“Being a New York Yankees fan,” the comedian Doug Stanhope has quipped,”is like going to a casino and cheering for the house to win.”
If the Green Bay Packers are the underdog America loves to cheer for the Yankees are a soap opera of celebrity dysfunction, a professional sports team tightly controlled by a ruthless, brawling owner and his son for two generations.
It likely would never play in Peoria, but somehow, in the city so nice they named it twice,the New York Yankees are a brand like no other. You love them,or you hate them, but one way or another, the Yankee pinstripes inspires white-hot passions in almost every baseball fan.
The Bronx bombers brand is based in large part on their bad boy reputation, from the carousing and womanizing Babe Ruth to the carousing and womanizing Mickey Mantle, from the legendary owner George Steinbrenner hiring private investigators to follow a star player, Dave Winfield, to a fistfight between the legendary manager, Billy Martin, and the Hall of Fame Player Reggie Jackson, to the falling out between BFFs Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, the Yankees brand is the teaser to tomorrow’s episode of the Bold and the Beautiful. . .with baseball bats.
Add the malapropisms of Yogi Berra (“when you come to a fork in the road, take it!”) and nearly a century of dominance on the playing field and you have perhaps the most compelling narrative and entertaining brand in sports marketing history.