SBD/September 6, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch Signs Long-Term Renewal With Cubs, Gets Malt Beverage Exclusivity

Cubs renews deal with A-B for another 10-plus years
The Cubs have renewed their deal with Anheuser-Busch for another 10-plus years that gives the brewer exclusivity across all malt beverage categories at Wrigley Field, effectively replacing Old Style as a marketing partner. A-B now owns the exclusive rights to be the team’s sole partner in the non-alcoholic, craft, domestic, imported beer, flavored malt beverage and cider categories. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal also covers exclusivity at the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility opening next spring in Mesa, Ariz. Old Style has had a relationship with the Cubs for about 60 years but the brand will no longer own a piece of the beer category, said Cubs VP/Sales & Partnerships Colin Faulkner. Levy Restaurants, the Cubs’ concessionaire, in conjunction with the team will determine whether Old Style will continue to be served in the ballpark, Faulkner said. As part of the deal, Budweiser retains the rights to the Budweiser Bleachers and Bud Patio in addition to branding a new sign in right field. The additional sign was recently approved by the city council and the Commission on Chicago Landmarks as part of $300M in proposed upgrades to Wrigley Field. The deal is the second of 13 to 15 Legacy Partnerships the Cubs are pursuing that cover the team, the ballpark, the Spring Training facility and the boutique hotel and retail development next to Wrigley Field. Starwood Hotels was the first Legacy partner. All told, A-B has been a partner of the Cubs for more than 30 years. W Partners, a joint venture between veteran sports marketer Wally Hayward and the Ricketts family, negotiated the deal.
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