SCENDAILY.com's Bob Pockrass noted if an "expected deal with Best Buy doesn't come through," driver Matt Kenseth has "confidence in team co-owner Jack Roush and general manager Robbie Reiser that his team's performance won't sag." Kenseth said, "We have too competitive of teams and run too good to be unsponsored. There's got to be somebody out there that's going to jump on there." Roush has "pledged to run Kenseth's No. 17 team unsponsored if it has to, but sources said [last] week that Best Buy is leaning toward moving from Richard Petty Motorsports to Roush to sponsor Kenseth next year." Kenseth has had "two main primary sponsors throughout his career -- DeWalt and Crown Royal," but both "got out of the sport." Kenseth: "There's still a little bit of concern. It's December and we don't have anything for Daytona yet. Things are starting to look up a little bit" (SCENDAILY.com, 12/16).
DRY ARENA: In Miami, George Richards noted the Florida Department of Transportation was scheduled to sponsor Sunday's NHL game between the Hurricanes and Panthers. Richards noted with the sponsorship came a "rarity in professional sports: Limited alcohol sales." The Panthers were not going to "sell alcohol at any concession stands in the upper or lower level at BankAtlantic Center" and planned to close the two bars in the 100 level. Fans would "able to drink in suites or in various clubs on the suite and club level." Team President & COO Michael Yormark said that the Panthers "wanted to take part in the FDOT's campaign to curtail drunken driving but admitted it was easier to do such a promotion on a Sunday afternoon game than, say the New Year's Eve game" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/18).
BREAKING INTO BIG TEN: Northwestern Univ. and Under Armour on Saturday announced a new multiyear partnership that designates Under Armour as the official outfitter of the university's athletic program. The company will outfit all of Northwestern's 19 men's and women's varsity athletic teams beginning in the '12-13 season. The partnership also includes marketing and promotional rights. It is UA's first partnership with an athletic program in the Big Ten (Northwestern).