The Pelicans officially unveiled their Smoothie King arena naming-rights deal "in a festive news conference on Thursday, where free smoothies were offered," according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Shortly after the news conference ended, crews began "putting up new Smoothie King logo signs" at the arena. The entrance at the arena for next week’s NBA All-Star Weekend "will feature two 20-foot high Smoothie King cups." The company’s logo also will "go up on the roof of the arena and it will operate two concession stands for all events at the facility." Pelicans Owner Tom Benson said, "Nothing like this has happened in New Orleans before where two companies get together and we’re going to broadcast this all over the world. Here’s a local company that’s international and this is just another big plus for New Orleans and our state" (NOLA.com, 2/6). Pelicans co-Owner & Vice Chair Rita Benson LeBlanc said the arena's new name denotes "a healthy and active lifestyle." In Baton Rouge, Ted Lewis writes, "When's the last time a product coming out of New Orleans was touted that way?" Lewis: "So what if it's the Smoothie King Center? ... The point is, this was a good deal all around." Smoothie King wants to "expand its brand in this country" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 2/7). Smoothie King Owner & CEO Wan Kim said that he "couldn't think of a better way to fulfill Smoothie King's goal of tripling in size in the next five years." Kim: "This is a great opportunity for us to grow our brands domestically and internationally" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 2/7).
The MLB Giants this year are "putting finishing touches" on The Gotham Club at AT&T Park, which "will be open to members only and occupies different areas within the ball yard," according to Eric Young of the S.F. BUSINESS TIMES. The club’s name is "an homage to the New York Gothams Baseball Club, the first iteration of the team in 1883." Members for an annual fee starting at $1,250 get "access to three venues -- the Game Room, the Bullpen and The Clubhouse -- where they can entertain or be entertained watching ballgames or other events." The Game Room "features pool tables and bowling -- two loves of former Giants manager John McGraw -- and is located on the ballpark’s suite level." It also includes "a bar and vintage parlor games." The Clubhouse is "built into the out-of-town scoreboard along the right field wall," and "affords views to the ballfield and outside to McCovey Cove." It also "features several seating areas and a large bar." In the Bullpen, which "runs along the right field warning track," members can "watch, from field level, players warming up before games." Giants Senior VP/Administration Alfonso Felder said that team execs have "have been thinking about creating a private club in the ballpark for some time." The Gotham Club plans "came together in the last year or so as the club found ways to make the needed renovations in the ballpark" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/6).