Posted: October 1, 2014, 9:08 p.m.
by Jean Faircloth.
In the midst of constant negative media coverage, the “athlete” reputation has taken a beating. However, Derek Jeter proves that players with immense success and fame can uphold the positive model brand of an athlete.
It is not impossible, rather simply a choice. But HOW?
Jeter has remained consistent with his choice in representation throughout his career. In addition to the New York Yankees organization for 23 years, he specifically chose traditional brands with positive reputations. Nike, Avon and Gatorade are only a few of the companies that he endorsed. He understood the importance in these pairings and the responsibility that came along with them.
Likewise, in the decision to endorse an event or individual, companies understand the risk of tarnish to their brands. With the recent chaos in regards to the NFL endorsements, Jeter’s partner companies tip their hat with dignity and pride of their player. He is the ideal client.
Staying out of the social spotlight
In dedication to the representation of his career and his endorsements, Derek Jeter has made a point to draw a line between his professional career and his private life. In a recent interview with NBC Nightly News, Jeter expressed, “Once you share everything with everyone, it is no longer special.” With the immense portion of his life devoted to his career, he refused to release his grasp of privacy.
This decision positively impacted his fan base. Jeter caught the eye of sports followers by his play on the baseball field. These fans love him for his excellence and respect that he does not share.
Derek Jeter called baseball “the game of failure” in a recent NBC nightly news interview. He explained, “You fail seven out of 10 times, and people think you are great.”
This has not only been his perspective in regards to baseball, but also his life. Even with his given superhero-athlete cape, struggles and challenges are inevitable. His humility enabled him to never use this as an excuse of poor play to the media. Jeter REFUSED to follow the trending trail in portraying perfection. Rather, he chose to take ownership of his strikeouts, on and off the field, and continued to focus on his long-term goal of success.
Simply noted, his actions have not gone unnoticed. Throughout his last season, sports fans have risen in applause to illustrate the admiration of his character, his leadership and his athletic performance. This standing ovation has taken place at a vast majority of his games, home and away.
Along with Jeter’s conclusion of his season this past week with a story book ending walk-off, his entire career has placed him prominently in the Sports Hall of Fame.
Jeter is not only catching the attention of the sports-generated public. Public relations practitioners also rise in applause. He embodies every desired quality in a model brand.
Call to action
With the proof that it can be done with such prestige, athletes’ inadequacy to uphold standards is no longer excused. Fans, media, endorsing companies and others drawn into the drama all are over it!