Now it is true that I am a Yankees fan and ever since the Mets traded Tom Seaver I have been a Mets hater. The last Mets game that I went to, I made fun of the stadium so much that I got myself uninvited from future games even though I loved the sausage sandwich and beers from around the world. But this announcement of the Mets selling the naming rights to Citigroup for $20 million over 20 years is terrible and real bush league, more so than Ed Kranepool alley. Sure $20 million per year would provide good money to the franchise and might help sign future free agenets or their own stars, but this is just a plain sellout and I can't imagine they need the money now that they have a TV network.
I'm upset whenever professional teams sell their stadium naming rights. I used to be able to name every baseball stadium and other than Coors Field who really cares what the corporate name is. It adds no character to the team and even sounds ridiculous to say that I'm going to a game at United Parcel Services today. Or how about a stadium named after Embarq the worst brand name ever?
Besides being offended I've often wondered what the value of this advertising is to the corporation other than an ego boost. Will it sell more banking accounts? Not based on my experience. Does Citigroup really need to boost brand awareness? Who hasn't heard of them in the NYC area? I could understand if a company like mine wanted to slap a name on a stadium, but a major corporation with huge awareness? What's the point?
Personally I would have spent the $20 million per year on online advertising to sell more credit cards, money markets, bank accounts, anything but on a stadium name. Good thing I never followed up on those recruiter calls to Citi because I probably would have screamed so much over this deal that I would have been shown the door...