Community Engagement, Crisis Communications, Media Relations, and Public Affairs
The Chicago Cubs are an iconic sports brand, with a loyal fan base that spans generations. Millions of fans from all over the world visit one of baseball’s oldest cathedrals and one of Illinois’ most popular tourist destinations, Wrigley Field, a historic landmark. Since acquiring the team in October of 2009, the Ricketts family placed a priority on changing the perception of the Cubs being a north side team into being a city of Chicago team. Waving a vested interest in every community across the city and assuring the renovation of Wrigley Field was part of their plan as they worked to put a championship-caliber team on the field. In 2011 the Ricketts announced plans to expand and improve Wrigley Field, increase the number of night games and improve services provided around the ballpark on game days.
The Ricketts family wanted to put the stadium renovation in proper context for its fans; renovation of Wrigley was vital to the efforts to bring a world championship to Chicago. The team developed an intense 60-day communications plan providing the impetus for government approval.
Our efforts focused primarily on preparing and implementing community outreach plans targeting the African American and Latino communities, including meetings with community leaders and aldermen, coordinating segment market media relations, and other outreach efforts.
The intensive effort engaged Cubs fans, sparking conversations on social media, sports radio, in the media and at community meetings. The team’s effort to spark an aspirational conversation about the future of Wrigley Field and the Cubs was successful.
In early 2014, The Gemini Group helped the Chicago Cubs secure approval from the Chicago City Council. After years of acrimony, ground was broken at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2014. This campaign received local and national recognition from trade groups who annually recognize outstanding work in public relations.