GOLF.com's Mike Walker reported Luke Donald yesterday announced a contract extension "with his longtime sponsor Mizuno." Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Donald "tested the waters with other equipment companies before deciding to stay at Mizuno, which he's been playing since his college days at Northwestern." One of the main "sticking points" for Donald is that he "didn't want a deal that forced him to play all 14 clubs from a single manufacturer." Donald said that he "plays 11 Mizuno clubs -- all his irons and wedges -- and he plays a TaylorMade Rocketbalz driver and an Odyssey White Hot Tour XG putter" (GOLF.com, 1/23).
SILK ROAD: TENNIS.com's Richard Pagliaro reported Svetlana Kuznetsova signed a "new apparel pact with Chinese brand Qiaodan" prior to the start of the Australian Open. Kuznetsova, who lost in the quarterfinals to Victoria Azarenka, had been with Fila for "more than a decade." Meanwhile, Fila is aiming to "fill the void left by the retirement of Kim Clijsters, who was the face of Fila's tennis line," in addition to Kuznetsova. They recently signed 18th-ranked Julia Goerges, who "formerly wore Nike" (TENNIS.com, 1/21).
GLASS HALF-FULL BRANDS: The GLOBE & MAIL's Mia Pearson writes throughout the NHL lockout, and as it ended, many brands "saw an opportunity to connect with consumers on an emotional level," including Bauer, Nike, the NHL itself and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/24).