SBD/August 25, 2011/Franchises

Hornets Continue To Improve Business Metrics, Add Chevron As Corporate Sponsor

New sponsorships put Hornets $4M ahead of where they were last offseason
The Hornets "continue to strengthen their base of corporate support, as Chevron agreed Wednesday to become the franchise's fifth major Crescent City Champions sponsor," according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. The number marks the "most Crescent City Champions sponsors the Hornets have signed up since the exclusive sponsorship program was established" in '07. The Chevron deal follows last week's announcement that Entergy will "join Cox Communications, 7-UP and Ochsner Health System as Crescent City Champions sponsors." Hornets President Hugh Weber said that with the new sponsorship deals, the Hornets "are $4 million ahead of where they were at the same time last year." Weber added, "This is a pretty special time on all fronts in terms of progress the organization is making for the objectives we set. All of those things are about getting the financial health of the team in order for an owner to step in and take over" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 8/25). The Hornets last year "joined with Chevron to raise $200,000 to promote the recovery of the seafood industry and coastal habitats after the BP oil spill," and Chevron VP/Gulf of Mexico Business Unit Warner Williams said that "working with the Hornets on public service initiatives motivated him to do more to solidify the franchise's footing in New Orleans." Williams: "It's really about supporting the economic sustainability of the region and ensuring the team stays in the city." Weber indicated that he has been "encouraged by gains in community support even as the NBA lockout threatens to cancel parts or all of next season." He said, "At a time when no one is talking about basketball, we're still making progress." In addition to corporate sponsorship, the Hornets are "working toward a new TV contract and new arena lease." Weber said that the "primary goal of a new TV deal, which would begin after next season, is to have games televised in more households throughout the region" (AP, 8/24).
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