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Last year, Manchester, England. Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage/Getty

In an announcement on Thursday, the Rolling Stones said they will begin a 17-date U.S. tour next month in Chicago, and the bulk of the expected audience is evident in its sponsor — an association of firms that sell annuities.

By the numbers: Speaking with Axios, Jean Statler, executive director of the Alliance for Lifetime Income, says the demographic that she expects at the concerts is ideal for the 24 financial services firms in her association: at an average age 45–75 and with somewhere in the $75,000–$2 million range of assets the alliance targets.

  • How it happened: An alliance member had sponsored a traveling Stones exhibit that moved through the U.S. until February, and a representative of the group asked whether the same firm wanted to back the Stones' new "No Filter" tour.
  • That query was forwarded to Statler, who says she responded, "Do I look stupid? I could be on TV for nine months and not hit our target group as much as I will in two months" sponsoring the Stones.
  • In every conversation, the Stones said the alliance could not use the word "retirement" in its own advertising "because this isn't our retirement tour."

In addition to having its name emblazoned on tour programming before millions of the group's social media followers, the alliance will have tables at the concerts explaining annuities and a VIP lounge.

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Read: Former Vice President Walter Mondale's last message

Photo courtesy of Mondale.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale wrote a farewell letter to his staff, sent upon his death on Monday, thanking them for years working together.

Dear Team,

Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor. Before I Go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side!

Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.

Joe in the White House certainly helps.

I always knew it would be okay if I arrived some place and was greeted by one of you!

My best to all of you!

Fritz