Derrick Rose Becomes Equity Partner In Chicago-Based Pizza Chain Giordano's
Chicago-based deep dish pizza company Giordano's today announced that Bulls G Derrick Rose "has become an equity partner in the restaurant franchise," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Giordano's, which is "looking to branch out from the Chicagoland area, will lean on Rose to give it a boost as it moves outside of its comfort base." The brand has 43 restaurants, "only three of which are outside the state of Illinois." Victory Park Capital Advisors Managing Partner Richard Levy, whose company bought Giordano's last year, said that Rose "paid for his undisclosed piece of the pie, which will entitle him to the share of the profits as the company seeks to branch out." The company's plans include expansion "first to the Midwest and in 'Big Ten' college cities and eventually to other states notably California and Texas, the two top states where Giordano's says it ships the most frozen pizzas to." Giordano's President & CEO Yorgo Koutsogiorgas said that the company "will use Rose by putting his image on a special takeout box." Giordano's will "not be allowed to use official Bulls trademarks in any of it's advertising or promotional material involving Rose." The Bulls have "sold its official pizza designation to supermarket brand DiGiorno" (ESPN.com, 9/5). Rose is the first pro athlete and celebrity spokesperson to align with the pizza company. Beginning later this month, he will appear in Giordano's advertising, consumer promotions and charitable efforts (Giordano's).