Cubs PR Blunders are Losing Me

Cubs PR Blunders are Losing Me

You're doing it, Cubs. You're finally driving me away from you as a fan.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those fair-weather types. I don't bitch and moan about the littlest things. I'm just tired. Tired of the embarrassment on the field. Tired of the years of mundane baseball. Tired of your endless clown car of PR snafus.

Thing of it is, you'd probably understand that if you truly knew your audience, which times have shown you quite simply do not.

Your latest gaffe was possibly the worst PR blunder in recent memory. Taking the 100th birthday of the ballpark that you have turned into a diva-ish mother-in-law-like birth-year celebration about you and driving it down our throats is one thing. But taking time to decorate the lady with pictures from her history that not only included one that was not of her, but of her bitter rival?

That's tantamount to cobbling together a photo collection for your wife's funeral and including a shot of that broad you nailed while at that insurance conference in Denver. You know, the one your wife hated and  who was a bee in her ass forever?

That was what you did by plastering a picture of Comiskey Park on our lady. I am pretty sure this wasn't something you put together at the last minute over beers either; this was planned. Print quotes and budgets collected. Cubs Convention auctions thought out for people to bid on these once-in-a-lifetime Fatheads for their living rooms.

And you failed. How do errors like this slip through so many people? I've worked in manufacturing before, so I understand how, as production increases, an error percentage is added. Maybe you outstretched by planning 81 days of this birthday party. I think not though.

Play TwoMaybe they gave the same project to the person who managed the Ernie Banks statue. You know, the one that was unveiled for Mr. Cub with a grammatical error in his trademark saying? Pardon me while I pound my head against this solid brick wall.

Maybe it was led by the crack group that, after getting our guts fed to us by the Yankees, who kept Girardi and signed Tanaka, unveiled on Twitter a cartoon bear with a typing speech impediment. Pounding my head harder.

Lean in. A little closer. Closer. I want to whisper this, so as not to draw too much more attention.


Do you know what it's like dealing with White Sox and Cards fans these days? People constantly rubbing our noses in the misery that has been a century of Cubs baseball? You are literally setting beachballs up on golf tees for them.

ClarkClark the Cub? Terrible PR launch, but we've gotten past that. Just ignore it and it isn't there. Except when Jeff Garlin enters Clark's cage for a photo opp.

CakeGate? A lapse in protocol and a shutterbug museum employee with an itchy trigger finger and a Reddit account. I was your best defender of this event, but still it was cake in the face (rimshot!).

But plastering a picture of Comiskey Park on our stadium? Sorry, folks, but this is too much. Or was it? As it turns out, that shot was just the bubbling pimple. Within minutes of viewing the murals, Cubs fans took to ChicagoNow and Twitter, debunking several falsely-captioned photos.

It led me to start the Twitter hashtag #wrigley100PRfails. Knowing Cubs fans were about to get ramrodded on social media about this, and having spent my school days dealing with bullies, I knew the best way to stem that tide was to take it on ourselves.

The idea was to be funny and outlandish and to take away those remarks from Sox and Cards fans, but between us, it was also to get some of those ideas off the marketing department's spitlball board.


OK, deep breath and exhale. Ohmmmm.

Alright, I'm back. Being an idea guy, I have a thought on how you can fix this and move forward.

You could pull up your pants and take on the rooftop owners about their fighting your much-needed renovations! In a video! Of the owner, completely taking them to task.

That happened? Oh! Let's watch, shall we?

In a scripted, well produced video that spanned six minutes, Mr. Ricketts walked us through many things renovation, but the most time was spent on the actual placement of a protective netting and hinged shield that protect the flat-screen TV from being hit by balls hit off a tee. I was waiting for him to say, "For just a dollar a day, that's the cost of a cup of coffee to most of us, you can sponsor this flat-screen TV to ensure no errant ball ever damages it again."


Call me creative and passionate and, just perhaps, a little mad, but I would have probably gone with something more along the lines of this.

So now as you enter what is going to be one hell of a fight with the rooftop owners, and with bloodthirsty media circling the park like sharks waiting for more chum, please execute this plan without any more gaffes. This one is important, because we're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore.

We trust you. I think.


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  • What a bunch of BS!

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    In reply to PANAMALIMITED:

    Are you saying the article is BS or that the Cubs PR moves are BS? Please explain.

  • PR is a subset of marketing,* but most of these are marketing mistakes. I assume that the only reason they put banners outside the entrance is to encourage fans to buy a ticket. For a couple of years it was players on the banners, but apparently that no longer works, so it is false history.

    The 100 year anniversary should have been a one day event, but just gets worse and worse. The TV spot was the Cubs losing (I stress losing) to the Phillies 23-22. Before that it was Babe Ruth pointing his shot bobbleheads. Before that it was Musial getting his 3000th hit. The promotion for the Yankees apparently was for people who were wearing Jeter jerseys and wanted his autograph.

    Didn't anything happen in the past 98 years that the Cubs can promote with pride?

    *PR is basically the political influence and CYA part of marketing, which the Ricketts video certainly is.

  • wilcomethat.. bye!

  • Then you're just a dumbass who cares ore about the off the field circus than the baseball itself. Yes, I believe Jed and Theo are following their plan to make the baseball better. And it is getting better. If you want to bitch about something like a child then lay the blame squarely on Crane Kenney who was clearly a star effer and wanted to be a baseball guy so badly when the Tribune owned the Cubs. Luckily adults showed up to tell him to go play in the sandbox and let them run the club. This is Crane Kenney's mess.

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    If the centerpiece of your ire is the Comiskey Field photo, the ONLY person that noticed it was a historian who actually was doing some research and had just seen that photo. Take a look at the photo again. Can you really tell what ballpark that is? No. And no one else can. That's just an honest mistake. If you are going to get up in arms over the Cubs, rant about the product they are putting on the field, not what is covering the walls at Wrigley.

    Do you think that any fan is actually going to turn away from the Cubs because of the photo?

    I think it will be because they have not won a playoff game in more than 10 years.

  • In reply to Dustin Woodrow:

    If the media didn't endlessly cover this meaningless garbage it wouldn't matter. You know what a PR nightmare is? A PR nightmare is the broken ACA website, or the mistreatment of Veterans. I'm not going on an Obama rant here either, I'm a liberal. But that's what a PR nightmare actually is. Something that matters to people's lives. Cakes and murals and dopey videos, who cares? A PR nightmare in sports is the Washington Redskins. These are just distractions trumped up by bored/bitter media folks like Paul Sullivan, Gordo, Telander. Lazy journalists who have nothing to write about.

  • In reply to Dustin Woodrow:

    If the fans are coming out for baseball,. then all this marketing would be superfluous. Yet, almost every team does it, although I bet that the Yankees don't rely on it (I don't remember them having a mascot, and sources indicate that the Dodgers don't either).

    So, I guess all the bobbleheads, sausage races, Presidents' races, Bernie the Brewer taking the plunge, and the idolization of Harry Carey are just unprofitable diversions in most MLB parks. Especially, since Bernie's and Kielbasa's team is in first.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Dodgers have a terrifying, genderless, anthropomorphic bobblehead non-mascot now.

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