Fox’s coup in landing Derek Jeter for Prime Show took shape over two years

Derek Jeter makes a special appearance on Fox sports for a pregame show in Game 3 of World Series on November 1, 2022.

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The Yankees’ most famous icon of the present era Derek Jeter is set to start his career as a commentator this weekend. He will debut on Fox’s MLB pregame show as a baseball analyst on the highly anticipated London Series between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals.

However, it was not easy for Fox to get hold of Derek Jeter, the most famous shortstop we have ever seen in baseball. Efforts to secure his commitment to a television role were there ever since 2014 when he retired, as claimed by the Sports Business Journal. Television executives have long pursued Derek Jeter for such an opportunity ever since his retirement in 2014. The efforts and challenges involved in finally getting Jeter on board have been outlined in detail by the publication.

Derek Jeter opted for a different path earlier

Sports broadcasters have a fondness for iconic figures in the world of sports, and few names carry as much weight as Derek Jeter’s. With a remarkable 20-year career as a New York Yankee, five World Series victories, induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the retirement of his iconic No. 2 jersey, Jeter’s status as a legendary figure makes him an irresistible asset for television networks.

Alex Rodriguez present a No. 2 pinstripes to Derek Jeter after Fox Sports annpounced his hiring for its MLB broadcasting team, as David Ortiz and Curt Menefee on Feb 13, 2023.
A-Rod/ Instagram

However, unlike his former Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez or other players from his era like David Ortiz, Derek Jeter had shown little inclination toward transitioning to television. Rather than pursuing a career in television like his peers, Jeter took a different path by becoming a minority owner of the Miami Marlins in 2017. He then served as the team’s chief executive for over four years before eventually selling his ownership stake in the franchise.

Therefore, Fox executives demonstrated patience and nurtured their relationship with Derek Jeter over time, as his initial reluctance gradually waned.

“If I didn’t actually get a chance to go and do that World Series game, then this was something I probably wouldn’t have done,” Jeter said. “I even enjoyed the production meeting beforehand, coming in there and seeing how much fun everyone had.”

Fox pursued Derek Jeter for two years


Two years ago, Fox approached Derek Jeter to lend his voice for a voice-over in the Michigan-Ohio State game, leveraging his connection to his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Following that, Derek Jeter collaborated with ESPN on his seven-part biographical series titled “The Captain.” Surprisingly, the Yankees’ longest-serving captain also embraced social media, a medium he had staunchly avoided for many years.

After a series of engagements, Derek Jeter made an appearance on Fox’s pre-game show for Game 3 of the World Series featuring the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. This promotional stint turned out to be a significant turning point as Fox executives noticed the remarkable chemistry between Derek Jeter and Ortiz. This realization encouraged Fox executives to pursue the Yankees legend and get him to the studio.

Surprisingly, the experience had a profound impact on Derek Jeter as well. It ignited a newfound interest within him. The conversations between Derek Jeter and top Fox executives, including Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks and Fox President of Production and Operations Brad Zager, quickly gained momentum. And before the Super Bowl, Fox was ready to make an exciting announcement.

“You have one of the biggest stars in baseball over the last quarter century — a person that everybody tells us is unbelievable when you get him one-on-one,” said Zager. “If we could ever translate that to television, we felt like he could fit in perfect to what we do at Fox.”

Curt Menefee, the host of the Super Bowl LVII pregame show, made the announcement during the 2023 coverage. Derek Jeter walked on stage amid cheers from the crowd and was greeted by Alex Rodriguez and New York Giants legend Michael Strahan.

And just like that, Derek Jeter found himself with a fresh role. He shared with SBJ that during the documentary, he had the opportunity to reflect on his playing days and express his personal perspective. Additionally, his experience in the front office and ownership gave him a completely different viewpoint. According to him, these two perspectives hold distinct experiences and insights.

“I talked to a lot of them throughout the process,” he said. “They had told me how much fun they have doing it, and, so, I said, ‘Hey, why not? Let’s give it a try.’”

Will he be as great as an analyst as his playing career?

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Fox’s coup in landing Derek Jeter for Prime Show took shape over two years

  1. I was in college at Syracuse University when Jeter made the Yankees 1996 roster out of Spring Training. I told my mom at the time that I thought he was ready. I was right. As a Yankee fan, I got to see how great Jeter truly was. 4 World Series, 1996 Rookie of the Year. Yankees captain. Not stuff thrown lightly around. He will do well in this role.

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