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article imageDerrick Rose keeps endorsement branding strong despite injury

By Marina Todic     Nov 16, 2012 in Sports
Derrick Rose isn’t on the floor playing basketball for the Chicago Bulls but he’s finding ways to stay visible. He’s on TV commercials for the D Rose collection shoe from Adidas.
Was featured in the latest "2K NBA" video game alongside fellow young NBA stars Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. He's also turning up in local spots for Chicago-based pizza chain Giordano's, which he recently bought a stake in.
Rose tore his ACL during the first game of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers back in April.
One would think being sidelined for so long would hurt his endorsement potential, but "in some ways this has actually been beneficial to his endorsement persona," said Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp, a sports-business consulting firm. "He's not letting this setback keep him idle."
Rose and Adidas even focused on his injury as a theme in the advertising for the shoe. The spots, which include the hashtag #thereturn, were created by agency 180LA and show fans frozen in disbelief when Mr. Rose gets injured and snippets of him doing intense rehabilitation workouts. The campaign also extends to a series of short documentary-style videos online.
What's unique about #thereturn is that "you couldn't do this with every athlete," said Jim Andrews, senior VP-content strategy at IEG. "Injury is a sensitive area. Some [athletes] wouldn't want to be seen in pain and struggling."
Rose has brought in around $18 million from endorsements this year, according to IEG. That makes him the third-highest endorsement earner in the NBA, trailing only LeBron James at $33 million and Kobe Bryant at $28 million.
Aside from Adidas and "2K," Rose has partnered with PowerAde, Wilson and headphone company Skullcandy.
Rose had the No. 1-selling jersey in the NBA for the year ended in April 2012, and he was named the league's MVP in May 2011.
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