In London, Nathalie Thomas reports EPL club Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley, who also owns U.K.-based sporting goods retailer Sports Direct, is “lining up to take a shot at Umbro, the maker of the England football kit." Nike has “put the iconic British brand up for sale less than five years after buying it.” A Sports Direct spokesperson declined to comment but a source said that "there was 'logic' in adding Umbro to the retailer's kit bag." Ashley is “likely to face an on-pitch battle for the brand with several private equity players” (London TELEGRAPH, 6/4).
NEW THREADS: The Bills announced a practice jersey sponsorship with JW Danforth Co., which will also become the team's official HVAC and plumbing provider for the upcoming season. Bills players will wear the JW Danforth practice jerseys for OTAs, training camp and practice throughout the season (Bills). The Bills practice jerseys had previously been sponsored by Sanyo (THE DAILY).
BURNING RUBBER: Sonoma raceway inked a five-year extension with Yokohama Tire Corp., with the company continuing to serve as the official tire manufacturer of the racetrack through ’16. The agreement includes hospitality, signage and other assets during major event weekends at the facility (Sonoma).