Hours after Derrick Rose tore his ACL, way back in April of 2012, the Nike designer who created the shoe of LeBron James tweeted out this:
You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh… #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS
— Jason Petrie (@sevenzro1) April 28, 2012
Pooh is the nickname given to Rose by his grandmother. @sevenzro1 is the Twitter handle of Jason Petrie, a dummy. The insensitive remark viraled its way around the Internet and added another layer of brand machismo to the Nike v. Adidas debate.
Truthfully, there isn’t much of a debate. Nike crushes Adidas. Nike has LeBron, Roger Federer, Jordan Brand, et. al. Adidas has Dwight Howard, who does Dwight Howard things, and RGIII, who may not be the golden ticket after all. But Adidas also has Rose, who should finally be coming back to the court this season, after a proloooooonged injury recovery. Rose won the MVP at 21, and in all likelihood, three days away from his 25th birthday, is the real golden ticket.
To mark Rose’s official return, Adidas is going all in – again. Before last season, the brand ran an “All In” campaign that looked silly since Rose never came back. This time, we have “Basketball is Everything,” an understated, elegant one-minute spot from 180LA that fits the monotone Rose very well. From articles written about Rose, it seems that basketball is everything, and I say that with respect to 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Common, who all make appearances in the commercial.
So, if Rose comes back hungry and healthy, and Adidas gets their icon back, we all know how this could end. Athletes love bulletin board motivational material, it creates buzz. Marketers love it, too. I can see it now: a commercial opening with Petrie’s tweet, followed by Rose and Adidas going after Nike. That would be fun.