Could the New Orleans Saints go from sporting a Fleur-de-lis to a three pointed star? Probably not, but they will now be playing their games in the newly named Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which is sure to sport its fair share of three pointed stars.
Mercedes-Benz USA is setting roots down at
the Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, through a
10-year agreement that provides official naming rights among other
sponsorship benefits, including being named the Official and Exclusive
vehicle of the NFL’s Saints. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be
playing host to several upcoming premier events, including the 2012 Men’s
Final Four and the BCS Championship Game. Oh, and lest we forget, the
2013 Super Bowl!
“The joining of the Mercedes-Benz brand with the world-class Saints
organization and the Superdome, an iconic destination which has
undergone an incredible transformation over the past six years, is a
significant moment for us, the City of New Orleans and the State of
Louisiana,” said Ernst Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.
“Our commitment over the next decade is to the Saints’ fans, team, and
this famous community as it flourishes beyond anyone’s expectations.”
This is the first naming rights deal in the U.S. for the luxury car
maker and also for the legendary New Orleans sports and exhibition
stadium, which recently completed a six-year $336 million renovation
project that is positioning the stadium as a premier destination for
major events for years to come.
“I am thrilled to be able to announce a winning and long-term
partnership between the Saints, Mercedes-Benz and now the Mercedes-Benz
Superdome” said New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. “The Mercedes-Benz
brand represents the very best in its industry and we believe that is a
perfect fit for this stadium, which as a result of the unprecedented and
innovative renovation project recently completed, is one of the world’s
greatest sporting venues. We felt strongly it was essential that if we
were to offer the name of our building to a company, it would be one
that all of our fans and the State of Louisiana would be proud of. The
investment being made by a premier international brand who believes in
‘the best or nothing’, is a tremendous compliment to all of those who
worked so hard to make the stadium what it is today.”
The undisclosed cost of the 10-year agreement has many benefits and
opportunities for Mercedes-Benz, including branding and signage
throughout and nearby the newly named Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In
addition, the Saints print and online publications will feature
Mercedes-Benz content and advertising and the Company will have access
to Saints coaches and players for special events and promotions.
Mercedes-Benz plans to leverage its access to many of the events to
create unique programs such as customer and fan appreciation activities.
“This is a great, great partnership,” said Governor Bobby Jindal. “I
know for many years there have been attempts to sell this sponsorship,
and I think the restructured deal and the new Superdome are two of the
reasons this is actually happening. So I think this is great for the
Saints and great for the state.”
According to the Ultimate Standing poll by ESPN Magazine in 2010, the
New Orleans Saints ranked number one among all major league sports team
franchises, which is based on the team that gives back to the fans in
exchange for all the time, money and emotion the fans invest in them.
The Superdome is home to a record 6 Superbowls, including Super Bowl XII
(1978), XV (1981), XX (1986), XXIV (1990), XXXI (1997), XXXVI (2002),
plus another, XLVII, coming in 2013.
What do you think? Good move by MB? Or should the three pointed star save its sponsorships for tennis tournaments? Shout off in the forums!