The Billy Goat Tavern Pop-Up | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling presents The Billy Goat Tavern Pop-Up

Chicago Cubs

The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Brand Experience or Activation
  • Most Creative Partnership
  • Most Creative Partnership with an Athlete or Influencer


In 2023, a historic reunion took center stage at Wrigley Field when Coca-Cola marked its return to the iconic ballpark after more than four decades. To celebrate this homecoming, The Cubs developped a pop-up activation based on a historic Saturday Night Live sketch, a famous Chicago restaurant and brought it to life with Chicago's Second City and a surprise appearance by Bill Murray.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

This unique collaboration amongst the Chicago Cubs, Coca-Cola, The Billy Goat Tavern, and The Second City culminated into an entertaining display of comedy, history, and teamwork. This activation celebrated the past while highlighting the enduring spirit of Coca-Cola and the Cubs, setting a benchmark for the power of storytelling in the world of sports, creative arts, and brand partnerships.


The Chicago Cubs needed an epic way to bring Coca-Cola back to Wrigley Field for the first time in forty years. Through cross-functional collaboration, the Cubs decided to transform an ordinary concession stand into Chicago’s Famous Billy Goat Tavern & Grill.

The Billy Goat Tavern, which holds a special place in Chicago’s cultural heritage, is known for inspiring the Saturday Night Live sketch ”The Olympia Restaurant.” The sketch featured renowned comedian Bill Murray and the iconic ”Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger, and “No Coke, Pepsi” lines.

Ironically, the Billy Goat Tavern had always served Coca-Cola, not Pepsi and the Cubs leaned into this. The Tavern’s rich history was also interwoven with the Chicago Cubs when the original tavern owner placed a curse on The Cubs after his beloved pet goat was denied entry to Wrigley Field. The Cubs finally shattered the curse in 2016.

To bring this stunt to life, the Chicago Cubs enlisted the talents of actors from Chicago’s Second City, where Bill Murray honed his comedic prowess, to re-enact the iconic SNL sketch. The pie in the sky goal was for Bill Murray to show up and surprise fans.

Strategy & Execution

Six months before Opening Day, The Corporate Partnership Team and the Director of Hospitality & Retail brainstormed how we could make a splash for our new legacy partner, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling. The Olympia Restaurant sketch popped into our Director of Hospitality’s mind and then he agreed that the transformation of the stand would be possible.

Corporate Partnerships then engaged with The Billy Goat Tavern and The Second City who agreed this would be a fun activation. Tying four national brands together was no easy feat, but true Chicagoans would understand the significance. Bill Murray would be the absolute cherry on top, tying the activation together.


  • Chicago Cubs
  • Marquee 360
  • Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling
  • Banner Studios
  • The Billy Goat Tavern
  • The Second City


  • Bill Murray
  • The Second City


Alex Seyferth
Vice President, Corporate Partnerships
The Chicago Cubs

Ryan Balogh
Sr. Director, Corporate Partnership Account Management & Activation
The Chicago Cubs

Gina Sime
Assistant Director, Corporate Partnership Strategy
The Chicago Cubs

Brad Johnson
Sr. Director, Hospitality & Retail
The Chicago Cubs

Jessica Malinconico
Account Manager, Corporate Partnerships
The Chicago Cubs

Lorraine Swiatly
Executive Assistant
The Chicago Cubs

Matt Romito
Senior Director, Cubs Productions
The Chicago Cubs

Jim Oboikowitch
Director, Brand & Player Marketing
The Chicago Cubs

Nick Siman
Operations Manager
The Chicago Cubs

Shane Maguire

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.