Mr. Steinbrenner loomed large in ads, too

George Steinbrenner was the last of the old-school sports owners: larger than life, outspoken, controversial. He was also the first of a new breed to emerge in the '70s: hyperfocused and shrewd, intensely involved in the day-to-day machinations of his beloved New York Yankees and willing to spend whatever it took to win. As a slew of multimillionaire players from Reggie Jackson to A-Rod can attest, no price was too high. The World Series rings on their fingers—seven total under King George's reign—bear tribute to his battle plan. They booed him in Boston, but the Red Sox's free-agent-fueled titles in '04 and '07 underscore the fact that today, many are playing the Boss's game. Through the years, Steinbrenner made self-deprecating ads with his star players, managers and other celebs. The Visa spot with Derek Jeter, below, and the Miller Lite spot with Billy Martin, after the jump, were classics. Steinbrenner was frequently the biggest personality on screen. Criticized and praised, feared and revered, loved and hated—the man was, ultimately, a legend. George M. Steinbrenner died today at age 80. And no matter which direction he's heading now, he'll show 'em all who's Boss.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.