In Pittsburgh, Shelly Anderson writes Penguins C Sidney Crosby is "serious about screening brands when it comes to signing endorsement deals." Crosby said, "Whatever it is, if you form a partnership with a company, a brand, you have to agree with what they want and what they stand for." Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, said that Crosby's "image and his influence when it comes to youngsters is important to him and is taken into account when he weighs endorsement offers" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/24).
SPORTING LIFE: SI's Melissa Segura reports a group of L.A. civil rights leaders recently called for an investigation of MLS Galaxy shirt sponsor Herbalife "for what they claim are deceptive and predatory business practices targeting minorities." The relationship between Galaxy and Herbalife "begs a larger question: What -- if any -- responsibility do teams and athletes have to fans when choosing a sponsor?" Herbalife VP/Worldwide Corporate Communications Julian Cacchioli "dismissed the allegations." Cacchioli said, "We continue to have great relationships with the teams and athletes we sponsor." A Galaxy spokesperson said the team looks "forward to developing its relationship with Herbalife" (SI, 10/28 issue).
IN THE CROSSHAIRS: SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass wrote as NASCAR driver Kyle Larson replaces Juan Pablo Montoya next year with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, he already has "been to Minneapolis to talk to Target executives and also go through some media training." Target is the primary sponsor of the No. 42 car. Larson will have to get used to "making sure he doesn’t enter a Target competitor." Larson said, "You can’t be going to a different store. Somebody might take a picture of you and you’d get in trouble. But Target is everywhere. You can find them pretty easy" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 10/23).
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Dan Marino has not played for the Dolphins since '99, but his presence still looms large due to his endorsement deals with several companies. Showtime's Phil Simms said of visiting Miami, “Everywhere you go, you see billboards of Dan Marino.” Marino asked, “What’s wrong with that?” Simms: “How much (money) do you need?” Marino replied, “Listen, money talks but cash screams, don’t ever forget that” (“Inside the NFL,” Showtime, 10/23).