Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Bridge, the time-honored pastime of senior citizens (among others), has just begun a marketing campaign to attract new players.

Why it matters: While empty-nesters and retirees are bridge's bread-and-butter, the game's governing body wants to recruit people of all ages — newbies as well as former players.

"Try bridge," a newly launched website exhorts, calling the cerebral four-player table game "fast-paced and stimulating but most importantly, fun!"

What's happening: While the number of bridge players has remained fairly stable — contrary to reports of the game's decline — the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) commissioned a survey this year to figure out how to expand its reach.

  • The results led to a digital ad campaign that emphasizes the joyousness of the bridge-playing community.
  • The celebrity angle: The campaign notes that famous bridge players include Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Isaac Mizrahi and "Jeopardy!" champion James Holzhauer, who is rumored to be attending the North American Bridge Championships in San Francisco that start Nov. 28.

By the numbers: The ACBL has 163,000 members, who compete in duplicate bridge tournaments nationwide, but that number doesn't include the countless people who play bridge just for fun.

  • The majority of tournament bridge players are in their early 60s, married, with $200K+ in income, a college degree or higher and no kids at home, an ACBL survey found.
  • But more than 50 colleges have ACBL-sponsored bridge teams.
  • At any given time, about 50,000 people are playing bridge on their phones, tablets or laptops using apps and websites like Bridge Base, which hosts 1 million tables a year (= 4 million players).

Jeff Bayone, managing partner of the three big clubs in Manhattan (Honors, Cavendish and Aces), tells Axios his clubs offer lessons, seminars, social bridge, tournament bridge — and plenty of wine and gourmet meals before and after play.

  • "The emphasis is on the word 'club,' not bridge," Bayone says.
  • To capitalize on the growing popularity of Eurogames (like Catan) among young people, Honors has just started up a Saturday afternoon board game program, run by local college students.

"Once we get these kids in to a bridge club and they learn that bridge is the ultimate game, we are hoping they will start to think about investing the time and energy and work into learning it," Bayone says.

The China angle: Bridge is popular among young people in China, and Chinese schools "use the game to teach math and probability," according to a Northeastern University article about a Chinese grad student who's trying to popularize the game here.

  • Bayone says that "bridge has become a national sport" in China, and at his clubs, "30-40% of young players [are] Asian."

The bottom line: Most people start playing bridge in their 50s and 60s, drawn either by the analytical and competitive nature of the game, or — more often — the social engagement.

  • "The best segment is empty-nesters," says Dan Storch, marketing director for the American Contract Bridge League. "They start looking for opportunities to do things together — cooking classes, bolero dancing. Well, bridge is an option."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Cyberattack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of an apparent cyberattack.

The big picture: Colonial Pipeline "carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies," the N.Y. Times reports.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

The end of quarantine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Long quarantines were a necessary tool to slow the COVID-19 pandemic during its first phases, but better and faster tests — plus vaccines — mean they can be scaled back considerably.

Why it matters: Quick tests and regular surveillance methods that identify who is actually infectious can take the place of the two-week or longer isolation periods that have been common for travelers and people who might have been exposed to the virus, speeding the safe reopening of schools and workplaces.

Amazon rollups are the hottest deals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new generation of companies is forming to scoop up Amazon marketplace sellers — and venture capital firms are writing big checks to support the effort.

Why it matters: These e-commerce aggregators are all about data and using it to optimize and turbocharge sales, which means they’re using Amazon’s own playbook.