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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sony's Spidey Kicks Off Summer Friday, 4 May 2007 | 2:09 AM ET

    "Spider-Man 3" is breaking records, and it hasn't even opened in the U.S. yet; it premiered in Tokyo in April, and opened in 16 Asian and European countries on Tuesday, bringing in $29 million dollars on its first day alone.Throughout Asia, the film opened bigger than the first and second films in the series; in some countries, it out-grossed the combined opening day of Spidey 1 and 2. And in some countries, the movie broke records for the biggest single-grossing day ever.

  • Alli: Buy the Book Wednesday, 2 May 2007 | 11:47 AM ET

    GlaxoSmithKline's Alli (pronounced "ally" -- don't ask me why they put an "i" at the end) is the new over-the-counter version of prescription Xenical from Roche. It's a diet pill, but as I previously blogged, it has potentially embarrassing side effects. On the plus side, GSK says you can subtract 50% more pounds if you use Alli as directed. But, if you still eat too many fatty foods, you could run into trouble.

  • Depressed Dog

    On the heels of Eli Lilly's new anti-depressant drug for dogs (your dog is depressed? TAKE HIM FOR A WALK), a viewer alerted me to a new drug from a small company called Vical, in conjunction with Merck and Sanofi-Aventis. They've come up with a vaccine to treat melanoma in dogs. SKIN CANCER IN DOGS?

  • Second Life, Txt Msgng, NFL Sleeper & More Tuesday, 1 May 2007 | 12:26 PM ET

    The NBA called me last week and asked if they could make an avatar, or virtual character, of me so that I could attend a press conference in the Cisco Wireless Press Center in which David Stern's avatar would be giving a press conference about the NBA entering "Second Life," the new-age version of the life simulation games.I was a bit confused as to what was real and what was fake, but as more corporations find that there is great branding opportunities and potentially money to be made in this game, it comes as no surprise that the NBA is entering this space.

  • 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.

  • Many of you know that I labored for a couple years to write the book, "First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon," so I'm quite informed about the beverage industry.Yesterday, trade publication "Beverage Digest" reported that Coke was in serious talks to buy Glaceau, maker of Vitaminwater. The report isn't surprising. Coke finally knows, after being arrogant for too many years, that no matter how many Diet Cokes with vitamins they make (OK, maybe Coke Zero is a small exception), it's really all about the non-carbonated business if they care at all about growth.

  • Mishlove: My Contest Picks For Tuesday Tuesday, 24 Apr 2007 | 10:08 AM ET

    Hey everyone. Here's guest blogger Jeff Mishlove with his contest picks for today. As we said, he'll be posting every day this week with stocks for each day. Here he is: If you followed my recommendations for stocks to purchase last Friday, then you can appreciate that the strategy I use (short squeeze potential combined with earnings announcements and volatility) is designed to detect the big movers.

  • Minor League Logo Awards Revisited & More Thursday, 19 Apr 2007 | 4:42 PM ET

    I expected to get a lot of email from you guys, protesting that I somehow overlooked an awesome logo. Well, guess what, I got a lot of mail. I received several votes for the Lake Elsinore Storm, which I admit was in my top 10, but had to be pared down.

  • 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.

  • Ever since I started collected minor league hats as a sixth grader - when you actually had to write the teams to buy a cap -- I've had an obsession with minor league logos. So I'd like to start a tradition here at CNBC -- the Minor League Logo Awards. It's all subjective here, so please write me at sportsbiz@cnbc.com if you think a certain team is either not on the list or is underrated or overrated.

  • Mishlove: Contest Picks For Tuesday Tuesday, 17 Apr 2007 | 12:02 PM ET

    Guest blogger Jeff Mishlove is back with his contest picks for today. Let's get right to them. Here's Jeff: Monday’s closing prices revealed that all of my recommendations for purchase on Friday were quite profitable for a single day, although none of them were at the exhilarating level one would like to see to become a weekly winner. The chart below, taken from my blog of last Thursday, April 12, tells the story:

  • No More Texting; NASCAR Ratings; "Money" Carlo & More Monday, 16 Apr 2007 | 10:36 AM ET

    For the past couple years, college football and basketball coaches have gone nuts text messaging recruits. The reason is pretty simple -- coaches are limited in the number of phone calls they can make, but there are no restrictions on text messaging. That might all come to an end August 1. The process will start today as the NCAA's management council considers a proposal to prohibit the practice, limiting non-voice communication to email and fax.

  • Thousands of people make their way through different stores, while taking in the annual Boxing Day sales on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2006 at a mall in Toronto. (AP PHOTO/Nathan Denette, CP)

    The Landor Breakaway Brands Study identifies a list of 10 brands every year that have grown and been transformed through excellence in brand building. These are brands that have achieved the most meaningful improvements in brand health and subsequently in business value. Because investments in brand building take time to be realized, the study looks at the growth of brands over a three-year period.

  • The Why of the Tiger: Grading Tiger Woods' Endorsements Wednesday, 4 Apr 2007 | 5:03 PM ET

    Tiger Woods might be the world’s most marketable athlete, but he isn’t necessarily good at selling everything and companies aren’t necessarily great at using him either. So right before the Masters begins, I’m going to dedicate some of this blog to tell you who is making sense of using Tiger and who has no clue.

  • Myles Brand, NCAA President

    We expected to see tickets upper deck tickets selling for face value ($77) for tonight's game. But the Florida fans seemed to have driven up to Atlanta and purchased some of the tickets on the street. The going rate for one of these upper deck seats is about $200 apiece, which is very reasonable. This is not including the "Distant View" seats, which are so ridiculous I'm not sure they should even be sold.

  • The Final Four and More Friday, 30 Mar 2007 | 10:23 AM ET
    Georgetown Hoyas

    Hoya Paranoia: Florida, UCLA and Ohio State will all outsell Georgetown in merchandise this year - by a mile. But it's not an apples to apples comparison since Georgetown doesn't have a football team -- seen as the biggest sport driver of sales. Georgetown also doesn't have anything close to the alumni base of the other Final Four participants. Ohio State's undergraduate population is about five times that of Georgetown's.

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