8 Banks Took $153.4 Billion In Tax Payer Money, Spent $845 Million On Naming Rights

Should bailout out banks be buying naming rights? Dennis Kucinich doesn’t think so, and last week he urged the Treasury department to cancel one such deal between Citibank and the New York Mets. Now Bloomberg says that seven more bailed out banks are spending money on stadium rights.

In 2006 when Citigroup signed the 20-year agreement with the Mets, the costliest in U.S. sports, the lender said the partnership would raise its profile among customers. Now the company may lose potential clients because of a backlash against the deal, said David Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“It’s quickly becoming the sports-marketing poster child for the entire financial meltdown,” Carter said of Citigroup in an interview. “You may be harming the relationships you are trying to build.”

The eight banks received a total of $153.4 billion from the $700 billion U.S. bailout and are spending a combined $845 million for naming rights. U.S. banks have had $745 billion in losses and writedowns since the subprime mortgage crisis began in 2007.

The bailed out banks who are paying to name stadiums are:

Wachovia/Wells Fargo, $40 million, Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers

PNC, $40 million, Pittsburgh Pirates

Bank of New York Mellon Corp., $18 million, Pittsburgh Penguins, not renewed

Comerica, $66 million, Detroit Tigers

M&T Bank, $75 million, Baltimore Ravens

Citibank, $400 million, New York Mets

Bank of America Corp., $140 million, Carolina Panthers

JPMorgan Chase & Co, $66 million, Arizona Diamondbacks

The following companies have applied for bailout money but not yet received it:

BankAtlantic Bancorp. Inc., $27 million, Florida Panthers

Raymond James Financial Inc., $45 million, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Citigroup, Seven U.S. Banks Spend on Stadium Deals (Update2) [Bloomberg]
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  1. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Stadia are missing out on additional revenue streams.

    Tyson Foul poles,
    Sara Lee home plate,
    Victoria’s Secret 2nd base,

    etc…

    • crashedpc says:

      @torgonius: I think that all the bases need to be named after Victoria’s Secret, har har.

    • bball123h says:

      @torgonius: You clearly haven’t seen the Chic-Fil-A “Fowl Poles” at Minute Maid in Houston.

    • ohenry says:

      @torgonius: Actually, in baseball radio they have something similiar. I’m in Wisconsin, so I listen to the Brewers broadcasts often (since we have the legendary Bob Uecker doing the broadcasts) and, I don’t remember the specific companies, but they have the Radio Shack double play (when the defense turns a double play), the company X home run when a home run is hit, the company Y 7th inning stretch, etc.

      Your idea is really only a matter of time.

      • fatetwister64 says:

        @ohenry: Most of baseball has this. Usually it’s in conjunction with some kinda charity. When a player steals a base, Company X give 100 dollars to Children’s Hospitals.

  2. Davan says:

    Basically every man, woman and child in the U.S. is contributing $1.33 to Citibank to allow them to put their name on that stadium.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @Davan: And every man, woman, and child will get more than $1.33 back when the loans are repaid. Many banks are getting ready to repay the money, no one wants the feds in their hair.

      • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: How did the banks make the money back?

        Playing the ponies or selling pills to kids?

      • varro says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: We will get the money back faster if the banks don’t spend money on frivolous items like naming stadiums or giving the CEO a new office with antiques in it right before they fire him.

      • Mirshaan says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected:

        They Are??? and where did you get this fact from? Last I read none of these banks are in a position to be “getting ready to pay it back”…. Please enlighten with facts…..

      • ludwigk says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Source? Goldman has said that they would “like to” repay those TARP funds they received, that they’re planning on it, and that they “hope” to repay them this year. That is a $10 billion drop in the bucket of the $.8 TRILLION of outstanding TARPs.

        I’m glad that the banks don’t want the TARPs, and I know they want the Feds out of their hair. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But is that enough to actually motivate them to pay back the loans quickly? I won’t believe it until their checks clear.

        • HIV 2 Elway says:

          @ludwigk: No source, based on mine and other qualified indivduals assesments of FDIC and FFIEC data. I think we’ll start to see banks repay loans in the next 90 days.

