To non-Yankees fan outsiders, it might feel like overkill, but to New Yorkers, it feels extremely natural to see a smiling Aaron Judge occupying their television screen during national broadcasts, absorbing any number of endorsements.
If it seemed to you like Judge took a step forward in that department this season, your suspicions were 100% correct. More Judge than ever dominated the airwaves this past season, from primetime broadcasts to showcase events, giving him all the more reason to re-up in New York long-term.
Judge took full advantage of the New York City market this season, ranking as the No. 1 “Most Endorsed Athlete” in MLB’s 2021 Marketing & Partnerships annual report.
According to SponsorUnited, Judge piled on 13 endorsements this year, and maintained his popularity despite finishing just 12th in the “social follower” metric — what, the “Series Win” videos after a gutting third-game loss aren’t doing it for people?
We kid. We kid because we love.
Obviously, Judge’s 2021 was massive, marked most prominently by his national TMobile spot with Giancarlo Stanton.
Yankees star Aaron Judge is MLB’s endorsement winner for 2021.
Forget jersey sales. Kids don’t want an Aaron Judge jersey. It doesn’t even say his name on the back! Shirsey, please and thank you (Judge still finished seventh in that metric in 2021, so … not bad).
No, it’s the corporate endorsement world where Judge is king. Those power players have locked the Yankees right-fielder into 13 different brand relationships for 2021. Six are in the apparel/accessories field (think New Balance and Rawlings), with one each in the following buckets: Quick Serve Restaurants, Leisure & Recreation, Beverage (Non-Alcoholic), Consumer Electronics, Food Products, Retail and Technology.
Could Judge stand to diversify a bit? Sure. We’re not his advisors, though, and considering they got him to No. 1, we trust their instincts.
What’s next for Judge in 2022? Well, the recently-married man will look to make himself as essential to the New York Yankees organization as he possibly can, both on and off the field. That means positively representing the pinstriped brand in 13 (or more!) high-profile advertising packages, hopefully for many years to come.
Judge can hit anywhere, after all, but he can’t sell quite as well in Kansas City or San Francisco.