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.


  1. Purple Haze

    October 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Chris, you are friggin genius. This article made me laugh, cry and nod with approval all in the span of 5 minutes.

  2. sweetpea

    October 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Jackson Square would be like Shoney’s Sunday Brunch Buffet for that dude

  3. Will

    October 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    As for Pelicans not sounding intimidating, baseball has teams named after socks. Plus, our football team is the Saints. To me, intimidation isn’t as important in the long run. And, sign me up for the Pelican Pole seat.

  4. Snow

    October 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I was skeptical of the Pelicans but you have me actually liking it now lol I do wish the Hornets would stay the Hornets though cause I bought so many Hornet items haha. I wonder what the colors would be for the Pelicans? Brown and Yellow? haha

  5. James McPherson

    October 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I was really hoping against Pelicans, but since my only other option is to watch all 4 Julian Wright highlights ad nauseum one day … I can live with it.

  6. mojart

    October 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm……:)…..sound nice

  7. JV

    October 20, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Really not a fan of Pelicans, although Thunder was not very popular when it was created. I was really hoping for Krewe with colors Purple White and Green accents

  8. AlterEgoOfJeffBower

    October 20, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Mr. Benson should re-name the team the New Orleans Termites.

  9. JV

    October 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Does anyone else think that for the Halloween opener they should have
    “BOO-BEES” merchandise since October is breast cancer awareness month?

  10. Bounce

    October 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

    The New Orleans BOUNCE

  11. Seattle Needle

    October 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Interesting tidbit but back in ’94 when it looked like the Timberwolves were going to move to New Orleans, the big rumor was that they would be named the Red wolves or the Louisiana Pelicans. I hate the idea of the team being named after the state instead of the city but I could deal with Pelicans if it has “New Orleans” in front of it.

    I’ve been away so excuse my ignorance but what has led to speculation that Pelicans will be the name.

  12. kfte

    October 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Please no Pelicans. Stay with the Hornets.

  13. Carnby

    October 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Great article Mr.Trew 🙂
    I have no problem with the Pelicans. To me the most important thing about a re-brand is that the name has a connection to the city or the state. ANY name that fills this criteria is better than the Hornets IMO.

  14. Ron

    October 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Why not the Buccaneers? (Cross-league same names are not unheard of: NFL Carolina Panthers and NHL Florida Panthers.)

    Another New Orleans-themed name would be the Yellow Fever.

    • Taylor

      October 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      something else along the lines of “Pelican’t” is that the abbreviation would most likely be NOP. As in NOPe!

  15. Hornets4life

    October 21, 2012 at 5:14 am

    U can choose to believe me or not, that’s fine. But I wanted to share this with my fellow Hornets fans as we are all wondering what the new name will be. I can tell you all that the team will NOT been named the Pelicans. I have a source who works in marketing within the league and while they cannot leak confirmation, based on my conversations with this person my gut feeling is the team will be named The Krewe.

  16. Fred Johnson IV

    October 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I was trying to find the old post on Hornets rebrand uni designs and stumbled upon this from ESPN:

    Not sure if Hornets247 already posted this, but there are a lot of good designs and color schemes. Hope we go with the Krewe!

  17. Ruben

    October 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I am a spanish fan of the Hornets since we are in Charlotte!!!HORNETS I´ts perfect for me.

  18. jordan

    October 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    The team name should be the JESTERS!!!!!!

  19. lj

    October 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

    The Name should be the JESTERS!!!!!!!


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