"When I couldn’t afford it, I always wanted to," the ex-New York Yankees player and Ralph Lauren partner tells PEOPLE

By Dana Rose Falcone
August 02, 2019 02:32 PM
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Alex Rodriguez is taking a swing at a new venture. The former MLB star, 44, partnered with Ralph Lauren for the launch of its latest cologne, Polo Blue Gold Blend.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of the brand,” Rodriguez tells PEOPLE. “When I couldn’t afford it, I always wanted to. Then the moment I could, I started wearing it. I’ve worn it for over 30 years now.”

Rodriquez adds that he has “so much respect” for the iconic American designer, who like the baseball analyst, hails from New York City.

“Talk about a pioneer of American fashion,” Rodriguez says of Lauren, 70. “He’s someone that I looked up to [for being] self-made. The brand is truly a great American story.”

Ben Cope for Ralph Lauren

Rodriguez joins two fellow athletes, Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and UFC fighter Luke Rockhold, in the Men of Gold fragrance campaign.

“The point of the gold standard is to always have a greater benchmark and [something to] measure your performance by,” Rodriguez says. “It will always keep you working to make that goal. It’s not striving for perfection, but for betterment.”

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Between his business endeavors, raising daughters Natasha, 14, and Ella, 11, and joining his fiancée Jennifer Lopez on her world tour this summer, Rodriguez has to stay organized with his schedule.

“I’m big on to-do lists,” he says. “Here are the five things I have to do today and literally scratch them out. The first goal is maybe making your bed. You do a bunch of small things well and they add up to big things.”

Ben Cope for Ralph Lauren

Big things like partnering with the global best-selling Polo Blue franchise that launched in March.

But according to Rodriguez, it’s his fiancée — who’s launched more than two dozen perfumes since 2002 — who owns the fragrance space.

“I’m so new at this,” Rodriguez admits. “She’s been doing it for so long. She’s got the magic touch when it comes to fashion and scent and that’s why her perfumes have always done so well. She has a great nose for it and she has a very particular taste.”

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

According to the ex-baseball pro, the pop star is “also an enormous fan of Ralph Lauren.”

“In our household, we all love Ralph Lauren,” he says. “It was a no brainer.”