FORBES' Kristi Dosh noted Natural Light Seltzer is now the Official Hard Seltzer of the Big 12, a "first of its kind partnership in college sports." The partnership is "at the conference level, not with individual Big 12 schools," and was secured by Learfield IMG College's Big 12 Sports Properties. Activation of the partnership will "include in-game elements, social and digital extensions, and advertising across the Phillips 66 Baseball Championship, Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship, the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship, and the Phillips 66 Women's Basketball Championship" (FORBES.com, 9/25).
LOCALLY GROWN: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel noted the Golden Knights tapped Smith's as the "official VGK food store," its first partnership with a local supermarket. Golden Knights fans yesterday at Smith's "gobbled up the first of five patches that are being sold" for $10 each, with the patch for LW Max Pacioretty the "first to be sold." The supermarket will "roll out four more player patches every two weeks." Smith's has "about 40 stores in the Las Vegas market" (LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 9/25).
USHERING IN A NEW ERA: Pelicans rookie F Zion Williamson in July signed a seven-year, $75M deal with Jordan Brand, and THE ATHLETIC's Wosny Lambre wrote there are signs that the brand itself will be "handling Zion a bit differently from signature guys of the past." The money Jordan Brand is "willing to shell out alone is a huge indicator that it's going to give this investment an outsized push." Jordan Brand has "consistently bricked its attempts at launching culturally relevant signature shoe lines for over a decade now," but in Williamson, it has its "easiest layup to date." Jordan Brand has "never had a more ready-made star, never had a guy so perfect to launch Jordan Brand into its next era" (THEATHLETIC.com, 9/25).