A couple of days ago, ESPN.com had a note that the naming rights deal for the Saints’ Superdome stadium was coming to an end and that Mercedes Benz opted not to renew the deal. The Superdome is owned by the State of Louisiana, but the Saint’s lease gives them the authority to negotiate any naming rights deal(s). Everything here was amicable; the ESPN piece simply said that the Saints were looking for a new naming rights “partner”.
There was nothing important about that announcement; I sort of filed it away in the recesses of my brain as a “Fact Not Worth Remembering”. Then, yesterday afternoon I received an email from Gregg Drinnan formerly the sports editor for the Kamloops Daily News and now the author of the Taking Note blog. It sent me back to the ESPN.com piece where I found this statement from the Saints Senior VP for Communications:
“The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a globally iconic building that brings a tremendous valuable future for a naming rights partner. As with the philosophy of the Saints organization and the stature of the building, it will serve to represent our city, state and region as a leader to better our community, to be a more than just a naming rights opportunity, but a real partner, just as Mercedes-Benz was. And in that partnership, the goal will be to bring positive change to our region, our city and state, through a number of initiatives.”
As I said, the original piece had nothing particularly noteworthy in it; that statement is pretty much what you would expect to hear along with that announcement. So, here is what Gregg Drinnan sent to me; he does not know how or why he got a copy of it, but it does provide a change of tone for the naming rights issue:
“Hi – I wanted to reach out following news that the New Orleans Saints are seeking a new naming rights partner for the Superdome. One of the world’s leading adult webcam sites, Stripchat is aiming to penetrate the sports world and is announcing a bid of up to $15,000,000 for the naming rights to the Superdome. We’d like to name it the “Stripchat Superdome” and for it to the home to the future Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
“Check out the offer here (SFW link), and below – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dnl3v0l0pgvblnl/AABM8kX4EpCNlG4tuwAPv5OAa?dl=0
Stripchat Communications Director
“In our opinion, New Orleans is the party capital of the United States. It’s always been synonymous with nightlife and entertainment. It comes alive at night, with people wandering the neon-hued promenade of one the most famous nightlife strips in the world – Bourbon Street. Aside from being known for its rich Cajun cuisine, array of alcoholic drinks (The Sazerac, brandy milk punch, Pimms Cup, Vieux Carre, the French 75, the Hurricane, and of course, the Hand Grenade) and beads, New Orleans is synonymous with football. More specifically, the New Orleans Saints.
“I’d like to think that we here at Stripchat embody some of New Orleans’ character and flair. As one of the world’s leading adult webcam sites that averages over 60 million visitors per month, we know a thing or two about having a good time. We have been looking into penetrating the sports world and think this is a wonderful opportunity to do so by announcing a bid of up to $15,000,000 for the naming rights to the Superdome. We’d like to name it the “Stripchat Superdome” and for it to be home to the future Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
“ Bon Temps rouler.”
Now I need to refile that “Fact Not Worth Remembering” as “Don’t Forget The Saints Naming Rights Business”. Oh, by the way, it did not escape my notice that the folks at Stripchat say they have been “looking into penetrating the sports world”. That is at least a double entendre in this context…
Over in the world of baseball, MLB and the Players’ Union are in the process of working out the details for starting what will be a truncated 2020 season at best. There are 3 things that will certainly happen in the next week or so:
- MLB will try to focus attention on all the revenues they have already lost in 2020 and how revenues will surely be below normal for the rest of 2020 with reduced levels of attendance.
- The Union will try to focus attention on the fact that the players are the ones taking a potentially fatal risk here and that while the owners may stand to lose some money, the players could lose their lives or the lives of a family member.
- A large fraction of baseball fans will not care about the rhetoric here and simply want the two sides to get to an agreement so there can be baseball games. [Aside: I am already at this stage of caring about all this.]
Tom Glavine was the player representative for the Union back in 1994 when a work stoppage in August canceled the World Series and about a dozen games at the start of the 1995 season. He took a lot of heat back then. Earlier this week he spent time with Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and that interview is chronicled here. I suggest you read it in its entirety.
Glavine has a special perspective on the delicacy of the negotiations that will be ongoing now and he has what I think is cogent advice for the players to consider. He says that if there is not baseball because the economics cannot be worked out, the fans will blame the players.
Finally, Dwight Perry had this comment in the Seattle Times recently:
“Onetime Cardinals first baseman Mark Hamilton has just become, at age 35, Dr. Mark Hamilton.
“In other words, he’s gone from ‘take two and hit to right’ to ‘take two and call me in the morning.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………