New Orleans Pelicans: The Full Rebrand

Published: October 19, 2012

If the team follows through with the Pelicans, it’s time to start speculating about the other parts of rebranding. What will come of the Honeybees?!

What will come of the Buzz Patrol? The Bee-Zanies? The Hornets Mini Drumline? The last will probably just easily slide right into the Pelicans Mini Drumline, but the rest of the New Orleans basketball sub-brands won’t have it so easy. This is a part of rebranding that probably hangs at least halfway down the list of importance (somewhere after “colors” but before “will the internet message board pajama party approve”) but is nonetheless crucial to convincing fans of the new direction.

The bad news is that, according to many non-believers, Pelicans don’t make for a very intimidating mascot. The good news is that they are very much a part of Southern Louisiana. The bad news is that we already had a team called the Pelicans but the good news is that we already had a team called The Pelicans. The logic that most have with the Jazz brand is either “there is no Jazz in Utah” or “we want our name back”. It’s never happening so the next best thing (under the same Jazz criteria) is Pelicans, Breakers, Night, Blaze, Blues, Buccaneers, Brass and the Zurich Classic. Of those, Brass and Pelicans win. Brass can’t happen. Pelicans is the last name standing.

There’s a lot to speculate about so let’s fire off a brainstorm session after this intimidating video, yeah?

Let’s Just Get This Out of the Way

Pelican’t: For those Hornets fans who have a little pro wrestling in your blood, look at it this way. All of the best finishing moves also have a way to counter them, right? That’s all “Pelican’t” is. A decent counter to a great name. See also Miami Cheat. Los Angeles Fakers. Minnesota Tumblewolves. New Orleans Pelican’t. Besides, the kind of people who will throw “Pelican’t” in our faces are the same people who say things like “Who Dat? We Dat!” and those people should all be bundled up in one poorly maintained apartment complex and forced to watch Julian Wright highlights all day.

Actual Predictions

Fly With Us: An easily adaptable slogan to move season tickets. This is catchier than the current “This is our ___” slogan, could lead to a partnership with an airline and allows the team to put that Anthony Davis Final Four billboard back up but add feathers under his arm. Or eyebrow as wings? Options!

French Quarter Flyers: No name change necessary! Once the fans who are all “meh” will realize that Pelicans can fly they’ll start to come around. Do you know how many other NBA teams can fly? Hawks, Rockets, Wizards and Magic. And only one of those can do so with ease. Which brings me to…

The Rivalry with Atlanta:  It’s a natural rivalry with that whole Big Southern City thing, geography and the dirty birds vs. Bless You Boys. But if New Orleans and Atlanta had the only two avian teams in the National Basketball Association, doesn’t that stir the pot a little more? Survey says yes.

Hugo Undergoes Species Surgery: Yes, Hugo has been a Hornet for 24 years. That’s a very long time. But what’s wrong with a Pelican named Hugo? Will it be weird for a year or two? Maybe. But comes 2015 we’ll all be hiring Hugo the Pelican to show off his NBA Finals ring at our office parties. Say it a few times right now. See? You’re already feeling better.

The Pels: We’ll have an alternate uniform with the old Pelicans on a baseball bat logo (minus the bat, of course) and the name “Pels” across the front. Old school. Classy.

The Hive Becomes the Nest: The gift shop is already the Nest plus Pelicans live in a Nest. No brainer. The team can run promotions like “bring branches and twigs and get a free Pelican backpack” except the branches and twigs are coats and books. No brainer. This also gives colleague Michael McNamara a chance to call it the SkyNest.

Long Shots

Birdman Gets Pretty Excited: Cash Money Records is a legendary New Orleans rap label. Birdman is a large reason why. Birdman is a rapper man named after a Bird. Birdman lives in New Orleans. He was worth $110 million dollars in 2011 so why wouldn’t he purchase a section in the Nest? Why wouldn’t he get a Cash Money Records suite? He can do halftime shows from his diamond leather seat.

Chris Anderson Gets Pretty Disappointed: Sorry dude.

The Throat Pouch Toss: Louisiana Seafood can sponsor a contest where fans throw actual fish into Hugo the Pelican’s throat pouch. Winners receive a gift certificate for Louisiana Seafood at Rouse’s, the official grocer of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Bold Suggestions

Fan on the Pole: Imagine a tall pole on all four corners of the court. About as high as the shot clock. Before every game four fans win the opportunity to watch the game from the Pelican Position. Is it safe? Are the poles secure? Will it be a distraction to the players? Don’t know. Will it be fun to pretend you’re a pelican while watching the Pelicans. Uh, yeah.

Pistol the Pelican: In the event that the name Hugo goes the way of the Hornet, what if we named our Pelican “Pistol” or “Pete”? Wouldn’t we still have the coolest mascot in the league if this happened?

The Pelicans Report: A lot of people aren’t happy over on the sister site but the good news is that according to the chief complainers they won’t be fans of the team anymore if they rebrand as The Pelicans so will be a fresh clean start! I suggest the team compiles a database of all the people claiming to stop following the team and then not let them in the arena until they admit they were being all silly.


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