SBD/July 22, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

With This Rose: Sponsors Have Big Plans For Derrick Rose, Especially In China

Rose looking to boost his profile in China with upcoming adidas marketing tour
Powerade and adidas are "in the process of strategizing new campaigns centered around" Bulls G Derrick Rose, "with the tone and message a critical part of the process," according to Melissa Isaacson of ESPN CHICAGO. The companies, which along with Wilson make up three of Rose's "biggest endorsements, all responded to the MVP award last spring." Wilson released a "limited edition basketball, adidas had an MVP tribute commercial, and Powerade aired a congratulatory TV ad, a Chicago billboard and a pledge to donate $25 for every point he score in the playoffs, (which came out to their minimum promise of $15,000) to restore the basketball courts at Murray Park, where Rose grew up playing." adidas also is "designing a new shoe with plenty of input from Rose." adidas VP/Global Basketball Lawrence Norman said, "He's adamant that he really wants a product a kid can wear on and off the court, so he doesn't have to wear two different pairs of shoes." Furthermore, Norman believes Rose "will one day be the No. 1 basketball icon in all of China," bigger than Lakers G Kobe Bryant and the recently retired Yao Ming. Rose will be "busier off the court" this summer than in years past, "traveling to China in August for an adidas marketing tour centered around the Bulls star." Isaacson wrote "establishing a presence in Asia is crucial right now for NBA stars," not just because it "can lead to added revenue and leverage during and after the league lockout, but because simply, China is the world's most populated country and basketball its most popular sport." Norman: "There is a golden opportunity in China for Derrick. We feel in the long term, he can be the No. 1 basketball icon and potentially the biggest sports icon in all of China" (, 7/21).

WINNING ISN'T EVERYTHING ... OR IS IT? ESPN's Jim Rome noted N-Score results from a new Nielsen Media/E-Poll study, which aims to evaluate potential endorsement effectiveness, found Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki to be the most-marketable player in the NBA, "based on name appeal, approachability and sincerity." Rome: "In short, people dig Dirk and how can you not?" Conversely, the study indicates that Heat F LeBron James' marketability "dropped 400% ... since last year." Rome: "Dropping 400% in a year when you make it to the NBA Finals is not easy to do, especially when your main goal is to become a global icon. But if we've learned anything at all from Dirk, it's this: The quickest way to becoming a global icon is to not care about becoming a global icon" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 7/20).
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