Wednesday, 05 October 2011 16:56
New Orleans Saints Take Ride In Mercedes Benz As It Faces Cam Newton, Panthers
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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton talked about playing for a losing team, Gregg Williams, ESPN reporters and the successful transition from Auburn to the NFL in a conference call with the rookie on Wednesday.
Newton said the numbers are really irrelevant, what matters is winning. 


The Panthers rank 31st in the NFL in rushing defense (143.8 yards per game) and aren't looking foward to stopping the Saints running game and Darren Sharper on Sunday...The Carolina media believes WR Brandon LaFell of LSU should be in the Panthers' starting lineup...The Panthers have had difficulty in containing their opponents' running game which is a significant reason they are 1-3...

Saints Take Ride With Mercedes Benz As Team Prepares For Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

On Tuesday, Governor Bobby Jindal joined Saints Owner Tom Benson and Ernst Leib, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA to announce a 10-year agreement reached between the NFL Saints and Mercedes-Benz USA to name the recently renovated Louisiana Superdome, the “Mercedes-Benz Superdome.”

Read Bayoubuzz column and watch video of events from yesterday's announcement--

Governor Jindal said, “This announcement today means we are gaining the partnership of a world-class company while generating savings for Louisiana taxpayers. This partnership agreement is estimated to significantly reduce or eliminate taxpayer funding currently spent to support the Saints. From a place of last refuge in Hurricane Katrina, to a facility where we recently invested $85 million for improvements to help attract corporate sponsorship from world-renown Mercedes-Benz USA, the Superdome is a symbol of our State’s success in not only rebuilding, but building back better than ever. Louisiana is making a comeback and the nation is taking notice.”

New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson said, “I am thrilled to be able to announce a winning and long-term partnership between the Saints and Mercedes-Benz.  The Mercedes-Benz brand represents the very best in its industry and we believe that it is a perfect fit for this stadium, one of the world’s greatest sporting venues.  We felt strongly it was essential that if we were to offer the name of our building to a company, it would be one that all of our fans and the state of Louisiana would be proud of.  The investment being made by a premier international brand who believes in ‘the best or nothing,’ is a tremendous compliment to all of those who worked so hard to make the stadium what it is today.”

 The new Mercedes-Benz Superdome name marks the first time the legendary New Orleans sports and exhibition stadium has been linked with a naming rights sponsor.  The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, known internationally for its rich tradition of hosting some of the world’s largest sporting and entertainment events, including six Super Bowls, four NCAA Final Fours, three BCS National Championship games and numerous legendary Sugar Bowls, recently completed a six-year, $336 million renovation project that has positioned the stadium as a premier destination for major events for decades to come.  The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is poised to add to its great legacy as host to the 2012 BCS National Championship Game, the 2012 NCAA Final Four and the 2013 Super Bowl.

Saints Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc said, “The entire Saints organization is excited to be forging this partnership between such iconic brands.  We believe Mercedes-Benz, the New Orleans Saints and the Superdome are all the absolute best in our respective classes.  The innovation, attention to detail and quality exemplified by Mercedes-Benz were also the guiding principles in the State’s renovation of our stadium.  This agreement will allow us to build an even stronger legacy for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and it illustrates that the brand of the Saints, New Orleans and Louisiana have never been stronger.  We look forward to sharing the passion of our great fans, visitors and viewers from all over the world with Mercedes-Benz.”

President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA Ernst Lieb said, “The joining of the Mercedes-Benz brand with the world-class Saints organization and the Superdome, an iconic destination which has undergone an incredible transformation over the past six years, is a significant moment for us along with the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. Our commitment over the next decade is to the Saints fans, team, and this famous community as it flourishes beyond anyone’s expectations.”

The New Orleans Saints were granted the right to market the naming rights of the Louisiana Superdome as part of their recent 15-year lease extension with the state of Louisiana, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) and SMG. The team put the search to secure naming rights on a fast track during the 2011 off-season and came together very quickly in the last two weeks. The Saints’ new naming rights agreement with Mercedes-Benz is expected to significantly reduce or eliminate state inducements to the Saints.

SOME hither, others yon: Can we call the Packers and the Saints the class of the NFL? Matt Bowen of NFP. newsletter. thinks so: "That's what I'm thinking after four weeks of football. Both clubs can move the ball on offense, have multiple weapons at the skill positions and when we break down the defenses, it is about pressure and taking the ball away. I love what you get from both Don Capers and Gregg Williams in their weekly game plans: pressure, man-coverage and unique looks that cause confusion. However, the key in Green Bay and New Orleans? he QB play Rogers and Brees can put up numbers vs.any secondary in the NFL."...  

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre served as an analyst for the game between Southern Miss and Rice the past Saturday night. Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports writes that Favre flopped. Based on the iintroductory portion of the broadcast post by Watson, Favre's performance wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. Favre said he was nervous. Like most beginning announcers, Favre talked way too much. Plus he'll have to wear a tie at some point and it could be hard to find one that will go with his flip-flops...

by Ed Staton

Read Bayoubuzz column and watch video of events from yesterday's Saints-Superdome-Mercedes Benz announcement--

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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