Gatorade hits it out of the park with this epic 90-second salute to New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter, breaking today.
If the retiring Jeter is looking for a new career, he can get a job on Madison Avenue, since he wrote some of the copy here and even suggested the Frank Sinatra song that serves as soundtrack for the ad, by TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles.
Molly Carter, Gatorade's senior director of consumer engagement, gave Adweek a preview of the commercial, which shows Jeter surprising fans outside Yankee Stadium to the tune of Sinatra's "My Way."
After penning an open letter announcing his retirement this spring, the Yankees captain himself suggested a spot showing him thanking Yankee fans, said Carter. When Gatorade asked the 40-year-old (the brand's third-longest-serving endorser after Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm) which song best summed up his career, he picked "My Way."
"It was a true collaboration between Derek and Gatorade," Carter said.
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.
Gatorade will follow that with a full-page print ad (see below), which Carter said was written by Jeter himself, in the New York Daily News and Sports Illustrated on Sept. 28-29. Addressed to "New York," the ad shows Jeter tipping his cap to fans.
"From my first at bat until my final out, you helped make me who I am," he writes. (Jeter's final game in pinstripes is Sept. 28 at Boston, unless the Yankees somehow make the playoffs—which is highly unlikely.)
Besides the ad campaign, Gatorade will outfit the Yankees dugout with customized cups, coolers and towels featuring Jeter's No. 2 in place of the Gatorade "G" during a game on Sept. 22.
Jeter was also honored by Nike's Jordan Brand in a 90-second spot from Wieden + Kennedy in July.
Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler
Executive Creative Director: Brent Anderson
Creative Director: Renato Fernandez
Senior Copywriter: Nick Ciffone
Senior Art Director: Dave Estrada
Executive Producer: Sarah Patterson
Assistant Producer: Garrison Askew
Director: Henry-Alex Rubin
Production Company: Smuggler
Executive Producers: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Lisa Rich, Lisa Tauscher
Producer: Drew Santarsiero
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Damion Clayton
Executive Producers: Dave Sellars, Angela Dorian