Endorsements Derek Jeter Could Consider Now That He’s Retired

Take one look at Derek Jeter’s Wikipedia page, and you’ll see that he’s had a lot of everything: hits, awards, postseason records, fans and celebrity girlfriends. His numerous television appearances (aside from televised Yankee games) include Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld. As one of the highest paid baseball players in history, his likeness has always been in demand by brands in need of endorsements. In fact, Jeter has endorsed sports drinks, credit cards, shoes, cologne and even peanut butter.

A 2014 article suggested that even though Jeter has hung up his cleats and retired from the major leagues, he doesn’t have to worry about running out of endorsement deals. With his clean image, highly recognizable name and a level of respect that’s nearly universal, there will be plenty of brands willing to pay for Jeter’s face.

On the other hand, Gatorade has said that they’re only interested in athletes who are currently playing, so that’s one deal Jeter won’t have any more. Then there’s the you-never-know factor, as in you never know when some crazed ex girlfriend or obsessive fan could deflate his good-guy image by publishing a tell-all book full of gory, salacious rumors. He could find himself in a position where he’s no longer able to attract top-shelf brands. He could also invest his money with the wrong Wall Street brokerage, lose big, and become so desperate for cash he has to take any deal that comes along.

If that does happen, we’d hope that he’d avoid the trap that has ensnared so many celebrities before him: the embarrassing endorsement. Think Lisa Rinna endorsing adult diapers, Rafael Palmeiro’s Viagra commercials, and Ozzy Ozbourne pushing I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter (ok, that one’s just weird.) Even the most vehement Yankee haters would prefer not to see the former Bronx Bomber stoop to that level.

So what should Jeter do if his well of endorsements runs dry? My suggestion is for him to return to his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and get his famous smile on every billboard in town. Here are some possibilities:

Old Tavern Inn

This place is billed as the oldest business in Southwest Michigan and its signature offering is a hot ham sandwich. It’s not hard to picture Jeter hoisting a sandwich piled high with ham and cheese and smiling for a photo-op.

Canney’s Water Conditioning, Inc.

Water filters and reverse osmosis units aren’t the flashiest products in the world; they certainly aren’t as exciting as Nike shoes or Gillette razors. But they do help people improve the quality of the water in their homes — and that’s important in Michigan right now. Plus, Canney’s Water Conditioning is a family-owned business that has been operating in Kalamazoo since 1969. Throughout his career, Derek Jeter credited the support of his family for a large part of his success. Homegrown business and hometown hero: it seems like a natural pairing.

Kazoo Books

Independent booksellers all over the United States have struggled to compete with retail giants like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Community support is the only thing that keeps local bookstores afloat. Kazoo Books runs two stores in Kalamazoo, and you can bet it sells plenty of books by and about Derek Jeter. An endorsement probably wouldn’t net Jeter a large sum of cash, but it would be a boon to the store.

Kalamazoo Visitor’s Bureau

Kalamazoo is probably not high on anyone’s list of vacation destinations. But believe it or not, tourism in Michigan is growing and Kalamazoo has plenty to offer. It is, after all, the city where major league scouts discovered a boy who would come to be known as “Captain Clutch.”

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