The Hustle

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Plus: Weekend reads, a bear named Tripod, how we got Chuck Norris memes, and more.

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A New Hampshire woman bought a painting from a thrift shop for $4, then hung it in her home for years. Now, the N.C. Wyeth illustration, featured in a 1939 edition of Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona, may fetch up to $250k at auction this month.

In today’s email:

  • Gen Z: Companies try to understand youngsters — by putting them in their boardrooms.
  • Football’s back: But the NFL never stopped cashing checks.
  • Weekend reads: A short week? Pfft. We still have you covered.
  • Around the web: Read by vibes, the history of Chuck Norris memes, soaked pets, and more.

👇 Listen: What we learned from the summer of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Barbie.

The Big Idea

Can Gen Z advisory boards help brands stay relevant?

Corporations are embracing young voices to stay ahead of the curve.
2023-09-08T00:00:00Z
Sara Friedman

Turns out the kids aren’t just alright — they’re already in corporate boardrooms.

Per Inc., brands are assembling Gen Z advisory panels to glean youthful opinions and, hopefully, to gain a competitive edge with a new generation of consumers.

And there’s a lot at stake

Gen Zers had an estimated $360B in disposable income in 2021, and their share of the market is projected to increase 48% by 2030.

To get a piece of that cash-filled pie, companies are finding creative ways to stay fresh:

  • Wellness company Moon Juice established a Gen Z panel of 20+ members that meets monthly with company executives to discuss everything from pricing to product names.
  • PR agency Ascend has Gen Z board members advise clients on the buying habits and mindsets of the younger generation.
  • Dcdx is a Gen Z consulting firm that helps brands build advisory panels and create marketing strategies.
  • Investment firm Able Partners assembled a Gen Z board to support and advise its portfolio companies.

To find young voices…

… brands are looking inside and beyond their own walls.

The Body Shop — after Gen Zers were particularly ruthless during a company critique — appointed a permanent “Youth Collective” advisory board comprised of both internal employees and external members, all under 30 years old.

For Moon Juice, the gig platform Home From College connected the company with jobseeking Gen Zers.

The ZEO will see you now

Unlike your favorite pair of sneakers, the Gen Z boardroom won’t be a fleeting trend.

Corporate boards are growing younger as boomers retire: In 2022, the average age of board members at Russell 1000 companies dropped for the third straight year to 61.8.

And major companies are embracing the shift — PR giant Edelman launched its “Gen Z Lab” last year, complete with 100 employees and even a ZEO.

Now, BRB, kicking ourselves for wasting time with entry-level grunt work instead of becoming ZEOs.

TRENDING

The booze necessities: A three-legged bear known as Tripod was recorded breaking into a Florida home, opening a mini fridge, and helping himself to three White Claws. The homeowner said she was not concerned “because we know the bear really well.”

SNIPPETS

Ghostwriter, creator of the viral AI Drake song, returns with “Whiplash,” a new song featuring AI-generated Travis Scott and 21 Savage vocals, promising the musicians royalties if they allow it to be released.

Intuit’s new AI assistant will provide financial recommendations when using its software tools, which includes TurboTax, Mailchimp, and Credit Karma.

Speaking of AI and finance… Morgan Stanley is rolling out a new AI bot to help manage financial documents. It’s also developing a tool that could one day assist financial advisers and clients with creating meeting summaries, suggesting next steps, and more.

Tapping in: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust bought 1.7m shares of Anheuser-Busch, worth ~$95m, last quarter. In February, Gates bought ~$1B in Heineken Holding.

Quenching expert Gatorade will make its first foray into water in early 2024. Electrolyte-infused Gatorade Water is PepsiCo’s latest play (it also owns Life Wtr and Aquafina) for a larger share of the $25B water category.

Microsoft will buy credits from startup Heirloom Carbon for the removal of up to 315k metric tons of carbon dioxide over 10 years, a $200m+ deal that will help the company neutralize its carbon emissions.

Meta is still trying to make the metaverse happen, just with revised tactics: Its new ad campaign focuses on VR’s current applications, unlike its previous future-focused ads.

Brady on board: Tom Brady joined an unexpected new team — Delta Air Lines. The former quarterback is the company’s newest strategic adviser, and will develop training and teamwork tools for the airline’s 90k+ employees.

