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SLOW OUT OF THE BLOCKS: ESPN drew a 0.5 national rating and 645,000 viewers Tuesday night for the premiere of "Kings Ransom," ESPN's first "30 for 30" documentary that tells the story of Wayne Gretzky's trade from the Oilers to the Kings. The rating is down 44% and viewership is off 46% from the "World Series of Poker" (0.9/1.2 million), which previously had occupied the time slot. "Kings Ransom" undoubtedly was hurt by the Twins-Tigers AL Central tiebreaker game, which went 12 innings (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
Three additional corporate sponsors are on board for the UFL's first game, which will be shown on Versus tonight at 9:00pm ET. Le Vai is on the sidelines as the UFL's official alkaline ionized water, while Men’s Wearhouse will serve as the official men’s clothing partner and USI will be the league's official insurance broker. StubHub and Motorola were previously in the fold; GameWear Team Sports is the uniform provider. Sponsors get varying combinations of Versus ad units, ads in the gameday program, and ANC's field perimeter LED signage. The UFL kicks off what it is calling its "Premiere
Season" tonight at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, when the Las Vegas Locomotives host the California Redwoods.
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EARNING THEIR STRIPES: The Scotland Football Association (SFA) has signed a four-and-a-half year apparel agreement with adidas that could be worth as much as $16M (all figures US), potentially the "most lucrative kit deal" ever for Scotland's national team. The contract, which will run from January '10-June '14, carries a base value of $2.4M annually and could increase to $4M per year dependent on Scotland qualifying for the '12 Euro Cup and the '14 FIFA World Cup. The team's current uniform partner, Diadora, "went into liquidation earlier this year but have honoured the final months" of their contract with the SFA, which expires December 31 (THE SCOTSMAN, 10/8).
STREET WATCH: In Philadelphia, Jeff Gelles reports MLB officials were "back on the streets" yesterday on the "lookout for vendors hawking counterfeit" merchandise around Rockies-Phillies NLDS Game 1. Pennsylvania's high court Monday "overturned the state's trademark-counterfeiting law, ruling that it was worded so broadly that it violated First Amendment rights to free speech." But intellectual-property lawyers and MLB officials contend that "even if the state's anti-counterfeiting law proved temporarily unenforceable, other civil and criminal laws would enable them to continue efforts against blatant counterfeiting" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/8).
PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES: CNBC's Scott Wapner reported boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in N.Y. yesterday "meeting with Fortune 500 companies ... about some possible more endorsement deals." Wapner, noting Mayweather has not appeared in many sponsorship campaigns, said to him, "We don't really see that much from you." Mayweather: "Everything takes time. Timing is the key" ("The Call," CNBC, 10/7). Meanwhile, ESPN's Colin Cowherd addressed Lance Armstrong's new endorsement deal with Michelob Ultra, saying, "It's a bad move. This is like ESPN buying Playboy" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 10/7).