Love him or hate him, the Chicago Bulls' most recognizable face next to Derrick Rose is center Joakim Noah. The high-energy center, with his trademark “long hair don’t care” style and penchant for exchanging words with some of the NBA’s biggest stars, finds himself the center of attention now that Rose is out of the picture for the foreseeable future.
According to an interview in Crain’s Chicago Business, the absence of Rose has opened up a world of marketing and branding opportunities for a player who is, for now at least, Chicago’s biggest NBA star actually competing on the court this season.
“I don't try to control my own brand. That's not really my style,” Noah told Crain’s after a recent Bulls home game. But whether or not he tries to control his individual brand, the fact that he even has one is telling.
Crain’s estimates that Noah could double his endorsement income to about $2 million annually which would place him in the top 25 of NBA players who make money as corporate pitch men. He currently earns approximately $1 million annually from deals with Le Coq Sportif, a French sporting goods company that makes his shoes, and from Vita Coco Coconut Water.
Given his play this season and the fact that he’s now an All-Star, Noah is seeing even more potential endorsement deals come across his table.
“Money definitely has something to do with it—let's not get it twisted. But you might as well pick some brands that fit who you are,” Noah said of his newfound endorsement possibilities.
Regardless of his newfound popularity from an individual standpoint, Noah is still a team-first guy, and helping bring the Chicago Bulls their seventh NBA Championship is the only endorsement Joakim is even remotely interested in.
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