The New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans have each named UL Lafayette their Official Higher Education Partner.
Academic partnerships between the University and Louisiana's only professional sports franchises were finalized late last year, said Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president.
The three-year collaborations will give UL Lafayette students and recent graduates access to internships, practical career experiences and networking opportunities. The Saints and Pelicans will fund two annual scholarships at the University for qualified students.
"UL Lafayette is committed to providing students with learning beyond the classroom that will benefit them throughout their lifetimes," Savoie said. "The partnerships with the Saints and Pelicans will help the University meet that goal by providing professional development opportunities for our students."
The franchises are planning experiences each semester that will put UL Lafayette students in contact with members of both organizations' corporate offices. Possibilities include on-campus speakers and meet-and-greets, student job fairs, and career summits that focus on job applications and résumé building.
Such experiences and opportunities "are vital to student success," said Michael Stanfield, New Orleans Saints and Pelicans senior vice president of sales.
"We are proud to align ourselves with such an exceptional institution that provides the highest standard of education to students not only in Louisiana but across the globe," he added.
Dr. DeWayne Bowie, UL Lafayette vice president for Enrollment Management, said the New Orleans market is "a priority for us in our student recruitment efforts."
The agreements permit UL Lafayette to display advertising signage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and in the Smoothie King Center, the respective homes of the Saints and Pelicans. In addition, the teams' social media accounts and digital platforms will spotlight their partnerships with UL Lafayette.
"This type of publicity is essential as we work to recruit students in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf South," Bowie said.
The UL Lafayette Foundation will manage the agreement on behalf of the University. John Blohm is vice president for Advancement and the Foundation's CEO.
"Partnering with the Saints and Pelicans is an exciting opportunity for the University. It will enable us to engage alumni, friends, potential students and their parents. Once they learn what UL Lafayette offers, and where we're heading as an institution, they're going to want to know more," Blohm said.