New Orleans Advocate Becomes Official Newspaper of Saints & Pelicans

September 9, 2013

Businessman Tom Benson, who owns the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, will see his two sport franchises welcome an official newspaper with the New Orleans Advocate been given that designation.

The deal makes The New Orleans Advocate the official newspaper of the Saints and Pelicans, and it allows the newspaper to promote itself at home games of the two teams.

“We have a great newspaper here, a daily newspaper, instead of having one three days a week or whatever it is,” Tom Benson said in relation to The Times-Picayune’s decision to curtail home delivery. “We are excited about it. We think The Advocate is going to do real good for itself and us too. We think it is very important. My wife and I every morning sit down and read the paper. There is nothing like it.”

Rita Benson LeBlanc, vice chairwoman of the Saints and Pelicans, thanked the business and civic leaders gathered in the Bienville Club room at the Superdome.

She said her family shares an entrepreneurial spirit with Georges.

“With The Advocate, John has a vision to grow it,” she said. “It wasn’t just an acquisition in Baton Rouge, it was something that would enhance New Orleans and continue to grow through the state. It made sense to partner with the Saints and the Pelicans.”

Robert W. Merrick, chairman and chief executive officer of Latter & Blum, said the opportunities provided by a daily newspaper with a regional reach is “significant.”

“The Advocate is in a unique position to have a regional influence and a regional reach,” Latter & Blum President Rick Haase said. “And for an advertiser like us who does business from Lake Charles out through the Mississippi River Gulf Coast, to be able to have end-to-end coverage for our operations is great.”

The agreement between the newspaper and the sports teams covers marketing and promotion and does not involve news coverage of the teams. Similarly, The Advocate is the official newspaper of the LSU Tigers.