The Kansas City Monarchs was the longest-running franchise in Negro Leagues history. A founding member of the Negro National League in 1920 and based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Monarchs won ten league pennants and the inaugural Negro League World Series Championship in 1924. When the team was disbanded in 1965, it had produced more major league players than any other Negro Leagues franchise.
“This exciting partnership celebrates Kansas City’s rich baseball heritage and becomes an important extension of the work we’re doing to educate the public about the history of the Negro Leagues,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM President, via press release. “We are thrilled that the proud legacy of the great Kansas City Monarchs will take the field again and look forward to sharing our story through a myriad of opportunities made possible through this historic alliance.”
The rebranding comes after a sale of the team and was an outgrowth of discussions among long-time fans, brand agencies and the league office. After over a dozen potential new team names were considered, Monarchs quickly emerged as the favorite and most inspiring name.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Brandmeyer’s MaxFun Entertainment, LLC have signed a long-term licensing agreement allowing for use of the Monarchs Baseball Team name.
“Being entrusted to carry on the Monarchs legacy is truly a dream come true,” said Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer via press release. “We are committed to creating a world class experience on and off the field, and the historical and cultural significance of this team’s name will be reflected in everything we do. We will essentially be a travelling billboard for the museum and their mission. And if we can help educate and at the same time field a team our city and the museum can be proud of, that’s our goal.”
The collaboration is designed to create a sustainable, long-term revenue stream for the NLBM not-for-profit and include cross-promotion via a satellite Negro Leagues Baseball exhibit at the stadium. The exhibit will eventually be a part of a travelling exhibit that will accompany the team to ballparks around the country. The team also has plans to establish The Monarchs Youth Academy with a mission to enrich the lives of Kansas City urban youth through baseball & softball.
“The American Association could not be more proud of the Kansas City membership to adopt the famous Monarchs brand. Between the American Association, the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball, Kansas City has a deep baseball history and this rebrand helps bring that back to today’s baseball fans in an American Association team. We look forward to helping the Kansas City Monarchs and the Negro Leagues Museum educate a new generation of fans through the team’s participation in the American Association,” said American Association League Commissioner Joshua Schaub via press release.