“I’m going to wait a few trips, but I’m definitely going to space.” – Jason
Hey there carnivores,
Markets were mixed on Friday.
And today we’re talking about the US’ new space jam.
Jeff & Jason
X Gonna Give it to ya
*The US has re-entered the chat*
SpaceX and NASA put Americans into space from US soil on Saturday for the first time since 2011. The good news continued on Sunday after the Crew Dragon completed its 19-hour journey, and docked with the International Space Station.
“We’re here to f*ck sh*t up.” – Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley arriving at the ISS.
The trip marks the first time NASA partnered with the privately-sector to go to space. SpaceX and Boeing both signed contracts in 2010 as part of the first-of-its-kind Commercial Crew Development program. But it wasn’t a free ride. The two contracts were worth $2.4B and $4.2B, respectively.
That might seem like a lot until you realize that the US paid nearly $90M per seat to the Russians to bum rides to the ISS. Everyone loves a bargain.
While the news is a big-time flex for the United States (and God knows we need it right about now), it just hits different for Elon Musk. The astronauts rolled up to the launch in a Tesla (of course) and the ad exposure of the success is certainly going to be a boon to the electric car maker.
Tesla’s stock isn’t directly impacted by SpaceX as they are two separate companies, but it’s safe to say Lon Corleone is on Cloud 9 after this weekend’s ceremonies. No word on if he plans to change X Æ A-12’s name to “SpaceX Æ A-12.”
The bottom line…
The space program used to be an international d*ck measuring content. Now? It’s all about capitalism, baby!
Honestly, though, it sounds like everybody is better off. Boeing (no, seriously), Blue Origin (Amazon’s space program… LOL), and SpaceX are the three big names all developing space travel programs.
A little healthy competition has already led to cost savings (read: rockets that land themselves) and will make it easier for NASA to launch programs in space going forward. Supply and demand, folks.
☑️ And the crowd goes mild.
POTUS took to the podium to address US-China-Hong Kong relations on Friday. With tensions mounting between the world’s largest economies over China’s treatment of HK, markets were expecting the President to go nuclear… metaphorically speaking (… for now).
El Pres did indicate that he will revoke HK’s special economic treatment, which Uncle Sam threatened last week, but he didn’t impose any sanctions on the People’s Republic or imply that he intended to pull out of the Phase 1 trade deal.
Unsurprisingly, markets liked what they heard (or didn’t hear), erasing earlier losses heading into the close on Friday.
☑️ Back in the saddle.
SoftBank won’t let its recent setbacks keep it from staying in the game. On Friday, it announced that SoftBank’s Vision Fund was leading a $500M funding round for Chinese rideshare firm Didi Chuxing’s autonomous driving unit. As long as Adam Neumann’s not involved, what could go wrong?
The move marks the largest investment in a Chinese self-driving car business. And time will tell if it’s the last. Didi is already a portfolio company in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, and has been testing autonomous cars since 2016, before spinning the self-driving arm into its own company back in 2019.
☑️ It’s in the game.
The NFL and EA are keeping the love alive, after owners agreed to renew the league’s exclusive video game rights with Electronic Arts. The terms were not announced, but the deal has been a year in the making, as the NFL reviewed deals from EA-rival video game makers like 2K Studios, which earned the rights to “non-simulation” (think: NFL Street) games earlier this year.
OneTeam Partners worked with the NFLPA to get the deal done, and they’re no stranger to working with talent, having previously helped the MLBPA to optimize the use of player names and likenesses. *OneTeam calls the NCAA*
☑️ Dialed in.
Comcast, ViacomCBS, and Charter are joining forces to help target ads to TV viewers. And the FTC’s ears have perked up. Comcast announced it was spinning off its Blockgraph platform and selling two-thirds of the company to Viacom and Charter, respectively.
Blockgraph helps brands and ad sales folks match data sets to viewers without revealing too much of their personal information. So they know what you like to watch, but not your mother’s maiden name and social security number.
The move comes as advertisers are cutting back on TV spend and figuring out where to best allocate advertising dollars… so it sounds like the perfect time to invest in TV advertising.