In Charlotte, Scott Fowler in a front-page piece wrote QB Cam Newton and WR Steve Smith “best symbolize the re-energized Carolina Panthers, the NFL team that has gone from afterthought to interesting once more.” Newton's No. 1 jersey is “the No. 1 seller in the Panthers' team store, leaping off the shelves at $85 apiece.” Store manager Steve Roznowski on Friday said, "We've sold a ton of them. Cam was already our top-selling jersey before Sunday, but it's definitely been a lot busier since that Arizona game" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/18).
A NICE RING TO IT: U.S. nutritional supplement company MusclePharm has announced a two-year partnership agreement with UFC as the official nutritional supplement provider for the MMA organization. MusclePharm as part of the partnership will have exclusive in-ring placement, including its trademark MP logo on the Octagon mat and bumpers up to 10 times per year during UFC live events. The mat and bumper placements will be in place for the UFC's network TV debut on Fox Nov. 11. In addition, the partnership includes digital media activation and will include a MusclePharm nutritional section on the UFC homepage. MusclePharm also sponsors UFC fighters Anderson Silva, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Clay Guida and Rashad Evans (MusclePharm).
TAKEOUT OR DELIVERY? Dolphins RB Reggie Bush is the first pro football player to star in a Pizza Hut commercial in more than a decade, appearing in a new spot developed by The Martin Agency, Richmond. Bush in the commercial joins two fantasy football owners on a couch and discovers one owner has traded him in exchange for a $10 supreme pizza (Pizza Hut).
INSURING THE WINGS: ESPN.com’s Devon O’Neil reported Red Bull North America “recently signed a deal with a renowned Southern California sports-medicine center to provide its entire athlete roster top-tier medical coverage.” DISC Sports and Spine Center, which also provides medical care to USA Volleyball, the NHL Kings and “some 1,500 U.S. Olympians through the USOC, now will do the same for more than 200 Red Bull athletes -- part of what Red Bull calls its ‘complete athlete performance program.’" Red Bull said that its partnership with DISC “is a first-of-its-kind allegiance for the company” (ESPN.com, 9/19).