December 14, 2022

The members of the K-pop group BTS are more than just entertainers: they’re financial juggernauts who have contributed billions of dollars to the South Korean economy. The video below looks at how BTS leverages their massive global audience to develop lucrative brand partnerships with everyone from McDonald’s to Louis Vuitton. This bonanza of cash might not go on forever, though, with the group announcing they were taking a brief hiatus that could potentially blunt their branding power. 

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December 2, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup moves into the knockout stages this weekend, a nerve-wracking time when teams can be eliminated with a single loss. While the tournament’s soccer stars will experience a dramatic increase of tension on the field, the host country Qatar has already faced plenty of global pressure since FIFA awarded them the event in 2010. The Middle East nation has long been accused of using corruption to land the World Cup, leading to a 2015 indictment from Continue reading

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November 18, 2022

Last month Taylor Swift released her 10th album Midnights, which shocked the recording industry by selling the equivalent of 1,578,000 copies. Songs from the album also occupied every slot of Billboard’s Top 10 singles chart, the first time in history that an artist has achieved this feat. Needless to say, anticipation for Swift’s upcoming tour grew to massive proportions on the eve of a pre-sale event planned for earlier this week. Ticketmaster established a Verified Fan program to keep Continue reading

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October 26, 2022

A few weeks ago, we looked at the sprawling global sneaker industry and how companies like Adidas earn billions annually thanks in large part to their unique brand partnerships. The German sneaker giant’s most profitable celebrity connection over the years has been with Kanye West (now known as Ye), with whom Adidas has collaborated on the Yeezy line of shoes and clothing for nearly a decade. This partnership has been hugely profitable: one data research firm estimates that Yeezy is Continue reading

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October 7, 2022

This fascinating video takes a close look at the painstaking process for making oboes, a woodwind that stands out as one of the most expensive instruments in any orchestra. The artisans depicted below must contend with costly and dwindling supplies as well as limited demand from a small and selective market, factors that make this specialty business even more complicated.

Questions:

  1. Why are the material costs for oboes so high compared to other instruments like flutes and clarinets?
  2. How does Continue reading
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September 2, 2022

Last year, the Danish building-block company Lego earned more than 7 billion euros in sales, making it far and away the top toymaker in the world. Once on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 2000s, Lego turned things around when it focused exclusively on construction bricks along with licensed sets based on popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter. Now the company’s dominance extends even into the offices of the world’s biggest corporations as part of team-building exercises Continue reading

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August 19, 2022

Since 1994, Rap Snacks has sold chips, popcorn, and even instant noodles featuring hip hop stars like Snoop Dogg, Migos, and Lil Baby on the packaging. The most recent addition to this lineup of talent is Nicki Minaj, who launched her “Barbie-Que Honey Truffle” potato chips earlier this summer. While Rap Snacks hoped this high-profile partnership would make a big splash on social media, the brand instead attracted the attention of an entirely different audience: the notoriously litigious toy company Continue reading

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August 3, 2022

Last year, the movie studio Warner Bros. announced that it was working on a slate of films created specifically for the streaming service HBO Max. Among these titles was Batgirl, whose budget ballooned to more than $90 million after completing most of the film. But rather than release this star-studded adaptation of a DC Comics character, Warner said yesterday that the movie would never stream online nor would it ever appear in theaters. 

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July 27, 2022

Each year, media companies spend tens of billions of dollars for the rights to broadcast sporting events from professional leagues like the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball. In fact, by 2024 Disney, Comcast, Paramount, and Fox are expected to spend a combined total of $24.2 billion on broadcast rights for sports, almost double what they paid ten years ago. That is, unless tech conglomerates like Apple and Google splash even more cash in an effort to expand into this Continue reading

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April 26, 2022

Netflix revolutionized the entertainment industry after the company launched its streaming service in 2007, creating an on-demand platform that was soon imitated by many competitors. Although Netflix still has the largest audience in the industry with 220 million subscribers, the company faces strong competition from services like Disney+, HBO Max, and many others. No longer the only game in town, over the years Netflix has spent big on original television series and movies in order to stand out from this Continue reading

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