by Elline Concepcion
It’s what we, as public relations practitioners, are responsible for. We deal with brands and reputations, and we know the importance of maintaining a positive one. We always have room to learn from brand management stories; this is where The Captain comes in.
Derek Jeter, The Captain of the New York Yankees, has retired from baseball after 20 years in the major leagues. Jeter has had amazing achievements throughout his career that can be summed up by the 2,734 games Jeter has played, the five World Series championship rings and the Yankee pinstripes he has been wearing since he began as a rookie. Since the beginning of this career he has kept his reputation positive and has mastered brand management. We can all learn from Jeter’s legacy.
Professionalism is at the top of the list of what Jeter has done correctly over the course of his career. He remained professional on and off the field. He kept his private life private and allowed his achievements to show his character.
Jeter’s loyalty to his team and to his fans also made his brand stronger. He was able to stay with the same team throughout his career and remained loyal to his teammates. Jeter was never one to talk about his teammates and kept their locker room conversations private.
Another important takeaway from Jeter’s brand management was the manner in which he handled his endorsements. Jeter made his endorsements subtle and made his interactions with these endorsers natural. He didn’t tweet about the brands he endorsed or carry a Gatorade bottle with him everywhere he went. Jeter allowed his career and his performance on the field to be the focus of his legacy.
Jeter was smart about how he handled interviews. He was a good listener and made sure what he said was thought out before he spoke. Jeter was respectful to other players, his team and to himself.
Most important in relation to brand management is being true to your character. This is what Jeter did. He was always natural with his fans and stayed away from the typical cocky jock persona. The Captain knew what was important to him and made sure everything he did was true to his core values.
Jeter’s ability to maintain a positive brand image for 20 years is one reason why he is remarkable. This ability has allowed him to have a positive foundation for future projects and endeavors.