By Barry Janoff
May 3, 2016: Despite his trials and tribulations over the past few years, Alex Rodriguez is still a star with high visibility, and Harman International plans to take advantage of that by signing the MLB vet as a spokesman for its JBL Audio brand.
Citing his "legendary work ethic, relentless dedication and love for the game," Harman said Rodriguez would "participate in a series of marketing initiatives, including integrated social media and content programs that will drive consumer engagement with the brand’s audio products."
Financial terms were not disclosed. Rodriguez earns less than half a million dollars a year from endorsements, mainly due to his PED history, according to industry analysts.
The 40-year-old Rodriguez, now in his 22nd season and 12th with the New York Yankees, missed the entire 2014 season due to his suspension by MLB for his association with Biogenesis of America and PEDs. That followed his admitting in 2009 that he had used steroids earlier in his career.
Rodriguez returned in 2015 to hit 33 homers and record 84 RBI. He currently is less than ten homers away from a career total of 700, and is also less than 20 hits away from 3,100.
Looking past the PED situation, Harman said it signed Rodriguez for his overall body of work and dedication.
"From the time he took the field at the age of 18, to reaching his 3,000th hit as a league veteran, Alex Rodriguez has always been made for the world’s biggest stage," Ralph Santana, CMO for Harman, said in a statement. "His legendary work ethic, relentless dedication and love for the game mirrors JBL’s passion for music and the blood, sweat and tears that musicians around the world put into making great sound."
Rodriguez joins a roster of JBL brand ambassadors that includes former teammate and Yankee legend Mariano Rivera, Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), rock band Linkin Park, musician/producer Quincy Jones, Indian film composer/producer/musicianAR Rahman and world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.
The pact with Rodriguez also enhances Harman's alliance with the Yankees, which includes "1,784 JBL speakers throughout Yankee Stadium."
"His legendary work ethic, relentless dedication and love for the game mirrors JBL’s passion for music."
“As Rodriguez continues to inspire fans from around the world, JBL will be there to amplify the soundtrack, from pre-game workouts to the thunderous home run cheers to post-game celebrations," said Santana. "We’re excited to strengthen our partnership with the Yankees and look forward to collaborating in new and innovative ways with A-Rod.”
According to Rodriguez, "Whether I’m looking to amp up my workout, focus for a game, or hang out with my kids, music is my outlet. As a lifelong music fan, I have always appreciated high quality sound that does justice to the tunes I love.
"I’m excited to partner with JBL to inspire others to choose the best in sound as well wherever they are whether it’s in the car, at home or on the way to the ballpark," said Rodriguez.
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