David Ortiz


What: Former Red Sox Star David Ortiz maintains a large presence in Boston, home of his greatest achievements on and off the field.
Why it matters: The Santo Domingo native remains one of most significant stars in Boston as well as a prized partner for brands in and out of the sports world.

There may be no better —or more unlikely— example of a city connecting with a superstar athlete in the 21st century as that of Boston and David Ortiz (@davidortiz). The Dominican Republic native slugged his way to what most feel was a Hall of Fame career on field, swatting 541 home runs, driving in 1768 runs and thrilling fans with post-season heroics, in particular against the Red Sox’s fiercest rivals: the New York Yankees.

But Ortiz, a.k.a. “Big Papi,” is beloved in Beantown for more than his tremendous accomplishments at Fenway Park. His ebullient personality, as larger-than-life as his dramatic hitting, made him a big hit in a town not known for connecting with Latin American stars or sports heroes of color.

Ortiz’s retirement tour in 2016 didn’t mean the end of his viability as a spokesman.

A virtual castoff by the Minnesota Twins, who after Ortiz’s breakout 2002 season elected to release him rather than pay what would have likely been a US $2 million-plus salary, the Red Sox signed the designated hitter, who rewarded his new employers with the first of 14 storybook seasons.

And in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the anniversary of which is this Sunday, it was Ortiz who spoke for his team —indeed, for the whole city— and the “Boston Strong” movement. The Red Sox went on to win their third World Series in 10 years, further cementing Ortiz’s permanent place as one of Boston’s all-time favorite sons. JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue), with a strong Red Sox partnership that includes a team-logo plane, naming rights for its Spring Training “Fenway South” home in Fort Myers, Fla., and community initiatives in Boston, even going as far as dedicating Gate 34 at Logan Airport to Ortiz, in honor of his uniform number, last year.

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The Coca-Cola Company

Big brands followed during his career, with companies in the sports world like ’47 Brand (@47brandand Marucci Sports (@MarucciSports) joining mainstream names like L.L. Bean (@LLBean), John Hancock (@johnhancockusaand Turbo Tax (@turbotaxin parlaying Ortiz’s popularity and personality into sponsorship deals.

Ortiz’s retirement tour in 2016, which included various gifts from teams the Red Sox visited all year, didn’t mean the end of his viability as a spokesman. Ortiz still counts Coca-Cola, MasterCard, DXL Men’s Apparel (@DestinationXL) and Skechers among his endorsers, and JetBlue recently continued its Red Sox partnership and community outreach by enlisting #34 to surprise South End students with free Red Sox hats.

“They love it,” said Ortiz to media gathered to cover the visit to the Hurley School. “Every athlete in the city should do that once in a while and see the kids.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh concurred, as kids saved their biggest cheers not for the owner or team president, but for Big Papi, who Walsh understatedly introduced to the Hurley students as “one of the greatest Red Sox of all time.”

Ortiz has also shown that he “gets it,” wearing a “Girl Power” shirt while joining Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman to start the Sox season last week. And his David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides pediatric care for kids in Boston and his native D.R., keeps his Boston connections strong.

Check out the stars of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

Cover Image credit: Arturo Pardavila III

People change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it.

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Andrew Benfer is moving from Director of Brand Partnerships at Whistle Sports to Vice President of East Coast Sales at Influential. Influential is the only influencer platform matching brands with social media influencers based on deep data enriched by IBM Watson, making it the world’s premier AI powered influencer marketplace.






mitú,a digital media brand for Latino millennials, announced a new long-form development, production and talent team to be led by accomplished creative executive David Ortiz. Ortiz will report to Beatriz Acevedo, mitú’s President and co-founder.As head of mitú’s newly restructured team, Ortiz oversees mitú’s scripted and unscripted content strategy, development slate and talent partnerships. Previously, Ortiz served as an SVP at EndemolShine USA.

In addition to Ortiz, mitú expanded its production and talent teams to include the following executives:

Ernie Martinez, a former 10-year Director of On Air Programming at Disney, joins mitú as Vice President of Talent Partnerships and will be responsible for developing a roster of A-list and emerging talent.

Raul Celaya, a 20-year production executive joins mitú as SVP of Content Operations and Production. Previously he was head of production at Astronauts Wanted and Studio 71.

