UnitedMasters Leveraging the NBA With New Partnership

By Trapital

  • Steve Stoute’s UnitedMasters is partnering with the NBA

  • Artists give UnitedMasters 10% of their revenue in exchange for distribution support

CBx Vibe:We Fly High - Ballin’” Jim Jones

Last week, UnitedMasters, an independent artist services company announced an interesting partnership with the NBA. UnitedMasters’ stable of artists will now have the opportunity to get their music featured on the NBA’s digital properties. These artists give UnitedMasters 10% of their revenue in exchange for distribution support, like this new NBA deal offers. But unlike a record label, UnitedMasters doesn’t own the artist’s masters. The artists keep them.

Why This Matters: This move is a natural play for Steve Stoute, the company's founder and CEO. The music and advertising executive has built his legacy on merging the worlds of basketball and hip-hop dating back to his deals with Reebok in the early 2000s. The NBA partnership gives UnitedMasters an advantage in an increasingly competitive space. But it begs the question whether the NBA itself was the best digital property for the year-old company to partner with.

Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Returns Home

By CultureBanx Team

  • Ben Enwonwu’s famed “Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair

  • The painting sold for a record $1.57M, the highest-valued work of Nigerian modern art

CBx Vibe: Precious” Sebastian Kamae

Nigeria’s best-known modern artist Ben Enwonwu’s famed “Tutu” painting is being shown in the country for the first time since it disappeared. Originally painted in 1974, it went missing the next year and finally re-surfaced in February in north London.

Why This Matters: “Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair for a weekend showing by Access Bank earlier this month. Enwonwu is etched in Nigeria’s art history, but his work has not drawn the auction prices to match his stature. Part of the reason for this mismatch in pricing and stature could be Nigeria’s art market still finding its footing on the global stage.

Levi’s Skinny Jeans Approach to a Big IPO

By CultureBanx Team

  • Levi’s is reportedly planning $5B IPO

  • During the first nine months of the year Levi’s revenue has gone up 16%

CBx Vibe:Reborn” Kids See Ghosts

Levi’s is considering returning to the stock market more than 30 years after it went private. The company is reportedly planning and IPO that values it at up to $5 billion sources told CNBC, despite many stores closing that sell Levi’s brands. As culture changes and sub-cultures spring up, is now the right time for Levi’s to become a publicly traded company once again?

Why This Matters: Hip-hop's love affair with jeans is as diverse and varied as the genre itself.  Straight legged denim like Levi’s classic 501 or 505 jeans kept your favorite old school rappers looking fresh back in the '80s, and its popularity has grown among today’s urban entertainers. The denim maker has been around the block a time or two, they first went public back in 1971, before family members took it back private in 1984 through a leveraged buyout. Levi's is looking to raise between $600 million and $800 million for its new IPO and investors seem to think that’s a fair price.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges: Decentralized vs. Centralized

By ICO Alert

  • Decentralization eliminates third-party risk while increasing security and transparency

  • Centralized exchanges provide ease-of-use, liquidity, and convenience

CBx Vibe:Flip” Croosh

Decentralized digital asset exchanges are increasing in popularity due to the long list of issues that cryptocurrency users have been faced with when trading on centralized platforms. Exchange hacks, lengthy KYC processes, and unmerited account closures are some of the challenges that crypto traders have had to deal with on centralized exchanges, which is resulting in more and more investors moving towards the decentralized alternative to execute their trades.

Why This Matters: The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency networks is one of their main advantages over fiat currency. Decentralization eliminates third-party risk and the need for a financial intermediary. It also increases security and transparency as there is no single point of failure in the network and all financial transactions can be viewed on a public ledger.

Iconic Cookie Brand Famous Amos Up For Sale Again

By Justin Moore

  • Kellogg’s is selling its cookies and fruit snacks businesses

  • In 2018, the U.S. cookies and crackers market is projected to generate $18B

CBx Vibe:Cookie Jar” Doja Cat

Kellogg’s (K +0.03%) search for buyers has intensified as it looks to offload the cookies and fruit snacks businesses. The packaged goods company wants to focus more on its morning foods, snacks and frozen foods brands. On the chopping block once again is iconic cookie brand Famous Amos, originally created by serial entrepreneur Wally Amos.

