By the time he stepped away from baseball in 2014 after a historic 20-year career with the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter had established himself as one of the most respected men to ever have played the game. His reputation is that of an unmatched leader both on and off the field, his name synonymous with hard work, dedication and class.
In retirement, Jeter now focuses on transitioning a storied career into a variety of successful business ventures. Most recently, Jeter announced The Players’ Tribune, an innovative multimedia digital company where world-class athletes share their honest and unique perspectives, bringing fans closer to the games they love. In November 2013, Jeter and Simon & Schuster announced the Jeter Publishing imprint. The first booked released, The Contract, debuted at #2 on the New York Times Children’s Middle Grade Best Seller list. In October 2014, a full-color photo book called Jeter Unfiltered was released, providing fans an in-depth look at his life through never before-published images taken over the course of his final season. Jeter also serves as Partner and Brand Development Officer of Luvo, a transformational lifestyle food brand where he is involved in product development, brand awareness and strategic partnerships.
Jeter continues to be the driving force behind the Turn 2 Foundation, which he established in 1996 to give back to the communities with which he has a close connection, including West Michigan, Tampa and New York City. He satisfies his passion for inspiring young people through initiatives – like the Jeter’s Leaders program – that promote academic excellence, leadership development,
positive behavior, healthy choices and social change. During Derek’s baseball career, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to create and support signature programs that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2” healthy lifestyles. It remains committed to continuing this mission well into the future.
Jeter is a five-time World Series Champion and joined baseball’s exclusive 3,000-hit club on July 9, 2011. He has received numerous accolades in recognition of both his on-field skill and his commitment to community service, including: World Series MVP (2000); 13-time MLB All-Star; 5-time Gold Glove Award; 5-time Silver Slugger Award; AL Rookie of the Year (1996); Roberto Clemente Award (2009); Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award (2009); the Sporting News Good Guy in Sports Award (2002); Michigan Association of School Administrators Champion for Children Award (2005); Joe Torre Safe at Home MVP Award (2010); and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (2010). In 2012, Siena College recognized Jeter with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his leadership, accomplishments on the baseball field and dedication to improving the lives of young people through the Turn 2 Foundation.
One of baseball’s most marketable players from early in his career, Jeter has developed strong corporate partnerships with notable brands, many of which honored his retirement, such as Gatorade, Jordan Brand, Steiner Sports, Movado, Apollo Jets, Hard Rock and Rawlings. His Driven fragrance line with Avon, featuring three signature scents, is the most sold fragrance line by an athlete or entertainer behind Elizabeth Taylor’s. Jeter had his words and life lessons published in 2000 in the New York Times Best Seller, The Life You Imagine, and in 2002 in You’re a Star (Spanish and English versions).
We are pleased to announce the 2015 Honorees:
Vincent Edward “BO” Jackson
Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson was born on November 30, 1962 in Bessemer, Alabama. Bo was the eighth of ten children born to Florence Jackson Bond.
Bo grew up in Bessemer and graduated from McAdory High School in 1982. He then attended Auburn University where he lettered in three sports; football, baseball and track. He won consensus first team All-American Honors in football in 1983 and 1985. Bo won the Heisman Trophy in 1985.
In 1986, Bo was the first pick in the National Football League draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That same year, Bo was drafted in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals. Bo turned down Tampa Bay and went on to play four years with the Kansas City Royals. During his time with the Royals, he was selected to the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star team and earned the Most Valuable Player Award.
In 1987, Bo signed with the Los Angeles Raiders and played both professional football and baseball for the next four years. While with the Raiders, Bo was selected to the National Football League Pro Bowl. He was the first professional athlete to be selected as an All-Star in two sports.
Bo signed with the Chicago White Sox in 1991 and remained with the organization for three years. In 1994, Bo signed with the California Angels and was retired from all sports by 1995.
Over the years, Bo has been active with many charities including The Children’s Miracle Network, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Marillac Foundation, United States Department of Education and the Alabama Sheriff’s Youth Ranch. Bo founded Bo Jackson’s Give Me A Chance Foundation in 2008. His vision was to establish a charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of minority youth by actively supporting educational and athletic programs that guide disadvantaged kids through the challenges of achieving successful personal and professional growth. After the devastating tornadoes in his home state of Alabama in 2011, Bo formed Bo Bikes Bama which is an annual bike ride to raise money to build community storm shelters.
