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Rodman Rebounds as Burger Booster

April 06, 1999|GREG HERNANDEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Carl's Jr. will once again have a familiar face hawking its messy Super Star burger in television commercials: controversial Los Angeles Lakers player Dennis Rodman.

The Anaheim-based fast-food company will begin airing a 3-year-old television commercial this week after having severed its ties with the star rebounder two years ago because of a series of incidents that led to Rodman's being fined and suspended by the National Basketball Assn.

"We decided to give him another shot," said Suzy Brown, spokeswoman for CKE Restaurants, which owns Carl's Jr. "He's now a local sports figure and has been instrumental in turning the Lakers' losing season into a winning season."

Brown would not reveal how much Rodman is being paid for resuming the commercials but said the company did have to negotiate a new contract with the athlete. Neither Rodman nor his representatives could be reached for comment.

Carl's Jr. plans to run the 60-, 30- and 10-second spots throughout the NBA season, which ends in June. There are no plans to film any new commercials with Rodman in his Lakers uniform, Brown said.

The commercials with Rodman feature the former Chicago Bull inside a tattoo parlor. He bites into a Super Star burger that drips onto his arm and causes one of his tattoos to come to life.

The tattoo--a muscleman in a tank top--snatches the burger out of Rodman's hand and eats it. Rodman bends over to look for the missing burger and reveals a red-and-yellow Carl's Jr. logo dyed onto the top of his head.

Carl's Jr. initially pulled the ads in January 1997 after Rodman kicked a cameraman who was shooting an NBA game.

The spots resumed but were yanked again when Rodman made expletive-laced comments about Mormons while the Chicago Bulls were in Utah to play the Jazz in that year's NBA finals.

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