Who Dat: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
After hearing rumors that a deal was in the works, reports out of New Orleans now indicate that Mercedes-Benz has in fact agreed to a 10-year naming rights sponsorship for the Superdome. Terms of the deal have not been released.
Why would a luxury auto brand put its name on a 36 year old building? Steve Cannon, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA, pointed to the stadium's recent renovation as symbolic of the progress that the city has made in recent years.
"Americans love stories of comebacks," said Cannon. "They love re-inventions. They love re-definitions. For that reason, the city of New Orleans and the New Orleans Saints as an organization is kind of symbolic of that re-invention, rebirth.
"Certainly those images that go back to Katrina are a difficult chapter for all of us, but to see out of that experience a brand new stadium inside and out completely renovated, a driver of economic development within that city and state and for us to be a part of that story was a good thing," Cannon added. "For us this is a local deal, a regional deal and a national deal because we think it plays on every single one of those levels."
The deal is important for the state, as it likely means that it will no longer have a financial obligation to the team.
Saints owner Tom Benson, who also owns Mercedes dealerships in New Orleans and San Antonio, credited his wife for coming up with the initial idea to pitch Mercedes-Benz, which could have its name on the building for its next home game on October 23rd.
What do you think about this deal?
Video courtesy of New Orleans' WWLTV.