Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced that comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s Original Grit Chips “will sponsor the spring Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for the next four years.” The deal “won’t be the comedian’s first venture into race sponsorship,” as the chips were “the title sponsor for the Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta last August” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 2/6). Meanwhile, Rockingham Speedway announced that the North Carolina Education Lottery will serve as the title sponsor of the Camping World Truck Series race on April 14 (Rockingham Speedway).
THE PRESSURE'S ON: N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said the pressure on U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn will be “self-imposed” to recover from serious knee and leg injuries to compete at the ’14 Sochi Games. NBC’s Matt Lauer said, “You say ‘self-imposed’ pressure to comeback. Don’t those huge endorsements that rely on Olympic-style exposure place a lot of pressure on her?” Lupica replied, “I think they do, but we’re going to find out how important one more Olympics is to her because when you’re in that gym and you’re doing all the stuff she’s going to have to do, I don’t think you’re thinking about dollar signs at the end. You’re thinking about Gold Medals” (“Today,” NBC, 2/7).
KEEP IT CLEAN: In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle wrote he was “surprised at the negative response” on Twitter about the idea of ads on NBA jerseys. The response “certainly wasn’t unanimously negative, but more than half were against the idea.” Schoettle wrote, “Since the NBA has a much higher profile than the WNBA and since the NBA would be the first of the big four U.S. stick-and-ball leagues to break from tradition of having uniforms clean of corporate clutter, I’m quite certain there’s going to be some kind of reaction.” But just how “violent that reaction is will depend on how effectively NBA owners can get out in front of this issue and how much the sport's fans think they’re getting out of the deal” (IBJ.com, 2/7).
WAGON WHEEL: Clippers C DeAndre Jordan appeared on Wednesday's edition of "Wheel of Fortune" as part of "NBA Week," and host Pat Sajak noted Jordan "has a big endorsement deal with Under Armour." Sajak: "They’re one of our prize sponsors this week, and it’s a great company. It’s a great product, but it’s really great people." Jordan: "They do a great job there. They’re a young company really trying to build" ("Wheel of Fortune," 2/6).