I am following the latest off season signing stories of free agent Yankees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. I hesitate to even make this blog post because of how many people hate the Yankees…wish they would go away and let the Seattle Mariners win a World Series just once. Not to mention all my friends in Boston, Tampa and Toronto who are sending their well wishes for things in the Bronx to work out (Riiiiight!).
So last week there was a story about the Yankees’ offer to Jeter and their willingness to let him walk away from pinstripes. The article was great and was basically trying to answer the question…who is more important, the player or the team?
This is a referendum on what two men mean to a franchise – whether the Yankees are the Yankees because of their history or because of who constitutes them at any particular moment.
A similar argument is made in real estate…who’s more important, the agent or the company, to the consumer? Well, the National Association of Realtors ® released their annual survey and in it, the importance of the agent is huge. But then, the Wall Street Journal reports that when asked which real estate company people would consider using for their next real estate purchase, the #1 company on the list was Coldwell Banker ® . So clearly, the team can matter because if not, every brand would have received the same ranking of zero. Its complicated and not easy, just as the Yankees and their stars are finding out.
I argue its neither. The sum of the parts create a greater value than the individual components. Everyday, every industry, and in every walk of life. If the Beatles were the greatest rock band of all time, why did their solo careers fizzle by 1974? Because some people liked Paul, others John, and the rest George or Ringo…but they all loved the Beatles. The Stones would be #2 on the all time list, but Jagger can’t put out a solo album that sells and the Stones haven’t been the same relevant band since some of the original guys left. Springsteen had to go back with the E Street Band and NJ to get his swagger back after a forgettable run with musicians on the west coast, and then released The Rising. Yet U2 has been together and thriving for 30 years with the same lineup despite Bono being the most famous and getting the headlines. Each musician named is great but there are greater as a member of a group or team.
The Yankees are the front office/ownership, the stadium, the tradition, the World Series wins, the managers and the retired numbers of the great players that have worn the pinstripes…as well as the guys whose numbers weren’t retired but still played a huge role…Nettles, Mercer, Chambliss, Brosius, O’Neill, Martinez,etc… Most baseball writers agree Jeter can’t get the money or value from any other team that he will get from the Yankees.
I think we have the best agents in the world working for Coldwell Banker, hands down. And the best broker/owners. And the best CEO leadership at the corporate level. Not sure about the marketing guy, though…
And in Real Estate, you need all of that as a consumer to make your transaction as rewarding as possible…protection against everything that can and will go wrong unless you have a team behind you. I want Jeter, but I also want him playing for the Yankees…
Flickr photo by Matt McGee