Now here's a marketing campaign the Kingfish would approve of: the New Orleans Saints are getting in bed with local media - more so than gushing columns heaping platitudes on a franchise that tried to flee the city in its darkest days. This time, money's actually changing hands.
The Times-Picayune's parent company is paying five Saints players, including Drew Brees, to Tweet in promotion of the paper's Saints-centric web site. While these type of business ethics are undeniably Louisianan, they mesh just a shade with the city's newly branded image of open, positive change, and force us lowly non-NOLAs to again ask - What will David Simon say?
This move comes weeks after selling a German luxury automobile manufacturer the naming rights to their "iconic" stadium - you know, the one that's an almost religious beacon of hope in a ravaged city whose average citizens earn less annually than the average car said company produces sells for.
Six years after Katrina and two years removed from their World Championship, the Saints are the toast of New Orleans and Louisiana now more than ever. So it makes perfect sense that New Orleans' largest newspaper would pay the team's superstar players to encourage fans to read their coverage. Where could a glaring, obvious conflict of interest occur? Maybe at this very moment, as Times-Pic reporters are covering a potential contract renewal of one Drew Brees? Or maybe every single day after that?
Surely I can trust NOLA.com and the Times Pic to accurately cover Brees' contract talks: Drew Brees told me to read about them reporting on... Drew Brees.