Despite losing half its value in three days this week, and announc-
ing massive layoffs, Citigroup remains committed to the most
lucrative naming rights deal in history with the New York Mets.
As The Biz of Baseball first reported on Monday, a spokesman for the New York Mets said that the record 20-year, $400 million naming rights deal for the new Mets stadium -- christened Citi Field (see images and details on Citi Field) -- is not in peril even as 53,000 Citigroup workers, or 20 percent of the company workforce, will be laid-off. The layoffs came after Citigroup had already cut their assets by 20 percent since the first quarter of 2008.
Now, word comes from Citigroup that the naming deal is, indeed, going to continue.
ÔÇťWe remain committed to our relationship to the Mets; it is important to us,ÔÇŁ Steve Silverman, a spokesman for Citgroupi, said in a telphone interview Friday with the New York Times.
The confirmation of Citigroup's commitment comes after an incredible decline for the financial company. Citi's value dropped by half in just over three days this week, helping to drive the S&P 500 down 24 percent for the week.
News this week is that Citigroup is weighing whether to sell the company outright or consider a merger amidst the heavy declines.
The naming rights deal with the Mets -- the most lucrative deal in U.S. sports history -- will have Citi paying the Mets $20 million annually over the life of the agreement. The deal between Citigroup and the Mets can also be extended from 20 to 35 years.