SBJ/March 31-April 6, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Samsung latest deal for Ortiz as Series MVP keeps endorsement momentum going

In addition to a new playing contract, David Ortiz continues to collect endorsements to go with the World Series MVP award he won last year while leading the Boston Red Sox to their third MLB title in 10 years.

Ortiz’s latest deal is with Samsung, which is starting to look hard at a variety of MLB deals after investing heavily in NBA league and team rights late last year.

Dog days: David Ortiz signed in the offseason to pitch Pedigree dog food.
Photo by: MARS

In keeping with the trend that sees social media rising in importance to brand marketers, Samsung wants Ortiz to be its MLB social media insider. So when the Red Sox visit the White House this week to commemorate their World Series victory, “Big Papi” will be tweeting and sending photos on Samsung’s behalf. Also, when the Red Sox get their championship rings in a ceremony Friday at Fenway Park, he’ll provide Samsung more insider access, while his name and likeness will also be used in a Web video.

“Social media is where it’s at and David’s partners are demonstrating that,” said Alex Radetsky of Radegen Sports Management, who has handled marketing for Ortiz for 12 years.

MLB on-field cap rights holder New Era is using Ortiz as one of 10 to 12 MLB endorsers for its new “Home of the Authentic” retail program with Lids. Web video for New Era has been shot, and Ortiz will get his own specialized caps at Lids in the Boston market.

The Davie-Brown Index says Ortiz is known by 55 percent of consumers nationally, on par with Phil Jackson, Steve Young and Mark Cuban. The World Series MVP performance increased Ortiz’s awareness level from 48 percent in August 2013, to 55 percent. The only active players with higher national awareness are Alex Rodriguez (79 percent) and Derek Jeter (75 percent). Ortiz’s 852 DBI endorsement score is comparable to those of Joe Torre and Nolan Ryan.

Other offseason deals saw Ortiz link up with Mars-owned Pedigree dog food and sign a memorabilia deal with Fanatics.com.

In terms of existing partnerships, Ortiz did a “viral” video with his son pushing Sony’s PlayStation 4 console. Other brands in his portfolio include Capri Sun and Fuse. Ortiz is also executive producer for “Off the Bat From the MLB Fan Cave,” a 30-episode baseball lifestyle and fashion show that will air weekly on MTV2 starting this week.


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