(I apologize if I don’t do this right. I didn’t pay attention when Al wrote the post about diary posts, or fan shots, or rim shots or whatever the hell they’re called.)
Old Style beer and the Chicago Cubs have been intertwined as long as I can remember. When I was a kid listening to Vinny and Lou call the games on WGN radio, it was fully krausened Old Style sponsoring the Cubs. When I would go to Wrigley Field it was the beer my father and uncles would share while they laughed at how bad Dave Kingman was in LF. Later on it was the beer I lined up on the backwall of the bleachers to avoid the end of beer sales for that game.
It seemed like most things Cub, the relationship between the Cubs and Old Style just felt right (maybe because both were charmingly lousy).
Well, today the news came down that Old Style will no longer be served at Wrigley Field following the season. Coors Light will replace Old Style as the alternative to the evil beer from St. Louis. It’s probably time, and honestly a relationship with Chicago based MillerCoors is probably going to be much more lucrative for the Cubs than a relationship with Pabst, who owns Old Style. From that perspective this all makes very logical sense. Still if you have an ounce of nostalgia and have watched this team for any amount of time you see a sixty+ year sponsorship arrangement ending. Those things don’t happen much any more, so for some reason it seems strange to imagine Cubs games, in Mesa or Chicago, withoutOld Style Beer.
An article on the new Pabst owners in the Tribune a month ago outlined the plan to leave Wrigley Field:
In an internal memo to top staff one month after purchasing the company, C. Dean Metropoulos outlined a plan to see PBR sales grow 30 percent per year, Lone Star’s sales to double and for the company to create a “Four Loko”-like version of Colt 45, backed by an African-American star and jingle.
“I also want to try to exit the ‘Cubs’ deal and divert this money behind Old Style ‘Light,'” C. Dean Metropoulos wrote. The relationship between Old Style and the Chicago Cubs baseball team has existed for 61 years.
B.R. Zoom, the ad agency, was fired per order of Metropoulos. And former Pabst employees said the Metropoulos brothers, in almost daily phone calls, demanded that a host of ideas be implemented, such as Pabst brands being sold in Madison Square Garden, comic actor Will Ferrell sponsoring Old Milwaukee, PBR gift bags being given away at the Country Music awards in Las Vegas sponsored by the Academy of Country Music.
Now Old Style goes the way of Smokie Links and 81 day games at Wrigley Field. It becomes a fond memory. It’s a shame, but it is progress. Still it won’t seem right ordering a Coors product at Wrigley Field.
All good things must come to an end.