At Bat for the Boys & Girls Clubs | Adweek
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At Bat for the Boys & Girls Clubs

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Major League Base-ball star Alex Rodriguez is playing for another team, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The Texas Rangers shortstop with the 10-year, $252 million contract begins appearing next month in a print and broadcast outreach campaign intended to boost membership in the Atlanta-based national youth organization.

The PSA campaign was created by Publicis Sanchez & Levitan in Miami.

"The Boys & Girls Clubs make an incredible investment in youth," said Aida Levitan, chief executive officer of PS&L. "If someone of Alex's stature wants to give up his time, then we want to help as much as we can."

A 60-second television spot, produced in both English and Spanish, will be distributed next month by client executives to national broadcast and cable outlets as well local TV stations.

Hispanic markets will be heavily targeted as pools for recruitment and financial support. Print and radio ads will supplement the television effort.

"When needed, we will assist with the Hispanic media," said Levitan. "I'll be making those influential phone calls."

The TV commercial (also available in 30- and 10-second versions) centers around the player's life-long connection to Miami's Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club and its director, Eddie Rodriguez.

The spot, which is part of a national campaign titled "3 P.M.," kicks off with a series of contrasting images. Empty streets, for example, are compared to the wholesome environment of the clubs.

Alex Rodriguez provides the voiceover narration: "When I was 9, my mom had to work two full-time jobs to keep our family together. She didn't get home until 11. The streets were there. But for my sake, so was the Boys & Girls club ... Eddie Rodriguez ran the Boys and Girls Club in my neighborhood ... And he still does today."

Rodriguez now joins actors Denzell Washington and Mark Wahlberg, Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and Secretary of State Colin Powell in the ranks of well-known B&GCA spokesmen.

Mario Beguiristain was the copywriter, and Margaret Gonzalez served as art director on the spot. Camilo Vila, a director in Venice, Calif., and Diva Digital, a production house located in Miami, donated their services.