      • Chris Thompson says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: what are you smoking? Most banks are still insolvent trapped under insane amounts of debt tied to MBSs, CDOs and CDSs that are underwater. Banks will be back to the TARP trough again within a few months.

    • Canino says:

      @Davan: Basically every man, woman and child in the U.S. is contributing $1.33 to Citibank to allow them to put their name on that stadium.

      Kind of but not really. Those who actually pay taxes are paying the share of those who don’t (including 99.99% of children).

      • SabreDC says:

        @Canino: Even with that in mind, that’s still somewhat untrue. I’m sure I pay more in taxes than someone who lives in the boondocks of Mississippi (not bragging, but because I live in an area with a higher cost of living and hence, higher wages and more taxes).

        My wife and I paid over $30,000 in taxes in 2008. I know couples from my hometown in PA who don’t make $30k combined and may pay $4,000/year in taxes.

        I’m actually happy to pay taxes but I hate when people say that we all contributed $1.33 when in reality, I likely contributed the $1.00 to their $0.33.

        • Davan says:

          @SabreDC: Holy crap its just a relational example, no need to get all bent out of shape about it. It isnt practical for me to pull out the individual tax returns for 300 million people..

          Aaronson, Aaron – Paid $4.32!
          Aaronson, Aaron, jr. – Paid $0.00 (cause hes a baby!)
          Aaronson, Aeron – Paid $1.20
          Aaronson, Al – Paid $0.25 (hes a bum!!)
          etc etc 299, 999,996 times

          Yeah Ill get right on that to make you happy.

          • SabreDC says:

            @Davan: Wow, no one is saying that you have to itemize it. And I’m far from “bent out of shape about it.” I’m just pointing out that it’s NOT $1.33 per American. If you don’t want to break it down to cite it factually, then don’t cite it incorrectly either. Just don’t make the claim if you’re going to be an asshole about it. I never said anything to you in a disrespectful manner, yet you throw that “no need to get bent out of shape” and “I’ll get right on that to make you happy” crap.

            Relax brother.

  3. Saboth says:

    Jeez, they are doing us a service. Just imagine if those stadiums didn’t have names. “Going to the game today?” “Maybe..where is it?” “The stadium” “Which one?” “Ummm…the one with no name, that is over on the east side” Just imagine….baseball wouldn’t be able to gouge people in ticket prices…hundreds of players wouldn’t be able to pull down multimillion dollar contracts…our unemployment would skyrocket by .0000000000000001%…it would be total chaos if we didn’t allow them to name these stadiums with taxpayer dollars.

    • varro says:

      @Saboth: Yes. Could you imagine the horrible time Pirate fans would have at Clemente Park, or Mets fans at Stengel Stadium?

      • katieoh says:

        @varro: pirate fans are having a terrible time anyway. :P i don’t know how we can have such a glorious football team, halfway decent hockey, but absolutely awful baseball…

    • parkavery says:

      @Saboth: What’s wrong with U.S. Treasury Field?

      • Saboth says:

        @parkavery:

        Now that sounds classy!

      • shorty63136 says:

        @parkavery: I like it!

        Hell, the St. Louis Blues (hockey) have been playing at the Savvis Center (was named that in, what, 1990-something and I think re-named since) but I still call it The Kiel Center.

        Doesn’t matter what it’s called (because clearly I’m gonna call it what I want). Can I get there and not pay $20 for parking? I’m in!

    • Wombatish says:

      @Saboth:

      “The one in Dallas”
      “Which one?”
      “Maybe the big giant “Dallas Stadium”. Or the “Victory Park Stadium”…*rattles off addresses*. Seriously. Stop with the dope.”

      Crisis averted!

  4. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I hate the trend of naming stadiums for companies anyway.. but now I hate it even more now that we’re all paying for it.

    I grew up with the Astrodome..

    Now we have “Minutemaid park” which I think is really stupid..

    ‘Course it used to be Enron Stadium.

    Heh.

    • Stephen W. Daries says:

      @Kimaroo:
      Yea we had the Thunderdome down here, and then they turned it into Tropicana Field, orange paint and all until they realized how stupid the stadium looked with orange paint on it. Now I just have to look at a giant light orange/cream stadium with little oranges around the top of it like a crown when ever Im in St. Pete.

