Thursday, October 12, 2006

7-Eleven & the Chicago White Sox: A New Low in Commercialism [J. Mark English]

This could be the most awkward, bizarre, and saddest marriage between a sports team and marketing with a company:

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have agreed to start weeknight home games at 7:11 p.m. under a sponsorship deal struck with the convenience store chain known for its Slurpee frozen drinks, the team announced Wednesday.

White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert would not disclose the value of the three-year deal with Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., but he said the revenue it generates will probably be reinvested in the team or its ballpark.

The new start time does not represent a drastic change since many weeknight games at U.S. Cellular Field currently start at 7:07 p.m., Reifert said.

"We're just talking about four minutes, so it's not much of an inconvenience for the fans," he said.

Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman 7-Eleven, said the company has been working to develop sponsorship deals with other sports teams and entertainment venues.