When luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer tapped Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton as a brand ambassador nearly a year ago, they probably never thought Stanton would live up to their mantra – “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” – during this past July’s Home Run Derby.
On his way to winning the annual event during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend, Stanton totaled 61 home runs in the Derby’s three rounds at Petco Park in San Diego, including 20 in the championship round. Of his home runs, 39 traveled over 440 feet. It was the stuff of Twitter legend.
“That was amazing. It’s hard to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but the experience I created for myself and everyone else I don’t think I fully understand it or have soaked it in,” Stanton said. “Which is cool because that means I have something to look back on. I was in the zone so much and making sure I didn’t lose it.
“And just the feedback from everyone was the coolest thing; not even baseball fans were watching and because they know me or the buzz on Twitter. I am glad it attracted more fans that will watch next year, too.”
Stanton, 26, has been working with TAG Heuer since September 2015, representing the brand at various events, connecting with fans of his and the watch, and learning about the different watch collections – most notably the Carrera Heuer 01.
“We have bounced ideas off each other and I have become accustomed to all of the new collections they have come out with, so I am building my collection,” Stanton said. “My favorite line right now is the Carrera, it’s a more edgy and sporty look. You can wear it business casual or with a t-shirt. There’s a double-edge to it.”
Stanton was showing off that Heuer 01 at a recent invite-only event at Aventura Mall in early August, where the watchmaker celebrated 100 Years of Innovation. At the exhibit TAG Heuer showcased historical time pieces celebrating 100 years of advancement in watchmaking, including a watch from 1916 and a virtual reality experience about the history of the Carrera watch from the 1960s to current day.
During the recent Olympics in Rio, you may have caught a television ad by Nike that also included a scene with Stanton where he was definitely not cracking under pressure.
In the clip Stanton can be seen on a tennis court, across from Serena Williams, and it appears the two are slugging a tennis ball back and forth with Stanton using his baseball bat and Williams her tennis racket. (If you’re wondering, before any editing was done Stanton was filmed hitting balls from a pitching machine.)
“That was shot in Malibu and was a really fun shoot and a perfect day outside,” Stanton said. “And I love the commercial. The whole Olympic commercial was great and an honor to participate in it, too.”
At the time of the Aventura Mall event (Aug. 10) Stanton was playing and the Marlins were in the thick of a race to reach the baseball postseason. But since the event Stanton’s season was cut short due to a severe groin injury, and the Marlins have dropped back in the playoff hunt.
“You start to scoreboard watch and understand what tiny mistakes that not even a spectator can notice, but we obviously do, can change a game,” Stanton said before the injury and team’s mini slump. “It’s making us all better and preparing us for the ultimate goal to get to the playoffs.”
Regardless of how the season ends up, Stanton said he is looking forward to helping expand and represent the TAG Heuer brand. For starters, he knows he has some big fans in the Marlins clubhouse.
“My teammates really like the watches, too,” Stanton said. “And they are wondering why they don’t have any in their locker yet.“