Nick Offerman, Craig Robinson in New Era spots

Thu, Apr 5

Nick Offerman, better known as Ron Swanson from the NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation," grew up on a small farm in Minooka, Ill., watching Chicago Cubs games on his living room TV between tractor rides.

Craig Robinson, who most notably plays Darryl Philbin on "The Office," has fond memories of visiting Comiskey Park for White Sox games as a kid on the streets of the South Side of Chicago.

Put the two comedy stars in a bar together with baseball on the TV, and you'll see "jealousy and vengeance and bloodthirst bog the bar like cigarette smoke," Offerman said.

That's what New Era did for its 2012 MLB marketing campaign celebrating rivalries and team pride, which will debut Friday in a series of 30- and 60-second commercials. Offerman and Robinson, wearing their respective teams' hats, sit side-by-side in a smoky bar exchanging barbs about the other's favorite baseball team.

"How old is Wrigley, anyway?" Robinson asks Offerman during one of the spots. "Do you even have electricity?"

"It's powered by tradition, my friend, something you wouldn't know about at Mobile Phone Park," Offerman zings back.

The promotion builds off the success of the 2011 Yankees-Red Sox New Era campaign, which starred Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock" and John Krasinski of "The Office."

"They took sort of the early prototype with the Red Sox and Yankees advertisements, and I'm given to understand they wanted to go more handsome, and then they immediately turned to Craig and myself," Offerman told Page 2. "We're giving each other a good-natured ribbing. Craig is representing the White Sox so he has a hard time coming up with any legitimate material, so it's a rather one-sided fight."

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