Derek Jeter has been the face of MLB for much of his 20-year career, and his endorsement earnings prove it. This year, at 40 years young, Jeter is pulling in $9 million in endorsements – $7 million more than baseball’s second-most marketable player, Albert Pujols. Now, as the Captain straps it on for the final days of his legendary career, his marketability is higher than ever. Here is how sponsors, club owners, retailers and Major League Baseball have been leveraging Jeter’s final tour in 2014.
This season 19 clubs have honored Jeter in pregame ceremonies with exchanges of gifts on the field. Twenty clubs will have honored Jeter following the final game of his career Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. In the process, $345,444.44 has been raised for Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, and over 735,000 fans have traveled to ballparks to see the Captain play one final time – averaging 38,761 fans per game.
With so many fans trying to get their last glimpse of the legend before he retires, stadiums have not wasted the opportunity to capitalize. Games with Derek Jeter farewell ceremonies have averaged 8,397 more fans than the average MLB game. Considering that the average ticket for an MLB game costs $27.93, these games have produced an extra $234,528 for stadiums in ticket revenues alone.
The final game of Jeter’s career taking place at Fenway Park on Sunday may cost fans at least $200 for entry.
Jeter has been the golden boy for companies such as Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, Ford, Movado, Steiner Sports, Visa and Avon, all of which leveraged Jeter’s remarkable career and clean image to make him the most endorsed player in MLB.
Recently, Nike and Gatorade released Derek Jeter tribute videos.
Gatorade features Jeter in a black and white commercial, in which he decides to get out of his chauffeured car and walk to Yankee stadium. On his way he stops at a local bar, chats with kids at Monument Park, and signs autographs for fans in front of the stadium, all while Frank Sinatra sings “My Way” in the background.
Nike shows Jeter digging into the box ready to face former Red Sox’s Jon Lester. As he goes through his pre-pitch routine, a montage of celebrities, athletes, New Yorkers and fans all tip their cap to The Captain.
With only three days left until Jeter’s retirement, he is perhaps the hottest name in sports. As a result, merchandise companies have cleared their shelves to make room for anything that has to do with No. 2.
Currently there are 300 Derek Jeter items for sale on Fanatics.com. Their top seller is a Derek Jeter New York Yankees New Era hat for $36.95.
MLB shop has 590 Jeter items for sale in its “Derek Jeter Collection”
One of Jeter’s sponsors, Movado, has come out with Captain Series watches to celebrate No. 2. The watch sells for $695.00.
The most expensive Jeter item on steinersports.com is a game-used uniform from April 6 against the Blue Jays, in which he passed Paul Molitor on the all-time hits list. The uniform is selling for $35,000.
In February, Heritage Auctions auctioned off a Jeter bat used in the 1996 World Series for $150,000 – a price usually reserved only for pre-WWII game-used bats.