MLB Giants P Tim Lincecum is teaming with sponsor Red Bull to challenge fans to a "competition in which they are asked to duplicate his unorthodox delivery on video for an opportunity to hit" against him at Spring Training next year. The "Red Bull Ultimate" competition began Tuesday and will run through Sept. 16. Fans can submit their videos on Lincecum's Facebook page (AP, 10/9).
DRIVING THE MARKET: CBSSPORTS.com's Pete Pistone reported as the "most prominent face of Ford Motor Company's racing endeavors," expect to see NASCAR driver Carl Edwards in "more Ford marketing and advertising initiatives including everything from television commercials to billboard campaigns." Edwards last week signed a multiyear contract extension to continue driving the No. 99 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, and it will be "only a matter of time before a Carl Edwards Ford dealer or two pops up." Meanwhile, RFR Owner Jack Roush said, "I think he's going to become a sportscaster for ESPN for the Nationwide Series." Pistone wrote such a move would bring "unprecedented insight to ESPN's television product by having a current driver in its telecast mix." But it also "brings a set of challenges, namely in the form of potential conflict of interests." There also is the "question of whether overexposure in general is an issue for Edwards" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/9).
PLACING THEIR BETS: MEDIAWEEK's Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith reported ESPN has struck a "major sponsorship deal with Bet365 ahead of the launch of its free mobile app, ESPN Goals, which allows consumers access to instant video content" from EPL matches. Bet365 will be the "exclusive betting partner for the app and the deal includes a 'bet now' button being housed on the app's 'live scores' pages, accompanied by Bet365 branding on the loading page, ad banners and video pre-rolls." Sources said that the rights "cost ESPN in the low tens of millions [in British pounds] and that the Bet365 deal is not exclusive" (MEDIAWEEK.co.uk, 8/9).
DEEP FREEZE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Mark Yost reports Chicago-based businessman Jim Cortez and real-estate agent Greg Kendra "came up with a process by which bats are cryogenically frozen at minus-310 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 24 hours, and then slowly allowed to come back to ambient temperature." They have had their bats "tested by an independent university laboratory and claim in their patent filing that their cryogenically treated bats are 26% stronger than standard bats." They have filed paperwork with MLB to have their bats "certified for use, but say they have heard nothing back from the league" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/10).