Last week, after a month-long buildup, the New Orleans Pelicans officially changed the name of their arena to the borderline-laughable Smoothie King Center. The formerly cash-strapped team, which was actually owned by the NBA until owner Tom Benson took over in 2012, trumped up the health-conscious company’s more sensible options, asking fans at the arena to “Get More Jump in Your Game” via the brand’s in-arena offerings.
What the team didn’t disclose is that some of the Smoothie King’s smoothie-less fare once included substances that are banned by the NBA, and that the company had to give its outlets a proper cleaning before following through with the name change.
According to Rocky Gettys, Smoothie King's vice president of product development, some of the retail products found on Smoothie King's shelves were found to contain substances on the NBA's prohibited list. The substances included two steroid hormones: dehydroepiandrosterone, commonly known as DHEA, and androstenedione, made famous by home run king Mark McGwire, who said he took the over-the-counter muscle enhancer before it was banned by Major League Baseball in 2004.
"Our menu of smoothies was not impacted at all," Gettys said. Instead, the banned substances were present in "a few nutritional supplements we carried, and which make up less than 1 percent of our system-wide sales."
Gettys declined to say which nutritional supplements contained the prohibited substances. But he made it clear that the products have been eliminated from Smoothie King's inventory.
Gettys went on to defend the supplements’ one-time placement in their stores, pointing out that the enhancement-ridden products were of no real health risk to Smoothie King’s consumers, and that they just were NBA-kosher. That’s an understandable take from both sides, and it’s not as if the company was caught with egg in its face – or even andro in its shakes. They simply had a sampling of exercise-enhancing products to ingest, and willingly beat the NBA to the punch by lopping them off the shelves.
In all, a sensible solution. One doesn’t want a power forward being suspended by the league after, say, taking advantage of a $25 gift card from Smoothie King for appearing on a post-game radio show.
Way to keep it clean, Smoothie King.
- - - - - - -