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.
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“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.