The next time you grab your peanuts and crackerjacks, things may look a little different at Wrigley Field. Cannabis is entering the major leagues! The Chicago Cubs announced they are officially partnering with a CBD company, making them the first Major League Baseball team to align themselves with a cannabis company.
The partnership opens new doors for major league sports and the cannabis industry, pushing cannabis sponsorships and advertising in a new and progressive direction.
A Beautiful Partnership in the Making
The Chicago Cubs inked a deal with the CBD sparkling beverage company MYND DRINKS, making them the first MLB team to partner with a cannabis company publicly. The agreement means the cannabis company can market its products with signage at Wrigley Field and promotions through several in-game features. The average regular season home game attendance for the Chicago Clubs for 2022 was 32,305, meaning millions of people visit the field annually. Those people will now regularly see advertising for a U.S. cannabis company.
The announcement comes on the heels of an MLB rule change. Last year, the league said individual teams could start selling partnerships to cannabis companies. However, for a company to be eligible for a partnership, the prospective business’s product must be certified by NSF International. NSF International is a consumer safety organization whose mission is to protect and improve global human health. The organization provides certification, testing, and auditing to ensure products meet public health standards. In addition to meeting NSF standards, the cannabis company must receive approval from the MLB commissioner’s office.
In a statement from Alex Seyferth, Vice President of Corporate Partnership Opportunities and Offerings, The Cubs were excited to explore new partnership opportunities. However, according to Seyferth’s press release, it was more important that the Chicago Cubs find a brand that was the right fit. It seems MYND DRINKS fit the bill.
Who Are MYND DRINKS?
MYND DRINKS is a Chicago-based cannabis company seeking to promote overall health and wellness with its 100% plant-based-hemp-infused sparkling drinks. The drinks come in flavors such as lemon ginger, elderberry passion fruit, and orange mango. The CEO of MYND DRINKS, Simon Allen, says his company is excited to join the legendary Chicago Cubs ball club. He believes the organization shares his mission to promote health and wellness in major league sports.
An afternoon spent at the ballpark and a refreshing plant-based drink may not sound like a match made in heaven, but both organizations agree they help ease the stressors of everyday life, just in different ways.
As the two organizations team up, the Cubs plan to release a guided meditation on YouTube narrated by Cubs radio play-by-play host Pat Hughes. The duo has also launched a “Sounds of Wrigley Field” playlist on Spotify. Visitors to Wrigley Field can also see signage advertising the company’s products. In another big win for the cannabis company, they have international marketing rights for the Cubs vs. Cardinals series in London this June.
Advertising in the Big Leagues
Major League Baseball has emerged as one of the more progressive sporting leagues in recent years. In 2019, the MLB decided to remove cannabis from the league’s list of banned substances. A year later, in 2020, the league clarified in a memo that major league players would not be penalized for using cannabis while off the field.
Before the rule change took effect, players who tested positive for THC had to undergo mandatory treatment. Failure to comply with the treatment order meant a fine of up to $35,000. Those penalties are now a thing of the past as the league moves in more progressive, cannabis-positive circles.
The National Basketball League is following in the MLB’s footsteps, recently announcing it would also remove marijuana from its list of banned substances. The league also says it will no longer drug test players as part of a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, the deal allows NBA players to promote and invest in cannabis companies and products.
There is a significant shift in major league sports. The National Football League and its player’s union recently agreed to a joint study examining the use of marijuana as a pain management tool. The National Hockey League Alumni Association is following suit. It works with a cannabis company and 100 retired NHL players to see if CBD products effectively treat post-concussion neurological disorders. The UFC announced in 2021 that it would no longer punish fighters over positive marijuana tests.
Marijuana icon Snoop Dogg even appeared in a Super Bowl halftime commercial indirectly supporting cannabis legalization and has argued that sports leagues need to stop testing players for marijuana. Perhaps major league sporting organizations are listening and getting the message from celebrities, sports figures, and the public loud and clear.
When the Big Dogs Talk, Others Listen
As rule changes come for major league sports, other sporting organizations are taking notice. The NCAA says they are considering a rule change so student-athletes would no longer automatically lose their eligibility to play if they test positive for marijuana.
There are rapidly evolving health and cultural views on cannabis today. These views are helping to reshape the dialogue about cannabis consumption, especially since so many states are moving toward legalizing the drug instead of banning it as cannabis becomes more widely accepted.
Although the Chicago Cubs are the first MLB team to partner with a cannabis company, it appears they won’t be the last. Cannabis critics will always have their say, but many supporters argue that advertising cannabis products at major league sporting events is no different than seeing beer commercials during a football game or alcohol posters at a stadium. Partnerships between sports organizations and cannabis companies open doors for both businesses, exposing their hardcore fans to new products, ideas, and experiences.
Are you interested in learning more about cannabis-related news, cannabis-infused recipes, and decarboxylation machines and infusion products? Bookmark Cannabutter Digest and you are only one click away from the most up-to-date cannabis content on the internet. Follow us for more of what you love!