By Barry Janoff
May 22, 2014: Pete Rose may not be eligible to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but he has found a spot on Team Skechers.
Skechers has signed Rose to a marketing deal in which he will endorse the brand's Relaxed Fit footwear line. Sketchers said that an ad campaign featuring Rose would begin in Fall 2014. The company hinted that Rose's infamous personal life would play into the theme.
Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed.
Rose played from 1963-1986, retiring as MLB's all-time hits leader with 4,256. He also was a member of three World Series winning teams (1975-76 with the Cincinnati Reds, 1980 with the Philadelphia Phillies), was a 17-time All-Star and also holds MLB records in career singles (3.215), at-bats (14,053) and games played (3,562).
Rose also managed the Reds from 1984-89.
In August 1989, then MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Rose from baseball for gambling on the sport. Rose did not publicly admit to gambling on baseball until his autobiography, My Prison Without Bars (2004).
The signing of Rose comes about a week after the brand signed Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath to an endorsement deal.
“Our Relaxed Fit from Skechers campaign has been so successful because fans love seeing sports icons off the field,” added Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “We’re thrilled to bring Pete Rose on board and have a fantastic concept that plays to his unmatched talent and of course his notoriety as well. Pete will help drive the message that our comfortable footwear is the ideal way to help you stay relaxed in any situation.”
Skechers said that Rose’s campaign would launch with a TV spot "utilizing the same humorous tone as previous spots for Relaxed Fit footwear starring Joe Montana and Mark Cuban, as well as an upcoming spot with Joe Namath."
"We’re thrilled to bring Pete Rose on board and have a fantastic concept that plays to his unmatched talent and of course his notoriety."
The campaign will also include print, outdoor, online and POP through 2015.
“I’ve loved these super comfortable Relaxed Fit shoes from the moment I first tried on a pair, so it makes perfect sense now that I’m working with Skechers,” Rose said in a statement. “I can’t wait until everyone sees what we have planned. I know I’m in great company with the roster of legends that have worked on this campaign.”