Mets remove corporate sponsor's name from stadium. No, not that one.
KeySpan Corporation, a Brooklyn company formed by a merger of Brooklyn Union Gas and LILCO, hasn't existed since 2007, and National Grid PLC, who they merged with, announced on Friday that it was time for the Brooklyn Cyclones to start dating again. National Grid Vice President John Caroselli said that partnership between Keyspan and the Cyclones was "great," but "due to the fact that the Keyspan name no longer exists, it was an opportunity for both parties to discuss other options." The contract between Keyspan and the Mets' A team for naming rights to their Coney Island stadium was supposed to run through 2020.
Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen is still feeling the love. "Together, we became synonymous with baseball's return to Brooklyn, and our partnership was extremely productive, both on and off the field. We will be forever thankful for the partnership, and wish National Grid continued success."
Keyspan and the Mets organization never released the details of their contract, but NYU sports business professor Robert Boland says a new deal is likely to be much less lucrative. Boland told Crains New York that although the gentrification of the Coney Island area might make a sponsorship deal attractive to a local business looking for a higher profile, naming rights would probably be worth about $100k/year in the current market, and "[t]he problem is they're probably selling it for $750,000." He said that naming contracts frequently don't run for their full term, because they include a release clause in case of corporate reorganization.
So, Cyclones management is going to have to find alternative sources of revenue, and they're on the case. They've announced a "Jersey? Sure!" night in July, when they'll be giving away gift certificates to a local gym, tanning salon and laundromat (apparently it's a Jersey Shore thing), free big-hair blowouts on site, and t-shirts emblazoned with their mascot, Sandy the Seagull, fist pumping for the first 2,500 people who show up. Also, battling to techno beats, whatever that is.
WFAN hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton have apparently discovered that the young man who named his abdominal muscles likes to pretend to be a former Cyclone when he's chatting up ladies in bars, so he's been invited to join them for batting practice and ground ball drills that night. It being summer, he may be busy.
Tickets go on sale, as a stand-alone or part of a season ticket package, in April.
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