Ha - don't say I didn't call this a bad deal when it was first announced over 2 years ago (see this post called Shea Goodbye to Shea) because I did tell you. Stadium naming deals are the WORST WASTE OF MARKETING DOLLARS THAT AN ESTABLISHED COMPANY CAN DO.
If you work in a company with excellent brand awareness (and that would mean Citi) these stadium naming deals are just ego boosting programs for the massive egos of the CEOs who run these companies. Yes these are the same CEOs that will spend millions paying for new carpets in their office, yet take tax payer's money and lay off loyal employees while their company is burning around them.
I even wrote a follow-up post to Citi telling them how to get out of their deal with the Mets and now that they took TARP funds and caught grief for trying to buy a private plan, the marketing folks finally got enough balls to tell their executives that this deal is a piece of crap.
Trust me when I tell you these types of sponsorship deals are just giant sink holes of money. They never sign up enough new sales to justify the massive marketing allows and certainly do nothing to promote a company's brand when the company is like Citi, AT&T, Verizon, etc.
I worked for AT&T for 10 years and these deals were always constantly losing money and the marketing folks were always justifying their existence to real marketing managers who had to deliver ROI. However, they usually got to keep their deal due to the massive executive egos or the cancellation clauses that were written to favor the event owner.
Now that Citi has taken tax payer money, we should insist this crappy deal gets canceled. And if the Mets don't budge, well let's bring on a PR nightmare for them.