SBD/Issue 165/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Names & Faces: Jim Rice To Be Spokesperson For RCN Corp.

Rice Signs Two-Year Deal To
Become RCN Spokesperson
In Boston, Jay Fitzgerald reports former MLBer Jim Rice has signed a two-year deal to be a spokesperson for telecommunications company RCN Corp. Terms were not disclosed. Rice will appear in ads and make various appearances, including youth clinics. RCN CEO Peter Aquino said that the move is "part of the firm's planned media blitz to heighten its profile in the Boston area." The company has 80,000 customers in the state of Massachusetts (BOSTON HERALD, 5/16).

STICKING WITH ANNIKA: Despite LPGA member Annika Sorenstam Tuesday announcing her retirement effective at the end of the year, Cutter & Buck said that it "plans to grow the athletic-styled Annika brand on a global basis." Also, Callaway, whose contract with Sorenstam expires in 2010, said that it "plans to continue its relationship with Sorenstam and her golf academy." However, several other of Sorenstam's endorsement deals are "expected to be renegotiated while others simply end" (BRANDWEEK.com, 5/15).

NOTES: Blue Jackets LW Rick Nash will appear on the cover of 2K Sports' "NHL 2K9" videogame, which will be released this fall (2KSports)....Sony Ericsson WTA player Venus Williams said she entered into a endorsement deal with Powerade Zero because it "targets an audience aligned with my lifestyle [that] made the partnership interesting from the outset." She added she was "intrigued that Powerade Zero is bringing a new dimension to the beverage world" (BRANDWEEK.com, 5/15)....IRL driver Sarah Fisher has signed deals with Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis and Hartman Oil "that should cover her May budget" (USA TODAY, 5/16).

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