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A Nike Jordan Brand commercial, featuring Derek Jeter and a star-studded cast of his fans paying their respects for 20 years in a New York Yankees uniform, will run during today’s All-Star Game.
The commercial, which will air before Jeter’s at bat, is for Nike’s Jordan brand. Mike Jordan, Billy Crystal, Rudy Guliani, Jay-Z, Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods, among other athletes and celebrities all take their turn tipping their cap in “Re2pect” to Number 2.
The advertisers capitalized on the centuries old rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees inserting Jon Lester into the 90-second spot as the pitcher facing Jeter. Even a group of Red Sox fans, sitting in a bar, reluctantly nod in recognition, representing some of the regular folks in awe of the great and powerful Jeter:
The commercial is very classy and slick with excellent camera work and a warm soundtrack hoping to evoke emotions from all baseball fans. Was Jeter as great as Mariano Rivera? A look at the statistics show consistent batting (a career batting line that reads .311/.379/.411) and fielding numbers that suggest he was a stronger player than most (though his hitting was much better than his fielding). Like Rivera, Jeter devoted himself to the Yankee organization.
Is this worthy of a commercial? Well, if you are Nike and you are trying to sell Jordan brand products during the summer, it is. Nike could not have made a kinder gesture. Their ad men pulled in many viewers in the last few days, as the video has gone viral on the Internet.
Many in Boston are probably shaking their heads. Would a Red Sox player get a reception like this from Nike, they may ask. And if so, which player?
Nah. That would never happen. Just like Frank Abagnale’s father said in the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” “Nobody can take their eyes off the pinstripes,” not even Nike.
Good luck on your journey to retirement, Mr. Jeter. Keep your eyes open for more endorsement deals. If it can work for Shaquille O’Neal, it can work for you, too.