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Smoothie King Makes Splash at Hometown Arena


CEO Wan Kim is making a big splash in Smoothie King’s hometown, with a new agreement to re-name the home of the New Orleans Pelicans.

 New Orleans Arena will be called the Smoothie King Center, and the announcement comes just before the city hosts the NBA All-Star Game.

“We are thrilled to have a hometown company supporting both the New Orleans Pelicans and one of our premier event facilities,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

It’s a major move for Smoothie King, the franchisor Kim purchased from founders Steve and Cindy Kuhnau and began overhauling. He considered moving headquarters to Atlanta or Dallas, but changed his mind and stayed put when he discovered the fierce loyalty Smoothie King's employees have for the area. Last year Kim unveiled a new logo to refresh the franchise’s 40-year-old brand.

“Smoothie King and the NBA are a perfect fit,” said Kim, announcing his first major promotional move outside company walls.The naming rights agreement between the Pelicans, the state of Louisiana and Smoothie King runs for 10 years.

A 20-foot-high Smoothie King cup will greet fans attending the All-Star Game this weekend, February 14-16, at the building’s main entrance on Gravier Street, across from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and home of the New Orleans Saints. A new Smoothie King retail outlet will offer smoothies for sale.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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