Rodman bounces back into basketball

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Basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman is using his celebrity brand to inspire the Bad Boy All-Stars, a team that will face the Harlem Globetrotters during NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in February.

The former National Basketball Association star is using his rebellious image to promote the league's own event. The Feb. 17 game kicks off the Globetrotters' "2007 Nothing Like It World Tour." The game is being promoted on his Web site at www.drodman.com.

"I have always seen myself as an entertainer first," Mr. Rodman said. "Keeping the crowd entertained and the seats filled is something that always came natural for me. I make people talk, and I could always sell the product. Dennis Rodman is a brand in itself, and I will always be able to attract an audience."

Mr. Rodman's reentry into the basketball arena is one of many places he is appearing these days. According to his marketing manager, Darren Prince, CEO of Prince Marketing Group, West Orange, NJ, a lot of companies want to align themselves with Madonna's ex-boyfriend.

Mr. Rodman's tattooed arms and pierced nose can be seen in print ads worldwide in his endorsement for fashion design label Von Dutch. He is also the spokesman for Golden Palace Casinos and the host of a reality television show called "Geek to Freak," where Mr. Rodman transforms nerdy guys into bad boys like himself through makeovers.

But social networks have been troublesome for the Rodman brand. According to Mr. Prince, fake MySpace pages - often created for celebrities by fans - have caused Mr. Rodman grief. One of these non-official sites contacted Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro's real account, pretending to be Mr. Rodman. The two celebrities are friends offline, and the confusion was unappreciated.

Expect to see Mr. Rodman elsewhere soon, starring in the upcoming release of Fox Atomic's feature film "The Comebacks." More ad partnerships are likely, too.

"Dennis is a pop culture icon," Mr. Prince said. "We are currently in talks with a cologne company for another endorsement deal."

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