May 18, 2022
Boston University’s Questrom School of Business recently hosted an Insights@Questrom Live event with Boston Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz. Susan Fournier, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of Questrom School of Business, spoke with the baseball icon about his success in both sports and business.
When asked about the factors that contributed to his success, Ortiz emphasized his discipline, determination, and dedication to achieve his goals. He described his childhood in the Dominican Republic, his determination to come to the United States to provide for his family, and how proud and grateful he feels to have been given so many opportunities. This prompted Dean Fournier to ask him about his famous impromptu speech following the tragic Boston Marathon bombings. Ortiz reflected on the feeling of unity that enveloped Boston at the time and emphasized the importance of teamwork not only on the field but as a country, stating, “I am so proud of this town, because after that, everything was legit, I have never seen people unite so fast like we did.”
Ortiz also elaborated on the qualities that helped him become a sustainable brand. “You get to be a brand based on the things you do. At the same time, you have to have that personality in you,” he said. “I’m outspoken, I’m very emotional, I don’t hide anything. What you see is what you’re gonna get. I try to be honest, I try to show people who I really am. That’s what really works on the business side of things—you connect with people.” Asked to discuss a sentiment that has guided him to success, Ortiz shared his favorite mantra to the packed room of students preparing to enter the workforce: “I will be the best.”