SBJ/20090316/This Week's News

Frank talk: Ten-year deal with Mets gives Nathan’s Famous hot dog exclusivity at Citi Field

The New York Mets and Nathan’s Famous have signed a 10-year deal to extend the hot dog chain’s presence to the team’s new Citi Field.

Westbury, N.Y.-based Nathan’s is a prior Mets sponsor and was an official hot dog vendor at Shea Stadium through  concessionaire Aramark. Nathan’s now gains hot dog exclusivity at Citi Field by supplanting rival Hebrew National, which had supplied kosher dogs at Shea.

Nathan’s sold more than 1 million hot dogs in
the final season at Shea Stadium last year.

Nathan’s, in addition to selling a full range of hot dog products, will retain the official french fry designation for the club and new ballpark. It also gains a battery of promotional rights, including use of club marks, rotational and scoreboard signage, in-store offerings, product installation on every level of Citi Field, and a special Nathan’s Day at the ballpark.

That Nathan’s Day at Citi Field will act as one of 20 preliminary hot dog eating contests that serve as a run-up to the brand’s annual Fourth of July event at Coney Island.

“This is a quintessentially New York product and a natural to be at the new ballpark,” said Dave Howard, Mets executive vice president of business operations. Howard’s first job as a teenager was at a Nathan’s stand on Long Island. “We’re thrilled to be able to extend and expand our deal with them.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. Nathan’s sold more than 1 million hot dogs in the final season at Shea Stadium last year. The company expects to exceed that number at Citi Field, which opens next month.

“Having the [hot dog] exclusive was certainly helpful but not necessarily do-or-die,” said Wayne Norbitz, Nathan’s president. “This company was certainly born in Brooklyn, but in a lot of ways grew up in Long Island and Queens, and this a very important place for us to be.”

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