Great giveaways at Wrigley Field
(Art by Jerry Neumann)
This piece originally ran in the September issue of Vine Line.
As members of the media walked down the stairs into the Wrigley Field home clubhouse prior to the first game of a July doubleheader against the Brewers, it was hard to ignore the mystery man in a Cubs Lucha Libre wrestling mask and a cowboy hat walking around the room.
All-Star pitcher Travis Wood wasn’t doing it for a promotional stunt, and he openly acknowledged he hadn’t lost a bet. He was simply the most recent Wrigley visitor to get his hands on some of the Cubs’ more in-demand promotional items.
All season long, the Cubs’ marketing and ticket sales teams have been dispensing a unique array of giveaway items, from Kentucky Derby hats, to Kerry Wood garden gnomes, to the aforementioned cowboy hats and Lucha Libre masks.
“You know you’ve had a good item when you’ve had a lot of requests from our beat writers, the broadcasters … and members of the front office have all asked for them for friends,” said Brian Garza, director of ticket sales and service for the Cubs. “It’s flattering because you know you did something good.”
Fans really gravitated toward the wrestling mask giveaway, so much so that Garza said there were bids reaching upward of $50 on eBay for the July 30 promotional item.
Another unique giveaway will take place on Monday, Sept. 23 when Zubazpalooza takes over the Budweiser Bleachers. Anyone with a bleacher ticket for that night’s game—and fond memories of the early 1990s—will receive a complimentary pair of Cubs Zubaz zebra-striped pants.
“It’s a retro item,” Garza said. “It represents terrible fashion, but sometimes those things make for a ton of fun.”