By Barry Janoff
April 1, 2017: Since retiring from baseball in 2016 after 20 MLB seasons, David "Big Papi" Ortiz has been involved in numerous endeavors: promoting cigars, beer, chips, salsa, T-shirts and The David Ortiz Children's Fund; going golfing; attending World Series games; and appearing in campaigns for JetBlue, TurboTax, ESPN, Amazon and others.
Apparently, none of these projects have peaked his interest.
Ortiz, with the assistance of John Hancock, has put out a RFP to his fans and the public-at-large: "I have too much time on my hands. What should I do next?"
The effort, "Retirement Rookie," requests suggestions. According to Ortiz, "I’ll choose some of your ideas, and we’ll make videos of (me doing) them."
The spot asks people to either post their recommendations on the YouTube site or send them to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hash tag #RetirementRookie. "Then keep an eye out for which ideas Ortiz decides to take to bat."
Among the early proposals: surfing, synchronized swimming, learn to play guitar, become a vendor in Fenway Park and travel the world.
The multi-media effort supports John Hancock’s financial retirement planning services.
It also serves as a lead-up to John Hancock’s position as one of the lead sponsors for the Boston Marathon. Team Papi will be among the competitors in the event, scheduled for April 17, to benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.
John Hancock is also a lead sponsor for the Children’s Fund, which helps support critical cardiac care, training programs and provide aid throughout New England and Ortiz’ native Dominican Republic.
According to Barbara Goose, CMO for Boston-based John Hancock, "At John Hancock, we’re committed to helping our clients plan for the road ahead. Whether you’re a three-time world champion or in spring training, we can help you hit a home run when it comes to your retirement goals."
"Now that he’s retired from a 20-year baseball career, he’s back to being a rookie — that is, a retirement rookie," according to John Hancock. “This spring, instead of prepping for Opening Day, Ortiz is teaming up with John Hancock to navigate one of life’s biggest questions: What should I do now that I’m retired? Because if you plan right for your retirement, you can do whatever you want."
According to the company, "Retirement security is about more than accumulating wealth, it’s about achieving the right outcomes. John Hancock understands that no two retirement journeys are exactly alike. So whether it’s your first time up at bat or you’re rounding the bases toward home, it’s never too early or too late to get started.”
“Now that I’m retired I’ve got some more time on my hands, and my friends at John Hancock are helping me figure out my plan for the future," said Ortiz via John Hancock. "You don’t need to be a famous baseball player to have the kind of retirement you want. If you plan right, you can do anything."
Ortiz has been the focus of several other campaigns since retiring from the Boston Red Sox as a three-time World Series champion (2004, 2007 and 2013, when he was named World Series MVP).
A TV spot from MLB Advanced Media "Sharp In Retirement," featured Ortiz and Joe Torre, former MLB player and Word Series winning manager and currently the league’s evp-baseball operations, for StatCast powered by Amazon Web Services. It showed Ortiz actually enjoying his post-baseball life by taking naps, mowing the lawn, throwing out the garbage, making pancakes in his kitchen and watching soap operas.
An ESPN This Is SportsCenter spot around the same time, "Papi’s Gonna Be Rich," found Ortiz brainstorming such products as "Papi-cycles," "Papi-corn" and "Big Papi Pizza.”
JetBlue’s "David Ortiz vs. Piñatas" envisioned him with a baseball bat going to birthday parties smashing piñatas. Turbo Tax’ "New Job" saw him giving tennis lessons but whacking away at balls as if he was trying to hit home runs.
In the John Hancock 60-second spot, we see Ortiz at home on the couch. He’s working on a puzzle. Learning to speak Japanese via a language tape. ("Hello . . . Konnichi wa.") Playing solitaire. He answers the phone: “Yes, i do have time to take a survey.”
"I’m bored," he says aloud, waking up from a nap. Text then offers, "David is asking you and John Hancock to help him figure out what’s next."
Hill Holliday is the creative agency for the Retirement Rookie campaign.
In real life, among the activities on Ortiz’ schedule since retiring have been launching Big Papi Cigars; helping to promote Big Hapi, a limited-edition beer from Sam Adams; publicizing Big Papi’s Kitchen (such products as tortilla chips, hummus and salsas in Target, Legman’s, ShopRite, Shaw’s and elsewhere); appearing in exclusive content for The Big Papi Network on Verizon’s Go90 mobile video platform; and promoting BigPapiShop.com (Big Papi-themed headwear, apparel, novelties and memorabilia).
In addition, he hosted the annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic in Al Sol Resort Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
All of his efforts help to publicize and/or benefit the Children’s Fund.
In addition to John Hancock, David Ortiz Children’s Fund partners include MasterCard, ESPN, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Red Bull, Fanatics, Majestic and Outback Steakhouse. (See the full list here).
Ortiz So Busy In Retirement He Makes Peyton Look Like A Slacker
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