Chicago’s biggest basketball star and the Windy City’s best-loved pizza brand have teamed up. Chicagoan and MVP Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has inked a deal with Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza as an equity owner and as the company’s newest national spokesperson. It is a first-of-its-kind partnership, claim the two parties. Rose is the first nationally recognized athlete and celebrity spokesperson to partner with the iconic pizza brand in its nearly 40-year history.
Atlanta-based Profitable Brand Coach Kelly Green, founder of Insider Branding Secrets, says the partnership may prove to be successful. “I think this partnership will definitely help the company’s brand. For one, it shows that they are in-touch with their target audience. Rose is becoming a legend in Chicago and he will forever have a place in Chicago history just like Giordano’s Pizza. He’s hot, he’s young, he’s popular and his face will most likely re-energize the brand. The affiliation is a win-win,” she points out.
Giordano’s, which is famous for its deep-dish pizza, is sold at 40 Chicago-area restaurants and shipped nationwide via the Internet. The pizza company will also use this opportunity to promote a newly- expanded menu that includes new pizza offerings along with salads, sandwiches, pastas and desserts.
Rose, nicknamed D-Rose, is currently Chicago’s No. 1 basketball player. He will appear in Giordano’s advertising, consumer promotions and charitable events. He will also visit the various restaurants and his face will appear on special takeout boxes. “The deal is a good move for Rose because Giordano’s Pizza is an iconic symbol of Chicago. Rose now gets to show his human side by being affiliated with a symbol of family, food & fun. Everyone can relate to pizza,” notes Green, who works with small business owners and solopreneurs.
Giordano’s, which was founded in 1974, was acquired in late 2011 by Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC. According to ESPN.com, “the brand has been growing at five to nine percent a year, without price increases” and “will make roughly 13.4 million pizza pies this year.” It is estimated that Rose as a net worth of $30 million.
Which is Rose’s favorite Giordano’s pie? Thin crust pizza with cheese, sausage and red peppers.