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The Pittsburgh Pirates lack a sense of humor; oppose cheap beer

May 19, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

generic beer

Great moments in public relations.

There’s a bar in Pittsburgh called The Stroll Inn, and the other day they launched a promotion that said “If the Pirates lose, you win” and offered a discount of a nickel on a pitcher of beer after every Pirates loss. Funny!

But not to the Pirates. Apparently a couple of Pirates employees sent emails around after hearing of this, suggesting that Pirates employees, friends and family boycott the Stroll Inn, saying “an occasional joke and jab is expected here and there, but to create business by ripping on the home team is ridiculous and in my opinion distasteful.”

The email thing made its way to a local news station, who did a story on it, and that prompted Pirates President Frank Coonelly to contact the owner of the bar and, according to her anyway, scolded her for taking this to the local news.  She said that Coonelly was “very cold and not very nice.”  Which, I will say, is a description that a couple of people I know who know Coonelly may not be shocked to hear.  Smart guy, I’m told. Very competent in his areas of expertise. But not a master of interpersonal relationships.

All of this is blowing up bigger now than it ever would have, of course.  Over at Yahoo! Jeff Passan has an extended take of the lunacy of it all.

The biggest takeaway: dudes, if you’re selling a product and it’s being linked to inexpensive beer, just go with it, because the goodwill will flow in your direction eventually.

  1. nps6724 - May 19, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Here’s a solution, Pirates: WIN.

    • Mr. Furious - May 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      Look, the only way they’re going to become competitive again is to have a nice new taxpayer-funded stadium.

  2. yankeesfanlen - May 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    The Stroll Inn is about four doors down from this place:

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 19, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    I assumed the Buccos gave away beer at the games. How do they get folks in the seats without free beer?

    • b7p19 - May 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      I get the sarcasm there, but I actaully really enjoy my yearly trip to PNC Park. It’s a very nice ballpark and you can get good seats 30 min before game time. A few years ago I even met Kahlil Greens family there. Nice folks.

      • Ralph - May 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        And based on their attendance figures, it seems that most people only do yearly trips to PNC Park.

  4. teke184 - May 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    I suggest that the bar threaten a class action suit on behalf of Pirates ticket-holders, claiming that the team has misrepresented itself as a major league ballclub for the past 19 years.

    • bklynbaseball - May 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      LMFAO!!!! Good one.

  5. kiwicricket - May 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    There is a missing link to the story…..most of the players began drinking at the bar for the discount prices.

  6. bigtrav425 - May 19, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    hahaha…well done so far guys..very well done!

  7. The Dangerous Mabry - May 19, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    All this over a nickel off a pitcher?

    • cur68 - May 19, 2011 at 11:15 AM

      Well, what’s the Pirate’s payroll like? Maybe a nickel off members of the starting rotation significantly reduces their wage?

  8. heyblueyoustink - May 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Idea: Take the nickels, throw them in a jar, donate them to the Pirates so they can help the Pirates achieve the seemingly impossible: a respectable payroll!

  9. Little Johnny - May 20, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    No matter what the bar did imagine how this thing could have gone if the Pirates Admin knew how to treat a customer. Example: Frank Coonelly calls up the bar, says, “I’m not real happy with that but I understand the fan frustration. How about if I come out and have a beer with everyone during the next game and we watch it on TV and talk baseball.” Everyone wins with GREAT publicity. Somehow, the Pirates marketing folks don’t think of these things of how to build their brand in the community.

  10. Little Johnny - May 20, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    BTW, look how a local blog called it.. Buccos just don’t get the idea of building community support.

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