Ad Age reports that the city of New Orleans, for the first time ever, is seeking corporate sponsors for Mardi Gras.
New Orleans has hired Los Angeles-based Media Buys to secure corporate sponsorship for Mardi Gras next month, the first time the city has sought to offset the expenses of the carnival with marketing.
But whether marketers want to get involved with the annual celebration, while the city still recovers from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, remains to be seen.
Media Buys is seeking four companies willing to spend $2 million each to serve as an official presenting sponsor of Mardi Gras, to be held Feb. 28. The majority of the funds collected from these sponsors will be directed to the city to be used for support services like police, fire, emergency services and sanitation.
“In New Orleans, one of the drivers of the local economy is the tourism industry,” said Ernest Collins, executive director of arts and entertainment for the city’s economic development office. “A successful Mardi Gras will not only inject badly needed revenue into the local economy, but will also provide us with an opportunity through media coverage to tell a more complete story of our recovery.”