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Mark Cuban, The Endorser

Tuesday, 5 Dec 2006 | 5:01 PM ET

Mark Cuban, The Endorser

Many of you might have seen the new ads for the new Samsung phone endorsed by Mark Cuban. It got me thinking, how many sports owners could really be effective in advertisements? The answer is two -- Cuban and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner -- the only two who really have been featured in advertising. You might remember Steinbrenner in those Visa ads. Anyway, we asked the guys who work up the numbers from the Davie-Brown Index just how affective a spokesman Mark Cuban could be. The DBI gurus report that he ranks No. 1092 out of the 1,500 celebrities that they track, but that he is thought of as a trendsetter and American consumers consider him to be aspirational.

So what does it take to get Cuban to endorse your product. Certainly not money. "I have to like the products," Cuban told us Tuesday. "HP and (Samsung) the Blackjack are two examples. Except my wife stole my blackjack, she liked it so much, so I am getting a replacement."

Spalding Basketball

Despite the fact that NBA Players Association has now filed a grievance against the new basketball, sources tell us that sales of the ball are very good. In fact, we are being told by insiders on the retail level that the media and players are talking about this ball so much that it has exceeded the sales projections made by Spalding.

The NCAA Cashing In

The NCAA certainly is not against making some money. Their latest venture is a deal with ticket broker RazorGator. We are the first to get the prices if you want to go to the Final Four on these packages, so here goes.

The Fan Experience package is $1,845 and includes premium upper level courtside seats (located within the first 15 rows) for both semifinals and the final game The NCAA Elite Experience level is $3,695 per person and includes premium lower bowl seats for all three games. It also includes opportunities to meet NCAA basketball legends and food and drink are included.

Danica Patrick Signs With GoDaddy.com

IRL driver Danica Patrick has signed with domain naming site GoDaddy.com. Despite the fact that Danica has not won a race yet, her endorsement metrics are ridiculous. According to the folks at the DBI, Danica has trust scores that are in the top 10 of celebrity athletes -- better than the likes of Tiger Woods, Nolan Ryan and Arnold Palmer. Her influence scores and endorsement scores are also in the top 10.

Wing Bowl Sells Out

Competitive eating is a big sport in the United States. I should know. I was the sideline reporter for the Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN for two years. Anyway, the Wing Bowl -- think buffalo wings -- takes place in Philadelphia and its in its 15th year this year. Well, they sold out the Wachovia Center (20,000) seats and the event takes place on Feb. 2 from 6 to 9 am! Tickets first went on sale on Monday and in a little more than 24 hours they sold this thing out. Now that is unbelievable. This year is "Philadelphia Vs. The World" as Philly residents will be taking on the best competitive eaters to see who can eat more. It is great fun and it will be the focus of Philly as I am quite convinced the Eagles will not be playing in the Super Bowl two days later.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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