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Sports

November 28, 2013

Rose injury could be blow to Adidas, too

(Continued)

Adidas America president Patrik Nilsson and Portland-based vice president of global basketball Lawrence Norman were sitting courtside and had an up-close view. Had they shed tears, would anyone have blamed them?

Rose signed a contract extension with the company in February 2012 that reportedly was worth $185 million to $260 million over 13 or 14 years. Two months later, he tore his ACL. Now, he’s on the mend again.

Adidas issued a statement wishing Rose well while pledging its support, and it’s not clear how the latest injury will impact the campaign.

“I can tell you that we’re focused on supporting Derrick through his recovery,” Adidas spokeswoman Madeline Breskin said. “Our plans remain unchanged at this time and we will update business plans, as needed.”

Ganis and Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing analyst at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, said the company really has no choice but to go to a backup plan at least for now.

Either way, the company is in a tough spot.

When it comes to basketball shoe sales in the U.S., Nike has a stranglehold. The Swoosh is by far the leader at 92 percent with Adidas a distant second at 5.5 percent, according to research firm SportsOneSource.

On the plus side, the basketball shoe market is up 25 percent in general. Then again, Rose’s signature shoe didn’t fly off the shelves last year, generating $25 million.

“They really don’t have another marquee player in their stable,” SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said.

Click on the Adidas basketball website and it’s clear who’s No. 1. It’s Rose, who wears that uniform number.

Adidas also has Dwight Howard, but Superman’s popularity isn’t exactly soaring these days.

A messy split with Orlando that led to a trade to the Lakers and one brutal season in Los Angeles while recovering from back surgery were like Kryptonite to his image. Now, he’s in Houston after signing with the Rockets as a free agent.

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