Ben Hales was named Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans in June of 2012 and oversees marketing initiatives for both teams. Hales, who enters his 16th season with the Saints and fourth with the Pelicans, spent seven seasons as the team’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.
On a daily basis, Hales directs the Saints’ marketing and creative efforts, as well as community initiatives and game and event presentation. He’s also intricately involved in both clubs’ critical planning of short-term and long-range marketing efforts. Hales’ duties also entail stadium operations at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, broadcasting partnerships, promotions, advertising, special events and youth programs.
During the 2012-13 NBA season, the Hornets franchise announced that they would re-brand following the season and become the New Orleans Pelicans. Hales was instrumental in the re-branding efforts from start to finish, helping to first conceptualize the look to represent the Pelicans namesake and leading the planning for the official announcement in January 2013.
In 2011, Hales finalized a ground-breaking ten-year naming rights deal for the stadium with Mercedes-Benz. Throughout his tenure, he has helped create and implement a variety of innovative opportunities for local and national partners to build relationships with the club, including the development of Patron Saints Partners, a premium sponsorship program. Under his direction the club has added a sponsorship and fulfillment department, to ensure corporate partners receive the highest level of service.
The Saints have continued to increase the number and variety of television and radio programs after Hales assumed the role of the club's primary programming negotiator. In addition to three weekly in-season television programs, the Saints now produce numerous specials that have aired on three different local television stations throughout each season.
In 2006, the Saints achieved the first season ticket sellout in team history, a feat the team has equaled each season since then. The club was named the 2006 Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association’s New Orleans regional chapter and also received the 2007 MAX Award for its 2006 “Winning Is An Attitude” advertising campaign.
Hales joined the Saints in 2000 as a corporate sales account executive. In 2001, he was promoted to corporate sales and broadcasting manager before becoming a director the following year and assuming the responsibilities of business and marketing operations.
Prior to joining the Saints, Hales worked in television advertising in the New Orleans market. In addition to his community efforts on behalf of the team, Hales is a member of the New Orleans City Park Board of Commissioners and the People’s Health Champions Selection Committee while also serving on the Super Bowl Bid Executive Committee and the NCAA Final Four Committee. Hales has also recently served on the Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee Executive Committee and NBA All-Star Host Committee.
In 2013, Hales was honored as a Young Leadership Council (YLC) Role Model and was named as one of The Gambit’s 40 under 40 in 2012.
A native of New Orleans and a longtime Saints terrace and plaza level season ticket holder before joining the club, Hales earned a degree in English from the University of Mississippi in 1996.