The old rivalry between two of the biggest market and most valuable (according to Forbes’ ratings) teams in the Eastern Conference, even today, is going through a lot of struggles trying to regain their contender status. The Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks were two of the best teams in the East consistently throughout the 1990s. But it has since vanished since the turn of the century.
Now that the Bulls are Knicks are both in the East, they are trying to find a way to reorganize both their organizations and their brands to reach those heights they once had in the 90s. One of the ways the latter of those two teams tried to renew the brand earlier this year was by hiring a very successful marketing agency. The Knicks hired Steve Stoute’s marketing agency in January 2020 called Translation to try to elevate the image of their brand and franchise.
But that move didn’t work out as the Knicks would have hoped so far. The Knicks reportedly had to “distance themselves” from Stoute shortly after hiring his marketing agency to rename their franchise following comments he made earlier this year about ESPN’s “First Take”.
And now, to make matters worse for the Knicks, that famous marketing consultant Stoute was found wearing shorts with the Bulls logo while playing golf with some other big names in business and sport. The photo appeared on the Instagram page of sports marketing and entertainment executive Paul Rivera this week.
Stoute was playing golf with Rivera, rapper Nas, and striker Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors when this photo appeared on Instagram wearing the Bulls shorts. Not a good look for the Knicks, and what does he really say about his ties to the Bulls?
It might not mean anything. But it’s definitely not something that will help the Knicks brand in the public eye. The marketing consultant they hired to improve their brand publicly represented the merchandise of one of their biggest historical rivals.