Derek Jeter's Role As Pitchman Continues Rise In Retirement; Gronkowski A Force In NFL
Derek Jeter's retirement "has brought out a surprising second side of the former Yankee -- the smiling, elbows-rubbing pitchman," according to Kirsten Fleming of the N.Y. POST. Jeter has "zeroed in on becoming a media and publishing mogul, with the Players’ Tribune as well as a book imprint," and he is also "very involved in his 20-year-old Turn 2 Foundation, which works to encourage leadership skills in kids." Jeter is "even an investor in Luvo, a company that makes low-sodium, pre-prepared meals -- he’s even hawked the frozen food on the streets of Manhattan as a publicity stunt." Earlier this month, he "faced some 40 literary agents at the Paley Center in Midtown" to pitch himself as a "serious player in the book industry, wooing said agents to work with his Simon & Schuster imprint, Jeter Publishing." Octagon Senior Dir of North American Sales & Marketing Jennifer Keene said, "[Jeter] talked about being very involved in the acquisitions process." Sources said that Jeter "is also hands-on with the Players’ Tribune," as "several people involved with the site say Jeter stops in to the Chelsea office when he is in town and keeps in touch via video conference" (N.Y. POST, 5/16).
COVER BOY: In Boston, Christopher Gasper wrote business "is booming" for Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's "bro brand." He is "on the cover of GQ Magazine, as well as EA Sports 'Madden NFL 17.'" Gronkowski also was part of a "high-seas high jinks cruise he lent his name to in February." He has "brilliantly managed to parlay his frat boy persona and Bunyan-esque football exploits into a lifestyle brand synonymous with joie de vivre" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/15). The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan called Gronkowski "fantastic" and said the GQ cover is his "branch-out to the world." Ryan: "This reflects his stature.” ESPN’s Sarah Spain said Gronkowski's “Madden” cover is a bigger deal. Spain: “I can already tell the changes they’re going to make to the game. Sideline drink is going (to be) Monster Energy, uniforms are going to be neon tank-tops and board shorts. They're going to have boxing ring ladies escorting the guys out onto the field between red velvet ropes. Gronking the 'Madden' game is going to be amazing” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 5/13).