Cubs Sue Under Armour As New Ownership Nears

Jan. 23, 2009: The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, but intend not to lose a lawsuit filed against Under Armour or a deal with the Ricketts family to acquire the franchise. In a complaint filed Jan. 22 in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the Cubs accused Under Armour of reneging on a $10.8 million, five-year marketing deal. The Cubs and Baltimore-based Under Armour unveiled their partnership in February 2007, which included Under Armour becoming the first company to put ads on two 7x12-foot doors set into the Wrigley Field's ivy-covered walls in left and right field, access to the field and players to film TV spots and other promotional activation. According to the suit, under a subsequent deal signed in September 2008, Under Armour received marketing benefits and billing as the Cubs' “official performance brand” from 2009-13 for $10.8 million. However, according to the Cubs, Under Armour stated in a Dec. 12 letter that due to financial situations, it would not sponsor the team in 2009 and “would not meet any of its obligations under the agreement.” In a statement, the Cubs said that the franchise seeks full payment of the contract price. “Under Armour’s abrupt, unilateral action has left the ball club with no choice but to file suit to enforce its rights.” Under Armour had not yet publicly responded. The suit comes as the Ricketts family said it would be named the winning bidder for the franchise following the approval of a committee overseeing the bankruptcy of current owner Tribune Co. Analysts put the bid, led by Tom Ricketts, president of financial firm Incapital LLC and son of TD Ameritrade founder Joseph Ricketts, at $900 million. "My family and I are Cubs fans," Tom Ricketts said in a statement on Jan. 22. "We share the goal of Cubs fans everywhere to win a World Series and build the consistent championship tradition that the fans deserve." Back to Home Page

MORE STORIES ON CUBS-UNDER ARMOUR

Cubs, Under Armour Play Nice Again