Derek Jeter’s brand crisis

September 18, 2010

At first I didn’t know why what Derek Jeter did bothered me so much. Derek Jeter says he doesn’t understand why fans are so bothered by his actions. Now it’s clear that the problem is about another trusted brand gone wrong.

I was watching the Yankees vs. Rays game when the baseball apparently hit Derek Jeter. I had a flash of anger — why do pitchers hit Derek so often? The sound was awful, like a broken bone. Derek was in significant pain; he was flailing in agony, with the trainer rushing out to help. I was hurting for him.

Wait a minute. Why would Madden, the coach of the Rays, be arguing the play when it was so clear that Jeter was hit by the pitch? Perhaps it was because he knew that Derek was faking. Madden got thrown out of the game for arguing with the clueless umpires. But, that gave the television crews the time to show various angles of replays. It became very clear that Madden was right and that Derek faked being hit to get on base. They showed Jeter looking over his shoulder to see if the umpire was buying his act. Many in baseball are saying that isn’t cheating. I think it is — I also believe the fine art of faking an injury is one of the reasons why most Americans don’t support soccer as a major sport.

This simple act will come back to haunt Jeter in many ways. The umpires will not forget that he made a fool of them. The sports writers are already saying that Jeter must now be desperate to get on base. Others are scrutinizing his stats and finding that he hasn’t been performing as well as previous years. This is how a brand crisis begins.

It would have been so much better for baseball and for his own personal brand if Jeter had turned to the umpire and said, that the pitch actually hit his bat. That is what I would have expected him to do.

Jeter is no longer my favorite player in Major League Baseball.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Brandlogic and CoreBrand have become Tenet Partners — Where brand meets innovation®. More