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View Full Version : Pelicans to play in "Smoothie King" Center



jsthornton7
02-06-2014, 03:01 AM
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10410881/new-orleans-pelicans-play-smoothie-king-center


The New Orleans Pelicans will announce on Thursday a 10-year naming rights deal that will result in their home being called the Smoothie King Center.

Financial terms of the deal with franchisor Smoothie King, which has 675 stores in the U.S., South Korea and Singapore, were not being disclosed. The company has about 75 employees working at its New Orleans headquarters.

"Our mission is to invest locally, regionally, nationally and internationally," said Tom O'Keefe, Smoothie King's president and COO. "This deal satisfies all those goals."

Smoothie King will get its logo all over the arena and have two kiosks that will serve smoothies at the venue's events. O'Keefe said the areas will not only serve as a retail experience, but also hope to lure new franchisees.

The entrance will feature two 20-foot high Smoothie King cups that will be in place in time for next weekend's NBA All-Star Game. The company's logo will also be on the roof of the arena.

O'Keefe said the deal took a long time to put together because the company wanted to be seen as athlete friendly. To pass muster, the company tested all of its ingredients to make sure it was compliant with what athletes in all leagues could ingest. O'Keefe said a few ingredients, which made up less than 1 percent of Smoothie King's $160 million in systemwide sales last year, were eliminated from the companies menu.

Although the state of Louisiana owns both this arena and the Superdome, whose naming rights were sold to Mercedes-Benz, the marketing teams of Pelicans and Saints owner Tom Benson consummated both deals.

Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha said such a deal had been a "gigantic'' piece of owner Benson's business plan since he bought the long-struggling small-market franchise from the NBA in the spring of 2012.

"Finding a naming rights partner was key to the long-term financial viability of this franchise in this market,'' Lauscha said.

Team officials said there were "two or three'' other candidates for a naming rights deal, but that Smoothie King's interests seemed most aligned with the Benson's goals of promoting the business climate in his home state.

"There's no more perfect story to say how businesses can root themselves in New Orleans and grow,'' said Rita Benson LeBlanc, Benson's granddaughter and a part owner of the Pelicans and Saints. She added that the agreement is "a testament to how New Orleans has recovered (from Hurricane Katrina) and how Louisiana is redefining itself as an economic development engine.''

Duncan = Donkey
02-06-2014, 03:04 AM
They did it, they topped the Pelicans....

JLynn943
02-06-2014, 03:08 AM
Pretty awesome actually imo. Like Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, it's cool to see something other than a multinational corporate giant with naming rights.

amak316
02-06-2014, 05:18 AM
They are really great at naming things in New Orleans.

lamzoka
02-06-2014, 09:51 AM
I used to work at smoothie king when I was 17
My first job ever :D

MrfadeawayJB
02-06-2014, 12:08 PM
Wow

sunsfan88
02-06-2014, 01:09 PM
Pretty awesome actually imo. Like Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, it's cool to see something other than a multinational corporate giant with naming rights.

I have started to hear the ads for Sleep Train so much in the past 6 months...is that something which got famous in the last year?

RLundi
02-06-2014, 01:35 PM
Honestly? Awful.

JLynn943
02-06-2014, 03:15 PM
I have started to hear the ads for Sleep Train so much in the past 6 months...is that something which got famous in the last year?

no clue. I live on the east coast and I've never seen or heard of one around here.

JasonJohnHorn
02-06-2014, 03:30 PM
They did it, they topped the Pelicans....

lol

This is just wrong. "Smoothie King"? Next thing you know the Pistons will be playing as the Mel Farr's Superstar Palace of Domino's Pizza.

Denver-boy
02-06-2014, 03:53 PM
did this get a arena before KING soopers or Burger king. ??? I guess there can only be one king

sunsfan88
02-07-2014, 05:56 AM
no clue. I live on the east coast and I've never seen or heard of one around here.

I live in So Cal and if you listen to the radio for an hour, you will hear at least like 10 Sleep Train ads during that time.

They are all so cheesy too. I didn't think it was actually making enough money to where it can afford buying naming rights of a NBA gym.