Nike, Sugar Bowl, Brees' Foundation Partner To Fund Park Enhancements In New Orleans
New Orleans city officials Tuesday unveiled a new turf football field at Joe Brown Park, the "sprawling eastern New Orleans facility that was trashed by Hurricane Katrina,” according to Frank Donze of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. The field is part of a partnership “that will bring more than $23 million in enhancements" to the park. Other recent upgrades “include the $3.8 million Victory Field football complex, renovations to the park’s recreation center and a new, eight-lane running track -- all built with the help" of Nike, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Saints QB Drew Brees' Brees Dream Foundation. The Nike swoosh will appear on the field "as part of the agreement with the city,” and the “trademarks of such rivals as Reebok and Adidas will be banned.” The city will operate and maintain the field. Officials with Nike, the Sugar Bowl and Brees' foundation "declined to say exactly how much each entity is committing to the project, though a Nike spokesman said the corporation’s portions will be in the ‘millions.’” Nike North American VP Elliott Hill said that the company “has given the city a long-term commitment, agreeing to market the football field as a venue for national events, to sponsor youth and community events there and to solicit additional corporate sponsorships.” Hill added that it is "likely that star athletes under contract with Nike will take part in some of those events.” Initial improvements to the Joe Brown Center are “scheduled to be done by March -- in time for Nike to host Final-Four related youth events there.” Officials hope to “finish the work by the summer” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/11).