Miller Park to become Budweiser Park?
I knew that headline would get everyone's attention. It's a publicity stunt by the Miller Brewing Co. And, in my opinion, a pretty good one.
Here's the story: On Friday morning, Miller sent out a news release challenging Budweiser to a NASCAR bet. As part of the bet, Miller is putting its naming rights to Miller Park on the line.
The challenge would pit the #2 Miller Lite car against the #8 Budweiser car, with the season-long NASCAR points leader winning the bet.
According to the challenge, if the Miller Lite car finishes ahead of the Budweiser car, Busch Stadium (home of the St. Louis Cardinals) will be renamed Miller Lite stadium for a to-be-determined 2008 series in St. Louis between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
If the Budweiser car finishes the NASCAR season ahead of the Miller Lite car, Miller Park will be renamed Budweiser Park for a 2008 series in Milwaukee.
Miller company officials said Miller ceo Tom Long sent a letter to August Busch IV, president and ceo of Anheuser-Busch on Friday.
A spokesman for the Brewers told me Friday morning that the team has no problem with the stunt. In fact, Brewers GM Doug Melvin has taped a message for the folks at Budweiser.
Meanwhile, the folks at Bud don't seem very amused. In a statement attributed to Dale Earnhardt Jr., who drives the Budweiser car, the racer said: "Racing is my job, not a bet. My only priority is to build on last season's success and win the NEXTEL Cup."
We'll take that as a no. Peter Marino, a Miller spokesman, said he was disappointed Bud didn't take the bait. "This is all in the spirit of fun," Marino said.