Sponsors keep close watch on NFL investigation
Major brand sponsors are watching closely to make sure the National Football League doesn't fumble the investigation into how its executives handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case.
For big companies like Anheuser-Busch, General Motors and Procter & Gamble, an NFL sponsorship is a coveted prize. The deals can cost up to $10 million per brand, but they deliver eyeballs. An average of 17.4 million viewers watched professional football games during the 2013 season, according to Nielsen.
Now that the NFL is investigating how its executives handled a video showing Baltimore running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee, sponsors are forced to balance the exposure NFL games offer with the risk of alienating customers.
Olive Garden investor: Back off on the breadsticks
NEW YORK (AP) — Maybe there is such a thing as too many breadsticks.
In a nearly 300-page treatise on what's wrong with Olive Garden and its management, investor Starboard Value suggests the Italian restaurant chain is being reckless with its unlimited breadsticks. The hedge fund notes the chain's official policy is to bring out one breadstick per customer at a time, plus an extra for the table.
But Starboard says servers bring out more than that, leading to waste — and cold breadsticks. Starboard notes that it isn't pushing for an end to unlimited breadsticks, just more control in how they're doled out.
IMF's Lagarde says women vital for global recovery
TOKYO (AP) — Empowerment of women and equal opportunities are crucial for driving a stronger global economic recovery, and for revitalizing Japan, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Friday.
The global recovery is too tepid and too turbulent, IMF chief Christine Lagarde told a gathering organized by the Japanese government and business groups to support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign to promote a bigger role for women in the economy.
Prosecutors target credit card thieves overseas
WASHINGTON (AP) — Criminals from around the world buy and sell stolen credit card information with ease in today's digital age. But if they commit their crime entirely outside the United States, they may be hard to prosecute.
Now Justice Department officials are seeking a tougher law to combat overseas credit card trafficking, an increasingly lucrative crime that crosses national boundaries.
Authorities say the current law is too weak because it allows people in other countries to avoid prosecution if they stay outside the United States when buying and selling the data and don't pass their illicit business through the U.S. The Justice Department is asking Congress to amend the law to make it illegal for an international criminal to possess, buy or sell a stolen credit card issued by a U.S. bank no matter where in the world the transaction occurs.
INFLUENCE GAME: Chemical trade tries to shape regulations
WASHINGTON (AP) — The powerful chemical industry is putting its lobbying muscle behind legislation that would establish standards for chemicals used in products from household goods to cellphones and plastic water bottles — but also make it tougher for states to enact their own regulations.
Many states already have acted on their own — and that's what's gotten the industry's attention.
The group, which represents such chemical powerhouses as Dow, DuPont, BASF Corp. and 3M, spent nearly $6 million on lobbying in the first half of the year, the most recent reporting period.
US retail sales rise in August on auto sales