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Endorsements

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  • Breaking News: Prince, Blake Agree to Split Wednesday, 23 May 2007 | 5:05 PM ET
    James Blake

    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 "Flex"es its Appeal Wednesday, 16 May 2007 | 11:21 AM ET
    Funkmaster Flex

    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.

  • Phil Mickelson

    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.

  • Kevin Durant

    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.

  • ltomlinson1.jpg

    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.

  • jamesstewart_crown3.jpg

    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.

  • UnderBomber, Bonds Gone, Tiger vs. MJ & More Thursday, 3 May 2007 | 4:21 PM ET
    Under Armour

    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.

  • NFL Draft Notes, Cont. Monday, 30 Apr 2007 | 10:57 AM ET
    Brady Quinn

    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.

  • Urlacher Gets Fined $100,000 For Super Bowl Stunt Wednesday, 18 Apr 2007 | 3:02 PM ET
    "I drink vitaminwater because it helps me play at my best," Urlacher said in a statement. "I find it ridiculous that the NFLwould fine me $100,000 for drinking vitaminwater just because I prefer it to Gatorade."

    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.

  • Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young

    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.