The management team for Derek Jeter has been reaching out to companies not aligned with the Yankees captain to pressure them not to run any advertising attached to his quest for 3,000 hits, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
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In its bid to fully exploit the milestone’s expected mother lode of marketing opportunities, Jeter’s team is calling anything more than the blandest of congratulatory print or TV ads an attempt at "guerrilla marketing."
"If we have to protect, or if we have to make phone calls, or if we have to send letters, or if we have to do whatever is necessary, we will," Jeter’s longtime agent, Casey Close, of Excel Sports Marketing, told the Post.
Jeter, is only six hits shy of becoming the first Yankee to achieve the feat.
"Derek has established a number of important partnerships, and these relationships are brand-specific," Close added. "And it is Derek’s name and his likeness and the exclusivity that make each of the individuals deals special to those companies."
While most athletes’ agents are on continual watch for companies or individuals who unfairly or illegally exploit their client’s image, it is rare to find an agent reaching out to potential advertisers to pressure them not to advertise.
Close’s calls to companies come while he and his team are rushing to piece together marketing campaigns with established Jeter sponsors.
Other companies that have never hired Jeter to plug their brands — a privilege costing upwards of hundreds of thousands a year — need to muzzle their celebrations if they intend to salute the 37-year-old on their own with commemorative ads or promos, Close said.
To Close, that means they can run ads saying "Congratulations" or "Well done," but cannot include Jeter’s name, his likeness, the number 3,000 or even the word "captain" in any paid ads, according to marketing insiders.