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Derek Jeter is baseball's most marketable player

Jul 20, 2010, 10:20 AM EDT

That according to SportsBusiness Daily, which surveyed oodles of sports business professionals. The list ended up breaking down thusly:

1. Derek Jeter
2. Albert Pujols
3. Joe Mauer
4. Stephen Strasburg
5. Ryan Howard
6. Evan Longoria
7. Tim Lincecum
8. David Wright
9. Alex Rodriguez
10. Dustin Pedroia/Torii Hunter

I’ll accept that list at face value, but I can’t help but think that determining which baseball players are the most “marketable” is not unlike determining which the best football team in Alaska.  Maybe it’s important locally, but the winner of the poll is not exactly a national power in that particular arena.

The key concept here is “local,” which baseball has truly become. This is not a bad thing. Regional sports networks have been the engines that have shot baseball’s revenues up to the $7 billion range and which have have primed the pump that has led to labor peace for a very long time. And of course, if you ask any executive at a Silicon Valley or national media company they’ll tell you: local is where it’s at, baby.

But it does mean that baseball players really don’t rate as national ad men anymore. Beyond the outliers like Jeter and some blips here and there by guys like Ryan Howard, ballplayers aren’t nationally recognizable. Some that are have achieved that status by being more notorious than by being whatever it takes to be a good pitchman (see Rodriguez, Alex).  If you had to launch a big product with an athlete as your pitchman, you’d go to the NFL(exclusively national platform) or the NBA (way more recognizable and demographically-friendly stars) before baseball every time. You’d probably hit golf and UFC figures before baseball players too.

Which doesn’t really bother me. I like my ballplayers playing ball. Not shilling for Mr. Coffee or whatever.

  1. The Real Shuxion - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    It doesn’t hurt that ESPN has a boner every time he gets a hit or throws someone out.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    A DiMag slap? Shame, shame, Craig.

  3. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Agreed. Next he’ll be attacking Yogi for pitching Yoo-Hoo.

  4. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Always love this little Onion short:,6805/

  5. Jonny5 - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Howard is shaming the city of Philadelphia by appearing on subway commercials. Have you ever tried subway sandwiches? I could probably get better subs/hoagies in east bumblefugg Nebraska. And a Phillie of all teams is on Subway commercials? It’s very sad indeed. I’ve heard of many people getting food poisoning from their tuna fish, beware…

  6. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Love the Onion.

  7. Jonny5 - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    BTW John Buck is going to get cut loose in a trade soon. Red sox, and Reds, are in the mix.

  8. Nic Geerz - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:22 AM


  9. BC - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    A. How the heck is Torii Hunter marketable?
    B. What, no Carlos Zambrano?

  10. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    But their tasteless, foam-like rolls are baked in-house daily.
    It is a shame that Geno’s can’t match Subway’s endorsement package.

  11. Nic Geerz - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM


  12. Ace2000 - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    A. Aside from that uncharacteristic little gaffe about what constitutes a “real” black person, Torii’s an extremely likable and affable guy. He’s actually a very engaging presence on TV, which is more than you can say about the average ballplayer.
    B. Hmm. Maybe one of Gatorade’s competitors could run with that footage of him destroying their cooler? Like, anything other less than Vitamin Water just makes him explode with rage?

  13. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    OK – Pat’s then…

  14. Utley's hair - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Let’s make it a family–or at least surname–affair and dump Joe Buck, too.

  15. Utley's hair - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    They both suck. Purely overrated tourist traps.

  16. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Alright, Massimo’s.

  17. Nic Geerz - Jul 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM


  18. Utley's hair - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    Try Jim’s on South Street.

  19. doctorfunke - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    The sub shop in Bumblefugg is on the west side, not the east.

  20. Jonny5 - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Geno’s and Pat’s are 198 X better than Subway. Jim’s is only 100x better.

  21. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Will do – thanks for the tip.

  22. Ditto65 - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    We would have to find somebody to take Joe Buck. While we are ditching Joe’s, can we send Morgan away, too?

  23. Nic Geerz - Jul 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM


  24. Utley's hair - Jul 20, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    I don’t see why we’d have to find a rube, er, a taker for Joe Buck. If you feel that bad, while you’re at Jim’s, pick up an application to send to him. And I’ll sign off on dropping Morgan, too. Most of the national guys are just at varying degrees of suck, not the least of whom is the self-proclaimed king of all sports broadcasting, Joe Buck.

  25. Utley's hair - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Dammitall. Now I really want a cheesesteak.

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