January 08, 2002

Alex Rodriguez, shortstop for the Texas Rangers and alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami, was introduced as a new national spokesperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA).

Alex will appear in a nationwide public service advertising campaign scheduled to roll out in March on TV, radio and in print. The ads will appear in both English and Spanish, representing B&GCA's first bilingual campaign. Alex joins actor Denzel Washington as an official spokesperson for the national youth development organization. Gen. Colin Powell also served in this capacity before becoming U.S. Secretary of State.

The spots were filmed on January 16 at the Hank Kline Boys & Girls Club in Miami, where Alex was an everyday Club member throughout his youth. The content focuses on Alex's relationship with the Club's director, Eddie Rodriguez (no relation), who became an important influence in his life. Eddie continues to run the Club, where Alex is a regular visitor during the off- season.

"He's been like a father to me," says Alex in the TV spot, referring to Eddie. "Today, there are three thousand Boys & Girls Clubs where caring people like Eddie help our children succeed. Does it work? It did for me."

The advertising roll-out represents the first segment of "Campaign 3PM," a B&GCA-sponsored awareness initiative which Alex announced at a press event in New York on December 12, along with fellow Club supporters Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey, Jr., and actor Mark Wahlberg. The campaign calls for every child in America to be involved in safe, structured, supervised after-school activities every day, whether at home, at the Boys & Girls Club, or at another high- quality program in the community.

B&GCA will distribute the PSA campaign directly to all national media outlets, as well as to all local TV and radio stations, cable operators and publications via its 3,000 local Clubs located in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Spanish version of the campaign will seek to increase membership of Hispanic and Latino youth nationwide, as well as appeal for support from Hispanic and Latino adults. Currently some 20% of the 3.5 million young people served by Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide are of Hispanic or Latino descent.

Publicis Sanchez & Levitan, the advertising agency that created the campaign contributed their services at cost to B&GCA. Cuban-American director Camilo Vila, based in Venice, Calif., also contributed his services as director of the spots.

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