CHICAGO, Oct 19- Media mogul Oprah Winfrey will buy a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers International Inc, adding her celebrity and consumer appeal to a diet brand that has been shedding subscribers. Shares of Weight Watchers soared on the news of Winfrey's $43.2 million investment, closing up 105 percent at $13.92 on Monday. Consumers' embrace of...» Read More
As many of you know, I started boycotting my watching of the Tour de France this year because of all the drug scandals. Of course, the scandals have continued. German cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone and was suspended, Alexandre Vinokourov and his team withdrew after he tested positive for blood doping and we're waiting for the suspension one more rider that tested positive.
NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the media today to discuss what the league knows about former NBA referee Tim Donaghy betting on games. This is my live commentary as it happened.
The minor league baseball independent Long Beach Armada is hosting "Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day" on Sunday. Any fan who trades in his or her Michael Vick T-shirt or jersey will get free admission to the game and a donation will be made in their name to a non-profit that helps "inspire a better understanding of dogs." Those shirts and jerseys will be destroyed in some manner, the team says. Fans can also bring their dogs to the game, will be provided a special entrance to the ballpark and sit in a special section of the ballpark.
After watching much of the media look at the wrong data when considering whether NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on the games he officiated, I've decided to let the cat out of the bag. Folks, you're not going to get anywhere by looking at the point spreads.
Nike has a new statement out, which I have just received. They are suspending the release of the Vick V shoe, which was scheduled to be in stores on Aug. 23. Here is the text: "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship...."
Wherever Kobe Bryant is playing, he'll be wearing Nikes. Sources are telling CNBC that Nike has re-signed the guard to a multi-year extension. The exact length of the deal and the terms are unknown. It is also not clear whether Bryant's contract would vary depending on the market in which he is playing.
Those who know me or have followed my work in recent years know that, besides specializing in sports business, I know niche sports better than anyone in the country does. It started with my love of the competitive eating circuit and carried over to becoming the top handicapper in the country on the National Spelling Bee.Last year, while I was still at ESPN, I gave the betting public the top eight spellers. My No. 3 pick Katherine Close won it all and my other picks fared pretty well. So if you want to know who to root for this year, you have it all here for you.
After an endorsement relationship that lasted 18 months, Prince and American tennis star James Blake are parting ways in what will be a rare case of an athlete leaving a brand voluntarily in the midst of a deal.
Ford has signed Funkmaster Flex -- a popular hip-hop DJ and personality on New York City's Hot 97 radio station -- as a company pitchman for its Ford Flex Expedition, and as host of a new TV show where regular Joes compete in customizing one of the company's SUVs. This is a smart move by Ford for a couple reasons. First, Flex's popularity with younger car buyers can help the company gain some much needed buzz on the new Flex CUV. Second, it's another case of Ford trying to break out with a new approach.
Win on Sunday, buy on Monday. The people at BearingPoint only wish that were the case. Their big endorser Phil Mickelson won the Players on Sunday and gave them plenty of exposure on NBC's coverage of the event thanks to the branding on the visor. But don't expect a stock with a current market cap of $1.43 billion to receive any sort of boost from Mickelson's win alone.
Before the shoe drops -- as in if Kevin Durant, the potential number one NBA draft pick, picks Nike or adidas -- we've learned that Durant has signed an endorsement deal with Upper Deck. The sports card and memorabilia company will market Durant in all of its 2007-08 products, and on its packaging, and will unveil a line of autographed Upper Deck Authenticated items.
I was opening up my packs of Donruss' Score Select and I pulled this card. I was excited about who the player was, but I was really angry when I looked at this signature.I guess about 10 years ago, card companies started inserting signature cards in packs, but I have to tell you over the past couple years, the signatures have gotten worse and worse. I don't blame the card companies. They send these athletes a sheet of stickers to sign and in the end, the athletes just get lazy.
There's way too much to talk about today, but I'm leading it off with the Jim Stewart 400 because I think the folks at Diageo have been shortchanged because of the fight and the Derby -- and maybe even the Mavericks getting schooled.If you haven't heard about it, the NASCAR Nextel Cup race this weekend is actually named after a fan. The folks at Diageo, who bought the race for their Crown Royal brand, had an essay contest in which 15,000 fans wrote in their favorite life moment worthy of toasting with the drink.
You've probably seen the video by now: the Under Armour employee day at Camden Yards. If you haven't seen it, it's too late. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has now pulled it from YouTube.It goes like this: reporter from the MASN during the Orioles pregame show is doing a live shot with employees of the sports apparel brand and the guy who she picks out of the crowd is very potentially inebriated already, somehow.
Despite Brady Quinn's drop to No. 22 in Saturday's NFL Draft, Quinn's CAA marketer Howard Skall insists that Cleveland taking him was the best marketing situation. "From a marketing standpoint, I can't imagine he'd be more marketable if he was taken at number nine at Miami," Skall said. "Cleveland is definitely the best place for him, being that he grew up a Browns fan and has a chance to lead that team back to glory."This is the first paragraph/short story.
Earlier today, I was informed that Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has been fined $100,000 for wearing a Vitaminwater hat at Super Bowl XLI Media Day on Jan. 30. Just now, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that fact. When we first saw Urlacher with the hat and a Vitaminwater by his side, we speculated if Urlacher would be fined for his act.
If you believe everything you read, you would have thought that San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson was just lucky enough not to get the Madden cover endorsement. Electronic Arts officially announced last night that Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young would grace the cover of the next version of the jinxed popular video game. "Vince was the guy all along," EA's director of marketing Chris Erb told the San Diego Union-Tribune today.