Not JUST a game to everyone


December 13, 2018

The family that owns the Denver Broncos is in a spicy feud over which sibling is the rightful heir to the throne.
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The Other Bowlen Girl: The family feud over a $2.65B football franchise

Before Alzheimer’s-afflicted owner of the Denver Broncos, Pat Bowlen, stepped down from his throne in 2014, he outlined a specific succession plan for one of his 7 children to take over his Denver dynasty. 

But when Beth Bowlen Wallace claimed the Broncos crown last spring, the 3 interim trustees blocked her bid — in apparent support of a younger Bowlen sister, Brittany. Now the 2 factions are taking the issue to court.

Because, like many American pro sports franchises, the Broncos’ ownership is a family affair.

An American monarchy

Bowlen bought the team with 3 siblings in 1984. He stipulated the following for his blood successor: an advanced graduate degree, 5 years with the team, business acumen, leadership experience, and personal integrity.

The 48-year-old Bowlen Wallace appears to fit the bill: she has a law degree, years of executive Broncos experience, business-founding experience, and a long volunteer history. 

The treasonous trustee triumvirate

The other trustees issued a “strongly worded” rejection of Bowlen Wallace’s capability and qualifications (possibly to retain control until their chosen successor, the similarly qualified 28-year-old Brittany Bowlen, is old enough to take over). 

After the rejection, Bowlen Wallace and her uncle Bill Bowlen sued the trust for “conflicts of interest that impair their ability to act impartially.” In response, the trust asked the NFL to step in.

It’s a messy feud, but it’s nothing unusual for the NFL… 

The NFL’s feudal future

The history of NFL ownership looks like 16th-century England: parents disown children (the Bensons for ownership of the Saints), rivalrous brothers duel (the Richardsons for the Panthers), and illegitimate sons emerge to take the throne (the Smiths for the Falcons).

The NFL’s ownership rules promote this infighting: Only individuals who pay 30% upfront (hundreds of millions) can buy franchises — which explains why families like the Johnsons (as in Johnson & Johnson) and the Fords (yes, those Fords) end up in the NFL. 

   @ Me Anything
Conor Grant, News Writer at The Hustle
@conor_p_grant

As long as there are NFL games to view, there will be rich families to sue: It’s halftime in this Super Bowlen, but there will be plenty more to watch.
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Podcast analytics just got RAD thanks to NPR, but podcasts still won’t target listeners

NPR announced a new listener analytics platform that helps podcasters collect listening metrics, called RAD (remote audio data).

NPR has taken a lead in the podcasting industry, and this new release — in conjunction with more than 30 podcasting partners — aims to give podcast publishers (and their advertisers) greater insight into their performance.

This isn’t your average tracking platform

The analytics platform is open-source, and it only connects anonymized data that cannot be used to track and re-target listeners.

Unlike re-targeting that bombards people with ads for razors when they mistakenly Google their friend Harry’s address, RAD isn’t designed to hunt down new customers. 

Instead, according to its announcement, RAD just helps creators and advertisers know which parts listeners actually hear (which was previously difficult, although Apple launched a somewhat similar product).

Podcasters are real team players (at least most of them)

NPR has its own podcasting platform, NPR One, which will highlight the company’s new RAD system. But NPR made the technology available to any partners who wanted to make the podcasting industry more open.

NPR’s RAD partners include Google, ESPN, Panoply, PRX, The New York Times, iHeartMedia, and New York Public Radio.  Notably absent? Apple.

» Listen to your listeners

Optibus raises $40m to help fix the logistical dumpster fire of bus routes

Doesn’t matter whether you’re in Beijing or Boise, municipal transit is a friggin’ nightmare. Yesterday, Optibus raised a $40m Series B to help change all that.

The Tel Aviv-based logistical startup provides software enabling cities to have a detailed overhead view of scheduling and routing for their particular transport network.

Nice route, Magellan

The public transport sector is a $1.5T industry, yet somehow still massively behind the curve when it comes to digital infrastructure — making things like routes, timing, and asset management an absolute cluster f*ck for everyone involved.

And, with the number of heavy-duty transit buses expected to grow rapidly — to 57.7k in China by 2022, for example — it’s only gonna get worse.

With Optibus’ software, officials can improve service quality, generate timetables, reduce fuel costs, as well as “optimise” overall efficiency within each transit network in real time and, according to Optibus, cut overall costs by up to 15%.

What took them so long?

AI wasn’t built in a day. It took the 4-year-old Optibus 3 years to develop the AI that underlies its web-based transit operations solution — now cities have to buy in.

After Optibus’ $12m Series A in 2017, it opened offices in San Francisco, London, and Dusseldorf, and expanded its presence in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Austin, and more than 300 cities worldwide.

According to Optibus founder and CEO Amos Haggiag, the latest round will drive “future product innovation” and help the company expand into other existing markets. 

» Japan’s still #1

Is it possible for banks to have a conscience? Good Money thinks so

On Monday, Good Money, an online and peer-to-peer banking service, announced it raised $30m in Series A funding — so another online banking platform raised some cash. Big whoop, right?

Yes. For once it actually is a big whoop.

Good Money is the first-ever digital banking platform to be owned by its customers — when a new customer signs up, they’re given an equity share of the platform — the ultimate goal being for customers to eventually own as much as 70%.

Taking neo-banking to a whole new level

Credit unions, AKA nonprofit financial institutions owned and operated by members, have existed since the mid-1800s, and it’s that same cooperative philosophy that served as Good Money’s inspiration, according to its founder, Gunnar Lovelace. 

But Good Money isn’t a nonprofit, which makes this business model even more uncommon as the company offers its members some of the similar financial perks that credit unions subscribe to — like no ATM or overdraft fees (customers paid big banks over $30B in overdraft fees last year).

For-profit doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the people

Of the profits Good Money makes, it funnels impact investments and charitable donations toward the planet, all of which are voted on by the customers/partial owners.

With the platform, Good Money hopes to change the way people view for-profit financial institutions, by making them more transparent, and by putting its customers at the forefront.

Because, according to Lovelace, at the end of the day, “Money is actually just energy.” OK, take it easy, Lovelace.

» Lost us there, Lovelace
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How two Wharton and Stanford biz grads are disrupting the luxury handbag market

Coral Chung and Wendy Wen were tired of making compromises when it came to their everyday handbags. 

Designer bags were beautiful, but not up for the beating that comes with daily use. Backpacks were more durable, but blander than your great aunt’s potato casserole.

Frustrated by their fruitless search for a bag that blended both style and functionality, they did what any good entrepreneurs would do. 

They made their own: meet Senreve – stylish, luxury handbags that are both beautiful and functional at the same time.

Gift the bag that does everything this season

(And get a little something in return, too.) 

This December, Senreve is partnering with some of their favorite brands to offer you a holiday treat. 

Buy their signature Maestra or any of their other stain-resistant, 100% Italian leather, stylish-as-hell bags this holiday season, and Senreve will slip a little something extra in your shopping cart. 

Spend $300-$599 and get 1 special gift, drop $600-$999 and get 2, or splash $1K and get 3.  

If that wasn’t enough for the Head Baller Shot Callers out there, go for the full kit’n’kaboodle: Spend $3K or more at Senreve, and you’ll receive all 15 special gifts they have available (a $600+ value). 

Throw it in the bag → things you should…

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LIVEN: Up your holiday spirit(s) with homemade spiked eggnog, $25

There’s only one month of the year that it’s appropriate to drink this creamy, dreamy, I-gotta-lay-down-for-a-while concoction… so you might as well go all the way and add a little bit of tickle liquid to it.
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