In N.Y., Bee Shapiro in a fashion & style section feature wrote aside from Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, UFC "lacks bankable stars with mainstream appeal." WME-IMG recently "sponsored a two-day retreat at the UFC corporate campus in Las Vegas to school the fighters in personal brand building, social media and financial management." WME-IMG also has "put its press and agent corps to work securing opportunities." But Demetrious Johnson said of UFC sponsor Reebok, "I’ve asked Reebok straight to their face: ‘I’m the 10-time defending UFC champion -- why aren’t you sponsoring me?’ They said, ‘You don’t fit the description of what we’re looking for'" (NYTIMES.com, 8/22).
HERE COMES THE SUN: NBCSPORTS.com's Dustin Long reported SunnyD has "extended its contract with Roush Fenway Racing" to sponsor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series through '19. SunnyD will "add races as primary sponsor each season, although how many was not announced." The drink brand has "been the primary sponsor of Stenhouse’s car in three races this season" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/22).
RETURN SERVE: The GLOBE & MAIL's Rachel Brady noted Denis Shapovalov, following a strong showing at the ATP Rogers Cup, is "fired up" about a rise in Instagram and Twitter followers. There has been "steady corporate sponsor interest in him since his Junior Wimbledon title, and he already has a handful of partnerships, including Nike, National Bank, BioSteel and Yonex." His manager, Andrzej Kepinski, said that he has "received lots more interest in the wunderkind recently but his team hasn’t strayed from their plan to take it slow and not overburden him" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/22).