SBD/February 4, 2011/Franchises

Hornets Ink Multiyear Extensions With 12 Corporate Partners

The Hornets Thursday announced that 12 of the team’s current corporate partners “have agreed to extend their sponsorships a minimum of three years, and in some cases five years,” according to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Having “reached attendance benchmarks required to void an opt-out clause in its current lease agreement with the state of Louisiana, the club had been working the past two months to convince its corporate partner clients to renew and, perhaps, financially enhance their current agreements.” Hornets VP/Corporate Sponsorship Tom Ward said, "This is really just the starting point for us, not the ending point. We’re just kicking in phase two of our corporate campaign." The Hornets have “nearly 100 corporate sponsors of varying degrees.” About half of those recently attended a "state of the franchise" event that “included a practice viewing followed by an update on what has happened with the NBA assuming ownership of the club in the past six weeks.” Ward said that partners “were asked to extend for a minimum of three years, to increase their partnership investment to make the team’s bottom line more robust, to purchase more season tickets, to put the team in contact with any vendors with which partners are doing business to explain the importance of their partnership with the team and finally to include the team in any of their current advertising streams to help the Hornets reach even more potential fans.” Meanwhile, Smith notes the team’s “10-year agreement with Cox Sports Television, a deal that brings just under $10 million annually to the Hornets, expires after next season.” Ward said that team President Hugh Weber and Chair Jac Sperling are “in preliminary discussions with Cox about the status of that deal” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 2/4). Listed below are the sponsors that extended their deals.

Audubon Nature Institute New Orleans Marriott
Capital One Bank Morris Bart
Chevron Ochsner Health System
Entergy People's Health
Hub Int'l Take 5 Oil Change
The Louisiana Seafood Promotion
and Marketing Board
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