What's the score?
To many fans at Chicago Bulls games, it is not only the points of the opposing basketball teams but also the prices on the stock markets.
That's the belief of the people at Ariel Capital Management Inc., Chicago, according to Mellody Hobson, senior vice president.
"It's the first time anything like this has been done" at the Bulls games, she said.
At every Bulls game in the United Center, Ariel has displayed on four huge electronic billboards that ring the stadium the closing market prices and Ariel mutual funds. Known as the Ariel Mutual Funds Stock Market Report, the electronic message runs throughout the game.
Besides a promotion for Ariel's mutual funds, Ms. Hobson said the electronic displays are a service to fans, who also are investors: "A lot of people at the games come straight from work and don't have a chance to get the closing prices on the market."
The display shows returns and net asset values for the day on the two Ariel equity mutual funds and, for comparison, the performance on the major stock indexes - the Dow Jones industrial average, the Standard & Poor's 500, and the Nasdaq composite.
John Rogers, Ariel's chairman, has been appearing in a promotion of another sort. In advertisements for the clothier Paul Stuart, he endorses its expensive shirts, ranging from $147 to $237.
"We thought it was an opportunity to increase the visibility of the firm," said Ms. Hobson, who arranged the spot. She and other Ariel executives like the idea the ads are running in, as she calls it, "serious media," such as the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine and the New York Times.
As for the expensive shirts, she said Mr. Rogers is no fashion maven. She said his sartorial taste is restrained: "John wears blue, button-down Oxfords every day."