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Volume 26 No. 176
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Storm Brewing: Sue Bird To Be Featured On NikeTown Billboard

WNBA Storm G Sue Bird will replace former Sonics G Gary Payton on the 30-foot-high billboard at NikeTown in downtown Seattle, "ending Payton's three-year stint as the store's public face," according to Jake Batsell of the SEATTLE TIMES, who notes Bird is "the first female athlete to be featured on the billboard." Bird beat Sonics G Ray Allen, as over 3,000 votes were cast among NikeTown customers over the summer. Others in the running for the billboard, which was limited to U.S.-born athletes under contract with Nike, were Lance Armstrong, Mia Hamm, Marion Jones and Payton. Bird becomes the second WNBA player to be featured on a NikeTown billboard, joining Sparks C Lisa Leslie, who was on the billboard at NikeTown's S.F. store before being replaced yesterday by soccer's Landon Donovan. Hamm and Jones "are featured on outdoor NikeTown signs in Orange County, as are Leslie and Hamm in Atlanta." In addition to Nike, Bird also has endorsement deals with American Express and Minute Maid (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/30).