It’s been well documented recently that Citigroup’s decision to purchase the naming rights of the New York Mets new stadium has turned into a PR disaster. Everyone and their brother has written about this extensively, including me.
It was interesting to see that Mets COO Jeff Wilpon’s defense of the deal is that everyone else is doing it too, so why single out Citigroup? As lame as that defense appears on the surface, I was curious to find out how accurate that was. Sure, it seems like the infamous childhood argument to your parents “I did it because everyone else was”. In this case though, Wilpon turns out to be correct.
Some of the companies have less impactful deals than Citigroup that don’t include naming stadiums. And all of the deals are certainly smaller financially than Citigroup’s commitment to the Mets. But everything is bigger in New York. Right?
The list of companies engaged in marketing deals with sports companies according to Bloomberg.com:
- Bank of America ($45 billion TARP)– $7 million/year through 2024 for a total of $140 million for the naming rights to the Carolina Panthers stadium. They’re also working on a deal for in-stadium naming rights at the new Yankee Stadium. They also have sponsorship deals with MLB, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and the New England Patriots.
- Wachovia/Wells Fargo ($25 billion TARP)– naming rights for Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers for a total of $40 million.
- Bank of New York Mellon Corp. ($3 billion TARP)-naming rights deal with Pittsburgh Penguins for a total of $18 million, which expires at the end of this season.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. ($25 billion TARP)-They’re in a $66 million naming rights deal for the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium Chase Field. And they’re also negotiating a deal for in-stadium naming rights at the new Yankee Stadium.
- PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ($7.7 billion TARP)– PNC has a naming rights deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for PNC Park. They’re paying the Pirates $2 million/year until 2020 for a total of $22 million.
- Comerica ($2.25 billion TARP)– Detroit Tigers naming rights deal for Comerica Park valued at $2.2 million/year until 2030 for a total of $46.2 million.
- M&T Bank ($600 million TARP)– Sponsorship deal with the Baltimore Ravens at $5 million/year for a total of $45 million through 2018.
- BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. (applied for $124 million TARP)– naming rights deal with the Florida Panthers at $2 million/year until 2015 for a total of $27 million.
- Raymond James Financial, Inc. (applied for TARP funds; amount unknown)– naming rights deal with Tampa Bay Buccaneers at $3.1 million/year until 2026 for a total of $45 million.
These are the companies that should be the targets of our outrage other than Citigroup. The US government propping up failing companies is distressing in itself, whether it’s financial companies making poor decisions or auto makers that are unable to compete in a world economy. We can still attack Citigroup’s naming rights deal with the Mets as ill-timed. That won’t change. But there are plenty of other culprits out there as well.