Bo has been President of Bo Jackson Enterprises, Inc., his management company, since 1992. He also is the President and CEO of VEJ Holdings, Inc., President of Bo Jackson Elite Sports and is part owner and Director of Burr Ridge Bank & Trust.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Bo has concentrated on living a quiet life in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge. He is married to Dr. Linda G. Jackson and they have three children.
Oscar Robertson (The Big O) forever changed the game of basketball on the court and in the courtroom. Voted “Player of the Century” by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, he has also distinguished himself as a social activist, a labor leader, an international ambassador for the game of basketball, and is considered the greatest all-around player in the history of the game.
He was Rookie of the Year in 1961, Most Valuable Player in 1964, a 12-time All-Star, and MVP in three All-Star games. He is enshrined in the International Basketball (FIBA) Hall of Fame, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, and twice in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as an individual and as co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medalist team.
In 1961-62, Robertson set a record that still stands when he became the only player to average a “triple double” for an entire season (30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 11.4 assists). He holds NBA records for triple doubles in a season (41) and a career (181), and in rebounds by a guard.
A 1976 legal settlement, known as the Oscar Robertson Rule, helped NBA players become the first professional athletes to achieve free agency, forever changing the balance of power in professional sports and leading to a new era of expansion, growth and prosperity for the NBA. The Big O was also one of five co-founders of the NBA Retired Players Association and served as its first president from 1992-1998.
In 1997, when his daughter Tia’s kidneys were failing, The Big O made the assist of a lifetime by donating a kidney to her. He also became an advocate for kidney disease prevention, health and wellness, and organ transplantation on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation.
Oscar Robertson was born November 24, 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee and raised in Indianapolis, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class at Crispus Attucks High School. He led Attucks to a 45-game win streak including an undefeated season, two consecutive state titles – the first for an African-American school or an Indianapolis school – and a national championship. At the University of Cincinnati, he was a three-time first team All-American; the NCAA’s first three-time scoring leader, finishing with a 33.8 average; and the first three-time national College Player of the Year. In 1998, the U.S. Basketball Writers renamed their College Player of the Year award to The Oscar Robertson Trophy.
The Big O co-captained the undefeated 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, often considered the greatest basketball team ever assembled. Then he began his career with the Cincinnati Royals and four years with the Milwaukee Bucks – during which he led his teams to 10 playoff appearances including the Bucks’ only NBA title in 1971.
Robertson is the CEO of companies in the areas of specialty chemicals, document management, and media productions. He holds a Lifetime Achievement Award for entrepreneurship from the University of Cincinnati College of Business Entrepreneurship Center. At University of Cincinnati, the Oscar and Yvonne Robertson Scholarship Fund provides assistance to talented and deserving students. The Robertson’s also served as co-chairs of the University’s $1 billion capital campaign.
Robertson is the author of an autobiography, The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game, and The Art of Basketball, the definitive instructional book on basketball fundamentals. He has contributed nine op-ed pieces to the New York Times and has written for TIME Magazine and www.nba.com. For complete information about Oscar Robertson, please visit www.thebigo.com.
Thomas Tull serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Legendary Entertainment, a leading media company with film, television, and digital and publishing divisions. Through his Tull Media Ventures, Tull also invests in technologies that enhance the entertainment experience such as Magic Leap and Oculus Rift. Tull serves on the Board of Directors of Hamilton College, his alma mater, and Carnegie Mellon University. He also sits on the boards of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the San Diego Zoo, and is part of the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers ownership group where he also holds a board seat.
In aggregate, Legendary’s associated productions have realized grosses of more than $10 billion worldwide. Recently Legendary eleased As Above/So Below, Godzilla, 300: Rise of an Empire, Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. Upcoming releases include the Gothic Horror film Crimson Peak and Warcraft, based on Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning universe. Legendary is producing an original comedy series for NetFlix called Love. Legendary is also an investor in the recently launched venture, The Players Tribune.