National / International News
There's been a flurry of stadium naming rights deals in the past week. Nissan announced on Thursday its name will crown the Tennessee Titans' football stadium. Last week, US Bank said a new Minnesota Vikings stadium will bear its name.
Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. The US Bank deal reportedly will cost $10 million a year over a 20-year term.
Corporations spend millions of dollars a year for stadium naming rights for NFL teams, even poor performers. The Tennessee Titans lost ten games in a row last season.
“Forget about the team's performance. It’s all about the exposure in the most popular sports league in America,” says Don Muret, a reporter with Sports Business Journal.
Muret says the naming rights’ pricetags can vary depending on the market. He says the 2011 naming rights deal for the Met Life stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, likely cost between $17-$20 million for a 25-year agreement.
The prospect of a superbowl can also boost the price, according to E.J. Narcise, a principal at Team Services, LLC, a marketing firm that specializes in sports. He notes that the Vikings stadium will host the Superbowl in 2018, and that likely had a lot of appeal for US Bank.
“Think of the exposure that a brand will get when in 2018 it's live from US Bank stadium, and that's going to be broadcast in 38 languages all around the world,” he says.
Narcise says if a stadium can also host big events like political conventions, the naming rights are even more valuable.
Places that used to be industrial powerhouses have lately shot for a tech angle in their branding, jockeying to be labeled the next Silicon Valley. But increasingly, regions are rethinking their futures by looking to their past.
Ariella Cohen, editor-in-chief of a non-profit online publication called Next City, thinks it's a good thing. In a recent article titled, "Cleveland Wants to Make Sure the Next Wright Brothers Come From the Rust Belt," Cohen argues that moving forward can be about realizing what you're not.
"I think people are beginning to recognize that they're not Silicon anything," she says. Cohen points out that the legacy of manufacturing and the infrastructure that still exists in cities like Cleveland and Detroit make them more suitable for an industry that makes things.
"In all these cases, what's really important is that the business community is talking with the universities," she adds. Youngstown, OH, for example, has a community college that has built a makers' studio. The studio, in turn, provides job opportunities and training.
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Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Vienna for more nuclear negotiations with Iran. The deadline for a deal is June 30.
Kerry has lots of tools at his disposal as he works with U.S. allies to convince Iran to curb its nuclear program. The sharpest tool is sanctions, which have taken a huge bite out of Iran’s oil exports. Iran still exports some oil to a handful of countries, but oil payments can’t go through Western banks.
Gary Sick was on the National Security Council under presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan. He estimates Iran is owed around $40 billion.
“It’s their money," he says. "They were paid that money to sell oil to these countries, but they can’t get their money.”
Sick says Iran is definitely feeling the pinch, because the U.S. and allies in Europe, as well as China and Russia, support the sanctions. But that support could wither if Iran found a way to avoid Western banks, say some analysts.
“Presumably, the Iranians would sell their oil at a discount over the global price," says Jon Alterman, a senior vice president with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "And if you could save $6 a barrel buying Iranian oil, there are people who’d say there’s a lot of money in that.”
Alterman says the sooner a nuclear agreement is reached with Iran, the better.
That's how the Supreme Court voted in its ruling to extend the rights of marriage to same-sex couples on Friday morning. As more and more people suddenly have the ability to say "I do," it's worth checking out how to think about unions when it comes to tax time, Bloomberg reports.$67,750
That's how much Uber racked up in fines after its illegal launch in Portland late last year. The ride-sharing company also paid about that much in lobbying in the past six months, a modest sum for Uber, which doled out millions nationwide last year. A Bloomberg report cites Portland, where Uber is now legal, as an example of the company's influence among users and its deep bench of lobbyists to make sure city's ride-sharing regulations are compatible with Uber.55 percent
That's the percentage of Facebook's employees who are white. That's only down 2 percent from the 57 percent shown in its last diversity report. This after the company vowed to address its lack of diversity in its hiring. In fact, as The Guardian reports, only seven black employees were hired according to Facebook's most recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filing in 2013. That's out of the 1,231 employees hired that year.$10 million a year
That's reportedly how much U.S. Bank will pay to name the Minnesota Vikings stadium. And that's for the next 20 years. Why so much money just to have your name on a sports arena? The NFL is the most popular sports league in America, and money can't buy that kind of exposure. Well, it can ... it just costs a whole lot.
