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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November 16, 2022

Few financial sectors are as volatile as cryptocurrency, with the price of bitcoin down by more than 60 percent since the start of the year. The coin’s recent drop can be directly attributed to the downfall of FTX, a crypto exchange once valued at more than $32 billion. Founded by Samuel Bankman-Fried, FTX attracted the interest of top venture capital firms who invested hundreds of millions in the seemingly promising project. The company purchased mainstream legitimacy with their immense capital, Continue reading

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October 28, 2022

After years of unease, this year Americans are approaching holidays like Halloween with a level of enthusiasm not seen since pre-pandemic times. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 69 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, an amount that is on par with the stats from 2019. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one,” said NRF 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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September 30, 2022

For decades, conservationists have warned drink companies about the dangers of plastic ring packaging commonly used for six-packs of cans. Once these rings find their way into the ocean, they turn into a lethal danger for birds, turtles, and other marine life who can become ensnared in the plastic. In fact, the World Wildlife Federation estimates that plastic products like these kill as many as 100,000 marine animals annually. Drink rings also contribute to the growing global problem of ocean Continue reading

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September 9, 2022

Every month, more than one billion people use Google Maps to find their way around the world. The video below looks at the history of this revolutionary app since its launch 17 years ago as well as the ethical issues that come with gathering location data from millions of unknowing users.

Questions:

  1. How do businesses use Google Maps as a promotional tool?
  2. Do you think Google’s system of “differential privacy” provides enough protection for users’ location data? Why or why not?
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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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