    • ludwigk says:

      @Kimaroo: Things like “Tropicana Field” and “Oracle Stadium” sound really tacky now, but Wrigley field is just named after a gum company, and people love it. I think in 80 years or so, if these companies are still around, and aren’t a bunch of jerks, some of their brands could become iconically accepted in the same way. “COULD” being the operative word. I totally expect the venues to change hands every 10 years, continue sounding tacky, and for the companies sponsoring the stadiums to act like pricks.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @Kimaroo: Imagine those of us in Boston…the frigging replacement for the old Boston Garden has had naming rights owned by Shawmut, Fleet and TD Banknorth (and BoA paid to get out of the arrangement when they bought Fleet). Looks like there’s a lot of money to be made is selling naming rights to banks.

    • __Ken__ says:

      @Kimaroo: Personally I miss things like Candlestick Park and the Oakland Colosseum

  5. Stephen W. Daries says:

    This is out of control. Naming a damn stadium after a bank isnt going to make me think:

    “Oh well golly gee, maybe I should be bank with the kind people why they have a wholllllllllllle stadium named after them! They must be doing something right!”

    This is disgusting. Why has our government not stepped in?

    • Plates says:

      @Stephen W. Daries: Because they are in bed with these extortionist sports teams.

    • varro says:

      @Stephen W. Daries: The banks would get a lot more business by paying money, but not to name the stadium – to have kiosks where fools fans can get free t-shirts for applying for their credit cards, and putting surcharge-full ATMs in the stadium.

    • Nogard13 says:

      @Stephen W. Daries:
      Actually, most businesses need to advertise and get their name or brand recognition if they are going to survive. There is a famous anonymous quote that sums it up nicely: “A business that finds itself immune to advertising soon finds itself immune to business.”

      I’m not saying they should pay $400M to get their name on a stadium, but putting their name out in the public and gaining recognition is one of the best ways to increase business / revenue.

      Think of how well a business would do if you didn’t know who they were. They’d probably never get your business. However, if they get their name on your favorite team’s stadium, their name is always in the front of your brain and makes it more likely for you to use them. It’s all in familiarity and human psychology. We tend to do business with those who make us feel comfortable and hearing a name over and over in your living room makes you feel comfortable about that business.

      • chuckv says:

        @Nogard13: All this thinking done subconsciously. Nobody says “I’m a Mets fan, so I’m gonna use citibank,” they instead naturally think of citibank when considering where to bank.

        • lars2112 says:

          @chuckv: Good point, plus every time there is a game, “live from Citibank stadium….” it is a great way to get your name mentioned countless times on air.

      • NinjaMarion says:

        @Nogard13: Advertising and naming a stadium after yourself are two very different things. I’ve never gone to an arena / stadium / theatre and decided I needed a product based on its name.

        Hell, after awhile, you usually don’t even associate the stadium with the product anymore. The Tigers have been in Comerica Park for about 7 or 8 years or so, and I couldn’t tell you where a Comerica bank is if my life depended on it (Without then looking it up on the internet to keep from dying). Wrigley Field? It never even occurred to me that it could possibly have anything to do with the makers of Juicyfruit and Doublemint until those comments up above (although partly because Wrigley is the company, not the product itself, so there’s not nearly the recognition as if it were Juicyfruit Field). Ford Field? I don’t even have a clue if it’s supposed to be named for the car company or the man / family, and it certainly doesn’t make me want to go out and get a Taurus or Focus.

        Simply put, I’ve never heard a stadium name and thought, “Man, I gotta get me some of that,” and never will, unless a stadium ends up becoming Hot Naked Woman Park.

    • MrBlastotron says:

      @stephenwdaries: In all fairness… PNC wasn’t bailed out. They took the money to buy National City. Look at their financials from before. They made a profit in 08. And minus the loss Nat City posted 4th quarter, operation as normal for PNC was still profit in 4q.

    • karmaghost says:

      @stephenwdaries: Well it’s like Spam; if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it.

