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End of an era: Daytona auctions off Cubs merchandise

Daytona CubsDaytona Baseball — the former Daytona Cubs (High Class A; Florida State League) — is helping to pay for a rebranding of the franchise with an auction of Cubs-related merchandise and promotional items, including the Cubby mascot uniform.

The Chicago Cubs in this offseason shifted its High Class A affiliation to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Carolina League) after a long run in Daytona, replaced by the Cincinnati Reds. And while Andy Rayburn and Daytona Baseball doesn’t yet have a brand to replace the Cubs, it’s pretty clear the franchise will incur some unexpected costs in a rebranding effort. Hence the fire sale of merchandise, memorabilia and Cubs-themed gameday equipment, including Cubby the Bear mascot outfit. From the News-Journal:

On Oct. 4, the local team held a “garage sale” at Jackie Robinson Ballpark to unload leftover Cubs merchandise and assorted other materials with the old team logo.

The team’s general manager, Josh Lawther, said the sale generated about $7,000 in revenue that will go toward the rebranding costs. Those costs quickly add up, said Lawther — the cost to design and produce a new mascot uniform, he said, is about $7,000.

A couple of days after the garage sale, the “Cubby” mascot uniform went to an online auction, which began with a $200 minimum and ended, 90 bids later, at $2,105.

In the end, Rayburn and crew couldn’t bear to part with Cubby, submitting the winning bid:

“The guys thought it would be nice to keep Cubby in the family so that we could assure him a comfortable and beautiful retirement,” Rayburn said.

We should see a new team name and branding in coming weeks. Normally teams must file name changes with MiLB earlier in the year, but a change in affiliation is a “get-out-of-jail” card that gives a team much more extra time for branding decisions.

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