But never in cricket, where magic’s glossary is slathered on the slow bowlers and their guiles.

T20 commentators love his name, lending it a South American football match caller’s vroom: “Shaaa-mzzziii”. But it’s the celebrations that can befuddle the most trained of raconteurs. When Shamsi got Wihan Lubbe in the Mzansi Super League, the commentator would build up to the expected celebration. “Is the shoe coming off? No. Look at that…it’s magic,” he would chortle. Cricket was momentarily put to the side, before he resumed confused: “That was a legspinner…… Beg your pardon… Offspinner… That did the trick..” Shamsi’s delivery had jagged away from the leftie and the post-celebration left the commentator’s mind in knots.

Appearing on the Dan Nicholl Show in SA, Shamsi had pulled one of those ‘I can guess the card pulled out of the deck after being shuffled’ tricks. It was ace of spades.

Magic had been his fallback option till age 16, he’d say. “So if cricket doesn’t work out… I ll practice magic for 10 years… But naa… It’s gonna work out.. I’ll bamboozle you all,” he would say, charming the audience.

At the start of the magic gig, Shamsi had handed a sealed envelope to the host. “Sealed with Proteas saliva” Nicholl had joked with whispered reverence. The distracting envelope had briefly become the centrepiece, and Shamsi would explain later:
“You satisfied you made me stop shuffling when u wanted me to? Funny thing is…You thought you were in charge of the trick… Telling me when to stop. Even though it’s your show, I’m running this party… I was controlling you and I actually made you stop at a specific point. …And to prove that I had written down something in this envelope before starting the trick..” It read Ace of Spades.

Shamsi’s assortment of Chinaman, is a bit like that: planned spontaneity. Allan Donald in a video while introducing him to RCB few seasons ago, said: “Left arm, tweaks it this way, tweaks it that way, then tweaks it the other way.” Offering attacking options in the middle overs, with his ability to turn ball both ways, and variations of top spinner, the side spinner and googly, makes him effective against both lefties and righties. The constant explosion of activity – before, right after when appealing (he once did a spot of bhangra jumps, then sat down altogether while pleading a decision) and when celebrating, is in fact the sealed envelope distraction.

Yet, bad days are not unfamiliar to Shamsi, and his role can be flexible like the magician’s wand, like in the West Indies, to keep things quiet, contain against the big power hitters. “There’s two ways to skin a cat… Not really fussed about not getting wickets in WI. That was a different role,” he told the media later.

Sometimes the magic is in not believing the flimflam and sleight. Like rankings. “I don’t lose sleep over being No 1. Obviously it’s a nice feeling to be on top. But I’ve said it before and I truly mean it. I don’t even think I’m the best bowler in our team. We have some great bowlers in the unit. Rankings don’t mean anything if a batsman gets hold of you. I don’t even know how those rankings work honestly.”

Continue Reading

Latest

Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets

Published

on

Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets



















Five great Twenty20 World Cup upsets | SuperSport – Africa’s source of sports video, fixtures, results and news