  6. Yossarian says:

    So is the conclusion here that these banks shouldn’t be allowed to advertise, that they shouldn’t be allowed to advertise in this way, or something else?

    I don’t especially have a problem with the naming of stadiums, as such, though I wonder how effective it really is. “Hey, I went to see a Mets game at Citibank Park and now I’m really curious about who this ‘Citibank’ might be.”

    Where I would have a problem is paying more than the advertising itself is worth for the perqs — stadium boxes, tickets, etc. — at taxpayers’ expense.

    • failurate says:

      @Yossarian: I think the conclusion is don’t be making lavish gestures of wealth and leisure with one hand, while begging for money with the other.

      • Yossarian says:

        @failurate: Is advertising inherently a lavish gesture?

        Let’s say, just for the sake of argument that it could be shown that Citibank’s profits increased due to this advertising by more than the cost of this advertising. I’m not saying that is the case but, if it is, wouldn’t this a smart move by Citibank (or at least not such a bad one)?

      • failurate says:

        @failurate: Or borrowing $10,000 from your inlaws because you are about to lose your house, but then showing up at the next family get together in a hot red convertable.

    • Preyfar says:

      @Yossarian: There’s a difference in an ad campaign and naming a stadium. It can be argued that naming a stadium is advertising, but it’s just a name. The Wachovia Spectrum Center doesn’t tell you about savings accounts, interests, loans, mortgages, bill pay or anything else. Now, if Wachovia wanted to hand out flyers to everybody who attended the games, put ads in game flyers/books, posters, etc. that’s different. Naming a stadium is just a name. Not an add.

      When I’m in Philly, I don’t think of the Linc (Lincoln Financial Field) as a bank, I think of it as where the Eagles play. It’s not effective advertising because it’s not selling a product.

      • Yossarian says:

        @Preyfar: That may well be the case, but I think it is an ad just as much as a Budweiser sign, without any product details, is an ad. Or as much as the signs on NASCAR cars are ads. Do you disagree that those are ads?

        I think the real question isn’t whether the naming of the stadium is an ad — I think someone would be hard pressed to argue convincingly that it isn’t — but whether the ad is effective, given its price.

      • InsaneNewman says:

        @Preyfar: Now, if Wachovia wanted to hand out flyers to everybody who attended the games, put ads in game flyers/books, posters, etc. that’s different.

        Usually, in a naming deal, LOTS of supporting promotions/advertising (like these things) is included… ergo, it’s not “just a name”.

    • Wombatish says:

      @Yossarian: I think naming a stadium is a better proposition for other types of companies.

      I live in Dallas, for example, and at American Airlines center they give away trips at every game (or at least they used to) and for a while/possibly still now, if you were an AA Rewards member, or whatever they’re calling it now, you had a special entrance and could get some nice discounts.

      At the Dr. Pepper Stars Center, they give away Dr. Peppers, and they serve Dr. Pepper.

      What is the bank going to do? Give away money? I wish. Set up some atms or something? Maybe a branch? Flyers for free overdraft protection?

      But the massive amount of money we (any of us) spend on advertising still disgusts me, for the record.

  7. IT-Chick says:

    Is the name simply advertising, or do the companies get some kind of kickback from the games and stadium revenue?

  8. sublicon says:

    Sorry, but it’s a little misleading when you put the entire sum of the entire contract, and say that they have “spent” this much, when in fact it’s that amount over a period of many years.

    The Citibank/Mets deal is for $20 million a year…for 20 years. They haven’t spent $400 million. You have to spend money to make money. It’s the reality of business.

    Get over it.

    • Warbrain says:

      @sublicon: Especially when these deals were made WELL BEFORE the bailouts. They are NOT using taxpayer money to pay for these…yet.

      It’s much like that Chrysler – Terminator deal…it was made long ago!

    • zlionsfan says:

      @sublicon: Yesbut … all of those banks except Citi, and maybe BankAtlantic, had those deals in place years ago and still needed bailout money. Naming rights may lead to making money, it’s certainly not a given.

      I’d rather see Citi spending our money on something that is more likely to be profitable.

