Citi's Mets Deal Makes Sense in the Long Run

$400M, over decades, will generate lots of publicity, help pay back bailout funds
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 2:31 PM CST
The New York Mets' new stadium with a Citi Field logo on prominent display.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Citi’s $400 million naming-rights deal with the New York Mets may seem “tone-deaf and stupid” after the bank took $45 billion in bailout funds, Daniel Gross writes in Newsweek—but it’s a good idea. “Companies—even companies getting bailed out by the feds—need to attract customers and to build their brand image.” And Citi’s exposure will be huge on TV, in print, and, yes, at the ballpark.

The agreement, set to last at least 20 years, is “something of a natural” for the New York-based bank, Gross writes. Baseball attracts prosperous fans, and games are often used to entertain clients. “In short, a lot of the sorts of people who are likely to utilize Citi’s services will be attending games at Citi Field.”