In the world of marketing and business, a brand comes from the effort and hard work to build it. It takes years to position it and requires the investment of considerable resources to develop it, until it is recognized. However, there are brands that emerge naturally, project themselves differently, understand their audiences and connect in a close and true way, captivating the hearts of thousands of consumers, until they become legends and icons of inspiration. The holder of #34 of the Boston Red Soxs achieved that connection with his fans, team and city, because even after his retirement from the ranks of the diamond, the displays of affection and admiration are so overwhelming that Boston can be called being under the influence of the Big Papi Domi-Nation.
18 months before his retirement in 2016, hundreds of brands and large advertisers lined up their campaigns to accompany Big Papi on his farewell tour of the Major Leagues. Many of these in the interest of acquiring value and goodwill from the estate of this hero who averted the curse of the Bambino and led Boston to three World Series wins.
With over 500 home runs, a charismatic yet humble personality and a heart for the noblest of causes, David Ortiz has established his position as the best Red Sox player of this generation. He has a bridge named in his honor; an Honorary Diploma from Boston University; a street and not just any street, but on the outskirts of Fenway Park is David Ortiz Drive; and even a Gate at Logan Airport and an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. #34 was retired last Friday supported by a weeks-long campaign of announcements and celebrations. There isn’t a corner in Boston where one doesn’t bump into the face of Big Papi or the number of the legend.
Big Papi is more than an athlete for Boston. He is the symbol of hope, the catalyst for a change in mindset from defeatism to an entire city. His legacy wasn’t limited to home run-killing opponents or humiliating the Yankees. He was one of the figures who lifted the spirits of the city in one of its darkest moments after the Boston Marathon bombing, not to mention his countless contributions through the David Ortiz Childrens Fund.
We must be able, like Boston, to celebrate the achievements of our athletes, because they represent us as a #CountryBrand. They bring us joy when they manage to obtain the coveted medals, but they are symbols of inspiration, struggle and improvement.
Author: Lara Guerrero