If you thought “Official Luxury Car of the New York Yankees” was too much, get a load of what they’re doing in Milwaukee:
Every Milwaukee Brewers fan knows what Bernie Brewer does after every home run: He slides down a slide.
But in an era where everything is for sale, the Brewers have managed to find a way to turn that slide into team revenue. On Thursday, the Brewers announced that Kalahari Resorts had purchased the naming rights to Bernie’s new landing area. Through the multi-year partnership, Kalahari Resorts will be known as the “Official Water Park of the Milwaukee Brewers.” The deal includes signage around Miller Park and other promotional rights.
Kalahari Resorts operates resorts in Wisconsin Dells and Sandusky, Ohio. The team said Bernie’s new landing area will be unveiled during the season.
Fine, let them make a buck because, hey, they gotta pay Ryan Braun and everyone somehow. And besides, it’s not like Bernie Brewer is some sacred thing that can’t be befouled by marketing. Sacredness in Milwaukee begins and ends with the sausage racers, so no, the idea of sponsoring Bernie Brewer’s slide doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is that it’s a water park doing the sponsoring.
For years, Bernie Brewer did what God and Nature intended: he slid into a giant mug of beer following home runs. That’s what you would do if given the chance, and damn skippy, that’s what I’d do too. With the move to Miller Park, however, the Brewers decided to sanitize this into a big playground slide thing with no delicious, ice-cold beer waiting for him at the end. It was sad. It was unnecessary. It flew in the face of everything I thought the State of Wisconsin stood for. Now it’s a water slide, which constitutes even greater mission creep than the kids’ slide. After all, who among us hasn’t had a beer at a children’s playground? I’ve never hoisted the moist at a water park, however, rendering the Bernie-beer connection almost non-existent.
And it may backfire too! I mean, really, who can afford a trip to a fancy water park in these troubled times? Not many of us, I say, so the good people at Kalahari Resorts may not see much of a return on their investment. In light of this, would it not be better to return to the escapism and the sweet, sweet release of alcohol symbolized best by a man with a mustache sliding into a beer mug?
(thanks to Lar for the heads up)