BP scales back Crosstown Cup sponsorship

Posted June 2, 2010 at 5:09 p.m.

ct-biz-crosstown-web.jpgFrom left, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts jokes with Cubs players Randy Wells and Marlon Byrd on April 26, 2010, the day the Cubs and White Sox made the Crosstown Cup official. (Michael Tercha/ Chicago Tribune)

By Wailin Wong | The BP oil spill in the Gulf has leaked into the company’s sponsorship
of the BP Crosstown Cup, the six-game series between the Cubs and White Sox that kicks off next week.

The company is still sponsoring the series, but “we’ve scaled back efforts a little bit” as a result of events in the Gulf, said Kevin Saghy, a Cubs spokesman. He said BP has already started some in-store promotions for the Cup, but has cut back on other planned events, as well as advertising and media outreach. The teams are also considering a more subtle presentation of the trophy, Saghy said.

Brooks Boyer, Sox vice president and chief marketing officer, said the teams are supportive of BP and looking forward to a long-term relationship with the company, perhaps even beyond the three-year term of the sponsorship agreement.

“We’re going to go through tough seasons and BP is going to stick behind us,” Boyer said. He added: “We are going to be loyal to our partner and execute everything we promised them before the accident.”

This year is the first that BP is sponsorsing the series. The event will still be called the BP Crosstown Cup and BP’s logo will still be visible in signage and other materials. The trophy has yet to be unveiled to the public.

“The BP situation is unfortunate, but from our perspective, we still have the games to play on the field,” Saghy said. “Our fans are still excited about the series. . . Both teams expect it to be a long-standing tradition in Chicago, and something we hope to build excitement for in years moving forward.”

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  1. Andrew June 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Ironically…. the Cubs and Sox has self destructed, sunk and otherwise mimicked BP’s current state of affairs. It’s the PERFECT sponsorship for the Crosstown classic between the two!

  2. maverick June 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    If the BP spill was in Lake Michigan and heading for Chicago the Cubs might be taking a different attitude for this tragic disaster to the Gulf.

  3. Cheryl June 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I don’t see how the CUbs or the Sox can accept this sponsorship.

  4. RegularGuy June 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Bring some of that spilled oil up here. It’ll make a lot easier to slide into third.

  5. robert June 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    sliding into third – nah… the pitching staff needs some oil – to grease their joints (or baseballs) as they pitch into the later innings ….

  6. Terry Kilpatrick June 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    You can’t make this stuff up. BP announces an artificial, transparent way to make money off of Chicago baseball and weeks later they cause the largest ecological disaster in history! Take that Ricketts & Reinsdorf!! ROTFL

  7. Jerry Bowen June 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    After selling their souls to the devil (BP), Tom Ricketts and Jerry Reinsdorf find themselves associated with the Gulf oil leak disaster. Instant (bad) karma.

  8. ekim June 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    The Crosstown Cup is nothing but the lame product of a marketer’s imagination. It escapes me why the Cubs would “stand by” a company that has despoiled a whole region and pulled the economic rug out from under thousands of people who earned their livings there. A more “sober” trophy presentation? What nonsense. Better for both the Cubs and BP to cancel this silly stunt and cut their losses.

  9. Carl June 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    “We are standing by [BP] as they go through this tough time.”
    I will never spend another dime on the Cubs again.
    In this case they are literally taking blood money from the lives of 11 dead Americans, a destroyed economic region and lasting damage to one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world.
    When did we decide this type of behavior was acceptable? I stand with those taking a stand.

  10. J in KC June 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Cheryl wrote:
    I don’t see how the CUbs or the Sox can accept this sponsorship. / / / /
    BP can throw a few million bucks at me anytime they want to. I’ll even wear a t-shirt.

  11. Howman June 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Too bad, it’s going to be one slick event!

  12. JOHN C June 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Hypocrisy and cash is th foundation of the MLB , plus the teams stink this year.
    BP already pollutes the LAKE! Google it.

  13. steve " weezey " June 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    PLEASE…BOYCOTT BP. Do not buy BP Products!

  14. Todd June 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    The Cubs should also take a pass on the proposed Toyota billboard, with all the lawsuits Toyota has had why would the Cubs want them as a sponsor.

  15. peterb3810 June 2, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Ricketts can really pick those sponsors, right? Toyota, BP, and what’s next? Too bad Enron’s not around anymore.

  16. Ed Donnelly June 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    BP needs to stop dumping arsenic in our Lake Michigan water supply. Sponsoring any Chicago team event while poisoning us is deceptive and actually rather grotesque.

  17. John June 3, 2010 at 8:57 a.m.

    Rickett’s what a BAD move! New to the industry and your making decisions like this, what is the future holding?
    Very BAD PR

  18. Taira June 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I love the CUBS!!! I wish after all that BP has done to our economy and environment that they would cut ties with that pollution monster! I must agree, ever since they signed with BP the season has gone down hill fast! BP is BAD!!! BOYCOTT BP!!!!!

  19. Ken June 5, 2010 at 11:22 a.m.

    Fill the B.P. Cup with Cymbalta.
    Chicago Cubs, Sox, and Hawk fans will need it.

  20. Mike June 9, 2010 at 9:41 a.m.

    Everyone thinks BP wanted this to happen or made sure it happened – you are all fools. BP wants this stopped as badly, if not more so, than anyone else, including the butt-kickin’ President. BP is a great company and I get my gas from them and will continue to do so and support them as best as I can as a consumer. It’s also a great stock pick right now…
    I’m doing my part to help with the oil spill by raising money through friends and family and getting hair salons to send their hair down to the Gulf to help soak up the oil. I’ll be at the games and support BP’s sponsorship and the Cubs/Sox rivalry. Go CUBS!!!!!!!