11/13/2006 10:48 AM ET
Mets and Citigroup announce landmark strategic partnership at ceremonial groundbreaking for Citi Field
Fully Integrated Marketing & Business Partnership Includes:
Naming Rights For Citi Field -- the New Home of the Mets to Open in 2009
Purchase by Citi of Media on SportsNet New York (SNY)
Extensive Community Outreach
Pursuit of International Business Opportunities in Sports & Entertainment
Mets and Citigroup Launch Major Initiative Supporting the Jackie Robinson Foundation; Name Ebbets-Inspired Rotunda at Citi Field in Honor of Jackie Robinson
Public Officials and Dignitaries Join Citigroup Executives & Mets at Construction Site
FLUSHING, N.Y., November 13, 2006 -- Citigroup -- the leading global financial services company, operating in more than 100 countries -- and the New York Mets today announced an exclusive 20-year, multifaceted strategic marketing and business partnership that includes the naming rights for Citi Field, the new world-class home of the Mets, scheduled to open by Opening Day 2009. The fully integrated partnership also includes, for Citi, brand and business unit presence throughout the new ballpark; rights to the Mets and Citi Field marks; the purchase of media on SportsNet New York (SNY); the launch of community outreach initiatives; and the development of international business opportunities in sports and entertainment. The new relationship represents a milestone as the first partnership of its depth and integrated nature in the history of major league professional sports. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We thank Citigroup - a New York and global institution that shares our values of 'doing well while doing good' - for its significant commitment to helping with our dream to build this wonderful new ballpark, Citi Field, and make it a reality for the City, State, and the best fans in sports," said Fred Wilpon, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, New York Mets. "The Mets and Citi together will bring new entertainment experiences and baseball enjoyment to Mets fans everywhere. Equally important, our collaboration will accelerate our respective and extensive outreach efforts to do even more in the communities we serve."
"Citigroup is proud to enter into this landmark business and marketing partnership with the New York Mets," said Charles Prince, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup. "Citi Field, the beautiful new home of the Mets, will provide a premier experience for fans and become a destination showcase for our city. This agreement provides an unprecedented platform to promote our world-class brand, enhance our relationships with current clients and attract new clients in our headquarters city and a strategically important market. This will allow us to expand our considerable community efforts right here in the business and sports capital of the world. We could not think of a better partner than the New York Mets to help us grow our many businesses."
"Today's announcement and the ceremonial groundbreaking for Citi Field represent the latest milestones in the significant progress and development of the Mets' new home," said Jeff Wilpon, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, New York Mets. "More than three quarters of the facility's foundation piles already are in place and in the very near future -- thanks to our new partnership with Citigroup -- Citi Field will begin to rise just beyond our current outfield fence."
Joining Citi executives, the Mets ownership group, Manager Willie Randolph, shortstop Jose Reyes, third baseman David Wright, and pitcher John Maine at the construction site of Citi Field, due east of Shea Stadium, for today's ceremonial groundbreaking, were public officials and dignitaries, including: Rachel Robinson, Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation; New York State Governor George E. Pataki; New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; New York City Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff; and Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano.
The Mets, in conjunction with their construction partners Hunt-Bovis and HOK, began construction of the 45,000-capacity Citi Field this summer in the outfield parking lot between Shea Stadium and 126th Street. More than 2,200 of the 2,800 piles already have been driven.
CITIGROUP AND THE METS: CITI FIELD AND BEYOND
The scope of the partnership between Citi and the Mets emanating from Citi Field includes naming rights, extensive brand presence at the new ballpark (signage throughout the venue, on walls, scoreboards, video programming, ATMs, etc.), as well as integration into Mets television, print, radio, online media campaigns (including mets.com and losmets.com), Mets publications and publicity materials, and on new outdoor marquees at Citi Field. The Mets and Citigroup will develop a wide variety of marketing, advertising, and promotional programs and platforms to maximize the impact of the partnership to benefit fans, Citigroup clients and employees through special offers on tickets, merchandise, and unique experiences at Citi Field. The logo for Citi Field will be unveiled shortly.
