"Victory Park has been a great partner for us in every sense of the word. They are collaborative, creative and eager to help us find solutions. I would gladly recommend them to any company looking for a strategic capital provider to help grow their business."
– Al Goldstein, CEO
Avant Credit Corporation
Giordano’s announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with lifelong Chicagoan and MVP point guard, Derrick Rose, to become an equity owner and new national spokesperson.
Through this new relationship, Rose will help bring the Giordano’s experience to more consumers as the company launches an expansive new menu later this Fall featuring a wide variety of stuffed and thin crust pizzas, as well as inventive new salads, sandwiches, pastas and desserts.
Victory Park Capital (VPC) bought Giordano’s out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2011. This investment combined with VPC’s operational expertise with small and middle market companies have fostered a wide scale turnaround and reintroduction of the famous brand.
With a new management team in place since February, led by CEO Yorgo Koutsogiorgas, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. veteran, Giordano’s is well-positioned for long-term growth and will continue to build on an iconic brand for generations to come.
September 6, 2012 Chicago Tribune
Chicago basketball icon Derrick Rose has taken an equity stake in Chicago pizza icon Giordano’s and will serve as its spokesman.
"I’ve grown up with my family eating Giordano’s pizza," the Bulls point guard said in a press release. "I’ve always loved Giordano’s, so this was a uniquely personal opportunity for me."
Beginning this month, Rose will appear in ads and promotions and at charitable event on behalf of the chain, which was acquired late last year by Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC, led by Richard Levy.
"I’ve grown up with my family eating Giordano’s pizza," the Bulls point guard said in a press release. "I’ve always loved Giordano’s, so this was a uniquely personal opportunity for me.
"I’m working right now on my own signature pizza that we plan to introduce very soon. I’m actually pretty good in the kitchen," Rose added.
Terms for Rose’s stake in the company were not disclosed.
Giordano’s has enlisted Rose as it begins rebuilding, including adding menu items, after a contentious period that included a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and lawsuits among members of the family that owned the chain, claiming malfeasance.
September 6, 2012 Chicago Sun-Times
The company declined to say what portion of ownership Rose, the NBA’s most valuable player and Bulls point guard, has taken in the pizza company known for its deep-dish pies. Rose, who grew up in the Englewood neighborhood, becomes Giordano’s first nationally recognized athlete and celebrity spokesman in the company’s nearly 40-year history and is part of the new Giordano’s owners’ efforts to heighten the restaurants’ national profile and expand the menu.
Later this fall, the restaurants will include on the menu Rose’s “signature” pizza —
his favorite and ironically a thin-crust pizza topped with cheese, sausage and red peppers.
“I’ve always loved Giordano’s, so this was a uniquely personal opportunity for me,” Rose said in a statement.
D-Rose fans may spot Rose in a Giordano’s restaurant, since he plans to visit often. They will see Rose later this month in Giordano promotions online, on billboards, at charitable events and in marketing promotions inside the restaurants. The promotions will not be on radio or television.
Later this fall, the restaurants will include on the menu Rose’s “signature” pizza — his favorite and ironically a thin-crust pizza topped with cheese, sausage and red peppers.
Said Yorgo Koutsogiorgas, Giordano’s president and CEO, “(Rose) is really looking forward to helping us grow this great company.”
Koutsogiorgas became CEO earlier this year after Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital, led by Richard Levy, bought Giordano’s out of bankruptcy.
The new owners have said they intend to double the size of the company to 86 restaurants in three years. Giordano’s operates 40 restaurants in the Chicago area and ships online orders.