St. Louis, Boston Agencies Throw Down in World Series Bet

By Erik Oster 

They take their baseball pretty seriously in St. Louis and Boston, and that includes at each city’s respective ad agencies. The ad agencies for each team –Boston based CTP and St. Louis based HLK — have thrown down for the Beards vs. Birds challenge, which includes some unique betting terms that you can read below.

1. The losing team donates to the winning team’s charity. CTP would donate to Cardinals Care a “non-profit foundation providing assistance to children’s agencies through efforts such as building baseball fields and supporting youth baseball teams,” while HLK would donate to Red Sox Scholars, a program providing “mentoring, enrichment activities and college scholarships to 220 Boston Public School students.”

2. The losing agency’s CEO will intern for a day at the winning agency. 

3. The losing agency serves the winning agency dinner. If the Red Sox lose, CTP will bring Harpoon ale, Fenway franks and clam chowder to HLK. If the Cardinals lose, HLK will bring Budweiser, toasted ravioli and pork steaks to CTP.

4. The losing agency will turn over their website and social media sites to the winning agency the day of the victory parade. The winning agency will also get to re-write the email signatures of the losing agency. Plus the losing agency’s receptionist must answer the phone, “Congratulations to the World Series Champion (Boston/St. Louis), you have reached (HLK/CTP).”

5. The losing agency will rename their softball team in honor of the winning team.

As you can see, both agencies have a lot riding on this. Unsurprisingly, both sides have engaged in their fair share of smack talk, namely in the form of short videos each team released as well as social media (@ctpboston / @HLKagency / #beardsVSbirdsAd). Team Beard’s video opens with a heavy Boston accent asking, “Why are the Sawks going to beat the Cahdnals?” before answering, “Two words: Big Papi.” CTP employees go on to unleash a laundry list of reasons the Red Sox will win, or just reasons why the Cardinals are lame (“Your uniforms look like my grandma’s sweatah.”) Team Birds take a slightly different approach. Their video opens with the the theme song from “Cheers,” before announcing “The best thing about Boston…was cancelled in 1993.” As you can imagine, both sides are merciless.

As an Orioles fan who hates the Red Sox, I’m Team Birds by default. And wouldn’t it be great for CTP to have to name their softball team the Cardinals? There is one item I’d like to see added to the terms of the bet, though: If Team Beard wins, HLK employees have to grow full beards (perhaps until spring training starts next year); if Team Birds wins, all bearded CTP employees must shave off their facial hair (and perhaps remain clean shaven until spring training).

At any rate, this is a fun little wager and we look forward to seeing how it plays out. No matter which team wins, we’ll get to see embarrassed ad professionals. And doesn’t that make everyone a winner?