Thursday, February 15, 2007

A new addition to Wrigley Field

Thanks to

The green doors tucked into the ivy in the left- and right-field bleachers of Wrigley Field will be decorated with 7-by-12 foot advertisements, touting Under Armour's signature logo.
It's the first time the Cubs have allowed any ad or sign on the outfield doors. Jay Blunk, director of marketing and sales for the team, said the Cubs have been approached by other companies wanting to use the space. He said Under Armour was the "right fit."
"For us, marketing-wise, to have our logo and Wrigley associated with it is tremendous," Blunk said. "The brand represents performance and athletic achievement at the highest level."
New Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is a spokesman for the company, and wears the Under Armour batting gloves and wristbands. Under Armour released its first line of baseball cleats this year.
Now, Soriano will have the company logo behind him -- if he's in right or left field.
"The Cubs have an impeccable track record of tastefully adding signage," Blunk said. "No question, there's been a change in the culture here. It's an aggressive culture. That aggressive culture means always maintaining the integrity of Wrigley Field, but how do we still win? This helps us in that regard."
The advertisements will definitely help offset the $300 million spent this offseason on new manager Lou Piniella and free agents, including Soriano, who signed an eight-year, $136 million deal in November.
All other National League Central teams have new ballparks except the Cubs. Wrigley Field is the second-oldest baseball stadium in the country behind Boston's Fenway Park, and the Cubs management has done its best to preserve the ballpark's charm while still being competitive.
The addition of lights, sky boxes, last year's bleacher expansion and the rotating advertising sign behind home plate have provided millions of dollars, Blunk said.
"We're not putting up giant billboards," Blunk said. "We're taking things that are already there and changing them and gradually adjusting so we can compete. Our fans deserve a winner. They've waited long enough."
The additional revenue from the advertising also will help keep Wrigley Field alive and functioning.
"I love Wrigley Field, but this really does help maintain and extend the life of Wrigley Field," Blunk said. "It updates Wrigley, it allows us to compete, it allows us to tap into revenue streams that allow us to win. We don't want Wrigley to become financially obsolete. Our job is to tastefully and gradually add these revenue streams so it doesn't detract from the backdrop, but allows us to do things like get Alfonso Soriano and re-sign Aramis [Ramirez]."
The partnership also gives Under Armour advertising rights to the signage behind home plate at Wrigley Field. The company is well known for it's moisture-wicking performance apparel.
The Under Armour logo is featured in Fenway Park, sharing space on the Green Monster with sporting goods retailer, The Sports Authority.
"We greatly appreciate the Chicago Cubs' history and wanted to be part of their new direction and exciting future," said Steve Battista, vice president of brand for Under Armour. "We're thrilled to partner with a storied ballclub as a symbol of their strong desire to improve on-field performance while blazing new trials with the franchise."

Alot of f ans have emailed me about this story so I thought I would put it on my blog. I really don't think this is that big of a deal. If anything fans should be happy that they have such a good product as Under Armour. At least you don't have Tums, Krispy Creme, or any product like that. Yeah those are all right products but what would you rather have a giant Donut on the green doors or the Under Armour logo. I would prefer the Under Armour logo! The cubs did spend alot of money this off season and did need something to offset it and this was it. There not putting up billboards, there not painting the brick with advertising, there not removing the ivy or the scoreboard. They are simply adding a 7x12ft logo on the door in RF and LF. I personally like the logo and what it stands for: " The brand represents performance and athletic achievement at the highest level" . I do think fans have other things to be concerned with other than 2 7x12 ft signs, but that's just y opinion.

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