• Sports Gambling Ads Concern Regulators
    The plethora of sports gambling ads on TV, radio and online from operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel Group is beginning to concern regulators. Those companies and the like are spending hundreds of millions of dollars, and large shares of their revenues, on marketing including celebrity-filled TV commercials, ads on billboards and podcasts, and sponsorships. “If the industry does not control itself, the government will step in and certainly create standards they may not want,” says David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement. 
  • Baseball Aims To Diversify Appeal, Increase Popularity
    Baseball is struggling in popularity, based on measures like game attendance and social media relevance. “The game competes with myriad sports and entertainment options that did not exist decades ago, and the methodical pace of play alienates some potential fans,” per The New York Times. “But just as concerning for the game is that many young people believe it is not cool — that it is the exclusive domain of nostalgic old men and data geeks. And a big reason is its tenuous relationship with the audience that, for generations, has helped define what cool is.”
  • Gap, H&M, Levi Strauss Linked To Deforestation
    A report is linking some huge brands to Cambodia’s disappearing forest. The biggest offenders over the past three years, based on data gleaned from the Open Apparel Registry, included Bestseller, C&A, Gap, H&M, Levi Strauss, Next, Ralph Lauren and Sainsbury’s-owned Tu.
  • No Easy Fix For Global Supply Chain Problems
    Supply chain issues affecting everything from cars to food to electronics aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and were actually primed to happen even before the pandemic. “The pandemic has certainly made supply and demand extremely volatile, shifting faster than the supply chain can adjust,” per The New York Times. “But that came on top of decades of very lean inventories kept by companies to limit their costs.”
  • Runner Sues Nike, Former Coach For Alleged Abuse
    Distance runner Mary Cain has filed a $20 million lawsuit against her former coach Alberto Salazar and Nike. “Cain, 25, had a promising career, becoming in 2013 the youngest American athlete to make a World Championships team at age 17,” per Axios. “She alleges in the suit that she faced sustained emotional abuse by Salazar after joining the Nike Oregon Project in 2012. She accuses Nike of knowing this and failing to intervene. Cain said it affected her physical and mental health.”
  • Circle K Tests AI-Powered Check-Out Free System
    Circle K convenience store is trying out an AI-powered checkout-free experience in a retrofitted store in Tempe, Arizona. "Using AI-powered cameras mounted at strategic locations throughout the store, the system accurately identifies the products shoppers pick up and automatically records the purchases on the Circle K mobile app — eliminating time spent at traditional checkout areas," per RIS News. The location was retrofitted without ceasing store operations or altering its layout. 
  • Online Shopping Encourages Easy Returns -- And Waste
    While the average brick-and-mortar store has a return rate in the single digits, the average rate is somewhere between 15% and 30% for online purchases -- and for clothing, it can be even higher.  Last year, U.S. retailers took back more than $100 billion in merchandise sold online. “All of that unwanted stuff piles up. Some of it will be diverted into a global shadow industry of bulk resellers, some of it will be stripped for valuable parts, and some of it will go directly into an incinerator or a landfill,” per The Atlantic.
  • NHL, Navy Federal Credit Union Extend Sponsorship
    The National Hockey League and Navy Federal Credit Union have extended their U.S. sponsorship partnership. The multiyear deal includes Navy Federal as the presenting sponsor of TNT’s NHL Veterans Appreciation Night broadcast on Nov. 10 with the Coyotes facing the Wild. The credit union is also the presenting sponsor of the Stadium Series game between the Predators and Lightning at Nissan Stadium on Feb. 26.
  • McDonald's Plans U.S. Test For McPlant Burger
    McDonald’s will test the plant-based McPlant burger created as part of its partnership with Beyond Meat in eight U.S. restaurants next month. The fast-food retailer already started selling the burgers in some international markets, including Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. “The trial is the latest step in McDonald’s cautious march to add plant-based meat to its menu,” per CNBC. “The company has taken its time to learn more about the longevity of meat substitutes and consumer demand, even as other fast-food chains raced to add the trendy item to their menus.”
  • El Pollo Loco CEO Resigns
    El Pollo Loco announced that Bernard Acoca resigned Oct. 15 as chief executive officer and president “to pursue other opportunities,” and the company’s board named Chief Financial Officer Laurence Roberts to the interim post. Acoca held the post since 2018 and under his leadership, the fast food retailer accelerated its digital penetration, according to the company. Roberts, CFO for the past eight years, previously served as CFO and chief operating officer of Yum Brand Inc.’s KFC division.
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