The Cubs Wednesday signed a long-term "legacy partnership" with Wintrust, a Chicago-based banking firm, to be their Official Banking Partner, according to a press release from the team.
That will include the following, and you'll wind up seeing the "Wintrust" name all over Wrigley Field, as well as other Cubs locations:
- Primary signage rights above the new left field video board (rendering attached).
- Exclusive ATM provider rights with Wintrust ATMs at multiple locations within Wrigley Field.
- Logo placement on the team’s media backdrop.
- Eventual naming rights of the ballpark’s Gate D on the corner of Addison and Sheffield. Gate D will be named "The Wintrust Gate" once renovation is complete.
- Rotational signage behind home plate.
- A video board feature between innings at every home game.
- A presenting sponsorship of a game each season, including a special promotional giveaway item for fans.
- A presence at the team’s Spring Training home, Cubs Park, in Mesa, Arizona, with signage in the outfield and behind home plate, promotional space at the ballpark and a promotional date each season.
- A retail lease in the future entertainment plaza and hotel development adjacent to Wrigley Field, through a separate agreement with the Ricketts family’s Hickory Street Capital LLC.
"It was important for us to find a strong local player for our Financial Legacy Partner," stated Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. "This Legacy Partnership pairs these two Chicago institutions for years to come, and we know our fans will support Wintrust’s role as a critical partner in helping the team achieve its goals of winning a World Series, saving Wrigley Field and being a good neighbor. Wintrust is a perfect fit for us."
The most interesting things I note about the things Wintrust will be involved in (beyond the video board, and you can see a larger version of the image at the top of this post by clicking here) are the naming rights at Gate D, where the name will be quite visible; the visibility at Cubs Park in Mesa which, potentially, could lead to some sort of naming rights deal there, and the name of the Ricketts family's LLC, which I don't think I had seen anywhere before.
Beyond that -- how many of you who live in the Chicago area have a checking or savings account with Wintrust that you'd be able to access at a Wrigley ATM? Based on this map they have a fair number of banking locations in the Chicago area, mostly on the north side and north and northwest suburbs, but they don't seem to me to be as ubiquitous as other large banks in the area. The Cubs might be serving only a relatively small percentage of their fans with Wintrust ATMs in the park. I don't have a Wintrust account myself and don't plan on getting one and wouldn't want to pay the ATM fees I'd get charged by using an ATM not affiliated with my bank.
That said, this seems to be the kind of deal that will make the Cubs a significant amount of money, though they aren't disclosing terms of the agreement. Wintrust is also going to be playing a major role with Cubs Charities as a Hall of Fame sponsor of Cubs Charities’ primary fundraising event, the Bricks and Ivy Ball, and will also be an associate partner of the team’s annual Cubs Convention and work with the Cubs and Cubs Charities on other community initiatives throughout the season.