Geometry-  WPP’s largest commercial marketing agency is excited to appoint Amy Gómez as the new North American Senior Vice President, Cross-Cultural Marketing. Off the heels of creating a robust in-house capability this past year, the agency ushers in a seasoned expert to lead them into continued success within this incredible growth area.Amy joins the agency with 20 years of experience as a strategist and client partner helping Fortune 500 clients communicate effectively with diverse consumers. Amy will work in unison with the existing in-house team consisting of Ricardo Trejo and Mafe VillasBoas in the New York Office. The Cross-Cultural marketing practice for Geometry North America will feed cultural expertise and insights into existing client teams and new business opportunities.




Tim O’Sullivan, who set up the multicultural practice at Geometry will be transitioning to a new opportunity closer to his home in Florida.






McDonald’s Dedicated Agency We Are Unlimited has appointed Mark Mulhern new CEO, effective Jan. 8, 2018. Mulhern is joining the agency from Hearst digital agency iCrossing, where he has served as president for the past two years. Mulhern was also previously an executive VP at BBDO and was an executive at JWT. Mulhern succeeds Brian Nienhaus, who is taking a new, but unidentified role within DDB parent Omnicom. We Are Unlimited has an exclusivity agreement with McDonalds, but that ends in early 2018.



Nancy Hill, who left her position as president and CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies this summer, has started her own consultancy called Media Sherpas.






Mexico City-based publisher Cultura Colectiva, which has attracted more than 22 million Facebook followers by targeting consumers in the Spanish-speaking world, has also become a force in Hispanic media by partnering with network of creators and researching the content that best jibes with its audience. Now, it has launched Cultura Colectiva Plus, a new hub aimed at American viewers and readers. T he new channel is part of a grand plan to apply his company’s successful formula to a global network. The Company has opened a US headquarters in New York, which will initially house 20 employees and will be opening an in-house video production studio that allows  to co-create original content with brand partners. After launching in the US, the company plans to expand into other international markets to become the leading global media brand for Millennials and Gen Z. Sarah Vander Wal (photo), Executive Director at Cultura Colectiva, told Portada there is a group of executives leading the content studio, from the commercial side and creative side.  Vander Wal is responsible for the development of the U.S. market.

People change positions, get promoted or move to other companies. Portada is here to tell you about it.

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Elemento L2 EVP & Partner Marco López is leaving full ownership of the Company to Ivan López, Managing Director& Partner.








Ivan will manage all aspects of the company and continue Elemento L2 as a minority-owned and certified agency.






Marni Walden is leaving her position as executive VP and president of global media at Verizon, effective Dec. 31. Her departure comes after a restructuring of Verizon’s operations.  






Jonathan Mildenhall is stepping down from his position as CMO of Airbnb on Oct. 20 to start his own consultancy. Prior to Airbnb, he was VP of integrated marketing communication at Coca-Cola North America.





Devika Bulchandani has been promoted to president of McCann New York. She has been with McCann since 1997 and was most recently a managing director and also served as president of McCann XBC, the McCann Worldgroup dedicated unit for MasterCard.





Chris Macdonald, who had been overseeing McCann New York as part of his role as McCann North America president, was elevated to head of McCann Worldgroup North America where, in addition to McCann, he will oversee MRM/McCann, Momentum Worldwide, media agency UM, and PR agency Weber Shandwick.







McCann has hired Sean Lackey for the new position of Chief Growth Officer for the North America region. Lackey most recently was Head of Business Development at Droga5.







Nick Allen was named senior VP, group managing director at R/GA New York, where he will oversee the Verizon account. Allen was most recently global and North America group business head of the Diageo and New York Life accounts at Anomaly. At R/GA, he succeeds Anthony Romano who recently was named CEO of Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York.






Beginning in October, former CNN International Host Sasha Rionda will be anchoring a new Spanish-language television show called Café Con America.Both Café Con America and Coffee with America will be hosted by Sasha Rionda.Sasha Rionda is well-known in the Hispanic Community and as the host for Coffee with America, in addition to her former role on CNN.Café Con America will announce a new network affiliation deal in the coming weeks, as well as an anchor affiliate station.





David Ortiz and Keith Hernandez have joined Fox Sports as analysts for its MLB post-season studio shows.




Ortiz retired after last season culminating a 24-year MLB career that included 10 All-Star game appearances and a World Series MVP.




Hernandez was National League MVP in 1979 and is currently an analyst on the New York Mets telecasts.

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