NEW ORLEANS (February 6, 2014) — New Orleans Pelicans Owner Tom Benson and Smoothie King Owner Wan Kim announced today a multi-year agreement reached between the Pelicans and Smoothie King to name the New Orleans Arena the "Smoothie King Center."
"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."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said, "I want to congratulate and thank everyone on this exciting news. What a great Louisiana success story. I want to thank Wan for not only growing this brand across the country and around the world, but for expanding Smoothie King's headquarters and keeping it here in Southeast Louisiana. This is a great marriage between Smoothie King and our New Orleans Pelicans. I know the Smoothie King Center is going to be home to many exciting games and events, starting with next weekend's NBA All-Star Game."
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "We are thrilled to have a hometown company supporting both the New Orleans Pelicans and one of our premier event facilities. This exciting partnership with Smoothie King will help promote the ongoing events we welcome to our city every month starting with the upcoming 2014 NBA All-Star Game."
The naming rights agreement between the Pelicans, the State of Louisiana and Smoothie King is for 10 years. 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 facade, on the Pelicans home basketball court, the team's scoreboard and in numerous locations throughout the facility.
The Smoothie King Center will also feature visuals that reinforce the brand's new purpose-driven positioning. Fans will see messages encouraging them to "Feel Taller" and "Get More Jump in Your Game" with Smoothie King's Energy and Fitness Blends.
With the NBA hosting its annual All-Star Game and associated activities in New Orleans the weekend of February 14-16, fans attending the newly-named Smoothie King Center will be greeted by a 20-foot high Smoothie King cup at the building's main entrance on Gravier Street across from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A new Smoothie King retail outlet will offer visitors numerous varieties of its signature purposeful smoothies to enjoy for sporting events and other entertainment offerings held at the Smoothie King Center.