ESPN VP/Communications Mike Soltys said that the company "will revise its guidelines for on-air talent contracting with advertisers." ESPN's stance follows a report that "College GameDay" host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit "have endorsement deals with Nike" that ESPN had been unaware of. Soltys: "In coming weeks, the advertising guidelines are going to be reviewed" (McCarthy & Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/16).
FIRST THING'S FIRST: The New Haven Open at Yale announced yesterday that it has signed First Niagara as presenting sponsor of the WTA tournament for at least three years. Starting with this year's event from Aug. 19-27, the event will be called the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara. A "new tournament logo will be unveiled" in the coming months. First Niagara joins cornerstone sponsors Aetna, American Express, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale Univ. as "major sponsors of the tournament" (COURANT.com, 2/15).
FASHION FORWARD: Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire is "designing a women's fashion line with Rachel Roy" because he "wants his female fans to look sharp" at MSG. Stoudemire said, "We're trying to give the women something to wear when they go to sporting events. I want to add some flair to the hoodies and T-shirts." While Roy does the sketching, Stoudemire said, "She shows them to me and I give her the yea or nay" (N.Y. POST, 2/15).
A FITTING TRIBUTE: Food City returns as the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway again this year, extending a partnership dating back to '92. However, this year's race "will be the Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City" in honor of Byrd, who "served as track president for 15 years before dying from cancer in October." BMS and Food City yesterday also announced a "three-year extension that will continue the company's Cup and Nationwide race sponsorships" (SCENEDAILY.com, 2/15).