Today the Chicago Cubs announced that they’d reached an agreement with long-time partner Under Armour to be the name sponsor for the new Spring Training complex in Mesa, Arizona. The digs will be called the Under Armour Performance Center, and that applies to the training facilities, but not the ballpark. Currently named “Cubs Park,” the Cubs will be separately exploring the possibility of contracting for naming rights on the park.
The Under Armour deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed, reports Danny Ecker, makes them a “Legacy Partner,” together with Anheuser-Busch and Starwood Hotels. There is already Under Armour signage on the Wrigley outfield wall, and you can probably expect to see some more UA things as the renovation there gets underway. These types of partnerships are more comprehensive than a mere ad here or a name there. In other words, UA is probably now the Cubs’ partner for all things performance-y and training gear-y (that’s just my own guess, mind you).
While the UA deal is probably not quite close to the value as the reported Anheuser-Busch deal ($140 million over 14 years, including the sign in right field), it is still probably fairly lucrative. To which I say, as I always do: good. Reasonable partnerships like this are a nice driver of consistent, predictable revenue, and – assuming the repeated pledge to turn all revenue back into the organization in some way is true – more revenue for the Cubs means a better long-term product.