      • lars2112 says:

        @zlionsfan: PNC(prior to National city purchase), M&T, Wells (prior to the wachovia purchase) did not need bail out funds, rather the fed helped them close the deal with cheap funds and put a lot of pressure on banks to take the funds to help start lending regardless if they needed it or not.

        Citi is different as the contract has not started yet, but most of these other deals have been in place for a long time.

    • moozicmon says:

      @sublicon: Another “reality” is if you don’t make that car, house, credit card, etc. payment then you lose it and your credit rating goes to shit. If you are in a bad financial position, you budget or maybe even choose one bill over the other.

      This is a great example of how this “business” works, fire x number of employees but gee golly gosh don’t forget that 20 million dollar payment we owe to the Mets to keep our naming rights!
      Tax dollars are wasted by the government enough, now we have bank execs to continue the trend…gotta love it.

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      When was the last time you bought something because you saw the company’s name on a stadium?

      When was the last time you saw a name on a stadium of which you were not already aware?

  9. axiomatic says:

    If you are a non-bailed-out bank, buy whatever the fuck you want to buy.

    But if you ARE a bailed-out bank and also are using taxpayer dollars to make your purchase, then I completely disagree with the practice.

  10. That Guy says:

    This seems a bit misleading… I do not know the details behind all of them, but living in Pittsburgh, I feel I can speak to the PNC Park naming deal, at least a little. I have no connection to it other than being a resident of the metro area.

    The deal was signed before the Park even opened in 2001… Things were obviously different then. At the time, it was determined that the marketing impressions delivered by $2 million a year for 20 years were worth the money, and that may or may not be true. Thing is, the deal is already 8 years old, and runs until 2020, so characterizing it as being somehow disingenuous in light of the current financial situation seems somewhat unfair, a sin of omission.

    Some commenters above have stated this – are the bailout banks not supposed to advertise anymore? I thought the last recession taught companies that cutting marketing as a first line of defense isn’t always the best line of defense. Hiding what light you may still have under a bushel basket isn’t going to get you out of any mess, regardless of whether you were complicit in the making of said mess in the first place.

    • nbs2 says:

      @That Guy: Agreed. Most (all?) of those deals were signed far enough in advance that money has been paid and invested. Depending on how things are set up, the ETF may not be worth it.

      Additionally, the advertising isn’t designed to make you think “I want to go to CitiBank.” It’s designed to make you think “I need to go to the bank – hey, there’s a CitiBank around the corner.” It’s all about mindshare…

    • Blueskylaw says:

      @That Guy:
      Are the bailout banks not supposed to advertise anymore?
      When they are on the brink of bankruptcy, probably not in that way. The attention they are getting in the news from the way they ran their companies in the ground while collecting huge bonuses doing it is advertisement enough.

  11. Baccus83 says:

    I’ve never been swayed to use a particular brand or service because of stadium naming rights. I understand the “branding” philosophy, but seeing a Cubs game in Wrigley Field does not make me more or less apt to chew Wrigley gum. Why would I want to bank with a company that that thinks it’s a good idea to drop tens of millions of dollars to name a stadium?

    • jag164 says:

      @Gene Gemperline: You picked a bad park for comparison. Wrigley is not a naming rights field, it’s one that just happened to owned by Bill Wrigley who owned the Cubs, the park, as well as the gum company. The Tribune Company owns the park now and just let the famous name stay. But that’s just and FYI.

      The real point is that naming rights are a legit form of advertising. I personally cannot stand it, but I respect the fact that it happens. Though you may not feel the urge to buy wrigley gum or open an BoA account, many people do so it is legit and effective advertising. Removing a means of advertising hurts a company and thus may prevent or delay them from repaying the loans.

      • Baccus83 says:

        @jag164: Good point. Forgot about that for a moment. The name “Wrigley Field” goes back a loooong time.

        I just remember a awhile back when there was talk about renaming Soldier Field, which would’ve been terrible seeing as how it was dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in battle. Needless to say that didn’t fly with Chicago.

        Wrigley Field is another matter. There’s alot of talk now about whether or not it’ll stay “Wrigley Field.” We’ll see.

