Gatorade Signs Yao Ming

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Ming and Manning mingle on the set.
Yao Ming, the rookie center for the Houston Rockets -- who are on the bubble to make the playoffs in a league where everyone makes the playoffs -- has added another brand to his endorsement duties. Gatorade announced today that Ming will appear alongside Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning in a commercial from Element 79 Partners as part of a multi-year endorsement contract with the All-Star. But, after recent appearances for Apple and Visa, even Gatorade seems to realize this isn't much of a feat. A press release announcing the deal describes Gatorade as the "first beverage brand" to partner with Ming and the commercial as the first in which Yao stars "with other top athletes from a variety of sports." But forget Jeter and Manning, after being cast as tall for Apple and as having a weird name for Visa, the Gatorade spot may well be the first in which Ming himself appears as an athlete.
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