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November 12, 2006

Naming Rights: Welcome to CitiField, Mets Fans!

MetsIt is now official: the new Mets ballpark will be known as "" after bought the naming rights for a reported $20 mil per year, the most expensive stadium agreement in history.

CitiOn Monday the will unveil the new name, and Citigroup hopes this move will raise the bank's profile on the consumer side. Brent Nycz at The Stat Boy of the Empire calls this an example of the "cancer of corporate naming" and bemoans the loss of the legendary Shea Stadium name (also known as the "Purple Monster") and looks with some trepidation at what will happen to the Yankee Stadium name in an excellent and heartfelt post.

You can listen to a good podcast on the subject on the Mets’ podcast site, but it seems that the reaction across the blogposphere is almost uniformly gloomy. Saturday’s blogpost title at Can’t Stop The Bleeding says it all: "Wilpons Sell Out — New Mets Megamall Naming Rights Successfully Peddled." The post notes that the public's desire to see the new stadium named after local icon Doug Sisk were ignored in favor of a deal that doubles the $10 mil pays to post its name on the NFL’s stadium.

But this record is set to be broken when the get the renamed. Citigroup apparently considered other names: Citigroup Ballpark, Citi Ballpark, Citibank Ballpark, Citibank Yard, Citibank Coliseum, Citibank Diamond and Citibank Field before settling on CitiField.

CitifieldJoe McDonald is not quite as gloomy, stating in NY Sports Day that at least "Citgroup is taking a name that represents New York" rather than that of a company headquartered outside the city. Another blogger points out that there are only two or three teams whose home grounds can gain brand equity through sharing their name with that of a sponsor (e.g. If the Yankees choose to go for "Yankee Stadium on FedEx Grounds" much as the Orioles have gone for "Oriole Park on Camden Yards," meaning that corporates will probably continue to lend their names to stadiums in the future.

fan Andrew Berg at Minnesota Baseball Central puts on his name development hat and gives us the total lowdown on stadium naming: the good, the bad, and the ugly in a very in-depth post that makes interesting reading for sports fans and naming consultants alike.

But baseball, like every other professional sport, would not be as high profile or as enjoyable if it did not have the support of corporate sponsors. Certainly, players would not be paid as much. Sponsorship and stadium naming are a logical match. And Citigroup is at least as genuine a New York a name as the Mets. I think it's a good double play. See you at the ball game.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 12, 2006 11:02 AM
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Naming Rights: Welcome to CitiField, Mets Fans!:

» Trademark City from Dean's World

The Strategic Name Development blog reports that the naming rights to the New York Mets' new baseball stadium have been sol...

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Tracked on November 15, 2006 11:43 AM

» Stadium Naming Rights: It Could Be Worse from Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog
I have been following the furor over two new stadium names for some time. The first is the exasperation over the new CitiField name for Mets stadium, which one irate blogger has dubbed “Sh*tty Field” and has left another blogger to get nostalgic ab... [Read More]

Tracked on December 1, 2006 12:26 PM

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