CHICAGO — "Worst Bet EVER" the infamous electronic billboard featuring Justin Bieber now reads.
The billboard, owned by Skokie-based freight broker Command Transportation, on Thursday sported the phrase "LOSER KEEPS BIEBER" with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber sandwiched by Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who faced off Friday in an Olympics men's hockey semifinal.
Toews and Canada blanked Kane and Team USA 1-0, resulting in the new billboard message, which includes a bald eagle draped by a giant "BELIEBER" necklace.
Command Transportation owner Danny Zamost on Thursday told DNAinfo Chicago it had been the second time his company had put Bieber on one of its electronic billboards. In the past, the billboard has featured the Bulls' Joakim Noah spraying Heat star LeBron James with a fire extinguisher and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler smoking a cigarette.
"We just have fun," said another executive, who wished to remain anonymous. "We don't use the sign other than to have fun."
At least one local Canadian-American, Lincoln Park's Jackie Brennan, wasn't pleased with Bieber receiving so much Chicago notoriety.
"Yes the [Biebs] has single-handedly managed to put Canada in the news in a truly un-Canadian way," said Brennan, a member of the Canadian Women's Club of Chicago, which is "made up of a diverse group of area women with a connection to Canada," according to its website.
"Another youngster who can't handle the fame supported by a dopey dad," Brennan added.
Last year, Bieber stepped on the Blackhawks locker room logo and posed with the Stanley Cup, setting off a frenzy of angry responses on social media.
Canada will face Sweden for the gold medal, while the U.S. will meet Finland for the bronze. The Sochi Games conclude Sunday.
Bieber, for his part, tweeted a celebratory note after the Canadian victory, followed by a note that seemed to indicate he was aware of the billboard.
I guess I'm an easy target for some. I'm still human. I will continue to meet hate with love. It's all about the music. Much love— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 21, 2014
"I guess I'm an easy target for some. I'm still human. I will continue to meet hate with love. It's all about the music. Much love," he wrote.