Today, liquid meal franchise Smoothie King has signed on to a 10-year agreement with naming rights to the New Orleans Arena, now called Smoothie King Center. The new Smoothie King Center logo will grace the roof (pictured) as well as the sides of the building and on the New Orleans Pelicans court. The 10-year naming rights agreement (established with the Pelicans, the State of Louisiana and Smoothie King) will have an option for a 10-year renewal.
Pelicans and Saints owner Tom Benson said he had hoped to establish the Pelicans' home court with a local name when he purchased the team in 2012. The Smoothie King Center will make its big debut at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game weekend, Feb. 14-16, when a 20-foot high Smoothie King cup will be installed at the Center's main entrance on Gravier Street across from the Superdome. Smoothie King also will open two kiosks at the Center.
Smoothie King opened its first location in 1973 in New Orleans. It now has more than 600 stores selling billions of calories a day to tired undergrads and people going to "the gym." It is officially the first smoothie company to hold naming rights to an NBA arena. The only other liquid-named arena is Denver's Pepsi Center, home to the Denver Nuggets.
Gambit offers some suggestions for game-time promotional tie-ins: Orange Ka-BAM® Dance Cam, The New Orleans Pelicans & Smoothie King Present The Green Tea Tango® Dance Team, Pineapple Pleasure® Presents Pierre The Pelican — or hey, for Pierre haters out there, what about Passion Passport® or Pomegranate Punch™ Pierre, or do away with Pierre all together and introduce a terrifying hybrid of Smoothie King Cake Baby?