Rose-Colored Glasses for Chicago’s Hometown Hero

Derrick Rose is still sidelined with that nasty ACL tear, and he may continue to be for the next few months. But that doesn’t mean we’re forgetting about him until the time comes.

A few months ago, I posted about Adidas’ first D-Rose spot of the season. In that short from 180LA, Adidas began to thaw the city that froze when Rose went down in an ad that celebrated the city, its favorite team, and its hometown hero.

Since then, Rose has continued his ubiquitous placement on the minds of basketball fans everywhere. Forget the fact that he might be warming the bench through Christmas and beyond, Derrick Rose is staying nearly as top-of-mind as he was when he was on the court.

Obviously this is the case in Chicago, as the Bulls struggle to win games without him; but I’m talking about the national stage. While the TV commercials for Adidas’ D Rose collection shoe playing on TVs across the country, Rose is also prominently featured in the latest NBA 2K video game alongside fellow NBA stars Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin.

And if you needed more reason to love him, Chicago, he just bought a stake in Giordano’s – and is being featured in the chain’s local spots.

Maybe I’m a little homesick, but this picture
seemed necessary.

My former internship bosses at IEG told Ad Age that Rose brought in about $18 million from endorsements this year, making him the third-highest endorsement earner in the NBA (trailing only LBJ and Kobe at $33M and $28M respectively).

Jim Andrews, in-house journalistic genius at IEG (also known as Senior V.P., Content Stategy), noted that #thereturn is remarkable, and not something that could be done with every athlete: “Injury is a sensitive area. Some [athletes] wouldn’t want to be seen in pain and struggling.”

With partnerships ranging from Wilson to Skullcandy to Powerade, Rose’s unassuming star power has positioned him well in the minds of consumers. According to the Marketing Arm, 37% of U.S. consumers are aware of Rose, and of those, 88% say they like him to some degree.

For the year ending in April 2012, Rose had the No. 1-selling jersey in the NBA, an unexpected feat when one considers stars like James and Bryant. And for the time being, that star power doesn’t seem to be waning in wake of the injury. Chicagoans yearn for his return, and consumers across the country can’t help but feel a similar sense of anticipation.

I, for one, can’t wait for #thereturn; but in the meantime, I’ll revel in Adidas’ hype – and homesick-causing commercials – until I can get me a slice of Giordano’s (thank God for Thanksgiving!) and await Rose’s return to Da (much-in-need) Bulls.

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