Chicago Cubs vice president of marketing and sales Wally Hayward told ESPNChicago.com he has resigned and will start a new venture with the Ricketts family, creating a marketing partnership called W Partners.
The firm's first client will be the Cubs.
"Our first job will be to work with the Cubs on the restoration of Wrigley Field, the boutique hotel partnership across the street with Starwood, and the plaza development and (new) spring training (facility)," Hayward said.
Hayward will work out of the team offices until the new company finds suitable office space. Two other Cubs employees will join Hayward in the new venture. Samantha Coghill, who was Hayward's top marketing associate, will join W Partners as vice president, and Megan Cornish will become partnership liaison.
Hayward said that Colin Faulkner, who is the vice president of ticket sales, and senior marketing director Alison Miller will combine to assume his duties with the Cubs for now.
“We are excited to have the Cubs as our first client," Hayward said. "We will be a dedicated sales and marketing company working with our clients to help best represent their brand and future goals."
Hayward joined the Cubs in 2010 as vice president of sales and marketing. During his tenure, the Cubs developed a stronger relationship with the fan base through the Wrigley Field fan ambassador program, which incorporated 50 game-day representatives to help with fan needs and problem solving. The 45-year-old Northwestern graduate brought several events to Wrigley Field, including the Allstate Wrigleyville Classic football game featuring Illinois and Northwestern in 2010.
"I loved working here, and it has been a thrill to associate with the great fan base and fantastic coworkers during my three-plus years here," Hayward said. “We definitely have the best owners in all of sports. They are committed to winning a World Series and committed to saving Wrigley Field for the next generations of fans. They are committed to being a great community partner. My people and I want to continue to be a part of it and that is why the Cubs are one of our first clients."