SBD/April 9, 2014/Franchises

Cubs Forced To Deny Affiliation With Unofficial Mascot After Unseemly Video Goes Viral

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The Cubs currently have an "intriguing battle ... taking place out of the public eye" in which they are trying to promote their new mascot, Clark the Cub, while denying affiliation with an unofficial mascot, Billy Cub, according to Paul Sullivan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The Billy Cub mascot, which "long has been a thorn in their paws," is played by one of three men who walk around Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville on game days. One of them, Patrick Weier, "made a splash Saturday" when a video went viral showing him "punching a man who removed his head" at a Wrigleyville bar. The video "forced the Cubs to deny they had any affiliation with Billy." The Billy Cub mascot "is an albatross" to the Cubs, who have "spent thousands to create and market their first-ever mascot." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green last night said of Billy Cub, "He's not and has never been affiliated with the Cubs. ... Our mascot does not go into bars." Sullivan notes the Cubs last July reportedly "offered to buy ... out" Weier's brother, John Paul, for $15,000, "meaning all he had to do was stop walking around the park in a bear costume." However, he "declined, and the Cubs sent him a cease and desist letter" from MLB. Green: "Whether you like or dislike our mascot, people are fully aware we have an official mascot and it's geared toward kids and families, and the reception has been positive" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/9).

DODGING THE ISSUE? In L.A., Steve Dilbeck wrote during last weekend's games against the Giants, there was an "oversized, oh-so-cute person in a Dodgers uniform with a giant bobblehead who looks amazingly like a mascot" seen around Dodger Stadium. However, Dodgers Exec VP & CMO Lon Rosen said, "It's not a mascot. It's a unique performance character." Dilbeck noted the "non-mascot mascot ... mostly walked around waving and posing with fans for pictures." The Dodgers, Yankees and Angels are the only MLB teams without a mascot after the Cubs "fell victim in the off-season" (LATIMES.com, 4/8).
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