        And I realize it’s a legit form of advertising. I “understand” corporate sponsorship. What I fail to understand is how spending so much money on naming rights makes fiscal sense. Of course I don’t have figures or evidence to back up my gut feelings, but… you know.

        I guess you force so many people to say your name that’s good enough.

  12. richcreamerybutter says:

    Think of the brand recognition one of these banks would receive if they donated $100 million to needy people’s heating bills (like Chavez!), or a food pantry. This would surely set one apart from the pack…I know I’d switch to that bank in a heartbeat.

    • fett387 says:

      @richcreamerybutter: I agree. I am more likely to look into moving my business to a bank if one of my utility bills stated “January balance paid in full by Wells Fargo” than if they bought naming rights to a stadium.

      By the way, I closed my Citi bank account and moved everything to a local credit union in town just the other day.

  13. Wit says:

    Some of these banks took the bailout money simply because other banks did and they did not want to be at a competitive disadvantage. I have a feeling that one or two (not Citi) have the bailout money sitting untouched and earning interest. With the executive salary stuff, etc., they might try to give it back.

    Also, many of these deals were inked well before the financial meltdown.

    • ionerox says:

      @Wit: Somewhat true… a handful of banks who did not feel they needed bailout money did not want to take it- but were forced to by the government. Gov’t didn’t want customers making a run on just a few banks getting bailout money over the perception that they were so vulnerable they needed the bailout money.

    • ludwigk says:

      @Wit: Weren’t they actually *required to* take the funding for the plan to pass? The Feds didn’t want to inadvertently reveal which banks were in the worst shape, so ALL major banks needed to participate, whether they needed to or not.

      • Wit says:

        @ludwigk: As far as I know, some banks were given the option to “apply” for bailout funding and their applications had to be approved.

      • Bungus Aurelius says:

        @ludwigk: According to Time and Newsweek at the time, yep.

        Time: “Although Wells Fargo chairman Richard Kovacevich resisted, Paulson gave the bankers no choice.”

        Newsweek: “Richard Kovacevich had a point. Why should his company, Wells Fargo, sign its freedom (and his compensation) away to the U.S. Treasury when, unlike many other banks, it hadn’t overloaded itself with risky mortgage-backed securities? The Wells Fargo chairman eventually agreed Monday to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s capital injection plan–it was, frankly, an offer he couldn’t refuse–but Kovacevich’s objections still resonate.”

        When I heard about the Wells Fargo/Las Vegas stuff earlier this week I was amazed they would be that stupid, but after the facts (cough, cough) were pointed out to me by colleagues I felt a little different.

  14. MeOhMy says:

    From SatireWire in 2001!
    [www.satirewire.com]

  15. BlackMage is doing the Time Warp agaaaaaaain!!! says:

    This is a very gray area right now.

    On the one hand, stadium sponsorships are a great way to increase product exposure. Even though companies may be failing, they still need some way to actually sell their product and recover.

    On the other hand, 99% of customers currently look at big purchases like private jets, stadium naming rights, or retarded full page ads in US Today [jalopnik.com] as foolhardy, irresponsible, and wasteful. Funny how attitudes change when it’s OUR money being used for the purchases, eh?

  16. Brendon Rapp says:

    I wonder if people would react the same if the story title was “8 Banks responsible for $845 million of additional revenue to cities/counties”.

    For, you see, many of these arenas and stadiums are owned by the cities or counties which they call home. So few sports teams actually pony up to build stadiums/arenas these days, they make the taxpayers do it instead.

  17. PittDragon says:

    I thought PNC was a bank that did not need a bailout? Well thats at least what they keep telling me whenever I use online banking.

    Someone also mentioned it above, but the PNC deal was done long before bailouts became the defacto way of doing business.

  18. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    On an aside, gotta love sports greed.

    Not enough to give your team a stadium but they each gotta be the state-of-the-art to one-up your rivals. You can swindle local government for tax money too, just promise jobs (all of them part time minimum wage jobs, but don’t actually TELL anyone that part) and threaten to take your team elsewhere.

