By: Gina Mason
For the last twenty years, the world has watched Derek Jeter make some incredible plays, perform under immense scrutiny and always maintain his composure. Throughout his entire career the man who many lovingly referred to as “The Captain” has been able to successful thrive on the world’s biggest stage that is New York and build an empire of devout fans from all walks of life. Although #2 played his last baseball game on Sunday, his name will not be long forgotten.
What Jeter has established over the last two decades is so much more than just a name in the record books or on the back of a jersey. His name, Derek Jeter is a brand that is now much greater than the individual and arguably even more valuable. Built on the foundation of his playing days, Jeter Inc. is on its way to being the next “Jordan” brand.
Striking while the iron is hot, Jeter Inc. is already in the process of building its empire and cashing in on all of the farewell attention. On Tuesday, Jeter Publishing released the first children’s book, “The Contract” which is a fictional story about a boy named…you guessed it, Derek Jeter. This is just the first of many ventures that we can expect from his multimedia company Jeter Inc. and I have no doubt that his brand will continue to grow into something as big as the Big Apple.
Here are a few reasons why I believe the Jeter brand is going to succeed:
When you think of Derek Jeter, what qualities come to mind? For me, Jeter has always possessed class, was extremely hardworking and driven and was consistently respectful to his fellow players, the fans and most importantly, the game of baseball. Jeter established a reputation not just with Yankees fans, but also with fans and players from around the league all of which had a mutual respect for him (hence the Farewell Tour). From a PR perspective, reputations don’t get much better than Derek Jeter’s and miraculously he was able to live, play and date in New York City while keeping his reputation intact (thanks to a great publicist, some fantastic media training and his charming, quick wit). His personal reputation is the cornerstone of the Jeter Inc. brand and is the most critical factor of the brand’s success. After all, reputation is everything when branding a company, which is why Jeter Inc. is off to a great start.
Established Brand Loyalty:
Over the last 20 years, Derek Jeter came into the homes of millions of baseball fans from around the world and cemented himself as a household name. Jeter has not only been loyal to the Yankees, but to the game of baseball and that is what keeps people coming back for more. Take his Farewell Tour for example, the fact that thousands all of the people from all over the country made trips near and far to get a final glimpse of “The Captain” speaks to the loyalty people have to him and his brand. If his Farewell Tour is any indication of how his brand will fare with sports fans, I think it is going to be a huge hit.
One thing that Jeter has always been known for is his clutch performances and staying cool, calm and collected in high-pressure situations. When the game was on the line there was only one player who Yankees coaches, players and fans trusted to come up big in a tight spot and that player was #2. When all else failed, people trusted Jeter to lead them through the tough times and that trust he earned throughout his career will translate into Jeter Inc.
Following in the Right Footsteps:
One of the smartest moves that Jeter has made is following in the footsteps of arguably one of the most iconic and successful retired professional athletes, Michael Jordan. Jordan was not only incredible on the court, but he has been able to monetize his name and success to build an empire with Nike. Aligning himself with “His Airness,” will only make the Jeter brand stronger and more successful.
I’m anxious to see what the future has in store for “Jeets” and Jeter Inc. I’m sure that if he invests himself into the brand the way he did the game, he is going to be extremely successful (and very rich!).
Do you think that Jeter will be more successful off the field? Do you think Jeter Inc. has the potential to be as big as Jordan?
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