Red Bull’s Philly Phanatic, a.k.a. Jimmy Rollins
Philadelphia Phillies short stop Jimmy Rollins, better known as “J-Roll” in Philadelphia, is the first Major League Baseball Player to be in partnership with energy drink leader Red Bull.
J-Roll, former all-star and MVP, has been in a slump for the majority of the 2009 season. The Manager of the Phillies, Charlie Manuel, gave Jimmy six days off at the end of June so that he could physically and mentally rest. Jimmy took the time to work on his swing and mentally prepare himself for his return, which has worked out quite well for him. When Jimmy was inserted back in the starting lineup on June 30 against Atlanta, he went 0-5, trying to regain his timing. Two days later, on July 2, Jimmy signed with Red Bull.
Signing with Red Bull has rejuvenated Jimmy’s confidence in his swing and with his fans. Jimmy has gone 14 for 32 (.438), with 4 doubles, 1 homerun, 7 RBIS, and has an 8 game hit streak, his largest of the season. Much of this is attributed to Jimmy working on changing his swing to become more consistent and being more patient at the plate, with 7 walks since returning to the lineup. Jimmy is beginning to look more like the MVP player that he was in 2007, where he hit .296, with 38 doubles, 20 triples, 30 homeruns, 94 RBIS, and 41 stolen bases. J-Roll was a huge part of the Phillies’ success over the past few years and was an integral piece to the puzzle in the Phillies Championship run last season.
Jimmy’s first major and most publicized endorsement has also given him a huge confidence boost. J-Roll was welcomed into the Red Bull partnership by being driven in the Red Bull Military Extreme Truck to his rivalry game against the New York Mets on July 4. With the truck’s tinted windows, Jimmy stopped by fans’ tailgates at Citizen Banks Park, where he rolled down the window and surprised fans, signing autographs and chatting it up with them before being driven in the truck to the player’s entrance where he was greeted by more fans and media.
Rollins has always had love and respect for Phillies fans, and over the past few seasons he has become the spokesperson for the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2007, he declared the Phillies the team to beat in the NL East, receiving much criticism at the time from the media and reigning NL East champs, the NY Mets. But, boy did J-Roll and his Phitin’ Phills prove that criticism to be false, winning the NL East for the past two seasons, leaving the Mets in their dust, and bringing home the championship trophy last year. Rollins said: “[t]his is exactly what I was looking forward to when I signed with Red Bull. Not only am I a huge fan of the drink, the Red Bull world is never dull and constantly keeps me on my feet — I look forward to a great partnership with them.”
Jimmy joins a lineup of champions such as Olympic Beach Volleyball gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the NFL’s Reggie Bush and Devin Hester, the NBA’s Rajon Rondo, Motocross Champion James Stewart, X Games Champion Shaun White, and World Record holder Robbie Maddison to name just a few. Red Bull has long been a loyal supporter of top-tier sports, such as NASCAR, Formula One, NFL, NBA and MLS, as well as action and adventure sports. Can J-Roll’s rejuvenation at the plate lead to more MLB players endorsing Red Bull? That is something that only time can tell, but if Jimmy’s new approach at the plate is any indication since signing with Red Bull, all signs point to YES.
This guest contribution was brought to you by Ryan Richman. Ryan writes at the new EntertainmentAgentBlog.com.