New Orleans Saints Expand to France as Team’s First Global Market
The move will allow the Saints to develop commercial and cultural ties between Louisiana and France.
Lire en français sur Télé-Louisiane.
The New Orleans Saints announced today that the NFL has approved its request to add France as its first international market. The collaboration will allow the football team to develop marketing, fan engagement and commercialization partnerships in the French market.
The NFL launched the Global Markets Program last year as part of an effort to encourage its U.S. football teams to engage fans around the world. The Saints’ French expansion is the team’s first entry into the program as well as the first time France has been chosen as a target market.
"We are excited to be awarded France as our NFL Global Market Program territory," Saints owner Gayle Benson said. "New Orleans and France have enjoyed a unique cultural connection for centuries and we are excited about working with the NFL and our partners in France to grow the game of American football. In addition to having the opportunity to market our team in France, we are looking forward to promoting our city and state and driving investment in local and regional businesses."
This decision expands into the realm of sports the positive momentum that has been taking place in Louisiana’s French speaking ecosystem over the past few years. In particular, last year, the State Legislature authorized the largest budget in history for Louisiana French projects that totaled $4 million–including support for École Pointe-au-Chien and Télé-Louisiane’s programming partnership with Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).
In December, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Louisiana in a historic trip. During the visit, he met with key francophone, political and economic leaders including Saints owner Gayle Benson. Benson also met with the French Ambassador Philippe Etienne in January to discuss collaborations between technical experts on the renovations of Saint Louis and Notre Dame cathedrals as well as the addition of a New Orleans-Paris direct flight on AirFrance.