New Era nails it with Jackie Robinson tribute spot
- Updated: April 15, 2013
Today, MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson day. Across the majors, players on every team will don the number “42” on their backs and honor the man who broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1947.
New Era, the official cap company of Major League Baseball, recently released a new brand spot honoring the man and his achievements. As a marketer, I’ve seen far too many examples where brands take advantage of a day, event or other emotional touch point to promote their company, its products and/or their services. It’s always a delicate balance. Many times, they screw up. The message comes off as blatantly disingenuous, exploitative or – too frequently – both. This time, New Era gets its right.
The spot focuses on the idea that “first changes everything.” It speaks not only to the courage of Jackie Robinson but to the legacy his accomplishments have left to those who’ve come after him. It also happens to flow pretty naturally from New Era’s “Fly Your Own Flag” positioning. In speaking about the brand’s own flagbearers, New Era describes its spokespersons as individuals who are “Making a difference. Changing perceptions. Doing what they do because they love it.” Sounds a bit like number 42. The notion that a tip of the cap is a gesture that speaks to appreciation, recognition and respect is perfectly fitting for the cap maker.
In a rare case, the stars truly= align on this one. Successful all the way around. Kudos to New Era on a day where we should all tip our hats to Jackie.