Catch up with this week’s Five on Friday!

Jamie O’Donoghue
Jul 12 · 5 min read

#Nike

After the stunning 2–0 victory of the US women’s national soccer team over the Netherlands on Sunday, an extra round of celebrations are in order for Nike this week.

What does this mean?

The sportswear giant, which sponsored 14 of the 24 teams in this year’s contest, reported that U.S. women’s soccer jerseys have already sold out on its website thanks to the exposure generated by the final. With 14 million viewers in the U.S. alone, the game was one of the highest-rated telecasts in the history of women’s soccer. According to Nike CEO Mark Parker, the USA women’s home jersey has become the best-selling soccer jersey, for both men and women, ever sold through the company’s online store in a single season. “The exposure is driving outstanding sell-through in kits, high-performance bras, and lifestyle extensions,” Parker said. While women currently account for only a quarter of Nike’s sales, the triumph of the US team has set the company up nicely for a number of upcoming initiatives, including a range of clothing aimed at women in Asia.

Bet You Didn’t Know

Nike began life all the way back in 1964 under the somewhat less laconic name of ‘Blue Ribbon Sports.’

#SocialMedia

President Trump invited a number of Internet personalities and Republican lawmakers to the White House yesterday for the much-anticipated ‘Social Media Summit’ — even though no social media company representatives were there.

What does this mean?

If anything connects U.S. politicians on both sides of the political aisle, it is the feeling that something must be done about the influence and size of social media companies. Many Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, have expressed concern over Twitter and Facebook’s ability to control and shape public discourse, while Republicans such as Trump believe that conservative voices are deliberately stifled on the platforms. The White House event itself was understood more as an elaborate threat to Zuckerberg, Dorsey, et al., rather than a serious discussion of the major issues, although Trump suggested at one point that Twitter was preventing users from following him (he already has more than 60 million followers). More broadly, the walls do seem to closing in a little for the giants of Silicon Valley. A bipartisan push for data privacy legislation is playing out in Congress, while the House Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into the market dominance enjoyed by the likes of Facebook and Google.

Bet You Didn’t Know

The Twitterer with the most followers is singer Katy Perry with more than 107 million followers, a figure which narrowly beats former U.S. president Barack Obama.

#SpaceVirgin

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic looks set to be the first space-tourism company to go public.

What does this mean?

Earlier this week, it was announced that a company called Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings plans to invest about $800 million into the venture for a 49% stake. As part of the deal, Virgin Galactic will then become a publicly-listed company on the NYSE later this year, which will make it the “first and only publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company”. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year and the value of the combined companies will be roughly $1.5 billion. The investment is expected to allow Galactic to fund the business until its spaceships can commercially operate and turn a profit. The company plans to start flying customers into the vacuum of space in the first half of 2020 with as many as 600 already signed up. With seat prices starting at $200,000, that’s a pretty impressive figure.

Bet You Didn’t Know

The name ‘Virgin’ in Branson’s Virgin Group came from the fact that the eccentric billionaire had no business experience prior to founding the company.

#LeviStrauss

In its first quarterly report as a newly-public company, Levi Strauss left investors disappointed with a 63% drop in profits compared to the same time last year.

What does this mean?

It seems the company behind America’s favorite blue jeans is suffering from what one commentator called “IPO growing pains.” Reporting on Tuesday, Levi Strauss posted adjusted earnings of 7 cents per share, far below the 12 cents per share analysts had expected. Management blamed this big drop in earnings on the $29 million cost of the company’s IPO earlier this year, as well as increased advertising spend. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however, as Levi Strauss also recorded a revenue increase of 5% to come in at $1.3 billion for the period, roughly matching Wall Street’s expectations. Interestingly, the company also cited the music festival Coachella as a big sales driver thanks to Beyonce wearing Levi cutoff shorts during her set. However, the overall picture was an underwhelming one, and the company can’t expect Beyonce to save it next quarter.

Bet You Didn’t Know

Between 1875 until 1901, Levi Strauss won a contract to outfit convicts in some of America’s most notorious prisons, including Folsom and San Quentin.

#AndFinally

Microsoft opened its first European retail store in London yesterday as the software giant took a page from Apple’s book by branching out into ‘experiential’ bricks-and-mortar retail. The 22,000 square-foot store, located on trendy Oxford Street in the British capital, features a gaming lounge, an education center, and a customized Xbox driving simulator. “This is our very first foray into Europe, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be in London,” said Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer. Microsoft and Apple have famously been rivals in the technology sector for decades, although Apple — with its elegant artisanal designs and expertly orchestrated marketing events — is generally considered the more powerful brand. The cult of personality surrounding the late Steve Jobs didn’t hurt either, whose dark charisma contrasted rather starkly with the affable nerdiness of Bill Gates.

What does this mean?

The opening of this luxury store in London represents another move in Microsoft’s pushback against its longstanding opponent as it tries to shake off its image as a merely functional, “meat-and-potatoes” kind of software company.

Bet You Didn’t Know

Gates and co-founder Paul Allen designed Microsoft’s original logo in less than a day.

The Week In Numbers

$50,000

is how much Nike’s limited edition ‘Back To The Future’ self-tying sneakers are expected to sell for at auction.

$700 million

is how much Amazon will reportedly spend by 2020 on retraining its workforce.

$1 billion

is how much Google has pledged to invest in housing in San Jose following community backlash against its planned campus in the city.


MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in some of the companies mentioned above.

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Jamie O’Donoghue

Written by

Content Specialist at MyWallSt

The MyWallSt Blog

Investing is for everyone, we show you how. MyWallSt is a multi-award winning company that helps you to become a confident and successful investor.

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