The Red Sox Get Dirty with Dirty Bandits
Baseball brings millions of fans together every year to sit in the sun, cheer on their teams, and kick back a couple cans of suds. The sport has been America’s past time for decades, connecting generations of families, and inspiring friendships new and old. For Annica Lydenberg of Dirty Bandits who grew up in Boston, baseball was a huge part of growing up. “We didn’t take a lot of vacations or eat out or do things like that. The one special thing that we did was go to Fenway and go to Red Sox games. That was the biggest treat of my childhood. So I used to go with my dad all the time,” Annica explains. “Even in High School the Red Sox were not winning so tickets to sit in the bleachers were just as cheap as going to the movies so I picked going to a game.” When Budweiser approached her to design a new can for the Red Sox that would only be available at Fenway Park and the outlying area it was an unbelievable opportunity.
Not only did she design the can, and a handful of digital assets, she was invited to the first game of the year. And of course she brought her father. “It was pretty mind-bending, to go to Fenway Park for Opening Day this year and take my dad and see people drinking out of Budweiser cans that I had designed for the Red Sox,” she says. “My 15-year-old brain would have exploded.”
That mind explosion isn’t just about working with the Red Sox and Budweiser, but also about becoming a part of that landmark. As a commercial illustrator in 2017, it’s possible to create work that will live on in all sorts of different spaces, but to become such a large part of a personal landmark is incredibly meaningful for Annica. “When you can go to Fenway Park and see your work… There were ads up for the cans in the stadium! There’s a giant 10ft tall version of can that lives up on the Budweiser deck at Fenway! And it says my name on the can! It says Dirty Bandits on the can!” Dirty Bandits is now a part of a history Annica has always witnessed, and will now be a part of what the next generation experiences.
All those years rooting for the Red Sox has had an impact on Annica and her family beyond just inspiring love for a sports team. Before 2004 it has been 86 years since the last time they won a World Series. That can have a profound effect on how a fan approaches winning and losing. “I had a conversation with my Dad once about whether or not he thought people could change,” Annica says. “And he said, ‘Some things are fundamental to a person and will never change.’ And I said, ‘What’s fundamental to you?’ And he said, ‘I grew up a Red Sox fan, I will always root for the underdog.’ And there’s just, the joy of rooting for the underdog, the losses aren’t so catastrophic because they’re not unexpected, and the wins are just so good.”
We can always choose to not be dragged down too heavy by a loss, and celebrate every win like it was impossible. But the most important choice is to just keep going, and working at it. Unless, of course, you want to take a break with a beer.