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August 22, 2014 / The_Mike_Johnson

Chicago Cubs Marketing Strategy: We May Lose but We Have Heart


Photo via Ron Cogswell

You have to hand it to the marketing staff for the Chicago Cubs. After reading the Wall Street Journal August 20 article, “Why  Wrigley Field Is Suddenly So Empty” even though the Cubs have no chance of making the playoffs again this year the team in past has managed to still sell tickets and attract fans but the tide may be turning as ticket sales are down.

First some history: In 1981 The Tribune Company bought the Chicago Cubs for $20.5 million. Even though the team has not made it to the world series it did make it to the playoffs during some of those years with attendance going “from an average of 15,423 a game in 1982 to a high of 40,743 in 2008, the year before it sold the team.”

How did they do it? “The success of Tribune reflected a series of smart marketing moves. Among them: The company turned Cubs games into programming fodder for superstation WGN, which introduced the team to a vast national audience. Tribune hired as announcer Harry Caray, a graceless blowhard who nonetheless aroused an enormous fan following. Under savvy marketing chief John McDonough, the club celebrated the glories of lovely but age-worn Wrigley and cycled through a variety of promotions designed to put people in the seats (Beanie Baby days!). To declare yourself a Cubs fan was to place yourself in a vibrant community—people with the heart to embrace a loser. In the current language of marketing, the Chicago Cubs became a brand with soul, an entity that represented a portfolio of sympathetic qualities, including loyalty, perseverance, humility and tradition.”


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How to Get Your Client or Book on CNBC, Huffington Post Live, The Chew, and Better TV

How to Get Your Guest or Book on Rachel Ray, Piers Morgan Tonight, CBS This Morning Saturday

How to Get Your Story/Event/Guest on Bloomberg News

How to Get Your Story or Event on New York News Shows

Get Your Product, Book, Movie On Television and Radio Shows – PRSANY Panel

Get Your Products and Stories Featured in Mainstream Magazines – PRSANY Panel


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