SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Bill King reports UFC has signed Edge Shave Gel "to an official-status sponsorship that kicks off in July with a national retail promotion that includes endorsement deals for five fighters." Edge already sponsors "The Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show on Spike, and UFC CMO Bryan Johnston said, "As much as we wanted a partnership relationship with Edge, the one specific thing we wanted was for them to do nationwide packaging at retail. Having our fighters out there in grocery stores, in 7-Eleven and convenience stores, that’s huge for us." The in-store promotion, which will run through Sept. 30, "will put the UFC logo on Edge packaging and fighter images on point-of-sale materials." In addition, sources said that the UFC is "closing in on a deal with a U.S. automaker" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/23 issue).
BREW CREW: In Milwaukee, Don Walker reports Brewers RF Ryan Braun "has taken a minority equity position in Limelite Fusion Drink, an energy drink being marketed at more than 500 retail locations around the state, including Miller Park, where it is the official energy drink of the Brewers." The product was developed by Wisconsin-based T-D Innovations. Braun also endorses Muscle Milk (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/26).
IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: In Toronto, Cynthia Vukets notes American tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands "has taken to playing in eye black" on the court, and is wearing "stick-on strips adorned with little silver Bs" this week at the French Open. Mattek-Sands said that the eye black "helps her game, but she also doesn’t shy away from the extra attention it has gotten her this year." She said that she has had "some interest from other players who want to sample her decals" (TORONTO STAR, 5/26).