LIV Golf is turning to one of the most popular athletes in New England sports history to promote its Boston tournament: David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
The Boston Red Sox legend will appear in a video for the LIV Golf Invitational Boston this weekend, according to Will Staeger, LIV’s chief media officer.
Ortiz will welcome LIV fans to Boston in a video debuting Friday during the first of the three-day tournament. On the planned video, the 46-year-old will humorously compare the golf and baseball swings.
“He’s a Hall of Famer and a legend. One of the friendliest and most welcoming guys out there,” Staeger told Front Office Sports Thursday night. “We’re really excited to have a partnership with him in our coverage — and to welcome fans to Boston. And while he’s at it, have a little fun with some of the players. Have a look at what a golf swing looks like compared to a baseball swing.”
The three-time World Series champion will probably not appear in person at the International golf club near Boston. But he could zoom in to live coverage of the event on LIV’s YouTube channel and LIVGolf.com. In the U.S., the tournament will also be available on DAZN.
In the new video, Ortiz extols the skills of Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and other LIV stars.
“This weekend, they’re in my town. Boston, where revolution was born. Where the impossible became possible. And where LIV continues to up the game,” says Ortiz.
While he’s not playing due to injury, new LIV recruit Bubba Watson will also make his debut as a member of LIV’s announce team. The two-time Masters champion is expected to play on the breakaway tour in 2023.
Ortiz will be part of an ongoing marketing strategy where LIV employs sports luminaries and celebrity golf fans to help attract fans.
The Saudi-backed golf tour is working on another famous face for its Chicago event from Sep.16-18, said Staeger, but he declined to give specifics.
Charles Barkley teed it up and appeared on camera during LIV’s recent event in New Jersey. Actor Dennis Quaid appeared in an “Evolution” video that promoted LIV’s debut event in London.
“For each of our events, we’d like to have a significant celebrity, or sports voice who’s a golf fan, join us, and welcome fans to our event,” Staeger said.
Oritz slugged 541 home runs during his Major League Baseball career with the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins.
Since retiring, the personable Ortiz has found a second act as a baseball analyst on Fox Sports’ baseball TV coverage.
Boston will be the rebel golf tour’s fourth event, after tournaments in London, Portland, and Bedminster, N.J. The war between LIV and the PGA Tour has divided the global golf industry.
Cameron Smith, the world’s No. 2 golfer, recently became the latest star to defect to upstart LIV from the established PGA Tour. Smith is reportedly getting paid $100 million.
“I think this is the future of golf. It’s been the same for a very, very long time,” said the British Open champion. “It needs to be stirred up a little bit.”