Derrick Rose used to be a top-five NBA player. He also used to be the face of Adidas and a big-time draw at the ticket office. Unfortunately, injuries robbed that Derrick Rose from the basketball loving public. Now, Derrick Rose is a solid point-guard who shows flashes of brilliance of his old-self from time to time. Adidas no long has spots focused around Rose’s comebacks, and he was a relative business after-thought last year. The trade to the Knicks may be the first step on his comeback tour, but he is going to have to prove himself further if he wants to move the needle in terms of marketing and Q-score again.
What made Rose such a great endorser was his talented play and silent-steely demeanor on the court. He wasn’t like like LeBron or Kobe, he was different and Adidas played off that. Adidas even did a great job when Rose was returning from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs.
Rose continued to battle injuries and he became less and less the face of a struggling Adidas. Players such as Steph Curry, John Wall, Kevin Durant, and James Harden passed him by on the court and in terms of marketing prowess. Rose still flashed on the commercial screen from time to time, including this amazing from Powerade.
Some may assume the logical thought process is now that Rose is moving to New York, he may return back to the marketing and endorsement power he used to be. That probably isn’t the case. Rose will have to play well — and stay healthy — for that to happen. Building a campaign around him is too much of a risk.
Rose probably won’t help TV ratings either because the Knicks — when on national TV — generally don’t need help. Even when they are bad, they still draw ratings. Now they may have a team filled with name recognition players — Carmelo, Rose, and Dwight Howard is rumored to be a target in free agency — which could increase the Knickerbockers nationally televised games, but not to an amount that is a drastic change from the past few years.
Maybe Rose might increase ticket sales, but again, it won’t be by an amount where this trade was done strictly for marketing purposes — teams take that into account all the time. In reality this move is kicking the tires on a once great veteran. If Rose can have a comeback year in New York, it could set up some business benefits down the road, but for now it doesn’t move the needle.