The people of New Orleans can no longer use the (reasonable) excuse they’d prefer not to enrich George Shin when it comes to resisting the charms of Hornets basketball, and as such, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindel is quite eager to drop state loot on keeping the franchise in the Big Easy. On Monday, Jindel announced Louisana will gift the Hornets $7 million because the team is unlikely to meet revenue requirements in their lease agreement. From the Times-Picayune’s John Reid :
“We do expect on their performance that we will be making a payment to the team under the current contract that’s fully funded in the LSED budget,’’ Jindal said. “We continue to have good conversations with the team. They have not made a specific proposal. We’re focusing on the second phase of the ‘I’m in’ campaign.’’
Jindal was in New Orleans on Monday to attend the launching of the Hornets’ new marketing campaign, called “I’m In,” to meet their possible target of reaching at least 10,000 season-ticket holder next season.
The campaign will include television and radio commercials, billboards, newspaper and online advertisement featuring celebrities, community and business leaders, such as Saints quarterback Drew Brees, musician Kermit Ruffins, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
If the region’s recovery is really going so well there aren’t more crucial ways to use $7 million dollars, that’s only a good thing I suppose. But if the NBA and Gov. Jindal are serious about boosting attendances at Hornets games, they’re gonna need a better scheme than TV commercials starring Drew Brees and (OMG) Archbishop Gregory Aymond. Y’know, ideally something with widespread appeal. Like perhaps, “Beat Steve Zahn To Death With Big Wooden Clubs Night” at the New Orleans Arena?