Your name is Julian Green. You had been director of media relations for CoorsMiller.
The good news: You've just landed a new gig as VP of communications and community affairs for the Chicago Cubs.
The bad news: You've just landed a new gig as VP of communications and community affairs for the Chicago Cubs.
For those of you may not know, the beloved Cubbies are major league baseball's biggest losers. They hold the record for going the most years without winning a World Series… 103 years!
In fact, the last time the Cubs won the series, Teddy Roosevelt was president, the HMS Titanic had yet to be built and Betty White had just begun dating (only kidding with the last one).
Don't get me wrong. Any gig with a major league baseball team has to be a complete gas. But, the Cubs? They're so bad they even make my lamentable Mets seem respectable in comparison. They're such a disaster they make the BP oil spill seem like a small leak. Collectively, the franchise has disappointed more fans over the decades than the combined populations of China and India.
So, how'd you like to be responsible for managing their image and reputation? In my opinion, Mr. Green has one of two options:
– He follows the lead of legendary ad man, Jerry Della Femina who, in attempt to attract fans to see the woeful Mets of the late 1970s and early '80s, ran a campaign entitled, 'The magic is back'. But, it wasn't. Not by a long shot. In fact, the only magic at Shea Stadium was seeing fewer and fewer fans each and every losing season.
– He embraces the franchise's futility with a campaign entitled, ‘A century's worth of heartaches’. Green holds contests asking Cubs fans to submit stories telling how, say, the '69 Cubs broke their hearts by blowing a nine game lead to the Miracle Mets. Others could wax poetic about the '84 Cubs collapse in the NLCS to an incredibly weak San Diego Padres team. Or, how about the infamous game in 2003 when, just five outs away from an NLCS championship, a Cubs fan reached out, snatched a sure out away from a Cubbie outfielder and the team went on to blow the series? Green's got a treasure trove of ineptness with which to work.
Whatever marketing path he should chose, I do wish Mr. Green and his beloved Cubs all the luck in the world. But, I suggest he load up on a season's worth of Pepto-Bismol, Tylenol and a scrip for some Xanax as well. Something tells me the Cubs have another century or two to go before winning another World Series trophy.
Beautiful stuff, Trish. Your comments confirm what I’ve suspected all along. It’s tough enough to root for the Pirates, Royals, Braves, Red Sox, Mets and other perennial losers. But, like the late, great Merrill Lynch, the Cubs are truly a breed apart.
I met Julian a few years back when he was a panelist for a PR Week event in Chicago. The economy was just beginning its downward spiral. He wasn’t worried. Beer always sold. Actually, in down economies, beer sales went up. Today at work we were shown research numbers that showed that was true. Everything from food to soap was down, but alcohol? Up 3 percent in the last four months.
Now the Cubs. I’m a lifelong fan. But I never even watched a game all the way through this year. My 90 year old grandma has refused to go the last two years. My friends who have season tickets couldn’t give away tickets to a Cardinals game on Labor Day wknd! That’s bad. Cubs fans are finally fed up. Even the Chads and Trixies of Lincoln Park who go solely to drink and hook up after a game are not going.
Three years ago if I had to put my money somewhere, much like the new Cubs owners, the Ricketts, I would have thought the Cubs were solid. I mean they’re mediocre but a money maker. Now they just suck and it’s pathetic.
Good luck to Julian – b/c you can have the greatest PR, the biggest ad budget, but if the quality of the product is poor, you’re just burning money.
Perhaps. But, would you be able to look yourself in the mirror season after season after your marketing campaigns have promised one outcome and the team provides another? No thank you.
I agree with ghost, it’s really not such an awful gig. Winning isn’t everything; there’s also heritage and tradition. That’s the same reason doing PR for the Red Sox before 2004 wasn’t such a bad gig — though admittedly they had much better teams than the Cubs over those nine decades.
No, I’ll paraphrase the great Western Indiana humorist Jean Shepherd, who said his “Old Man” was always happiest every spring, when all was right with the world with the renewed hope that THIS will be the Cubs’ year. 70 years later, I think most Chicagoans still feel that way — at least until the All-Star break!
I think the Cubs are an easy PR gig because they remain an institution in that city, in spite of their ineptitude on the field. The Mets, on the other hand, would be much more of a challenge, based on a seemingly unwinnable competition with a cross-town rival that threatens to make them irrelevant, as well as an endless stream of head-scratching moves like the first-responder cap fiasco this week.
Quite true, Jepotts. When it comes to year-in, year-out misery, no one can match the Pirates streak. That said, you had the great 1960 Pirates, the ’71 Bucs and, of course, Willie Stargell’s ‘We are family’ champions of 1979. That has to provide some solace.
Well, the Cubs have a longer championship drought, but at least they’ve been competitive within recent memory. Here in Pittsburgh, the Pirates teased their fans with a winning run before the All-Star, but then tanked and recently sealed their 19th consecutive losing season. Trying having that marketing position.