The UFC has announced that MetroPCS is now the exclusive wireless partner of the UFC in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The multiyear deal includes MetroPCS signage at all domestic UFC events, a presence in UFC PPV event broadcasts, fighter endorsements and appearances, retail promotions and UFC-branded MetroPCS products. The first event featuring MetroPCS is Friday's UFC 141 in Las Vegas. MetroPCS as part of the deal will also participate in the UFC's Octagon Nation Tour (UFC).
SOUVENIR CITY? In St. Paul, Charley Walters notes Sunday's Bears-Vikings game could be the "last game at the Metrodome" as the Vikings currently do not have a lease for the '12 season, and it "could be an opportunity for memorabilia collectors." Twins curator Clyde Doepner said, "Any time you have a ticket from the first game ever played at the place, and any time you have a ticket from the last game ever played at a place, they have value." He added, "Any time there's a significant event in sports, everybody wants to say they were there. And one of the proofs is that you've got your ticket" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/29).
FAIR WARNING: In Jacksonville, Don Coble noted Phoenix Racing Owner James Finch last week hired Kurt Busch to drive the No. 51 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry, but "not before making some ground rules for the temperamental driver." Finch "made it clear he won't tolerate any more boorish behavior and profane" outbursts from Busch. He told WJHG-NBC, "He lost a job and he's lost several million dollars, so I think that's been a wake-up call. I told him, I said, 'Kurt, it's about winning races.' ... I hired him for his foot, not his mouth" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/28).
NOTES: The NBA's latest ad via Goodby Silverstein & Partners includes The Turtles' song "So Happy Together" in a "big-bobblehead commercial that imposes the heads of the biggest stars in the league" on the band's video. The "expressions are definitely worth a watch" (ADAGE.com, 12/27)....Baltimore-based Northeastern Supply will return as an associate sponsor on Turner Motorsports' No. 31 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry driven by Justin Allgaier (THE DAILY).