    They build the stadiums and give no thought to the infrastructure around them like roads and the such. It’s good to know you can pick up the sports page and predict the upcoming traffic jams. For the stadium itself the trend is more and more “premium” seats like club and box because those tickets have higher profit margins. With that the affordable cattle seats are fewer in number and that itself justifies a higher price at the box and at the scalper.

    So after they get all this money and sell the naming rights and sell pretty much all they can (I’m surprised each blade of grass doesn’t have a small Nike swoosh laser etched into it), they STILL charge $6 for a hot dog, $9 for a beer, $15 for basic parking where you walk three football fields to get to the stadium containing one.

    Burn.

  19. astrochimp says:

    Banks should be able to do whatever the hell they want with bailout money until the government learns how to control what said banks do with that money.

    When someone gives a hundred dollars to a drug addict in desparate need of a fix, one shouldn’t expect that person to go buy vegetables and rice with it.

    Banks are going to do bank-y things unless (a) the law requires otherwise and (b) the government has enough balls to enforce that law.

  20. William Gu says:

    Except contracts are contracts. These things were handled years ago. I’m sick of uneducated people just looking at the top of the facts. If your opinion is still the same after looking over all the facts, that’s fine. Just frustrated.

  21. lars2112 says:

    Most of these contracts are old, some going back at least 5 years….. Who cares if 5 years ago they paid for the naming rights, some cases here the banks bought another bank that had already paid for the rights. M&T Bank bought Allfirst who had already paid for the naming rights back in 2002. M&T had nothing to do with it, I am sick of this witch hunt.

  22. highpitch_83 says:

    @Applekid: I don’t think it count’s as a “burn” if you say it out loud afterwards.

    [/burn]

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @highpitch_83: Well, less “burn” and more “I hope they die in a fire”, but, then again, I really don’t hope they die in fires. Just get massive burns.

  23. Norcross says:

    some of those banks / firms (of which I work for one) have applied, but haven’t received any money. In addition, they’re contracts that were signed years ago, and depending on where they are located, they’ve already made money. Raymond James Stadium has hosted 2 Super Bowls since they opened in 1997 (12 years ago). how many times did they say the name? at 3 million for a 30 second spot, I’d say they got a deal.

  24. mac-phisto says:

    what moron decided to pay the mets $400 million for naming rights. shoot that guy in the face.

  25. t-r0y says:

    Why do we focus on this stupid stuff, it’s only 0.55% of the total!

    The problem is our Representatives! The SHOULD NEVER HAVE authorized SPENDING what they plan to TAKE FROM TAXPAYERS.

    I’m not upset that the banks are spending that money as they please. I FURIOUS that our Representatives gave it to them in the first place!

  26. rpm773 says:

    I don’t know if you can chide the banks for already having spent this cash, pre-bailout, without considering the returns, tangible or otherwise, that said banks received from such deals.

    Were they bad investments? Is anyone here in a position to make that call? Evidence? Show your work.

    Oh, and “Well they need bailout money now so they were obviously bad investments” doesn’t get you full credit.

  27. ckaught78 says:

    Wells Fargo bailed out Wachovia and Wells Fargo had very little choice in taking the TARP fund.

    I would imagine that this is pretty good advertising for any company and a small part of their overall marketing budgets. A lot of these companies also have NASCAR sponsorships. Perhaps we should start yelling at the banks for airing TV commericials or sending out credit card solicitations. I saw a Bank of America billboard this morning, where do they get off. And how dare they give money for scholarships or charities. What good are any government funds going to do if they can’t get people to purchase their products.

    The public doesn’t know how to run these companies, the government sure doesn’t know how to run these companies; perhaps we should let the people currently running their companies run their companies.

  28. Jenkinsbball says:

    We were talking about this in class last night. My professor stated that when the banks received the money from TARP, there weren’t any actually rules stating that the HAD to do with the money, only guidelines. So, the banks aren’t using it to free up credit, but pay back their investors and such.

    Was she right?

  29. hammitz says:

    Just do a little math: divide $845 million by $153.4 billion. The result is 0.005, or about one half of one percent of the total going to naming rights. Furthermore, most of these deals were agreed to long ago, and the obligation is paid off over a long period of time.

