Sunday, February 11, 2007

Help the city with Mardi Gras

The following is a press release from MediaBuys, the company tyring to find sponsorships to help pay for Mardi Gras expenses.

Donations Drive To Help Pay For Mardi Gras

The City of New Orleans and MediaBuys, LLC just announced the creation of a special addition to the 2007 Sponsorship & Support Program that will enable people to contribute directly to the City from their cell phones, through PayPal Mobile or through online PayPal accounts.

Mardi Gras is vital to the New Orleans economy, but it costs the City up to $5 million to host.

Starting on the first day of the Mardi Gras parade season, February 8th, and continuing for a period of one year, proceeds collected will be channeled to a specially created "City Services Fund," which will pay for Mardi Gras (in lieu of major efforts to find a Presenting Sponsor) and enables the restoration of critical elements of New Orleans' municipal services.

Starting February 8th, send everyone you know to these addresses:

You may text NOLA to 78787 on your cell phone or donate online.

All amounts will be accepted, $5, $10 or whatever you can give.

A "thermometer," measuring the level of donations up-to-the-moment, will be shown on the websites and on a huge LED screen during Mardi Gras.

Donations will be used to offset costs during Mardi Gras such as police, fire protection, emergency services and sanitation. All contributions made to the City are considered a charitable contribution, and are therefore tax deductible.

The government and corporations don't seem to care about this great city, but you can make a big difference.

If you have questions, call MediaBuys at 866-403-0006.


Anonymous said...

Howzabout MediaBuys returns their fee, since their incompetence in finding sponsors should not be rewarded?

Or would accountability on anything at any point tarnish the legacy of the Nagin administration?

Anonymous said...

Ok, so wait. Media Buys LLC didn't get any sponsors last year, and were somehow re-hired to try again this year. Failed now, for a second year and are now just blaming the government and corporations for not helping New Orleans? Is that how this reads? And they want donations now? I'm sure they'll be back for a third year next year with another great new plan to sell Mardi Gras. Sounds like they've got themselves one of those nice posh Nagin contracts.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Here's the thing with this. I couldn't get a solid answer but I don't think they did get a fee. I think this was a commission based contract, only.

I don't think MediaBuys has done anything scandalous. It would appear they have failed to produce sponsors for carnival, but that was probably and ill-conceived notion in the first place.

LAW70 said...

Has ANYONE from City Hall contacted those companies that have funded Mardi Gras in the past? For example, those providing the booze/beer distributors? Have they channeled funds to help with the Mardi Gras celebration in exchange for some SWEET advertising in the French Quarter? Where is the REAL committee for Mardi Gras? Are there any major vendor contracts? There should have or been a special fund/committee assigned to Mardi Gras since it has long been the biggest attraction in Nola. This is just my thought or am I missing something here.

Jason Brad Berry said...


Well, it's not quite that simple. While all your points are valid, it's important to understand a couple things. Before the storm the idea of a "sponsored" Mardi Gras in anyway was considered blashpemous by many in the city (including me) and the concept is still being met with some resistance in Post-K.

Carnival was always financed primarily by the Krewes themselves...and still is for that matter. City services are essentially support services which are funded by our tax base....of which we only have a fraction of what we had before the storm.

Now, our city is in such dire straits, we are forced to take more desparate actions.

The Krewes have traditionally taken offense to city government meddling with Carnival and the idea of a Mardi Gras committee to sell sponsorhips wouldn't have even been on the radar previous to the storm.

LAW70 said...

Thanks for the insight D!!

It is obvious to me that the Krewes have not been successful in the area of promoting Mardi Gras. The city should take some responsibility for funding this event, because this is the end result (lack of funds). It is no longer about the Krewes anymore, this is about getting New Orleans back on it's feet. This should be a "team" (City Hall, Tourism Board, Zulu's, Krewes, N.O. Saints, etc.) effort. In order to get something you have never had (massive dollars, boost to economy) you have to do something that you have never done. What are your thoughts on this?

Anonymous said...

sounds pretty desperate to me. "well no one that was supposed to help, helped, so it's up to you general public. step up and do the right thing, since your gov't and your corporations won't."

I can see Media Buys in Nagin's office now trying to salvage this - "umm, we'll just go to plan C - the public."

2 questions:

1) why exactly should we citizens help pay for mardi gras? i'm just not seeing the value proposition here. i mean, if we don't, does the city cancel it?

2) can someone send media buys the phone numbers for these companies who have benefitted so much from our city under Nagin that I'm sure they'd be happy to give a little something back?

AFO Investments
Imagine (all versions)
Ernest Collins (ok, not a company, but they should at least shake him down, Ernest Collins-style)

Jason Brad Berry said...

Good points, O.

That is funny...AFO should be the first donor without question.