As the World Series heads back to the Windy City tied at one game apiece, Cubs hype has engulfed Chicago. It’s true; the National League’s most successful side has been turning heads all year, but in this the final showdown of the season, die-hard Cubs fans are joined by legions of latecomers to overflow all of the city’s sporting infrastructure and push demand for Cubs-related-entertainment sky high.
Local and national businesses have full-fledged Cubs fever and are looking to ride the narrative of the team’s historical championship run. While the ultimate goal may be to generate sales, social interaction, or just share in collective conversation, it’s impossible to avoid the impact of Cubs on the city this October.
Here are some of our favorite examples.
Burrito-crazed baseball fans had a chance for the perfect double play during game 1 of the World Series, with local Chipotle franchises offering Buy 1 Get 1 free to patrons wearing Cubs gear.
In addition, the Toronto based franchise Freshii announced that if the Cubs manage to win the World Series, they would waive the $30,000 franchise fee for a fan to own their own location in the city. The green-centric fresh food provider has also decorated their Chicagoland locations to creatively fly the Cubs “W” win flag.
Age Old Rivalry Renewed
No matter what the sport, apparel giants Adidas & Nike always seem to find key opportunities to maximize their brand message, often times at the expense of one another. The streets surrounding Wrigley Field are no exception this October.
Not an official sponsor Major League Baseball, Adidas “Reverse the Curse” campaign has been canvasing Wrigley and offering free shirts to fans looking to support the team during their pivotal games.
Not to be outdone, Official Major League Baseball sponsors Nike have ramped up their presence around Wrigley Field, launching their slogan for Cubs postseason “Make Someday Today”, and offering in-store merchandise with the same motivating hook line.
Reshaping the Chicago Nightlife
As the World Series continues on, the Cubs have created a proverbial “perfect storm” of nightlife celebration in Chicago, with much of the games schedule coinciding with Halloween weekend. Already a cause for celebration, bars have cancelled many of their Halloween Parties, citing “safety concerns” for offering a hosted bar during the historic World Series game. Are the Cubs bigger than Halloween? River North nightlight hub Stout (and their partners Parlor Pizza) evidently think so – as they’ve cancelled festivities in order to switch over the Cubs-themed evenings, doubling and tripling table prices.
Even with these cancellations some fans may favor the opportunity to be as close as possible to the action for the home stretch of the Championship stand. If that’s your main objective, be prepared to spend big. Many of the bars surrounding Wrigley Field are charging over $250 in cover to simply gain entrance into their venues for the games. A steep price to pay for a team that up until recently has struggled to compete even in the National League.
Regardless of history, the Cubs are re-shaping nightlife in the City of Chicago this month, creating a powerful buzz that small businesses can’t ignore. Even popular cocktail lounges that emphasize a disconnect from traditional technology have added televisions (albeit small ones) to keep fans in tune with the team. Check out Tropical Tiki Lounge, Lost Lake’s boozy special that ran this past week during the World Series.
Whichever team you support this post-season, it’s undeniable feeling to be in Chicago and experience the unique relationship between the Cubs and their fan base, cheering in a variety of ways, while local businesses alter their brand messaging to be a part of the support. Keep your eyes peeled for other way you’ve seen Cubs pride throughout the city. And we’ll see ya in Wrigley – where dinner and drinks tonight are going for north of $1,000.