When Greek-born, U.S.-educated Nick Voglis came back to Athens and opened his food business in 1996, he had big plans to launch a new product on the Greek market: the gourmet sandwich.
“Back then, most of the sandwiches on sale in this country were very unhealthy and unappetizing,” he says. "No vegetables or salads inside — just cream cheese, bacon or hot dogs.”
Drawing on his long experience of living abroad, Voglis decided to open a deli bar selling haute cuisine sandwiches — made-to-order — using home-made French-style baguettes and only the finest and freshest ingredients. His dream was to expand the business into a franchise.
It didn’t quite work out like that.
“We still have only the one store. At our peak in 2007, we had 7 employees. Now we’re down to one part-time worker. And sales are down 40 to 50 percent,” Voglis says.
His business has failed to prosper in spite of his intelligence, energy, enthusiasm, attention to detail and the excellence of his sandwiches. He blames Greek bureaucracy, an unpredictable tax system and the economic crisis for the lack of growth in the business. Some of his opinions may prove a little hard for his fellow Greeks to stomach.
On his country’s debt crisis: “It’s happened because Greeks felt all their lives that somebody else will pay for them.”
On Greece’s membership of the Eurozone: "We want to be part of a club without implementing the rules of the club.”
On Greece’s public sector: "It’s a major monster which has killed this country.”
On Greece’s creditors: “They want to make an example of us. And they’re right.”
In spite of this scathing assessment, Voglis wouldn’t dream of shutting up shop and leaving his country.
“I’m a very proud Greek. I love this place. And I think it’s very sad what’s taken place here,” he says.
Jen Hyman started Rent the Runway right out of business school, and the young entrepreneur says she never dreamed she would be the boss of 250 employees and serve four million customers, let alone run the largest dry-cleaning facility in America.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, sits down with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal to discuss Square, his life since Twitter and what the future holds for a visionary that many have called “the next Steve Jobs.”
Welcome to the golden age of audio. The world has (re)discovered podcasting. And for us, the real lesson of the post-Serial boomlet isn't that podcasts are great — they've been great for a while! — but that people actually care what reporters do before the story gets written or recorded. Which is to say, we always knew you cared about the murder mystery, but we didn't know that you cared about how we try to report it.
It’s with this in mind that we’re excited to bring you Actuality, a bi-monthly podcast jointly produced with our friends at Quartz. We’re friends because, frankly, we like to come at stories in some similar ways — finding the accessible and conversational in those stories that used to wither and die on the business pages of serious publications.
Some of the best things that happen in a newsroom are the conversations between journalists before and after the story gets published. An audio product is so much more visceral and immediate: the best way to recreate the moment when someone leans over from the next desk and says, "get a load of this story." We’re also bringing people connected to the story — experts and participants — into every conversation we have, to point out when we are wrong (and vice-versa).
So, every other week, we'll endeavor to bring you into a new story about the global economy and plug you into the conversation behind the news. Marketplace and Quartz try not to take ourselves too seriously, and we hope you find the podcast both informative and entertaining.
Actuality seemed like the perfect name for it; it’s what those of us in the audio business call the clips of tape from interviews that go into our stories. Those, and other “pops” of sound, will give us a nice starting point for many of our discussions.
But where those conversations go from there will surprise you, just like the word "actuality," for its earlier meaning: things as they really are, not as we expect them to be.
Marketplace and Quartz are committed to finding new ways to bring news about the changing world to our audiences in whatever medium they prefer. We hope our podcast will combine the best of Quartz's digital journalism with Marketplace's award-winning radio broadcasts in a mix that brings you the best of our sensibilities as journalists — and our curiosity about the world and what makes it run.
You can subscribe to Actuality here.
In Seoul, a gay pride parade that's gone on for 15 years is at the heart of a bitter standoff between organizers and Christian activists. Church groups threaten to stop the parade, in the name of God.
Nigeria is one of three places where polio is still a problem. But there hasn't been a case in almost a year. So Africa is on the verge of being polio-free.
Sixty years ago, Helena Hicks helped desegregate the city's lunch counters. The 80-year-old has continued to advocate for Baltimore's poor, black residents — in the wake of the Freddie Gray incident.