SBD/February 25, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Bayne Hailed As The Next Big Thing In NASCAR

Rookie Bayne gives boost to start of '11 NASCAR season with Daytona 500 win
THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: TREVOR BAYNE -- The Daytona 500 winner overnight goes from an anonymous Nationwide Series driver to the next big thing in NASCAR. The 20-year-old seems at ease in the spotlight, bringing a humble demeanor to his media obligations that seems to belie his relative inexperience. Bayne’s win also is a hit in the garage, as drivers such as CARL EDWARDS and JIMMIE JOHNSON express their pleasure with Bayne’s victory. On top of that, Bayne earns kudos for remaining true to his full-time Nationwide ride with Roush Fenway Racing this season instead of chasing more than his part-time gig in the Cup series.

LOSE: NBA SMALL MARKETS -- How defeated do these teams feel after players such as DERON WILLIAMS and CARMELO ANTHONY move to markets with deeper pockets? It's a trend that began with the Celtics loading up with KEVIN GARNETT and RAY ALLEN three years ago and reached a crescendo this past summer with the Heat's "Big Three" signing. As most of the focus in the league remains on CBA talks, a more developed revenue-sharing system is crucial to keeping smaller markets hopeful for a competitive future.

DRAW: NHL -- A great week for COO JOHN COLLINS, as the league signs its biggest sponsorship deal ever, placing Molson Coors as the official beer in Canada and MillerCoors (Coors Light) as the official beer in the U.S. The good vibe only lasts a few hours though, as Labatt threatens a lawsuit over the Canadian portion of the sponsorship, saying it had already struck a deal with the NHL to renew rights north of the border. But the new deal is still huge for the NHL and will go a long way toward strengthening the league's position ahead of the upcoming TV talks.
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