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SBJ/Jan. 20-26, 2014/Franchises
With eye toward families, Cubs roll out mascot
Published January 20, 2014, Page 12
With the addition of Clark, the Chicago Cubs become the 27th of 30 Major League Baseball teams to get a team mascot. Only the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have no mascot among MLB teams.
Clark is joining the Cubs at this moment in its history because team management has
|Clark makes the Cubs the 27th of 30 MLB teams with a mascot.
Alison Miller, Cubs senior director of marketing, noted: “Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can’t wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He’ll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community.”
According to the Cubs’ marketing department, the team was getting consistent feedback through surveys and fan interviews about the need for more family-friendly entertainment related to the Cubs experience. One suspects too much effort may have been focused in recent years on improving the ballpark experience for the beer-gulping young adult crowds that populate Wrigley Field on most game days.
Before and during games at Wrigley, Clark will greet fans as they enter the ballpark and help kids run the bases following the game. Aside from his game-day tasks, Clark will work with Cubs Charities to help the team target improvements in health and wellness, fitness and education for children and families at risk.
Cubs management has developed a so-called “backstory” for Clark. His great-grandbear Joa was the team’s original bear mascot in 1916, but only for one year. The team had been mascot-less until Clark’s debut this week. Clark answered the call, so to speak, because he could hear the roar of fans at Wrigley Field from his home in the Lincoln Park Zoo, where Joa retired to after his brief appearance with the team.
A Cubs spokesman said the team soon will put out a job description to find the right person to bring Clark to life full time. That person has not yet been hired because the team wanted to keep Clark’s debut a secret until now.
Lewis Lazare writes for sister publication Chicago Business Journal.