Ever since the Costa Concordia disaster, cruise lines have increasingly resorted to paying for press releases to try and convince the public to cruise.
The latest press release was by Carnival Cruise Line yesterday, announcing that the cruise line has partnered with the New Orleans Saints.
Carnival will be sponsoring some type of half-time promotion where a Saints fan will get a free cruise aboard the renovated Carnival Sunshine cruise ship, which sails on its inaugural voyage from New Orleans the following day.
I'm not sure I understand this type of marketing. Carnival is headquartered in the cruise-ship-capital-of-the-world Miami and is associated with the Miami Heat (owned by Carnival's Micky Arison).
But Carnival is not the first Miami-based cruise line to associate itself with a sports team outside of Florida.
NCL just issued a press release announcing that it has partnered with the New York Knicks. I suppose that this makes sense because NCL's Norwegian Breakaway is a New York City-inspired ship that sails year-round from the Big Apple.
But why does New Orleans or the Saints want to associate themselves with Carnival, now asociated with poop cruises? The days of being the losing "Aints," when the New Orleans fans wore bags over their heads, are over.
Carnival has some lessons to learn from the Big Easy. New Orleans suffered from having the worst football team in the league decades ago. Howard Cosell even called the Saints a disgrace on Monday night football thirty years ago. And then New Orleans and the Saints had to endure the spectacle of the Superdome being trashed in Hurricane Katrina and people suffering miserably inside.
But since then, New Orleans recovered and the Saints won a Super Bowl. The Superdome is a raucous, fun place to watch football. And the Saints are now considered an elite, well-run and winning program.
Let's hope that Carnival's partnership with the Saints brings the cruise line equal success.
P.S. Don't miss reading my article about favorite team, the Saints, and my favorite city, New Orleans: Oysters, Dixie Beer & My New Orleans Saints.