(Updated 1/23) More Evidence of Rebranding to New Orleans Pelicans This Offseason

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Published: November 29, 2012
New Orleans Pelicans Baseball Logo

Updated: 1/23:

The team called a press conference on Thursday at 3, as Peralta indicated. The conference will have visuals and is not just a verbal announcement, so it is likely at least a partial unveiling. The players will be back from San Antonio and done with practice, so they will be available to model uniforms.

Marc Spears has reported the conference is to announce the rebrand to New Orleans Pelicans, that the colors are red, blue, and gold, that it starts next season, and merchandise availabilty is to be determined.

Updated: 1/22:

One of our readers, Jose Molero, pointed us to some tweets from one of the team’s Spanish Broadcasters, Emilio Peralta, about the rebrand.

Acabo de salir de reunion con Hornets-Saints: es oficial. El jueves anunciaran el cambio de nombre y mostrar logos, uniformes de Pelicanos

@hornets se llamaran Pelicans. Anuncio sera en arena el jueves a 3pm. Gov. Jindal estara presente

Translation from google:

I just got out of meeting with Hornets-Saints: it’s official. On Thursday announced the name change and show logos, uniform Pelicanos

@ hornets were called Pelicans. Announcement will be on Thursday at 3pm sand. Gov. Jindal will be present

((Thanks to Jose Molero for pointing this out. Also, it seems the tweets were removed . . . and the account.))

Updated: 12/20: Recent articles indicate that the NBA has filed for trademark protection for several names for the New Orleans Hornets, one of which is New Orleans Pelicans. This is mostly a non-story for the following reasons:

As indicated here, trademark protection is conferred upon use in commerce. Registration is an additional step. Many a team has used or revealed their logo / branding then had the registration complete afterwards. Also, sometimes these have been filed after the team has but things into use. Additionally, teams tend to register things in groups even if they have no intention on using them. This gives the filer plausible deniability as to what `the secret’ is, and gives some wiggle room if necessary.

The point is, these things take time to go from conceived to viewable on a website, so these do NOT represent up-to-the-minute thought.

What it does is tell us what we knew: These were filed on 12/5. Spears’ report came out on the afternoon of the 4th.

Also, if Benson wanted to use Brass or Voodoo and use the existing branding, they’d have to buy the mark, not file for a new one.

Still, as much possibility as there is for something else, the evidence still points to Pelicans, as reported here for quite some time.

So, non-story.

Updated 12/5: An interview with ESPN

Updated 12/4:

Yahoo’s Marc Spears is validating the report below that the New Orleans Hornets will become the Pelicans . . . we do not know if New Orleans Pelicans, Louisiana Pelicans, Orleans Parish Pelicans, or whatever has been been chosen; we just know the further reports that the nickname desired is Pelicans and the colors are some kind of red, some kind of gold, and some kind of navy blue (yes, there is a range there, too). We do not know the local, the logo, the mascot, etc.

The Benson camp is denying that this is final, and of course they are. All of these changes need to be approved at by the Board of Governor’s (and this can be done by phone), which has not happened. The story here is that this is the preference of ownership.

There does not seem to be a compelling reason for this particular rebrand to not be approved, but it could happen. Stern has confirmed that he’d support the change and would not be pinned down on the time frame for the change. Most changes take around 2 years from the point of request, but it has been maintained consistently that the rebrand would be allowed to happen in the 2013 offseason, making the 2014 NBA All-Star Game a highlight of the inaugural season of the Pelicans, thus maximizing the value of the ASG to the franchise and the NBA.

Stern will be in town tomorrow, but he will likely not satisfy the desire for knowledge on this subject. He was clearly displeased at the talk at the ownership / ASG press conference in April both during the interview and afterwards. Also, most official rebrand announcements take place just following a season, withe Thunder rebrand being a clear exception but with a specific cause: a court case.

Original story (11/29) below:

The latest New Orleans Hornets rebranding news, however subtle, comes from a highly placed source: Mrs. Gayle Benson. Here is the news from Mrs. Gayle as she spoke to Jennifer Hale on the pregame show before the loss to the Jazz:

  • The colors they prefer are red, gold, and navy blue
  • The colors they initially preferred were red, gold, and black
  • They expect to announce the name change following this season

Following this she also reported that the process to get NBA approval has not begun. Jimmy Smith corroborated this story.

However, placed on the canvas with other facts, these comments take on a greater weight.

In fact, they point straight the New Orleans Pelicans as the end-product the rebrand.

