With MLB Opening Day approaching, U.S. Bank has established a new sponsorship with the Kansas City Royals baseball organization. Through the multi-year sponsorship, U.S. Bank will become the presenting partner of the annual Salute to the Negro Leagues game and of the Gloves for Kids community program. It will also include outfield wall signage at Kauffman Stadium.
U.S. Bank led all the bank financing for the Royals’ new ownership transition in November 2019 through its industry-leading Sports Finance Group. The U.S. Bank Sports Finance Group works with dozens of professional teams and leagues to provide capital and other banking services for ownership changes, stadium construction and other strategic growth initiatives.
“U.S. Bank is a significant part of our business community in Kansas City, and the company’s mission and culture aligns well with ours,” said Brooks Sherman, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Kansas City Royals. “We’re very proud to partner with U.S. Bank on our Salute to the Negro Leagues game, our Gloves for Kids program and much more. U.S. Bank did an outstanding job leading the bank group for our acquisition of the team and continues to be a great partner. We value both their financial expertise and their commitment to building community through sports and recreation.”
The Salute to the Negro Leagues game is an annual celebration of the Negro Leagues dating back to the late 1800s. In 1920, an organized league structure was formed following a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Missouri. Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and became centerpieces for economic development in many Black communities. In December 2020, Major League Baseball corrected a longtime oversight in the game’s history by officially elevating the Negro Leagues to “Major League” status.
The Gloves for Kids community program started in 2001 with a mission to fund baseball equipment including gloves for local kids to help them fall in the love with the game. The program is championed by Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre.
“The Royals are a big part of what drives the great civic pride in this region,” said U.S. Bank Kansas City Market President Tim Petty. “We are thrilled to partner with the team, especially with the focus on Salute to the Negro Leagues and Gloves for Kids – as supporting the community is fundamental to how we do business.”
“When we had the opportunity to work with the Royals front office in late 2019 on its ownership transition led by Mr. John Sherman and his partners, I was able to see first-hand the passion and dedication the organization has for this community,” said Steve Vogel, managing director of the Sports Finance Group of U.S. Bank. “On behalf of all of our employees, we cannot wait to take a leadership role with the Royals on these significant partnerships over the next several years.”