Thursday, June 4, 2009

Quick Hits

- Manchester United, the New York Yankees of European football (or soccer), is changing the primary sponsor of its players’ jerseys. In European football, primary sponsors occupy the coveted spot on the front of player jerseys—a practice which has not yet caught on in the U.S., although the WNBA is considering it. AIG had been the previous sponsor on Man U’s unis but the spot, beginning next season, will be taken by Aon, a Chicago-based financial services company. AIG’s previous deal with Man U was for $93 million over four years.

- Sign of the apocalypse: The season opener of Jon & Kate Plus 8, on TLC, drew 9.8 million viewers on Monday night. That is up from the 4.6 million who viewed the previous episode.

- In case you missed it, Sasha Baron Cohen’s entrance, as Bruno, at the MTV Movie Awards. Cohen, err Bruno, in bare-bottomed pants dropped onto Eminem at the ceremony, causing the hip-hop celeb to storm out of the auditorium. Word out today is that the stunt was actually staged and not spontaneous.

- Dollar General’s 1st quarter earnings jumped to $291 million, up from $182.7 million a year ago. Profits for the discount retailer went from $5.9 million a year ago to $83 million for the quarter! As these results showcase, Dollar General is one of the few retailers benefitting from the economic downturn. Rivals Family Dollar Stores and Dollar Tree have also performed well.

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