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Volume 25 No. 49
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Wintrust Financial Corp. Signs Long-Term Deal With Cubs To Become Team's Official Bank

The Cubs have signed a long-term partnership with Rosemont, Ill.-based Wintrust Financial Corp., a deal that makes the bank the Cubs' fifth Legacy Partner, joining Anheuser-Busch, Under Armour, ATI Physical Therapy, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Two key elements of the deal, which will last at least a decade, include signage on the Cubs' planned left field videoboard at Wrigley Field, and naming rights for a forthcoming Gate D to the ballpark at the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street. Financial terms were not disclosed, but similar to the other Legacy Partners, this deal involves a seven-figure annual commitment. Wintrust also becomes the Cubs' official banking partner. Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts and W Partners, the agency created by former Cubs Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Wally Hayward and the Ricketts family, played key roles in securing the Wintrust deal. Wintrust previously held a small promotional relationship with the Cubs, but greatly increased their spend in concert with the sizable renovation to Wrigley Field now under way. Other assets in the Wintrust deal include logo placement on the team's media backdrop, exclusive ATM provider rights at Wrigley Field, a presence at the Cubs' new spring training home in Mesa, Ariz., rotational home plate signage, and a retail lease in the planned entertainment and hotel development adjacent to Wrigley Field. The Cubs are aiming to sign a dozen Legacy Partners, and Cubs VP/Sales & Partnerships Colin Faulkner said that additional sponsor announcements are likely before the start of the '15 season (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). Wintrust President & CEO Ed Wehmer said that signing on as the exclusive banking sponsor of the team "was an attractive proposition ... because of the potential for the ballpark to generate year-round buzz once the renovation is complete." In Chicago, Danny Ecker notes Wintrust also is an official partner of the White Sox (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 12/3).