Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's time for intangibles

I'm totally convinced that the God of Sport gave New Englanders Tom Brady to ensure that someone wouldn't snap, drive down the Merritt Parkway and kill Derek Jeter for being too perfect for a) championships b) the media and c) the pink hatters. Nobody would have enjoyed such a gruesome scene. Instead, God of Sport decided to give us our own little Jeter. They put a numeral 1 in front of the numeral 2. They gave him 3 championships in his first 4 years (and we're coming for that 4th NFL..watch out). Then, they did this....apparently the God of Sport is the Chief Marketing Officer of Movado


September 5, 2006 -- Derek Jeter makes more as a star shortstop than a product pitchman, but he's working on his endorsement game. The Yankees captain just signed on with Movado to promote the company's new high-end sports watches.

Jeter, who has started popping up on billboards and in print ads, will soon appear in national TV spots for the campaign.

Despite his lucrative Yankees contract, Jeter said he doesn't have a collection of pricey watches.

"I like watches," he said. "I wouldn't say I'm a watch connoisseur."

Aside from "great watches," Jeter said he was drawn to the Movado brand because of its broad appeal and staying power.

"It's something that appeals to everyone," he said. "It's not a situation where only the rich can afford it."

Jeter's roster of endorsement deals includes Nike, Gatorade, Ford and Steiner Sports memorabilia, but Forbes reported in June that the bulk of his earnings - estimated at $26 million this year - comes from playing baseball. His 10-year, $189 million contract with the Yankees earned him $21 million this year alone.

Jeter is the second highest-paid endorser in Major League Baseball, according to Forbes.

Japan's Ichiro Suzuki, who plays for the Seattle Mariners, pulls in more from endorsement deals in Asia.

The Yankee shortstop is one of two sports hotties to promote Movado's Series 800 line, with prices from $700 to $1,300. Tom Brady, the hunky quarterback of the New England Patriots, also appears in ads.

Movado President Jeff Cohen declined to give details of Jeter's contract but characterized it as a "long-term" deal.

The watchmaker looks for athletes and artists who combine performance and leadership. In Jeter's case, the company execs were also impressed by his philanthropic work, including his Turn 2 charity for kids.

"It's not just about the game," Cohen said. "He's a world-class guy."

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