How long can a fan base wait for a come back-story to unfold? The Chicago Bulls’ promotions department has the answer, as there will be no Derrick Rose themed giveaways this season. Beleaguered by injuries since his 2011-2012 NBA MVP campaign, this is the first year the Bulls do not have a Rose bobblehead, or shirt night for fans.
That being said, a healthy season would go a long way in restoring Rose’s value. For now, the Bulls are diminishing his role in promotions as they’re shifting away from him being the face of the franchise. Electing not to use their most expensive asset as a promotional vehicle illustrates that for the Bulls, and the rest of professional sports, it’s a ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?’ business. However, this move could make the marketing staff look extremely foolish if Rose is finally able to stay on the court as a productive player. In which case, his talent and the media attention that comes with him will once again elevate Rose as the Bulls’ poster boy.
Despite an orbital bone fracture in training camp, which is a footnote in his long list of ailments, Rose played in the Bulls’ opening night win against the Cavaliers. While few expect him to be the electrifying force he was three years ago, a healthy Derek Rose is the missing piece for a Chicago team that can compete for a championship. Failing to recognize his impact for the team and its fans might not be the right move for the organization.
Even with his injuries and off the court issues, Rose’s status and role in the community is being overlooked. His charitable work and donations, including $1 million to Chicago’s After School Matters, speak louder to local supporters than any media tabloids. Additionally, fans don’t forget their heroes that they’ve emotionally invested in as easily as the front office might. For these reasons alone, it’s foolish for the Bulls to neglect Rose’s impact on a loyal fan base.
In response to media speculation about Rose’s lessening prominence, the Bulls said in a statement that the promotional schedule evolves throughout the season. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a Rose-themed giveaway surface if he’s on the court and playing well.