I was surfing the Dallas Cowboys' site, looking for some tips on installing scoreboards, when I came across this item about Direct Energy extending its gig as Official Electricity Provider to the Cowboys and Cowboys Stadium. The consumer in me started to giggle; I'd like to hear Madison Gas & Electric's response when I tell them I prefer that some other company (there isn't one) burn a big heap of coal so I can run my toaster oven. But a few clicks later, I've learned a little something about the market for electricity in Texas, which passed a bill in 2002 that phased in deregulation, allowing consumers to choose among various electricity providers. By one estimate, 85 percent of Texas households have switched providers at least once since the bill became law, and since Direct Energy is just the third-largest electricity retailer in Texas, its Dallas sponsorship is truly important to the company's brand-awareness goals. Whether it's working is another issue - it can't be good news that the company is still in Dr Pepper territory after five years as a Cowboys preferred provider.
- by Andrew Cohen
- August 2009
While the closing of Sweet Briar College was being contested in Bedford County (Va.) Circuit Court — an April 14 hearing gave some life to opponents of the move — another small college was throwing in the towel. On April 11, Tennessee Temple University announced it would dissolve as of May 1 and merge with Piedmont International University, a private Christian college in Winston-Salem, N.C. The recent list of closings, including Lebanon College and Mid-Continent University, comprises only a small handful out of 1,650 private, nonprofit colleges still in operation, but nonetheless is a sobering reminder that the effects of the recession linger on — and may, in fact, represent a permanent change to the collegiate landscape.read more