Saying Farewell to a Legend: Nike’s Tribute to Derek Jeter

This year mark’s Derek Jeter’s 20th, and final, season with the Yankees and Major League Baseball. It’s a historic moment by any yardstick. In some of the best creative I’ve seen all year, Nike’s Jordan brand is giving Derek Jeter a farewell fit for a legend.

In the spot, Jerek gets a hat tip from fans, the New York Police Department, a laundry list of celebrities including Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Jay Z, Spike Lee, Billy Crystal, Michael Jordan and even the NY Mets. Ok, the Mets players were actors, but the real Mr. Met is actually in the ad.

As People points out, Jeter was one of the first Jordan Brand-endorsed players back in 1999 after being hand-picked by Michael Jordan himself. The average baseball career lasts, on average, a little under 6 years, making Jeter’s 20-year career span a feat to be reckoned with.

The clip has, so far, received 6.9 million YouTube views.

The commercial is minimally branded, with Jeter’s Jordan shoes in the first shot and then a minimalist Jordan logo in the final cutaway. But the message is powerful enough to drive the branding home.

Watch this spot. I guarantee you’ll leave it with a lump in your throat!