    Are we going to start counting the pens and paperclips that bailed out companies buy? This amount of money is so insignificant compared to the total bailout package, it’s hardly worth talking about.

  30. Skiffer says:

    A) The deal was in place before the bail-out money was received.

    B) If the deals are canceled, the stadiums will lose out on the money.

    C) The banks spent 0.845/153 = 0.56% of the bail-out money on advertising. Advertising is an established practice of running a business. (Granted, the efficacy of stadium branding is debatable.)

    If we’re gonna squabble over all the little things like this – which are standard business practices – let’s just nationalize the banks and be done with it.

  31. dopplerd says:

    I’ve long thought that corporate naming money was more about getting choice box seats and other goodies for execs than any sort of real promotional reason. I just have a hard time believing that a marketing person would recommend the best bang for the ad buck is $400 M for “Citibank Park.”

  32. kwsventures says:

    Where in the U.S. constitution does it say Congress has the authority to give taxpayer funded corporate welfare to private businesses? Oh, it does not. Government out of control.

  33. JAG42 says:

    It’s called marketing. NO money should have been given in bailouts to failing banks. Rewarding failure isn’t a way to fix the economy.

  34. theblackdog says:

    M&T Bank has had that stadium since 2003, so you can’t really hold it against them because they likely have a contract.

    Ironically enough the stadium used to be named PSINet stadium…until that company went bankrupt. Nextel was also competing with M&T Bank for the naming rights.

  35. Tedicles says:

    Without reading ALL the comments, there is a lot of misinformation here. M&T Bank, for example, were esentially forced to take bail-out money. They did not need it, or want it. The money they are spending are their own, not the taxpayers. Essenitally they had to take the money so that (at the time) they did not look bad compared to the other big banks who were taking the cash.

    What a lot of people don’t realize is a lot of companies had to take money from the government that they did not want or need. But a lot of the funds had to be ‘cloaked’ (not so much the banks, but investment firms and such) so that they would not lose all their business when people found out they needed/got funds. So they spread the funds around to avoid sinking a company they were trying to help.

  36. savdavid says:

    How about US TAXPAYER stadium?

  37. ageshin says:

    Maybe we should take a cue from the bad old Soviet Union. The peoples bank one, the peoples bank of AZ, etc. well, er, maybe not.

  38. biswalt says:

    That represents only .55% of their bailout out package. So if there is any appreciable return on this investment it’s probably not a bad thing for the banks.

    Additionally as several people have pointed out a lot of these companies had standing contracts with the stadiums in question for the naming rights. Given that at this time those are sunk costs it doesn’t make sense for a company like Wachovia to cede their naming rights since they’ve already ponied up for the naming rights and have nothing to gain from not using them.

    Much more alarming is the fact that our government “overpaid” on the bailout package to the tune of $78 billion.

    Times Online Article on US Bailout

  39. redclear55 says:

    the number of years for each contract should be posted to get a fair comparison. Citi’s deal was for 20 years… or $20MM/year. i’d be curious of the length for the others listed.

  40. dancing_bear says:

    Hey, Henry Paulson is taking care of business, don’t cha know.

  41. Rion Caine says:

    Gotta point out that Wells/Wachovia didn’t ask for bailout money…it was forced on them (just like it was forced on may other financial institutions who didn’t ask for it {which is totally available via many reputable sources, i.e. CNN Money, etc})in the first “lets-throw-money-around-to-try-to-avert-the-financial-apocalypse” attempt. So, that being the case, what they do about naming rights and how much they pay their execs is really not relevant. It would be a totally different story if these banks had asked for the money, but since they didn’t, and didn’t have a choice about taking the money, why are they being held to the same standard as the banks obviously looking for taxpayer handouts by the media? Pure and utter sensationalism in some cases.

  42. smartmuffin says:

    So first it was private jets.

    Then it was executives who make a lot of money.

    Now it’s naming rights for stadiums.

    Unless the government is going to create a specific list titled “THINGS BANKS WHO RECEIVED BAILOUT MONEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEND ANY MONEY ON”, then this is just a ridiculous witch hunt brought to you by class warfare oriented socialists.