After two World Series trips, the Kansas City Royals cost too much for Hy-Vee.
The Iowa-based grocery chain has ended its 15-year marketing partnership after weeks of negotiations failed to find a deal it could afford. It means the grocer will no longer sell Royals tickets.
Royals spokesman Toby Cook said the team was grateful for Hy-Vee’s partnership and appreciated its support over the years. He had no new sponsorship announcement.
The grocery made clear that price was the obstacle.
“While we are disappointed to end our long-standing relationship, we couldn’t justify spending the amount that was being asked without it impacting our customers in the long run,” a statement from the company said. “We have to be fiscally responsible when evaluating our sponsorships and this offer simply didn’t fit that criteria.”
Hy-Vee’s marketing partnership with the Royals began in 2001, and the team proceeded to lose 100 or more games in four of the next six seasons. Hy-Vee, of course, was still there when the team played in the 2014 World Series and won the 2015 fall classic.
The partnership has meant Hy-Vee produced commercials, hosted events for baseball fans and advertised with in-stadium and outdoor signs and in-store promotions.