Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is 10 hits away from becoming the 28th member of baseball's exclusive 3,000th hit club. It's a great milestone for Jeter to cash in, but can the Yankees make money off it?
Depending on how you calculate it, they actually might be losing money on the deal. Let's start with increased ticket sales.
Today, the Yankees luckily start a seven game homestand against the Indians and the Rangers. There are some tickets to sell on the Wednesday and Thursday of next week when it would be most likely that Jeter would accomplish the milestone. But the Yankees have sold out 86 percent of their stadium this year. Only four teams — the Phillies, Giants, Twins and Red Sox — have sold more on a percentage basis.
Then there's merchandise. There's more than 10 licensees that are producing products, including DJ3K bracelets for $5, $1 of which will go to his Turn 2 Foundation. The Yankees will make money for Jeter product they sell in the stadium, which will be significant, but they'll have to split some of it with the rest of the league's teams as part of revenue sharing.
Factoring in all of this, as well as a bump in YES ratings, I can't see the Yankees making more than $15 million off of Jeter's milestone.
How do the Yankees come out losers then? Well, if you believe that the premium they paid for him over another player has to do with making money off this moment, then you'd have an argument.
The Yanks signed Jeter in December to a three-year, $51 million contract. But that was more of a respect deal. Fair market value was closer to $11 million a year. Using that logic, the Yankees overpaid Jeter by $18 million. How much does Jeter really bring people to the ballpark versus a player who would have similar stats and affect the Yankees record as much as he does? The truth is probably not much.
So does this help justify the Yankees signing Jeter? Sure it does. But the amount they are paying for him still might be a stretch.
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