Miguel Cabrera isn't just playing for a World Series title this postseason.
Whether he'll admit it, the Tigers slugger also is playing for his pocketbook, not when it comes to baseball salary, but in endorsement deals.
A strong playoff performance, coupled with a world championship, could land Cabrera endorsements that could total in the high six-figures annually, analysts say.
"This could obviously go into the millions if it catches enough public attention," said Stephen McDaniel, a professor in sports and entertainment marketing at the University of Maryland. Conversely, a poor postseason could take the shine off the first Triple Crown in 45 years.
But factoring Cabrera's marketability isn't as simple as looking at the numbers. The soft-spoken, charismatic, 29-year-old Venezuelan slugger with past off-field problems is the proverbial jack-of-all-trades — both good and bad — setting the stage for a busy offseason for the man affectionately known as Miggy.
"If they are able to have some success in the postseason and he's able to parlay that with his Triple Crown, it would be something we've never seen before, or at least recently. That would translate to bigger opportunities from an endorsement standpoint," said Matt Fleming of The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based firm that tracks the popularity and marketability of celebrities and professional athletes.
"There are a couple of things holding him back a bit, specifically his off-the-field issues he's run into over the years and the fact that he's not a fluent English-speaking player, which tends to not help a ton on the marketing side of things," Fleming said.
It's not that Cabrera needs the money. After all, he's in the midst of an eight-year, $152 million contract that will pay him $65 million the next three seasons. (He also makes $150,000 annually from three small endorsement deals, according to Forbes.)
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera swinging for the fences on endorsements
Detroit News | Oct 12