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• Six first-year eligible candidates are among the 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018: CB/S Ronde Barber, G Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss andDE/DT Richard Seymour. The Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally (Feb. 3, 2018) on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
• The New York Knicks named Dan Sabreen vp-public relations, effective Nov. 27. Sabreen has spent more than a decade at CBS Sports, most recently as vp-communications.
• For every save made by goalkeepers during MLS Eastern and Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup, Allstate said it would donate two new soccer nets to fields in need in that club's city. MLS goalies participating inlcude Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) and Alex Bono (Toronto FC).
• 2018 BBWAA ballot unveiled, with 14 1st timers including Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel Full ballot

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2018 NFL Pro Bowl Voting (To Date)
1. Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles 273,367
2. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots 239,989
3. Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers 227,771
4. Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams 215,687
5. Antonio Brown WR Pittsburgh Steelers 215,584
6. Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints 207,751
7. Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City Chiefs 204,611
8. Jared Goff QB Los Angeles Rams 200,346
9. Russell Wilson QB Seattle Seahawks 183,630
10. Alex Smith QB Kansas City Chiefs 178,392
11. Rob Gronkowski TE New England Patriots 168,663
12. Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles 156,183
13. Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons 124,556
14. Joey Bosa DE Los Angeles Chargers 117,480
15. Kyle Juszczyk FB San Francisco 49ers 116,816
16. Aaron Donald DT Los Angeles Rams 102,194
17. Luke Kuechly LB Carolina Panthers 101,131
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19. Everson Griffen DE Minnesota Vikings 91,621
20. Geno Atkins DT Cincinnati Bengals 88,126
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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Friday
Feb072014

Smoothie Sailing: Recently Renamed Pelicans Get New Ten-Year Arena Name

Special to NYSportsJournalism.com

February 6, 2014: The New Orleans Pelicans may be last in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, seven games out of the playoffs, but at least they are among the NBA leaders in name changes.

From 1988-2002, the franchise played in Charlotte as the Hornets. After relocating, the team from 2002-05 was known the New Orleans Hornets. Then from 2005-07 they were the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets before reverting back to the New Orleans Hornets from 2007-13.

Beginning this season the team was renamed New Orleans Pelicans.

One constant was the team's home venue. During their entire time in New Orleans, the franchise has played in the New Orleans Arena.

But that, too, has changed.df

A new ten-year naming rights deal among Pelicans owner Tom Benson,  the State of Louisiana (which owns the venue, as well as the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome next door) and Smoothie King owner and CEO Wan Kim unveiled a multi-year deal for naming rights to the venue.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Signage is already in place for Smoothie King Center, which will be the site of the NBA All-Star Game and related events the weekend of Feb. 14-16.
 
“Smoothie King and the NBA are a perfect fit,” Kim said in a statement about his company, which was founded in New Orleans 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.”

A new Smoothie King Center logo is one 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.
 
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."

The team and Smoothie King will add marketing support in-arena, via Internet and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
 
In addition, fans attending Smoothie King Center will see a 20-foot high Smoothie King cup at the building’s main entrance across from the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome. A new Smoothie King retail outlet will open in Smoothie King Center.

“Both organizations are global brands that continue to grow in status and stature. Smoothie King supports the NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans franchise."

“When we purchased the franchise and became the Pelicans, we were establishing a new winning tradition for our hometown NBA team," said Benson. "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," said Benson. "The NBA, Smoothie King, and the Pelicans are committed to excellence on and off the court.”

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