By Barry Janoff
October 1, 2013: Derrick Rose has not been in an NBA game since blowing out his left knee during the first round of the 2012 playoffs. Thanks to an on-going campaign from adidas, however, he has never really been out of sight.
With the 2013-14 NBA season fast approaching, Rose apparently is ready to take his game, which made him Rookie of the Year in 2008-09 and a three-time All-Star, back on the court. His return to the Chicago Bulls after surgery and months of rehab comes complete with a multi-media marketing effort from adidas, which also supports the launch of the D Rose 4 signature basketball shoe.
The campaign is anchored by a TV spot, "Basketball Is Everything," which breaks this week on ESPN, NBATV, BET, FX, Adult Swim and Comedy Central. Support includes Internet at such destinations as ESPN.com, NBA.com, BleacherReport.com, SLAMonline.com, USAToday.com and Complex.com; as well as social media including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The campaign, timed to coincide with Rose's 25th birthday (Oct. 4), is scheduled to run through the NBA start of season.
The TV spot has Rose explaining that if everything was taken away from him, he would still have basketball, which, to him, is everything.
“Adidas exists because of sport, and the sport of basketball is everything to Derrick Rose,” Ryan Morlan, global basketball communications director for adidas, said in a statement. “If you took away all of the fame and notoriety of his life, he would still be left with what matters the most to him – the game. Derrick’s love and dedication to basketball drove our concept to deliver an authentic and honest portrait of him for fans across the world.”
Rose missed all but 39 games during the regular season in 2011-12, but the Bulls still ran off a 50-16 record (after going 62-20 the previous season). He returned for one playoff game as the Bulls lost in the first round of the playoffs. The Bulls were 45-37 last season, losing in the Eastern Conference semi-final round.
In “Basketball is Everything,” we see Rose training for the upcoming season juxtaposed with scenes that portray his life: Standing outside of his home; at his birthday party with family and friends that include hip-hop artists Common, 2 Chainz and Dom Kennedy; at a music video shoot with rapper Big Sean; and in a high-end jewelry store with his brother.
Throughout, Rose is sharing his thoughts via voiceover. "Let me tell you something. If you took away the money, if you took away the fame, the spotlight.If you took away the lifestyle and all the things that come with it. If you took away all the flash. What would you have left? Everything." (See the full spot here.)
The campaign follows the conclusion of the "D Rose Tour" this past summer, which covered ten countries and 13 cities across Europe and Asia. It culminated with an exclusive event, “All in for Chicago,” on Sept. 22, where Rose hosted 5,000 local kids from youth groups and community organizations in Chicago's United Center, which featured a performance by Big Sean.
The D Rose 4 launches at adidas.com, Foot Locker and Eastbay on Oct.10 (MSRP $140) in three colorways; five other editions will launch through the end of the year. In addition to the shoe, the new signature collection includes fleece sweatshirts and pants, Ts, shorts, hats and socks to hook up with each colorway of the shoe.