NEW YORK — Montgomery Ward is hoping some of Sammy Sosa’s home run magic will rub off on its struggling department store chain.
Ward’s, the country’s largest privately held general merchant, said Friday it has signed a five-year, exclusive endorsement deal with the Chicago Cubs’ slugger, who slammed 66 home runs in 1998 and, this season, hit another 61 dingers as of Friday morning, when the pact was announced.
Financial terms were not disclosed by Montgomery Ward, which emerged from Chapter 11 on Aug. 2, after two years in bankruptcy proceedings.
Sosa will appear in broadcast TV and radio commercials and print ads, and the first Ward’s ads featuring the slugger could appear this holiday, according to a spokesman for the Chicago-based retailer. He added that the campaign was in “the early stages of development” at Laughlin Constable, Ward’s regular ad agency.
The deal also calls for Sosa to make public appearances, including autograph sessions, and become involved in some merchandising efforts, such as slapping Sosa’s name on various items, and getting the superstar’s input on the development of some activewear and sporting goods.