To hear Gatorade's "senior director of consumer engagement" Molly Carter tell AdWeek, the idea for Derek Jeter's latest spine-tingly retirement commercial came from The Captain himself.
So, too, did the choice of song — Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
The ad wizards took it from there and the result is a lot of fun to watch: Jeter one day decides to walk the last few blocks to Yankee Stadium, surprising ballplaying kids and beer-drinking adults along the way.
Gatorade, the official sports drink of Major League Baseball since 1990, roped off a few blocks before a home game in the Bronx this July and "just kind of let Jeter go," said Carter. The shock and surprise on fans' faces when their idol walks into Stan's Sports Bar, or autographs baseballs, is genuine, she said. The 90-second "My Way" spot breaks online Thursday, and will air on TV for the first time Saturday on the YES Network and Fox.
Like Nike's popular All-Star ad featuring Jeter, it's hard not to love the slick production values, the music or the surprised reactions New Yorkers display after seeing Jeter walk the streets.
Jeter will also thank his fans in a full-page ad in the New York Daily News and Sports Illustrated on September 28-29. That effort is also branded by Gatorade, giving plenty of room for the Jeter cynics to make noise and squabble that most players don't need a corporate sponsor to thank their fans.
Then again, given Jeter's preference to always maintain a clean and well-calculated image, can you really imagine him going out any other way?
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