SBD/March 29, 2012/Facilities

Mercedes-Benz Superdome Adds More Corporate Signage, Completes Final Four Setup

Four backlit "Mercedes-Benz Superdome" signs were placed over primary entrances
The Superdome has undergone another round of corporate branding, now with "18-foot-tall letters that spell out 'Mercedes-Benz Superdome'" painted on the dome's roof, according to Doug MacCash of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Four large backlit "Mercedes-Benz Superdome" signs in October were "placed over the primary entrances, with smaller signs everywhere." The new roofline lettering "adds a daylight dimension to the inescapable branding." A Mercedes-Benz logo also has been "applied to the summit of the Superdome, though it is invisible from the street." The roof-top logo is intended to be "gazed down upon by airline passengers and be featured in flyover footage from blimps during televised events." SMG GM Alan Freeman, who oversees the management of the venue, said the cost of the roof branding was around $350,000. Freeman: "It is one of the final elements of the naming rights agreement between Mercedes-Benz and the New Orleans Saints." Freeman added that all branding, including the roof painting, "was meant to be finished in time" for this weekend's men's Final Four. Though most of the large outdoor signs will be exposed during the games, some, like the "smaller signs over the parking lot entrances, will be covered with Final Four signs" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/29).

PREP WORK: In New Orleans, Tammy Nunez notes the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was "abuzz Wednesday with hundreds of workers cleaning seats, hauling metal poles and hoisting electronics into the air via cable pulleys." Freeman said, "We are ready. The thing that we want to be able to do is when people leave the city of New Orleans, they will say, 'Man, that was great, that building was great, we had a great time. We're going back.' That's what this is all about." Nunez notes the NCAA's "signature octagon scoreboard ... hangs from cables to give the venue a distinctly college fieldhouse feel." The setup for the Final Four took 18 days and was completed Tuesday, "employing about 150 laborers working 12-hour days." Freeman said that the venue "chipped in more than $500,000 for the transformation" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/29).
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