DES MOINES, Iowa — Minor league baseball is getting a shake-up and the Iowa Cubs are part of the mix.
According to a news release from California-based sports, entertainment, and marketing company Endeavor, the company will purchase the Iowa Cubs from a local ownership group led by Michael Gartner.
Gartner is the former president of NBC News and editor of the Des Moines Register. His group bought the I-Cubs in 1999 and at the time of the signed purchase agreements included Gartner’s son Mike C. Gartner, local lawyer Mike Giudicessi, team President and GM Sam Bernabe, and Des Moines surgeon Dr. Doug Dorner.
The deal, which was announced Wednesday, includes eight other minor league teams. Endeavor says the teams will be part of its newly created Diamond Baseball Holdings.
In addition to the Iowa Cubs, Endeavor’s ownership will extend to:
- Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals)
- Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
- Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
- San Jose Giants (Single-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants)
- Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
- Mississippi Braves (Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
- Rome Braves (High-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
- Augusta GreenJackets (Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
“Opportunities to move into an ownership position of a sport so steeped in history are increasingly rare, and we are confident this will drive meaningful growth in the Owned Sports Properties segment of our company,” said Mark Shapiro, President of Endeavor. “Just as we’ve done for the UFC, PBR and Euroleague, we see tremendous potential to turbocharge these storied Clubs using the scale and capabilities of Endeavor. Our expertise across sponsorship sales, event operations, licensing, marketing and content creation will bring incredible value to these Clubs, supporting communities across the country who form the backbone of the Professional Development League system.”
According to the news release, Endeavor is also in the late stages of negotiations with a handful of other franchises.