The Mets were assisted in the development of this landmark partnership with Citigroup by Steve Greenberg, Managing Director, Allen & Company, and Stuart Sucherman, Founder, Sucherman Consulting Group in New York City.
CITIGROUP AND THE METS ON SPORTSNET NEW YORK (SNY)
As part of the new relationship with the Mets, Citi will purchase media time on SportsNet New York (SNY), the year-round television home of the Mets that launched in March 2006. The long-term relationship with New York's new 24/7 regional sports television network begins in 2009 and will include brand spots, billboards, special programming features, and promotions in up to 125 regular season Mets game telecasts. Viewership of Mets games on SNY nearly doubled this year from 2005. Citi also will have a strong presence across SNY's other live game telecasts, signature news programs, and on SNY.TV, the "online home of all things New York sports."
CITIGROUP AND THE METS IN THE COMMUNITY
This landmark partnership will accelerate Citi's and the Mets' current significant commitments to the community with new resources to develop and launch outreach platforms and programs in and beyond New York City, involving both the Citigroup and the New York Mets Foundation.
As the first step in this effort, the Mets and Citi will commission a statue and name the entry rotunda of Citi Field -- inspired by the classic design of Ebbets Field -- to honor Jackie Robinson, the legendary pioneer and great American who broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The partnership will include a significant commitment to recognize and perpetuate, in and around the rotunda and the community, Robinson's legacy and the "nine values" he embodied as articulated by his daughter and Foundation Vice Chair, Sharon Robinson: courage, integrity, determination, persistence, citizenship, justice, commitment, teamwork, and excellence.
"The Robinson family and Jackie Robinson Foundation are extremely proud of the creation of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field," said Rachel Robinson, Founder, Jackie Robinson Foundation. "The statue of Jack and the experience of passing through the rotunda will serve as a source of inspiration for future generations and as a powerful reminder of Jack's commitment to excellence and social progress."
In addition, Citi and the Mets through a pledge to the Jackie Robinson Foundation will help create the Jackie Robinson Foundation Museum and Education Center in lower Manhattan. As much as a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the Museum and Education Center will educate children about Jackie Robinson's pioneering spirit and leading role in social change. This partnership will support new programs for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, including leadership development and scholarships for students who exemplify Jackie's humanitarian ideals.
CITIGROUP AND THE METS INTERNATIONALLY
Citi and the Mets will pursue international sports, media, and entertainment related business ventures in the years ahead. Citi's position as the leading financial institution in the world and the Mets' expertise in sports and entertainment provide this partnership with unprecedented resources and understanding of market dynamics to launch, develop, or acquire socially responsible, world-class businesses.
ABOUT CITI FIELD
The Mets are privately financing the construction and operation of the new 45,000-capacity, open-air venue and will construct, operate, manage, and maintain Citi Field at their own expense. The Mets estimate the amount of their total private investment to be in excess of $600 million. In addition, the City of New York will contribute $90 million in capital funds, and the State will contribute $75 million to fund infrastructure costs related to the project. Construction of Citi Field is expected to create more than 6,000 temporary full-time equivalent jobs, while ongoing operations in it are expected to result in approximately 1,000 permanent full-time equivalent jobs.
In August 2006, Citigroup was senior manager in the private bond financing for the ballpark, issuing $550 million of tax-exempt bonds and $65 million of taxable bonds -- both rated AAA by Standard & Poor's and Moody's. The offering for the ballpark was oversubscribed on a 5:1 basis.
The Mets unveiled architectural and design plans for the new ballpark in April. Pre-construction work began in early summer 2006 and actual construction commenced with excavation, foundation, and pile-driving work in August. Complete details and visuals are online at mets.com and losmets.com.
Citigroup, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Major brand names under Citigroup's trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com
ABOUT THE JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
Established in 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is one of the nation's premier education and leadership development programs. It provides four-year college scholarships to minority students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership capacity and financial need. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including mentoring, career guidance and practical life skills, resulting in a 97% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students. The more than 1,100 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie's legacy of community service.