Holy smokes: Legendary cannabis media brand High Times has a new owner — Lucy Scientific Discovery, a “mind science” company that develops psychotropic drugs. One interesting quirk of the deal: licensing fees would double upon US federal legalization.

Chart
Olivia Heller

The NFL is back, bigger than ever, and seriously, wow, it’s huge

It’s the same old story every time this year: football is back and the NFL is making money hand over fist.
2023-09-08T00:00:00Z
Ben Berkley

Football fans, it’s that magical time.

Sure, a new season kicked off last night in Kansas City, but the real magic we’re talking about here is the chance to step back and marvel at the seemingly unstoppable business force that is the National Football League.

Let us bask

The league’s financial picture is, quite plainly, remarkable, per Forbes:

  • With the recent $6.05B sale of the Washington Commanders, the average NFL team value has risen to $5.1B.
  • The $163B aggregate value of the league’s 32 teams nearly tops the combined value of every NBA and MLB team.
  • The league’s most valuable team, the Dallas Cowboys, was worth a not-so-shabby $3.2B in 2014 — now that’s up to $9B.
  • Last season, average team revenue hit $581m, up 8% YoY. Only two teams — Detroit and Cincinnati — came in under $500m, and both just by a smidge.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the league is the singular dominant force remaining in live television. On the strength of its ratings — the NFL commanded 82 of 2022’s 100 most-watched TV programs — the league will earn a minimum of $125.5B from its broadcast deals over the next decade.

Where do we go from here?

The league isn’t infallible (just search “NFL + concussions” for a reminder), but business-wise, it continues to set the standard for American sports leagues— and somehow has some untapped revenue streams remaining:

  • The NFL’s relationship with gambling is still developing, but the market keeps on growing — a survey found a record 73.5m American adults plan to bet on an NFL game this year.
  • The league is considering an expansion of its NFL+ streaming platform.

Don’t put it past them: Take it from an Arizona Cardinals fan, the game produces an excess of tears — perhaps a dalliance with the $10B+ facial tissue market is in order?

Free Resource

We saved the best of INBOUND for last…

Today’s the day you put an hour (or three) of “brain training” on the calendar and catch the fine minds capping off our livestream.

  • Reese Witherspoon: Lessons on leadership and innovation with the Hollywood legend and Hello Sunshine founder.
  • Guy Raz: An interview on scaling to the billions with HubSpot founders Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan.
  • Sam Parr: The $100m playbook that built The Hustle, Trends, My First Million, and Hampton.

The one and only Reese will close us out at 2:30pm EST. May all movers, shakers, and makers be present for the sendoff. 🫡

Watch INBOUND live →
Recs

Welcome to Weekend Reads

In case you missed ‘em, here’s this week’s best…

  • Tweet: A little workday meditation.
  • Blog: It only takes others about 30 seconds to make up their mind about you, and your outfit’s a bit part of that equation. Update your workday wardrobe with this dress-to-impress guide.
  • A quick read: Anyone with a valid driver’s license, 30 hours of flight training, and the means to acquire this new helicopter will be able to take to the skies.
  • A long read: Meet the forgotten father of pumpkin beer, who ushered in America’s pumpkin-flavored industry years before Starbucks turned it into a billion-dollar business.
  • Video: Six out of 10 Ikea purchases are impulse buys, and that’s by design. Here’s how Ikea tricks you into walking out of its stores with your hands full.
AROUND THE WEB

💫 On this day: In 1966, “Star Trek” premiered on TV, spawning a sci-fi franchise hit that’s continued to this day, despite the initial series cancelation after three seasons.

😂 That’s interesting: The history of Chuck Norris Facts (the creator of which, BTW, is now an AI researcher.

📚 Useful: Find your next read using your mood.

🚿 Aww: And now, wet vs. dry.

SHOWER THOUGHTS
  1. We’re lucky bugs are small. SOURCE
    SOURCE

  2. Shit WiFi is much worse than no WiFi. SOURCE
    SOURCE

  3. We have an irrational hatred for people doing the speed limit. SOURCE
    SOURCE

  4. The amount of infrastructure it takes for us to live is insane. SOURCE
    SOURCE

  5. A gallon of gasoline is cheaper than a gallon of Gatorade. SOURCE
    SOURCE

 
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Today’s email was brought to you by Juliet Bennett Rylah and Sara Friedman.
Editing by: Ben “3023 is gonna be the Cardinals’ year” Berkley.

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