In the professional sports world there comes a time when great athletes have to step aside to call their career an end. Upon that moment the world takes the time to reflect on said athlete’s career and what they brought into their realm of play. The 2014 MLB season will be such a time for “The Captain” of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter. The man who is known as being the face of such an iconic sports franchise has decided to step away from the game. While his on the field contributions are numerous, there’s one are in which he will always be respected and should be copied by professional athletes in the industry today.
In nearly two decades of play Derek Jeter will take a laundry list of accomplishments with him when he enters the MLB Hall of Fame. Some of those include: multiple time World Series champion, 13 time all-star, 2 time Hank Aaron award winner, five time Gold Glove award winner and many others. There isn’t any question that he exemplifies what it means to be a “winning” professional athlete. Upcoming players across all sports should take the time to review his career to not only mimic his leadership skills but the way he conducted himself off of the baseball diamond.
To begin, just look at his personal life. Jeter has conducted himself in a way that many other star athletes have failed across all sports.
For example, Jeter has been “connected” to many beautiful women who are prominent in their industry, but the media world has never captured him in the controversial relationship drama that the tabloids love. In the 19 years in which Jeter has played professional baseball there is a vast list of athletes that have gotten into the press for their relationships or other distracting news. In today’s quick media world athletes need to be willing to protect their brand off the field with the same intensity that they compete when the clock is ticking.
Another area in which Jeter should be copied is the way he’s built his brand for long term revenue without projecting himself in some over the top fashion. He’s been linked to multiple major brands such as Nike, Gatorade, Visa and Ford which will only increase his wealth once he’s done playing. In 2013 much of his season was lost due to suffering multiple injuries. As he waited his return he developed a partnership with Simon & Schuster to create Jeter Publishing which has the potential to be a lucrative venture into book publishing and potentially television or film opportunities. Most professional athletes have a short shelf life in which they have to capitalize the most off their time in play. Jeter’s turned his winning into revenue streams that will continue to build his portfolio well after he’s done competing day in and day out with the Yankees.
Sports managers and agents should help mold their young clients into star athletes and business men. Derek Jeter’s career will stand the test of time as an example of a professional athlete that built a career worth mimicking both on and off the field.