Brand Strength

by - November 24, 2010 - - 2 Comments »

“I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can”–Jay-Z

No, I’m not using that quote as an excuse to praise Jay-Z. I’m actually using it to make a point. Taking it literally, Jay is saying that he made the Yankee hat more trendy than any one Yankee is capable of. What does that mean? The Yankees brand is much stronger than any one player.

The same can’t be said for other stars. Michael Jordan is bigger than the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers are no longer relevant now that LeBron James isn’t there. Heck, Brett Favre may be bigger than the storied, beloved Green Bay Packers. Derek Jeter however is in no way bigger than the New York Yankees.

I don’t know what his official position is in these contract negotiations but judging by the reaction from Brian Cashman and Yankees brass, it’s fairly outlandish; almost to the point of thinking he is indeed bigger than the team.

Cashman has stated that the team’s offer to Jeter is fair. In fact, it’s more than fair. They are offering him three years, $45 million. That’s well more per year than Hanley Ramirez makes. Plus, as Cashman intimates, it’s significantly more than any other team is willing to offer him. And it’s apparently their initial offer!

I think Derek Jeter will hit better next year than he did this year (in which he led the majors in outs, not good). I don’t think he’ll ever be what he once was offensively or defensively and he’s bound to decline. So while the way these negotiations might not sit well with some Yankees fans, that doesn’t mean management isn’t correct in this case.

I suppose they have to prepare for the worst. With their recent comments they are letting the public know the situation. And if worse does indeed come to worse, at least the fans will know Derek Jeter wasn’t low-balled. In addition, while the initial reaction may cause a firestorm, the Yankees will go on with or without him. And we all know, winning is the ultimate cure-all.

Derek Jeter needs the Yankees a lot more than the Yankees need him.

(This will be hilarious in retrospect when they do eventually reach an agreement and everyone forgets this all even happened.)

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2 Responses to “Brand Strength”

  1. T.T. says:

    Seeing the opening quote, I expected you to take the opposite position. Derek Jeter *is* the Yankee brand. When you think of the Yankees, what is the first image that comes to mind? For me, it’s Derek Jeter doing his classic fist pump. Jeter symbolizes everything the Yankees stand for: professionalism, a winning attitude, a record of success.

    If the Yankees don’t sign him, they disassociate themselves from all those characteristics. They would just be seen as mercenaries (CC, Tex, possibly Cliff Lee). A-rod would become their biggest (most recognizable) star.

    Is Jeter asking for more than any other team would be willing to pay him? Absolutely. But that’s not an appropriate measure of his value. As the face of the franchise for the past decade, he deserves more than “market value”–a value that is based just on his on-field performance.

  2. J-Zee says:

    I think Brandon Tierney has an interesting take on Derek Jeter and the Yankees. He is quoted as saying, “The Yankees don’t owe Jeter that type of money because quite frankly, Jeter couldn’t drive in 125 runs if you spotted him 30 on April Day.” Yes, Brandon Tierney merged Opening Day with April Fools Day to form April Day. So to summarize, Brandon Tierney left an opening to point out how foolish he is. A distress signal should immediately be transmitted in order to alert individuals that Brandon Tierney is in emergency need of an editor, or at least a proofreader, for his blog. Which is the better distress signal? Mayday or Aprilday?

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