Tom and Gayle Benson, new cast of New Orleans celebrities show theyre in

April 20, 2012

On the heels of the NBAs announcement of Tom Benson as the new owner of the franchise, the New Orleans Hornets are re-launching the beloved Im In campaign. Still identified by the badge that declares Im In, the re-launch includes new television and radio commercials, billboards, and newspaper and online ads that feature national and local celebrities including Benson and his wife, Gayle, Chef Susan Spicer, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham and high school football coaching legend J.T. Curtis.

The Im In logo will still anchor the campaign, but the phrase, Im In For Good! will also be featured. With a local owner and new lease agreement, the Hornets are in New Orleans for generations to come and are excited to be a part of the New New Orleans and the citys undergoing renaissance.

In the first commercial, we were honored to have Governor Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landreiu as a part of the cast, said Hornets President Hugh Weber. Their support, as well as the numerous faces in the creative elements, created an Im In movement. This is an exciting time for New Orleans as its on track to be at its very best in the next few years. With events like the 2014 NBA All-Star game and the 2013 Super Bowl coming to the city, New Orleans will have the opportunity to show the nation, and the world, how incredibly unique it truly is.

From everyday fans to faces that are immediately associated with the Crescent City, each demonstrates their love for New Orleans and the Hornets by being in. Well-known residents voicing their IM IN pledges also include Chef Leah Chase, McDonalds franchisee Henry Coaxum, Artist Terrance Osbourne, Barry Kern from Mardi Gras World, Ste. Marie Owner Robert LeBlanc and Audubon Zookeeper Paul Benoit, who appears in the campaign with one of the bayous most recognizable residentsan alligator.

The way fans have connected with the Im In campaign has been incredible, said Hornets NBA Chairman Jac Sperling. Launching an extension of the campaign is indicative to the response from the New Orleans community, as well as that from the local celebrities featured. When we launched the campaign last March, it was our goal to secure local ownership, sign a lease extension with the state and sell 10,000 season tickets. We were able to accomplish those goals with the support and in-ness of the Gulf region.

Everyone who has been a part of the Im In campaign represents New Orleans and is an icon of the city in their own special way. This is especially the case for former Saints special teams player Steve Gleason who appears in the commercial with his wife Michel and six-month old son, Rivers. Last fall, Gleason announced that he is battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Following the announcement, the City of New Orleans has rallied around him and his foundation, Team Gleason.

Die-hard Hornets fans have their moment in the campaign, too, as season ticketholder Mary Boutte, Hugo the Hornet and the Bee Zanies, the Hornets super fan group presented by Budweiser and Zatarains, express the same in-ness that they bring to the New Orleans Arena at every home game.

The New Orleans music community plays its part in the re-launch of the campaign as Crescent City-born bands Soul Rebels, Bag of Donuts and the St. Augustine Marching Band, along with musicians Big Sam and Khris Royal and rapper/hip-hop producer Manny Fresh all make appearances. New Orleans spirited Mardi Gras tradition is also captured as Mardi Gras Indian Honey Bannister, Krewe of Orpheus captain Sonny Borey and Krewe of Argus captains Lawrence Cherhardy and Rob DeViney all show their support for the Hornets.

Fans can show their support and say IM IN by joining the Krewe of Hornets as a 2012-13 season ticket holder. For more information, visit or call 504-525-HOOP.

To find out other ways to say IM IN, visit the official IM IN Web site at

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