Busch League

When I lived in Chicago, a couple of college friends used to come to town when the Cardinals were playing the Cubs because they had a friend who was a Cards relief pitcher.

After one game in 1994, my friends went back to their hotel to change clothes, and the relief pitcher (RP) invited me to a party that Rick Sutcliffe (then with Cards, but a former Cubs pitcher) was hosting at a bar across the street from Wrigley Field.

RP, told me he was getting a Corona and he asked me if I wanted one.

I never had one before, but answered “Uh…sure,”

As we drank them, RP said, “I have to make sure when I’m in public that I drink a ‘family’ beer.”

He then explained that Anhauser-Busch had (I think) 20% stake in Corona’s parent, so Corona beers were cool with the Busch family, who also owned the Cardinals.

He then told a story of a Cards player who was spotted drinking a beer that was not an A-B brand.

The next day the player was called into the General Manager’s office, where he was told: “Since you seem to be fond of a competitor’s beer, we thought you’d enjoy the chance to drink it full time. Clean out your locker, you’ve been traded to Milwaukee.”

I’ve been in work situations where clients’ products (food, beer, computers….) were ubiquitous in the office. Also, a former company used to change long-distance services when they were pitching new telecom clients.

When I worked for a Microsoft parter, people used “Bing” as a verb instead of “Google.” “Search” is the verb I prefer. It fits all contexts. Though I’ve never really been subjected to coerced brand loyalty.

How about you? Have you ever been in professional situation where you were compelled to consume specific products or services by your employer?

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