Boy, everything is changing in the Big Easy, as the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans have sold naming rights to New Orleans Arena to area firm Smoothie King, resulting in Smoothie King Center.
The name change is effective today. Terms of the 10-year deal (with options for 10 more) were not released.
A new Smoothie King Center logo will adorn the roof of the building and the new Smoothie King Center name and logo will appear on the facility’s exterior façade, on the Pelicans home basketball court, the team’s scoreboard and in numerous locations throughout the facility. You’ll be able to see the changes tomorrow (Friday) night when ESPN televises the Timberwolves/Pelicans game, and you’ll certainly have more exposure in February when the arena hosts the NBA All-Star Game festivities.
“Smoothie King and the NBA are a perfect fit,” said Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King which created the original nutritional smoothie in 1973. “Both organizations are global brands that continue to grow in status and stature. Smoothie King supports the NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans franchise, and we think this partnership reflects our joint interests in nutrition, health and athletics from an international to a local perspective.”
New Orleans Pelicans and Saints Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson said, “When we purchased the franchise and became the Pelicans, we were establishing a new winning tradition for our hometown NBA team. Introducing our home court as the Smoothie King Center is one of the goals we set when we purchased the team and we’re excited to partner with a locally incepted company in Smoothie King. They are an international brand with more than 600 locations in the United States and Asia and they have experienced that growth while remaining local. The NBA, Smoothie King, and the Pelicans are committed to excellence on and off the court.”
Pelicans Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson LeBlanc said, “This is an exciting time for the franchise as we introduce the Smoothie King Center and prepare to host the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, where New Orleans will once again be an international stage to host the league’s most exciting event of the season. As a venue, the Smoothie King Center will continue to be enhanced with custom, state-of-the-art improvements into next season. The Smoothie King Center will complement the recent renovation of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Champions Square, giving fans three of the premier venues for sports and entertainment. In addition, both the Pelicans and Smoothie King brands are passionate about healthy living and supporting athletics at all levels. We look forward to working together to enhance the quality of life of all our collective fans.”