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.
Marketing and Sponsorship
Valspar Corp. has signed a four-year deal to title sponsor the PGA Tour event in Tampa, giving the Tour "title sponsorship for every tournament" on the '13-14 schedule, according to Bob Harig of ESPN.com. BB&T also is "expected to sign on as a presenting sponsor." The tournament was titled the Tampa Bay Championship this season after failing to find a sponsor to replace Transitions after four years. The Valspar Championship will remain at the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort, which has "traditionally been rated among the best on the PGA Tour." The Tour was "prepared to move the Puerto Rico Open into the Tampa date" if a title sponsor was not found for next year (ESPN.com, 9/6). Meanwhile, Hyundai has signed a two-year extension of its deal to title sponsor the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua during the first week of January (PGA Tour).
Puma is "looking for a new lead global agency," according to sources cited by Gabriel Beltrone of ADWEEK. This comes amid a "split with longtime lead shop Droga5, which has worked on the brand" since '08. Puma's search "is believed to be down to a select few contenders." In the U.S. alone, Puma is "a modest spender," as data shows that the brand's media spending in '12 totaled about $4M, down from nearly $14M in '11. When the Droga5 partnership began, Puma's global spending was "estimated" at $100M. However, each of those figures "don't include online spending." Droga5’s "notable work" for the brand included a campaign titled “Love or Football,” in which a "psychological study found fans did in fact have a little more affection for their wives than for favorite soccer teams." An ad celebrating Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's success at the '12 London Games was "another highlight" (ADWEEK.com, 9/5).
SURG Restaurant Group, which manages restaurants in Wisconsin affiliated with suspended Brewers LF Ryan Braun, announced on Thursday it will "sever its relationship with him," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. The group had a "licensing deal with Braun for an Italian restaurant called Ryan Braun's Graffito Restaurant." SURG said that it will "keep the restaurant open until the end of the year 'to honor its pre-existing obligations to its customers and employees.'" SURG also said that it will "change the name" of its 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill -- the numbers of Braun and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, respectively -- at its current location, "as well as at another restaurant that will open this fall." The company's deal with Rodgers "will remain unchanged." The restaurant deal "seemingly is the last shoe to drop for Braun, who also lost a deal with convenience store Kwik Trip and a shoe deal with Nike." Meanwhile, the Brewers on Thursday said that Braun has "started to call some season-ticket holders to apologize." Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said, "This was all Ryan's thing. He said, 'I'd like to call fans, but with an emphasis on ticket buyers, miniplan holders, reach out, apologize, listen.' We said, 'Great!' It was all his initiative. He didn't want publicity about it" (ESPN.com, 9/5). Brewers season-ticket holder Pat Guenther noted, "[Braun] said, 'I messed up, in a nutshell, I messed up. I just want to reach out and say I'm sorry.'" In Milwaukee, Patterson & Doyle reported the Brewers provided Braun "with contact information for some season-ticket holders at his request." Guenther said, "He was very humble on the phone. He wanted to reach out and for him to do this is an act of kindness. He wants the people of Wisconsin to support the Brewers and him" (CBS58.com, 9/5).