Wednesday, June 16, 2010
But I highly doubt that Salt n Peppa is paying the Cubs to play "Push It" before every Ryan Theriot one-pitch ground out. Nor do I think any of the other musical artists whose music is now being played (probably without permission) are paying to have their songs accompany players' at-bats.
So why are the Cubs doing it? The Cubs market the hell out of Wrigley Field's charm and old-school feel. The ivy, day baseball, the manual scoreboard, the latent racism in the stands, and the organ music all harken back to a simpler time when white men knew a thing or two about fundamental baseball.
So why damage that brand image while getting nothing in return? Afterall, the Cubs are quickly entering a period of time where the team on the field is the least interesting thing about coming to a game at Wrigley. They can't possibly be shifting to an emphasis on the team as currently constructed as a method to boost interest in Cubs tickets.
I have a guess, and it is based on nothing but my own conjecture and willingness to see conspiracies where there are probably none, simply because conspiracies are more interesting than just plain stupidity.
What if the long range plan was to sell individual player plate appearances to corporate sponsors?
"Now batting, Ryan Theriot, sponsored by Budweiser. Because when Ryan Theriot bats, you are going to want a few beers."
Judging by the reaction to the Toyota sign, fans wouldn't take to something like that very well. To make the huge jump from quaint organ music to an audio version of NASCAR advertising would be too much to expect of most people who fear and resist change.
Last year, the fans didn't like corporately sponsored doubles being announced by the recorded Luna Carpets jingle, so after a few games, the Cubs transitioned to the Luna jingle played by the organ after doubles. The fans got the lesser of two evils, Luna gets its brand advertised, and the Cubs get money. Everyone wins. They still do it this year. Take a listen the next time a Cubs player doubles (sometime after the All-Star break would be my guess).
By playing the pop music, the Cubs have created an atmosphere where, if you were to close your eyes, you would not be able to determine if you were in Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular, or a minor league ballpark. I have yet to see anyone react to it positively. Not one person. The most positive thing I have heard was a woman telling her friend, "I like Marlon Byrd's the best, but I miss the organ." I'm assuming she was talking about the music.
A few more homestands of playing loud obnoxious music before every at-bat might make any change welcome, such as a quick corporate sponsorship and maybe the organ playing the company's jingle. All better!
Like I said, I doubt that is the real reason, but isn't wild speculation fun? But they have to have a reason, because otherwise all they are doing is more damage after spilling oil from the BP Crosstown Cup all over their carefully crafted brand image.
Check this out at Aisle 424: How Much Would You Pay For a Ryan Theriot Plate Appearance?Tweet this! Posted by SixRowBrewCo at 2:59 PM