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Strike Out Exxon from the 7th Inning Stretch

by Kert Davies

June 19, 2008

Today we are launching a local campaign Strike Out Exxon to flush the red beast out of the brand new Washington Nationals baseball park.  The park is touted as a certified "green" faciltiy by the US Green Building Council. 

Exxon has bought the advertising rights to the 7th inning stretch…so now its no longer the…mom and apple pie, GodBlessAmerica, Take Me out to the Ballgame, Root Root Root for the home team, my first Phillies game with dad at Connie Mack at age 6, peanuts and crackerjack 7th inning stretch…

no no no… it’s now branded "THE EXXONMOBIL 7th INNING STRETCH" 100 feet tall on the center field scoreboard with bright red ExxonMobil logo on every LED ad screen ringing the park. 

Instead of singing our song, having a stretch and going to get some crackerjack and a beverage of choice from the concession stands, eager Washington fans are reminded of the $95 fill-up the just plowed into their Chevy Tahoe that GM wont even take back on trade-in!

I called the advertising guys at the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies and a few other teams to get a sense if it was unusual to have an monster oil company as a sponsor of the "stretch" advertising parcel.  I learned the BoSox have Coca Cola as a sponsor, which makes some sense, thirsty after 7 innings?  The Yankees have Cracker Jack, which makes even more sense, its their song after all.  The Yankees guy said he had never heard of an oil company buying that space before and seemed a little perplexed that a promotions person would take such an offer.

By the way, the song Take Me Out to the Ball Game is 100 years old this year, I read the other day in a great children’s book by Jim Burke on the song’s origins in NYC at the turn of the century when baseball came of age and became a integral part of the nation’s fabric.

I updated the lyrics with apologies to Jack Norworth:

TAKE EXXON OUT OF THE BALL GAME
GET THEM OUT OF THE CROWD
TIRED OF FOUR DOLLAR GAS-O-LINE
AND GLOBAL WAR-MING IS MA-KING ME SCREAM

LETS ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE NAAATIONALS
AND STRIKE EXXON OUT OF THE GAME
FOR ITS 3…2…1 POLAR BEARS AND WE KNOW WHO TO BLAME.

The Strike Out Exxon campaign was spurred this spring by Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a great regional global warming advocates here in DC, and our friends at Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth and the Hip Hop Caucus.  We welcome additional member organizations but hope this campaign is swift.  There were even rumours that Exxon might vie for the naming rights to the park to be auctioned later this summer.  Hopefully the Nationals owners think that through.

Because the only thing Exxon is stretching is the truth about global warming and its monster bank accounts. Stay tuned for updates and contact CCAN for free tickets.

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