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Volume 24 No. 158
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Marketplace Roundup

In Minneapolis, Paul Walsh reports Twins C Joe Mauer sings a "few bars in a soon-to-be-released 'Explore Minnesota' commercial promoting tourism in the state." Mauer in the ad wears his catcher's gear and is "superimposed on a cartoonish version of the Target Field scoreboard screen." He then "joins others -- none with near his star power -- in a few more lines until the spot's conclusion." Explore Minnesota Tourism Senior Marketing Manager Leann Kispert said that the ads "start airing Monday morning" throughout the state, adding that "they'll spread to Iowa and Wisconsin and also air during Twins game telecasts" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/25).

THAT'S THE SPIRITS: Absolut Vodka Thursday announced that it is “continuing its partnership” with the Red Sox. The upcoming MLB season will mark the fifth year that the Absolut Clubhouse seating area at Fenway Park will play host to a “series of events and game day experiences while serving as a private venue before, during, and after the Red Sox home games.” The spirits company, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard USA, added it also will serve as the official vodka of Fenway Park in ’12 when the ballpark celebrates its 100th anniversary (, 3/24).

THAT'S THE TICKET: Coconut water brand Zico earlier this month signed Celtics F Kevin Garnett to an endorsement deal, and Zico Beverages Founder & CEO Mark Rampolla said, “We've known for years that we've had a number of A-level, world-class professional athletes ... that have been using Zico and kind of turned to it as their natural sports drink. … When we found out that Kevin Garnett was one of them, that piqued my interest." Rampolla added, “We found out his contract with Gatorade was ending, and he actually approached us. We were very interested in the idea of having a relationship with him" ("Taking Stock," Bloomberg TV, 3/24).

NO WAY, DUDE!'s Doug Williams reported YES Snowboards unveiled its The Great Dudes Of History line in September, and they have been the Switzerland-based company's "top-selling boards (at about $400 a pop) ever since." The line, featuring the faces of Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Haile Selassie, John Lennon and John F. Kennedy, "has been praised by critics, even named Freestyle Board of the Year by one group." YES Snowboards co-Founder Romain De Marchi said that the "concept is that The Great Dudes all did great things and made positive changes, in line with the YES philosophy." The company plans to release a line of "great something of history" boards in September (, 3/22).