Nike is "pushing all of its marketing and retail buttons" to celebrate Yankees SS Derek Jeter's final season, according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The company is "selling Jeter cleats for $99.99, a T-shirt and a cap for $35 each." A special-edition shoe also is due out in September. Nike VP & Global Jordan Brand Marketing Dir Brian O'Connor said that the "drumbeat will continue" through the rest of the season "on the Twitter hashtag #RE2PECT." The brand also will "market around Jeter's last home game at Yankee Stadium and his final regular season game" against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. 21 Sports Marketing President Rob Prazmark said, "Nike will probably promote the Jeter brand as long as it can" (USA TODAY, 7/15). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Erik Matuszewski notes Jeter will cap his career "as the sport's most marketable athlete." Aside from Jordan Brand, Jeter has "forged deals with Gatorade, Ford and Gillette over the years, earning him annual endorsement revenue that Forbes magazine estimates" at $9M. Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said, "In a sport that is very regional in nature and has been racked by performance-enhancing drug controversy, Jeter has managed to rise above it all, enjoy national acclaim, remain scandal-free, appeal to every demographic and epitomize grace and class." He added, "No baseball player ever has been, or maybe ever will be, as successful at moving product and enhancing brands as Jeter." IEG Senior VP/Content Strategy Jim Andrews said that while baseball "isn't a major source of Nike revenue, Jeter's upstanding reputation has been an asset to the company." He added, "He stands apart from some of Nike's other endorsers ... in being universally admired and respected, without any taint of scandal or controversy" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/15).
A TIP OF THE CAP TO YOU: In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote the new Jeter ad that broke online yesterday is "unmistakably a Jordan Brand video," but the marketing impact "for the Nike subsidiary is completely subdued compared to the emotional whump of the content ... at least for the sports obsessed." Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, created the ad, and Creative Dirs Gary Van Dzura & Jimmy Lasser through a spokesperson said of the concept, "We started with the thinking that everyone respects Jeter as a player, and as a gentleman. ... Then we noticed he has a tick when he steps into the batters box where he appears to sort of tip his helmet. We started thinking it would be a beautiful tribute if everyone tipped back" (OREGONLIVE.com, 7/14). ABC's Lara Spencer notes there are "so many stars in the world of sports" appearing in the spot and "everybody wanting to give No. 2 the respect that he so deserves." ABC's Michael Strahan said the spot made him "teary." Strahan: "I was like, 'Where was my ad when I was retiring, Nike?' I only had 15 years with you. But it's okay" ("GMA," ABC, 7/15). CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin said it was an "awesome" spot ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 7/15). But SNY's Chris Carlin said the ad was "sickening." Carlin: "Do I need to see Billy Crystal tipping his hat? We get it, Jeter's retiring. And by the way, for somebody that never wanted the attention and won't call it a farewell tour, he certainly is soaking in every last freaking minute of it, isn't he?" ("Loud Mouths, SNY, 7/14). Meanwhile, the ad continues to draw praise on Twitter, with ESPN Radio's Ryan Ruocco writing, "I keep watching the Jeter RE2PECT ad. Jordan Brand nailed that." FS1's Mike Hill: "That new Derek Jeter Air Jordan commercial is EVERYTHING!!!" USA Today's Steve DiMeglio: "Heck of a commercial with Jeter."