In the last couple of years, the Chicago Cubs have shaken up their corporate partnership approach, creating tiers of partnerships, based on the visibility the partner will have with the organization, and, of course, the size of the financial commitment. In general, this means fewer overall partners, but a bigger role and exclusivity for the partners in the highest tier – the “Legacy Partners”. By all accounts, it’s been a successful process, with the Cubs securing lucrative Legacy Partnerships with Anheuser Busch, Starwood Hotels, and Under Armour, with more to come.
The latest is ATI Physical Therapy, which replaces Athletico as the Cubs’ physical therapy provider. Athletico was not a Legacy Partner, so the implication here is that the Cubs have seen some kind of revenue increase in tandem with the ATI deal.
The deal will include signage rights at both Wrigley Field and Cubs Park in Mesa, as well as collaboration on the Cubs’ fitness-related community activities. And, obviously, ATI will provide physical therapy, sports medicine, and athletic training services to the Cubs.
“An affiliation with the Cubs has been in our sight for some time, and on behalf of the entire ATI team, we are thrilled to be entering into this long-term partnership,” said Dylan Bates, Chief Executive Officer of ATI, in a press release issued by the team. “The future and direction of the Cubs, as well as the development project around Wrigley Field, makes this an extremely exciting time to form this Legacy Partnership. We look forward to many successful years with the Cubs organization.”
”The Cubs are thrilled to welcome ATI Physical Therapy as a Legacy Partner who will help us achieve our goal to bring winning baseball to Wrigley Field,” said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, in the same release. “Our partnership with ATI includes ensuring our team has access to the best physical therapy in the nation, as well as a meaningful presence within a restored Wrigley Field and Lakeview community. Our players, fans and neighbors will all benefit from this partnership.”
You can look for more Legacy Partnerships to pop up in the coming months and years, particularly as new signage comes online at Wrigley Field. This stuff matters, as every increase in revenue to the organization ultimately increases the Cubs’ ability to spend on baseball operations.