SBJ/February 4-10, 2013/Franchises

Cubs’ Hayward to start venture

Veteran sports marketer Wally Hayward disclosed last week that he is leaving his position as Chicago Cubs executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer after three years to form W Partners, a joint venture with the Ricketts family, which owns the club.

Hayward
W Partners will represent teams, leagues and athletes on the sell side of sponsorship sales. The Cubs will be the entity’s first client as the team pursues an aggressive renovation of Wrigley Field and a new spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., and the Ricketts family seeks to develop a boutique hotel next to Wrigley in partnership with Starwood Corp.

“I believe strongly in the Ricketts and their mission for the Cubs,” said Hayward, who was chairman and chief executive of Relay Worldwide before moving to the Cubs in 2009. “This allows me to continue to try to do great work on behalf of the Cubs but also have that entrepreneurial spirit.”

W Partners will be based in the Wrigleyville neighborhood near the ballpark. Joining Hayward in the venture will be Samantha Coghill, Cubs managing director of corporate partnerships, and Megan Cornish, a partnership coordinator. Hayward’s position with the Cubs will not be replaced, and the existing sponsorship sales group will now report to Colin Faulkner, Cubs vice president of ticket sales and service.

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said, “We have big plans for Wrigley Field and in the neighborhood, and that’s why we wanted to establish W Partners and allow Wally and Samantha to focus on growing and enhancing our relationships with corporate partners and to eventually do the same for other clients.”

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