Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s selfie with President Obama might have been a promotional stunt as part of the All Star’s recent endorsement deal with cellphone manufacturer Samsung, according to the Boston Globe.
“He wants to take a selfie!” Obama said. “It's the Big Papi selfie.”
The picture was later posted to the slugger’s account, where it received more than 38,000 retweets within 24 hours.
One of those retweets was Samsung’s official account, which also asked Twitter users what kind of camera Ortiz used, highlighting that it was one of the company’s phones.
In a statement, Samsung said that it was “thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit.”
“It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans,” the phone manufacturer said.
"When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans. We didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device."
The corporate stunt could raise new questions for the White House about the president’s participation in a social media advertising campaign.
Samsung paid an estimated $20 million for ads and product placement during the Academy Awards, according to The Wall Street Journal, and was rewarded when host Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie with a group of celebrities including Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence.
That tweet shattered the record for retweets — ironically, held by President Obama’s Twitter feed for a post shortly after his 2012 election victory.