There is a good deal of back story on the rebrand (which you should read up on the fully grok this), but the short of it is that there will be a rebrand, and Pelicans is one of the candidates. This is based on conversations with friends of Hornets247, rumors in various media, and the fact that Tom Benson owns the name / brand, has for a while, and has been maintaining LLC’s bearing this name or something similar.

So let’s start connecting the dots. The New Orleans Pelicans logo is featured above. Note the red, the gold, and the black. Here are links to more images for those who are interested:

As can be easily seen, the red-black-gold concept AND the red-blue-gold concept are both with the Pelicans hypothesis, despite protests that that Pelicans are gray or the state bird is a brown pelican (which can be gray). In fact, earlier reports claimed one color was gray. Assuming Mrs. Gayle is correct, this earlier information was in error, but it could be squared up if the person leaking the gray color saw images similar to the t-shirt above and assumed it was one of the main colors. This is being charitable, but it’s worth mentioning.

Additionally, these colors square up less nicely with other candidate names: Voodoo, Brass, Krewe, Angels. While possible, these seem out of line with the three colors above when compared to the Pelicans evidence. Additionally, the Voodoo are pulling no punches in terms of marketing themselves as Voodoo and show no signs of folding, so a quick rebrand to Voodoo seems more and more unlikely.

Cardinals fits with the colors above, but some rumors indicated an older name that is not shared with a current professional sports franchise. This would disqualify Cardinals, if correct, while admitting Pelicans.

Lastly, one of the criteria is that the brand mean something to New Orleans. Pelicans clearly does, and those colors are the colors on the New Orleans flag, along with white, which any team can use.

I do not see a more compelling case at this time, so Pelicans looks like the front runner. We’ll see in April or May, it seems.

149 comments
Will
Will

Awesome news on the 1/22 update. How long 'till I can rock some Pelicans gear?!

Gylfi
Gylfi

i´m a proud hornet fan.....i have been a fan for 16 years.....i will alway´s fallow the team....no matter where charlotte or new orleans.....no matter hornets or pelicans.....but i will not say with my head high that i´m a proud pelican fan.....i´m a proud Hornets fan.. Benson could name the hornets the new orleans goofy´s! it would be just as bad!!

WhoDatHornet96
WhoDatHornet96

Then you aren't a real fan. I will. Because I'm a real fan. I'm not gonna tell you to get out, because it isn't at all my right or my intention. But real fans show their support with the utmost pride. And I will lift my head high with my #23 pelicans jersey on waiting for the day the pelicans bring the Larry brown trophy back to NOLA.

aaron
aaron

WOW!!!! The pelicans how lame I'm a loyal new Orleans fan but if this goes through I wont be I wont be cought dead rocking pelican gear sorry lol they'll be the laughing stock of sports tom Benson really you need to reconsider another name like brass or krewe perfect for new Orleans but pelicans why I ask you why that's just plain awful!!!!!:(

mateor
mateor

What do you guys think about all the cred Marc Spears is getting for "scooping" this story? I read his article, and (withholding judgment) it is the same as your report, just with unnamed sources attached. I guess reporters get scoops and blogs have speculation?

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

That's ridiculous! LA is Lakers. And where are the great lakes of Los Angeles??? Chicago is Bulls. Have you ever seen a bull grazing in the streets of Chicago??? Utah is Jazz. How many famous jazz musicians exist in Salt Lake City?? Toronto is Raptors. And you know why? In honor of the Jurassic Park movie, and it's nothing to do with the culture of Toronto. So the murder of Hornets and name change to Pelicans is something that can only come from the head of an old hillbilly, senile and squalid as this sr. Tom Benson. That "beautiful" dual owners the Hornets had in its history ... George Shinn and Tom Benson ... OMG!!! I want cry!

WhoDatHornet96
WhoDatHornet96

I'm not being a bully. I'm just saying what everyone else is afraid to say. Take the davis shirt off. You obviously could care less about the players or the team or their future. Throw away your jerseys. Buy everything with just a logo on it. What is the point of rooting for a mascot. I guess you can take a year off from basketball then you can watch the charlotte hornets win a nice 20 games

WhoDatHornet96
WhoDatHornet96

Lucas strikes again. It is my intention to tell you to get out. Go. Go watch 90's charlotte basketball. Support the TEAM or don't. Supporting colors and a mascot you cherish are pointless. The bobcats will change their name soon. I'm sure they'd love a 15th fan.

mateor
mateor

I admire your loyalty to the...brand.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

I'm not a New Orleanian. I'm a Hornet. And I'll always be a HORNET.

