SBD/February 14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

More Critics Wondering Whether Rose Is Taking Recovery Cues From Bulls Or WMG

Bulls G Derrick Rose's interview with USA Today earlier this week where he stated he would not return to action until he is 110% has drawn speculation about whether he is taking his cues from the Bulls or his agents at Wasserman Media Group and adidas. The Chicago Tribune's David Haugh first broached the subject yesterday, and L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke followed up during yesterday's episode of ESPN's "Around The Horn." He asked, "Who’s running this show here? Who’s running his rehab? Is it his PR firm and adidas or is it the Bulls?” Plaschke noted the USA Today interview was "set up by" WMG, which helped negotiate Rose's $260M deal with adidas. The Bulls “are only paying about” $95M to Rose in salary under his current contract, and Plaschke said, “They don’t have as much control over him as the PR people." He added Rose “should be in charge of his own rehab, but it seems like adidas and his media group are running the interviews, are running the spin that’s put on it” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/13). The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein said Rose’s image "took a hit” following the interview, because he “seems like a puppet in some ways now." Greenstein said, "He’s got this group in Los Angeles who are determining who you’re going to speak to and when.” But Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s David Kaplan said, “I still believe that it’s not adidas driving the bus. Yes, they’re paying a lot of money, but in the end the Bulls want the same thing that Derrick wants.” CSN Chicago's Mark Schanowski added, “I don’t see where adidas really benefits from Derrick Rose sitting out an entire season. They’re still trying to move inventory of the latest model of Derrick Rose’s shoe and gear. ... For adidas, they should want Derrick on the floor" (“Chicago Tribune Live,” CSN Chicago, 2/13).

TRYING TO CONTROL THE MESSAGE? The Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei said it is “interesting” that Rose and his "handlers are trying to control the message." Pompei: "They’re not having him talk to the masses or even talk to local guys who are there every day and know the situation the best. They handpicked one person to interview with.” Greenstein said the media “in this city who play by the rules got screwed.” Schanowski said the USA Today interview was "handled very poorly” because the local Chicago media was “blindsided.” Rose’s image within the media may have taken "a little bit of a hit” ("Chicago Tribune Live," CSN Chicago, 2/13).
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