SBD/June 10, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Running With The Bulls: adidas Has Big Marketing Plans For Derrick Rose

adidas made a Rose-specific shoe after his second season in the NBA

After winning the NBA MVP award in just his third season, Bulls G Derrick Rose has “suddenly found himself one of the league’s most marketable stars,” according to Joel Brigham of HOOPSWORLD.com. Rose has become the "golden boy for adidas Global Basketball." He has “his own shoe and is featured prominently in commercials for the new Crazy Light sneakers garnering so much buzz of late.” adidas created a Rose-specific shoe after his second NBA season, and a "year later he's turned that shoe (and its descendants) into best-sellers." adidas VP/Global Basketball Lawrence Norman said, "It’s our responsibility as a global brand to take him global. ... Derrick has a very unique style about him. We’re just getting to know that as his style continues to evolve. Off the court he’s wearing a lot of sweats and hoodies and more adidas Originals type-style. This is part of the business that we can really start to build on, not just by building him a performance range, but also more style items." Norman and his adidas colleagues “knew there was a chance that Rose would be very good someday,” but Brigham noted “this much success this fast is more than any endorsement partner could’ve hoped for.” Norman said, “Now that we’re into building signature ranges for him, we think the potential is endless. It’s a fun opportunity for us to explore new product categories, to see what we can do, what countries we can visit, and how we can build Derrick’s brand together” (HOOPSWORLD.com, 6/9).

A VENTURE INTO THE UNKNWN: In Miami, Elaine Walker reports Unknwn, a new upscale store in which Heat F LeBron James is a minority investor, will open its first shop this fall in Miami's Aventura Mall, "one of the top-performing shopping malls in the country." The concept for Unknwn originally “was planned for James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio," but when he joined the Heat, the "decision was made to launch” the business in South Florida. Unknwn will make its debut at Aventura Mall because of "James' friendship with mall owner Jeffrey Soffer." Given James' popularity, Soffer "sees a public-relations opportunity for the mall and is giving Unknwn a prime first-floor location." Walker notes the "equity model is one that James is trying to advance in various ventures" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/10).

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