The New Orleans Arena could be casting its hook on a fishy smelling arena nickname.
With star guard Chris Paul hanging out in "Lob City," Hornets fans don't have much to look forward to these days, other than the 2012 draft, and this story won't help them feel any better.
We all know oil and water don't mix, but could you imagine "The Louisiana Seafood Arena Spiced by Zatarain's"? The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports it's closer to happening than you might think.
An executive at the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board told the newspaper the organization is considering spending a large portion of their $30 million payout from BP for its roll in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to buy arena naming rights.
“We see this as a major media buy for us because we are going to be spending the money on TV or billboard or traditional media one way or the other,” Ewell Smith, the executive director of the fish promotion and marketing board said. “So we are looking at different avenues, whether it’s the Hornets or other venues, and what will give us the strongest impression with the consumers across the nation and then how can we use that within the trade to drive sales.
In 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and injured 17 others. An oil leak caused by the mishap went unstopped for three months, sending a mind boggling 4.9 million barrels of crude oil (estimated 53,000 barrels per day) into the Gulf of Mexico.
So massive was the spill, that it could be seen from space by NASA satellites. Its reportedly the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. As a result of the calamity, the company formally known as British Petroleum agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to help compensate victims affected around Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Some of that money could be used to hook the NBA arena naming deal.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal put together a board to approve where that BP money is spent.
“At the end of the day, they need to do what’s completely best for their industry, and the stakeholders need to decide that,” Jindal told the Times-Picayune. “There have been some discussions about what’s the best way to spend those dollars. Whatever they decide, they need to come up with a consensus because they are such an important industry for our state. We want that industry to get back on its feet. These are unusual challenges. They have the resources now from BP to help start addressing those challenges; they need to decide the best way to use those resources.”
The Hornets already get close to $700,000 from the seafood board in a separate sponsorship deal. The Times-Picayune reports the board could partner with third party to help cover some of the extra costs. They named the Zatarain's Brand Inc., which are in talks with the NBA franchise as a possibility.
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