New Orleans Saints, Pelicans embrace content creation

NEW ORLEANS: The organization that owns and operates the New Orleans Saints of the NFL and the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans has launched a digital media team to engage fans with daily content.

NEW ORLEANS: The organization that owns and operates the New Orleans Saints of the NFL and the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans has launched a digital media team to engage fans with daily content.

The unit, which began operations about a month ago, falls under the group's PR department, said Greg Bensel, SVP of communications for both professional New Orleans sports teams. Businessman Tom Benson owns both franchises.

To get the digital media platform off to a strong start, Bensel hired Doug Tatum, former sports editor of New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune, to manage the department.

He also brought on former sports columnist and writer for The Times-Picayune, John DeShazier, who spent the past year as a radio analyst for Pelican games, as a senior writer for NewOrleansSaints.com.

One of the goals of the department is to “talk directly to fans and show them exclusive looks” at the teams, their players, and the organization as a whole, said Bensel.

The digital media team creates content and posts stories every day, as well as videos, photos, and radio shows.

The former New Orleans Hornets formally rebranded as the New Orleans Pelicans in May, debuting a new logo and colors. The team has played in the city since the 2002-03 season, though it temporarily moved to Oklahoma City from 2005-07 after Hurricane Katrina.

Bensel said the organization is not trying to compete against local media outlets with the site.

“We want to be a professional football team and basketball team that puts information out through our PR [unit] and goes through traditional media outlets. However, in today's day and age, that's no longer viable to compete,” he said. “You have to talk directly to your consumers, stakeholders, and fans, and one way to do that is through social media and digital media.”

The organization handles all PR efforts promoting the digital media team in-house, said Bensel.

He declined to disclose budget information, but said the teams are “definitely putting a lot of resources behind it.”

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