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Volume 24 No. 112
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Names In The News

In N.Y., Patrick Clark in a front-page piece profiles former NFLer TIKI BARBER in is role as “co-founder of a technology startup called Thuzio, an ‘online marketplace for celebrity experiences.’” Barber said, “We identified a problem that exists for former athletes. It’s the long-tail popularity of talent. Once you retire, you’re left with this fame which can’t be monetized anymore.” Barber and Gerson Lehman Group co-Founder & Chair MARK GERSON raised $1.5M in funding for the project, which launched L.A. last weekend and is signing up “about 20 new clients a week” (N.Y. OBSERVER, 2/4 issue).

GALAXY QUEST: In DC, Dan Steinberg noted every Wizards player on a recent road trip to Portland “got a Samsung Galaxy II Note, personalized with the team logo and uniform numbers.” During a trip to L.A. the team “got Beats By Dre headphones, and the Beats Pill, a Bluetooth speaker audio system.” Both giveaways were from G JOHN WALL, who said, “Samsung wanted to do a deal. They contacted my people and just set it up to get them a gift while we was in Portland. ... A lot of people switched their phone to that service” (, 2/6).

DRIVER 80, TAKE A BREAK: Pearl Street, located near the Fox River in downtown Green Bay, “will be renamed" in honor of retiring Packers WR DONALD DRIVER, while a statue of a generic Packers WR outside Titletown Brewery “will be refurbished with Driver’s name and the No. 80” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/7). Driver yesterday formally announced his retirement. He plans to “co-host an episode" of KATIE COURIC's talk show "Katie," has a book "due out in September and will participate in an ‘Extreme Makeover’ series” (, 2/6).

GOLF LINKS: WAYNE GRETZKY is at this week's PGA Tour AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am "after several years away" because his daughter PAULINA's boyfriend -- golfer DUSTIN JOHNSON -- "invited him.” Wayne Gretzky said, “My wife and I are like any parents. The one thing you want to have happen is that your kids date good people, and we’re just fortunate that he’s just a really good young man” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/7).

AROUND THE DIAMOND: Tigers 3B MIGUEL CABRERA will be honored at a dinner benefiting the recently-established Miguel Cabrera Foundation and the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities (Tigers)….The MLB Fan Cave was honored with the Grand Prize at Ragan’s PR Daily Digital PR and Social Media Awards for Best Digital PR & Social Media Campaign of ’12 (MLB)….A rare 148-year-old baseball card “discovered at a rural Maine yard sale has been auctioned for $92,000.” The card depicts the Brooklyn Atlantics amateur baseball club (AP, 2/6).

NAMES: Former NFLer HINES WARD accepted the Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award yesterday at the 77th Annual Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction in Pittsburgh. Ward was recognized with Pirates CF ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, former Penn State soccer player TAYLOR SCHRAM and former Heinz Field Exec Dir of Stadium Management JIMMIE SACCO (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/7)….Swimmer RYAN LOCHTE “posed underwater to recreate the iconic album art for Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ in a photo shoot for ESPN The Magazine’s inaugural music issue” set for Feb. 18. The issue “features sports stars recreating classic record covers,” with 13 other athletes “posing as their musical doppelgangers” (, 2/6)….Bills WR BRAD SMITH is “going to try his hand at journalism and style,” working as an intern for Men’s Health magazine to “assist covering New York Fashion Week, which opens” today (AP, 2/6)….Ravens RB RAY RICE's condo in Pikesville, Md. has “been on the market since August and recently dropped in price.” Rice “first listed the home for just under $340,000,” and last month the price “dropped by $20,000” (, 2/6).