Northwestern University and the Chicago Cubs today announced a five-year marketing partnership that will see five Wildcat football games played at Wrigley Field.
The dela will also see a variety of other NU sporting events held at Wrigley — including a Big Ten baseball game against Michigan next April and a women’s lacrosse game in 2014.
“We are thrilled to partner with a professional sports franchise as iconic as the Chicago Cubs in an agreement that truly is the first of its kind,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s vice president for athletics and recreation, in a statement.
“As Chicago’s Big Ten Team, this is a natural fit that will create tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans in the area. I’d like to personally thank the Ricketts family and the entire Cubs executive team for all of their efforts in bringing this remarkable partnership to fruition,” Phillips added.
The agreement allows Northwestern to establish an ongoing marketing presence in Wrigley, and lets the Cubs leverage its brand and marks at Wildcats venues including Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Northwestern will have opportunities for concourse presence and fan giveaways at Wrigley Field, as well as professional development experiences for student-athletes in the Cubs front office.
“The Cubs are excited to establish an ongoing partnership with Northwestern that leverages our brands and facilities to help grow both fan bases for years to come,” said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney.
“We enjoyed working with the university in 2010 to host the first college football game at Wrigley Field since 1938 and look forward to entertaining a variety of collegiate sporting events in the future,” he added.
The dates for the five Wildcats football games are pending due to the scheduling of the Wrigley Field restoration project.
The move of an average of one football game a year to Wrigley will mean a reduction in ticket tax revenue for the City of Evanston, although that could be recouped if the marketing deal leads to higher attendance at the rest of NU’s games held in Evanston at Ryan Field.