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Royals to sport QuikTrip jersey patch through multi-year partnership to improve local youth literacy

Royals, QuikTrip
Posted at 12:36 PM, Feb 21, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals will be sporting a QuikTrip jersey patch in the upcoming season to mark the start of a multi-year community investment partnership, the team announced in a press release Wednesday.

The club says the "first-of-its-kind partnership" will strive to improve local youth literacy while also investing in other areas of the community.

“The Royals have a long history of inspiring fans on the field and lifting up our community and serving its needs well beyond the ballpark,” said Sarah Tourville, Royals executive vice president and chief commercial and community impact officer, in a statement. “This unique partnership with QuikTrip allows us to combine our off-field efforts with our on-field presence to help our community and increase literacy rates throughout the region.”

For every hit the Royals make this season, "Hit the Books," a program associated with the partnership, will donate toward improving literacy in local youth, especially students in Kansas City Public Schools.

“The data showcasing the devastating impact of youth literacy will break your heart,” Royals Vice President of Community Impact Luis Maes said in the release. “Our partnership with QuikTrip enables and empowers the Royals to take immediate action with the ‘Hit the Books’ program and overarching Club support behind youth literacy. This new partnership complements and reinforces the Royals’ steadfast commitment to enriching our communities and championing opportunities for the development of youth in the classrooms and on the field.”

This partnership — Major League Baseball's first and only jersey partnership aimed at improving a community through investment — will tackle a local issue: Only 21% of third graders in Kansas City Public Schools and the city's charter schools are reading at grade level. Such skills are crucial to a student's development, as literacy rates are correlated with high school graduation rates, as well as violence and drug use, per the release.

The partnership upholds values of both the Royals and QuikTrip; literacy is a main focus of the Kansas City Royals Foundation's mission and QuikTrip has a history of advocating for at-risk youth and early childhood education, per the release.

“When we expanded outside of Oklahoma, QuikTrip’s first stop was Kansas City back in the 1960s,” said QuikTrip Community Relations Manager Lauren Sherry in the release. “We have been a proud member of the Kansas City community for decades, and we are excited to partner with the Royals to generate meaningful, long-lasting impact on the communities where our employees and customers live and grow. We are eager to see the impact of this unique partnership and its ability to move the needle on youth literacy in this community.”