Why This Matters: Kellogg’s slimming down is consistent with other household names such as Campbell’s (CPB +5.46%) and Kraft Heinz (KHC -1.83%), which are struggling with slowing growth. They’re selling off business units to be more nimble as they combat smaller competitors experiencing massive growth. The businesses up for sale have about $900 million in annual sales.

Amazon’s HQ2 Pressure on Black Homeowners

By CultureBanx Team

  • Amazon may benefit from having its HQ2 in a designated “Opportunity Zone”

  • Black people have the 2nd lowest homeownership rate in Queens

CBx Vibe:Buy Back the Block” Rick Ross Feat. 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane

Retail giant Amazon (AMZN -1.61%) has selected an upscale slice of the waterfront area in New York’s Long Island City to house one of its two new secondary headquarters, with the other location in Arlington County’s Crystal City. This is one of the largest economic development projects in recent history. Amazon may cause home prices to skyrocket in Queens where Long Island city is, and where black people have the second lowest homeownership rate, like they did in Seattle.

Why This Matters: Long Island city has a 10% black population and there are more than 20,000 less black homeowners in 2017 than there were in 2005, according to the 2017 Housing and Vacancy Survey for New York City. For the city’s part it gave Amazon up to $1.7 billion in state economic incentives to help secure the Queen’s location, an area where black homeownership is already on the decline.

Facebook Becomes Uganda’s Internet Plug

By CultureBanx Team

  • Facebook connects remote parts of Uganda to high speed internet

  • Ugandans must pay $0.05 per day to use Facebook

CBx Vibe:Plugged In” Lecrae

Facebook (FB -3.00%) has laid 500 miles of fiber wires in northwest Uganda to provide millions of people with connectivity infrastructure. It’s expanded the isolated northwest of this East African nation’s network capacity by providing faster internet access.

Why This Matters: The Ugandan cable project is the largest one Facebook has helped construct on the continent, in partnership with Bharti Airtel’s Ugandan unit and Mauritius based Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group. Facebook has 131 million monthly active users in sub-Saharan Africa. Right now Ugandans must pay $0.05 per day to use Facebook.

African Music Bops Attract Universal Music Group

By CultureBanx Team

  • Universal Music Group strikes a new licensing deal with Africa’s Boomplay

  • Boomplay has more than 36M users

CBx Vibe:Soco” Starboy Feat. Wizkid

The world’s largest music publisher Universal Music Group (UMG) is pushing further into Africa through a new licensing deal with Boomplay. This new agreement will cover multiple markets across the continent, which is widely fragmented but remains one of the last true music growth opportunities in the world.

Why This Matters: Boomplay is Africa’s leading music streaming service with more than 2 million songs and thousands of music videos, spanning genres like Afrobeat, Afropop and hip-hop. They have more than 36 million users and add nearly 2 million new users each month. Under the terms, Boomplay will distribute music from UMG’s labels through its streaming service in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

Coca-Cola Looking to CBD to Get Well & Get Money

By Priest Willis

  • CBD industry could reach $22B in market size by 2022

  • Big businesses like Coca-Cola are exploring a move into the CBD business

CBx Vibe:CPR” Summer Walker

Don’t call it a comeback because its been here for years. Cannabidiol otherwise known as CBD has skyrocketed in popularity, big businesses and people looking for health alternatives are taking notice. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is one of over 100 naturally occurring in the cannabis sativa plant with a myriad of health benefits.

Why This Matters: CBD works in harmony with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, helping to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. It’s estimated that some 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety, which is likely one of the reasons CBD has become so popular. Current evidence indicates that CBD has “considerable potential” as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.  

Adidas Falls As “Superstar’s” Go Out of Style

By CultureBanx Team

  • Adidas cut its 2018 revenue forecast

  • Yeezy Boost shoe sales and margins were above Adidas expectations

CBx Vibe:The Switch Up” Nick Grant

Sportswear titan Adidas (ADS.DE +1.44%) is struggling with lagging sales, after betting big on style icons while scaling back on athletes to help push its products. Have they been relying too heavily on fashion and not enough on actual sports, during a time when urban culture continues to be sewn into corporate strategy?

Why This Matters: The company cut its 2018 revenue forecast after third quarter sales fell in western Europe. Adidas was hit by changing fashions and Nike’s (NKE -1.83%) gains in soccer during the World Cup. CEO Kasper Rorsted noted they relied too much on shoes like its retro Stan Smith and Superstar that have fallen out of fashion.