Cubs switch to Bud in new deal
By Stefano Esposito Sun-Times Media September 6, 2013 10:36PM
Updated: October 9, 2013 7:58PM
Out with the Old Style, in with a new Budweiser logo set to adorn the controversial right-field sign planned for Wrigley Field.
The Cubs announced Friday that they’ve reached a deal to make Anheuser-Busch their “exclusive marketing partner” for beer and malt beverages at Wrigley Field and the club’s new spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz.
The new agreement means a Budweiser logo could adorn the new sign as early as 2014, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said.
It also means that the Old Style signs Cubs fans have been accustomed to seeing in the ballpark for many years will be removed.
“Our marketing relationship with Old Style will not continue in 2014,” the Cubs said in a written statement. “This was a very difficult decision following a decades-long relationship we enjoyed with this great brand. We will continue to offer Old Style and Old Style Light to our fans for our remaining games.”
Green would not discuss the financial terms of the Budweiser deal.
The Cubs announced the Budweiser deal even as a dispute with rooftop owners continues over the planned right-field sign and a video scoreboard in left field.
Last week, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigley Field, rejected the Cubs’ plan to install a deck over Sheffield Avenue to limit the impact of the right-field sign on the views from rooftop seats. The Cubs say the plan — stemming from a suggestion by the rooftop owners — is intended to help resolve the ongoing dispute.
But Tunney said he opposes the nearly block-long deck because he doesn’t want fans drinking liquor over a public street.
The rooftop owners have threatened to sue the Cubs if the new signs block their views.
Green disputed a suggestion that announcing the Budweiser deal now is a slap in the face to the rooftop owners.
“This is the time of year when every baseball team in the league is trying to renew corporate partnerships or go after new partnerships and sell all available assets to raise revenues for their ballclubs,” Green said. “We are no different in that regard. This particular deal has absolutely nothing to do with the rooftops, and it has everything to do with us putting as much revenue back into this team to accomplish our goal of winning a world championship.”