The historic Mercedes-Benz Superdome just completed the first phase of a fresh look and is now one step closer to its new name.
The New Orleans Saints have made the next steps in saying goodbye to Mercedes Benz by hiring Oak View Group. Ben Fischer covers the NFL and Olympic sports for Sports Business Journal. He has reported the Saints have selected Oak View Group (OVG) to sell naming rights to the stadium after the Mercedes-Benz deal expires next year. Many agencies were vetted before the Saints chose the Oak View Group to handle the deal.
The Saints wanted a world-class agency to help them find the next partner for the city’s world-class arena, and they believed Oak View Group represented that type of agency.
Webb said the Saints expect to have a new deal in place by the time Mercedes-Benz expires in July. He declined to comment on economic expectations. The team’s small corporate base will be a challenge. Louisiana has just two Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, CenturyLink and Entergy. On Friday, Oak View Group announced a $125M deal with Co-op to the rights for a new arena under development in Manchester, U.K., and also has finished deals with Amazon for Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, UBS for the Islanders’ new arena on Long Island and Philadelphia Union’s Subaru Park. Webb said OVG’s track record during the pandemic speaks for itself, and they trust their process, method, and relationships with major brands.” They have the hot hand,” he said.
Governor Jon Bel Edwards stated his intent to invest in the state-of-the-art facility, so they dubbed the Superdome project “ENVISION THE FUTURE.”
This iconic centerpiece of our state has been the focal point for many historical moments in our history. By investing in a state-of-the-art facility, we are investing in future economic growth for Louisiana and the region”. Jon Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana
On April 17, 2020, the Saints and State of Louisiana began working towards an agreement that will keep the Saints in Louisiana through 2035. The $450 million renovations of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was a pivotal piece of the deal. The deal would extend the current lease agreement with the state and the Saints for another ten years. The team and Superdome officials agreed that the renovations were necessary to modernize the facility as a competitive venue for the next 15-20 years.
When renovations started this fall on the Superdome, Greg Bensel, (Senior Vice President of Communications for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans), issued the following statement regarding the name change:
“The Superdome is one of the top leading economic engines in our state and region. As we enter the first phase of this new renovation, the building has proven capable over the last few decades to adapt and easily re-engineer itself to keep up and in most cases lead in the landscape of new, high-tech stadiums that have come online. And if you couple that with the NFL-leading television ratings that the Saints deliver, then you can see real tangible and quantifiable return on investment for a potential naming rights partner.”
OVG has already closed four major naming rights deals in 2020, and the Saints are believed to attract a significant national or international brand at a premium price. They have a 12-month agreement with the Saints to get a new deal done before the start of the 2021 NFL season.