Ferbey inks five-figure deal with Strauss for 'health' of it

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

SASKATOON -- What's wrong with this picture? Randy Ferbey. Spokesperson for the Strauss Herb Company, one of Canada's largest manufacturers of herbal health food products. It's like hiring Porky Pig to pitch Weight Watchers.

"I'm in a mid-life crisis,'' laughed Ferbey of becoming a Strauss spokesperson.

The three-year, five-figure-per-year deal is a rare endorsement for a curler and has more to do with Strauss becoming title sponsor of the Canada Cup fall schedule event, beginning in 2005.

"For me it's more of an endorsement deal than a sponsorship deal. It's not often a curler ends up with a deal like this. It's great for the sport,'' said the only curler ever to win five Briers.

There were two other announcements at the Brier yesterday, both which did not qualify as news - but both of which may affect Ferbey.

Ford announced it has extended sponsorship of the Canadian-hosted World Curling Championship events through the 2005 and 2006 seasons with an option to extend the deal for an additional three years.

To make the deal work, the men's and women's events will be separated in order to feature one world championship in Canada and one in Europe (with a European sponsor) every year.

This means Ferbey and Colleen Jones can't go steady any longer.

Jones, who has won four straight Scott Tournament of Hearts titles, will be taking her fourth straight trip to the world championships, which will be held in Sweden this year. Ferbey, here attempting to win his fourth Brier in a row, has joined her at the world championships each of those years.

Nokia, at the end of a four-year commitment as title sponsor of the Brier, announced it will not renew next year, but will likely remain as a secondary or presenting sponsor.

That means Ferbey, if he wins here, would have the claim to fame of being the only rink to ever win a Nokia Brier.

Brier boss Warren Hansen reiterated yesterday's comments to the Sun that there is every expectation a new title sponsor will be in place for the Edmonton 2005 Brier, and even if one were not firmed up in time, it would have no effect on any aspect of the event.


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