PR in Sports

Looking at the World of Sports from a PR Perspecitve

Bulls Rose-Petal Promotion Too Much?

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Derrick Rose scored just 9 points and committed 7 turnovers after recieving his ROY Award.

Derrick Rose scored just 9 points and committed 7 turnovers after receiving his ROY Award.

Thursday night in Game 3 of their first round playoff series, the Boston Celtics routed the Chicago Bulls 107-86. In the win that put the Celtics up 2-1 in their best of seven series, Boston held Bulls rookie phenom Derrick Rose to just 9 points, while he dished out 2 assists and committed 7 turnovers. On the other hand, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo continued his stellar play with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.

In a pregame ceremony Rose, who averaged 16.8 points and 6.3 assists per game in the regular season, was given his Rookie of the Year Award by NBA commissioner David Stern. The Bulls certainly didn’t have total control over the award ceremony as it’s standard for the commissioner to be on-hand to dish-out the hardware, but for their part, the Bulls decided to promote the event by littering the arena with rose petals. That’s right, rose petals were covering the aisles, seats and courtside media tables.

The question is, did the Bulls go too far in pregame promotions, considering this was a very important and emotional game? This was the first home playoff game this year for Rose and the young Bulls.

The TNT cameras showed several shots of the petals throughout the arena, and their announcers mentioned the display several times during the broadcast. It seemed like a creative nod to their new Rookie of the Year, but this type of display opened the team and Rose up to plenty criticism and sarcasm.

I’m not suggesting Rose’s poor play and the Bulls getting run off the court were because of the rose petals, but the promotion did seem to raise the emotion and pageantry of the moment. The display also provided a tailor made story line for the media, especially as they found their seats and computers covered in the petals. The media love to use cheesy promotions such as this to use a team as part of the punchline.

To prove the point, a quick Google news search of “Bulls rose petals” results in pages of stories using the rose petal ceremony as a punchline in either the title or summary. The media definitely had a field day with this one. I can understand the excitement of the Bulls staff, this is a huge accomplishment for Rose, and with he game being on TNT, a huge opportunity for the Bulls franchise, but it seems like a decent idea at the wrong time.

The promotion came off as cheesy, added that little extra pressure that wasn’t needed and opened the team up to sarcasm in the media. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Was the rose petal display a harmless attempt at honoring their player, or did it add to the pressure of an already emotional setting and provide folly for the media?

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Written by Brian Gleason

April 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm

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