{“slug”:”cricket”,”name”:”Cricket”,”menu”:[{“name”:”Current & Future Tours”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/current-and-future-tours”},{“name”:”Completed Tours”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/completed-tours”},{“name”:”Rankings”,”uri”:”http://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/team-rankings/test”},{“name”:”Future Tours Programme”,”uri”:”//images.supersport.com/content/ICC-Future-Tours-Programme-Latest-2020.pdf”},{“name”:”Major Tournaments”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/major-cricket-tournaments”},{“name”:”ICC Umpires”,”uri”:”/cricket/international/elite-panel-icc-umpires-referees”},{“name”:”This Week”,”uri”:”/cricket/fixtures”},{“name”:”Q&A”,”uri”:”/cricket/chat”}],”topics”:[{“group_name”:”Series & Tours”,”topics”:[{“name”:”Aus v Eng 2021/22″,”slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”NZ v WI 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-west-indies-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-west-indies-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Ban 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-bangladesh-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-bangladesh-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”NZ v Aus 2020/21″,”slug”:”new-zealand-v-australia-202021″,”parent_slug”:”new-zealand-v-australia-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”SA v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tour”]},{“name”:”SA v SL 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v SA 2020/21″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-south-africa-202021″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-south-africa-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Afg v Ire 2020/21″,”slug”:”afghanistan-v-ireland-202021″,”parent_slug”:”afghanistan-v-ireland-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v WI 202021″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-west-indies-202021″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-west-indies-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”SAW v PakW 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-women-v-pakistan-women-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-women-v-pakistan-women-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ind v Eng 2020/21″,”slug”:”india-v-england-202021″,”parent_slug”:”india-v-england-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SA v Aus 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-australia-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-australia-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SA v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”south-africa-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”IPL 2021″,”slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”parent_slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“video”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Afg v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”afghanistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”afghanistan-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v SL 2020/21″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-sri-lanka-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”IndW v SAW 2021″,”slug”:”india-women-v-south-africa-women-2021″,”parent_slug”:”india-women-v-south-africa-women-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Zim v Pak 2020/21″,”slug”:”zimbabwe-v-pakistan-202021″,”parent_slug”:”zimbabwe-v-pakistan-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“video”,”logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Ban 2020/21″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-bangladesh-202021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-bangladesh-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v NZ 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-new-zealand-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-new-zealand-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v SL 2021″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v SL 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-sri-lanka-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Eng v Pak 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-pakistan-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-pakistan-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”Ire v SA 2021″,”slug”:”ireland-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”ireland-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[]},{“name”:”Eng v Ind 2021″,”slug”:”england-v-india-2021″,”parent_slug”:”england-v-india-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v SA 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v Pak 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-pakistan-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-pakistan-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”WI v Aus 2021″,”slug”:”west-indies-v-australia-2021″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-v-australia-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Zim v Ban 2021″,”slug”:”zimbabwe-v-bangladesh-2021″,”parent_slug”:”zimbabwe-v-bangladesh-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”SL v Ind 2021″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-india-2021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-india-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]}, {“name”: “Ban v from 2021”, “slug”: “bangladesh-v-australia-2021”, “parent_slug”: “bangladesh-v-australia-2021”, “uri”: null, “hidden_tabs “:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]}, {“name”: “Ire v Zim 2021”, “slug”: “ireland-v-zimbabwe-2021”, “parent_slug”: “ireland-v-zimbabwe-2021”, “uri”: null, “hidden_tabs “:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”SL v SA 2021″,”slug”:”sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2021″,”parent_slug”:”sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”,”logs”]},{“name”:”WIW v SAW 2021/22″,”slug”:”west-indies-women-v-south-africa-women-202122″,”parent_slug”:”west-indies-women-v-south-africa-women-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Ban v NZ 2021/22″,”slug”:”bangladesh-v-new-zealand-202122″,”parent_slug”:”bangladesh-v-new-zealand-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Pak v NZ 2021/22″,”slug”:”pakistan-v-new-zealand-202122″,”parent_slug”:”pakistan-v-new-zealand-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”,”fixtures”,”results”]},{“name”:”Aus v Ind 2020/21″,”slug”:”australia-v-india-202021″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-india-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”Aus v Zim 2020/21″,”slug”:”australia-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-zimbabwe-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”,”results”,”fixtures”,”today”]}]},{“group_name”:”Countries”,”topics”:[{“name”:”ICC Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-2023″,”slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“today”,”results”,”fixtures”,”video”,”stats”,”tours”,”news”]},{“name”:”ICC T20 World Cup 2021″,”slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“today”,”results”,”fixtures”,”stats”,”tours”,”video”]},{“name”:”SA Women”,”slug”:”south-africa-women”,”parent_slug”:”south-africa-women”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“logs”,”stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”ICC U19 CWC 2020″,”slug”:”icc-under-19-world-cup-2020″,”parent_slug”:”icc-under-19-world-cup-2020″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”Women’s T20 CWC 2020″,”slug”:”icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020″,”parent_slug”:”icc-womens-t20-world-cup-2020″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2019-2021″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]}]},{“group_name”:”Other”,”topics”:[{“name”:”Women”,”slug”:”women”,”parent_slug”:”women”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tables”]},{“name”:”More”,”slug”:”more”,”parent_slug”:”more”,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“fixtures”,”results”,”tables”,”stats”]}]},{“group_name”:”SA Domestic”,”topics”:[{“name”:”CSA T20 KO 2021/22″,”slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“stats”,”tours”]},{“name”:”CSA T20 2020/21″,”slug”:”csa-t20-challenge-202021″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-challenge-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”MODC 2020/21″,”slug”:”momentum-one-day-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”momentum-one-day-cup-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]},{“name”:”CSA 4-Day 2020/21″,”slug”:”csa-4-day-franchise-series-202021″,”parent_slug”:”csa-4-day-franchise-series-202021″,”uri”:null,”hidden_tabs”:[“tours”]}]}],”featured”:{“topics”:[{“name”:”IPL 2021″,”slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”parent_slug”:”indian-premier-league-2021″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC T20 World Cup 2021″,”slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”parent_slug”:”icc-twenty-20-world-cup-202021″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”CSA T20 KO 2021/22″,”slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”parent_slug”:”csa-t20-knockout-202122″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”Aus v Eng 2021/22″,”slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”parent_slug”:”australia-v-england-202122″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-2023″,”slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-cricket-world-cup-super-league-2020-2023″,”uri”:null},{“name”:”ICC World Test Championship 2021-2023″,”slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”parent_slug”:”icc-world-test-championship-2021-2023″,”uri”:null}]}}

Continue Reading

Trending