Ray
Ray

USA Today running an article today about the name change with hornets spokesman saying name change and color scheme is out of their hands with the NBA having control of that and that nothing has been done to move in that direction with the league.

Ray
Ray

With this team who knows Jason....until it actually happens you can't believe anything around here.Quite frankly I don't understand their PR department and the way they get out information on the team.They are very frustrating to say the least.I'm just passing on info that I found on a national news outlet contradicting the earlier stories about the Pelicans being a done deal..take it for what it's worth..personally I'm hoping that David Stern comes to our rescue once again and nixes all this talk of re branding..but I ain't holding my breath...

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

There had to have been at least one discussion if the NBA guided them from black as a color to navy blue. Right?

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

Atlanta Hawks-1968 St. Louis Hawks -1955 Milwaukee Hawks-1951 Tri-Cities Blackhawks-1949 Los Angeles Clippers-1984 San Diego Clippers-1978 Buffalo Braves-1970 Oklahoma City Thunder-2008 Seattle SuperSonics-1967 Philadelphia 76ers-1963 Syracuse Nationals-1949 Sacramento Kings-1985 Kansas City Kings-1975 Kansas City-Omaha Kings-1972 Cincinnati Royals-1957 Rochester Royals-1948 Washington Wizards-1997 Washington Bullets-1973 Capital Bullets-1973 Baltimore Bullets-1963 Chicago Zephyrs-1962 Chicago Packers-1961 Do you think any of them loved their rebrands at first?

Durtnificent
Durtnificent

As a bit of a background, I was born and raised about an hr from N.O. and rooted for PHX until the team came to town. But honestly wasn't a serious fan until I came back from a tour in Japan. Been a diehard ever since. My personal opinion about the rebrand is that I'm proud of the fact we have a Basketball team in LA period regardless of the name. Hornets, Pels, NOLA, Krewe of N.O., dont matter. I will still hold my team down and defend my team with pride, even in South Dakota and its 11 people per square mile (Thanks Jason for that little titbit lol). BTW the fan count here is now 2. Well be viral soon!

Andrew
Andrew

You can't compare it the Bullets switching their name to Wizards. This is difficult for the Hornet fans that don't live in New Orleans or Charlotte. We fell in love with the Charlotte Hornets and bad ownership is what got us in this situation. We went from Charlotte to New Orleans to OKC back to New Orleans but we always kept the Hornets. What are we supposed to do if/when Charlotte takes back the Hornet nickname? Root for them now because that is our roots? Is there really a possibility that I will get pissed that the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans actually got the first pick over the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets because I will eventually be rooting for them? I'm not trying to start any fires here because trust me I love this team and anyone can tell you there is nothing that could prevent me from loving them. I just dont know what I'm supposed to do if the bobcats turn back into the hornets. Who is my team? What did I do to deserve this?

Yoda
Yoda

Do what I'm going to do, pick a completely new team or don't pick any team and just support the sport... I would be open to going back to a Charlotte fan if they become the Hornets again, however I am not a Michael Jordan fan (and have never been) so personally I can't support a team that he owns.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

There is that tribal aspect to following a team. It's not a easy problem. How will it feel for Hornets fans who love the team and have for a long time, but move to the Pelicans, to say, "I hope we beat the Hornets?" It'll be weird.

mateor
mateor

Well, this has certainly picked up some steam. I read the report by Marc Spears, but didn't find one new piece of information. Essentially it was this article, but with "numerous sources" attached to it. If it does turn out to be Pelicans, nice work by Hornets247. Either way, really. You guys were in front of the story on the local team, easy to talk about yet hard to do.

lsucpolk
lsucpolk

According to that "insider," the name wasn't going to be the Pelicans. What's the deal?!

david
david

Pelicans....gross. That is awful. Just keep hornets, turn the blue to green, get rid of those gawd awful pinstripes, etc. I was all about a re-brand, but if the finalists are Krewe, Brass, and Pelicans - then hell with it. Keep it. I'd rather a cheesy WNBA name like Krewe or Brass than the Pelicans. Ugh

Josh
Josh

I like the name; I think the most criticism comes from this question: "How will Pelicans intimidate opponents?" And I'll ask, "How will Knicks, Nets, Heat, Celtics, Wizards, Magic, etc.?" One thing I'm pondering is what will the nickname of Pelicans be. For Hornets we could use "Bees" and say "at the hive" and "buzz", but now what will we say? Also, what will the name of the site be?

Chris
Chris

Pels? Much the same way Bucaneers was shortened to Bucs.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Being discussed. The discussion started over a year ago.

Chris
Chris

Unreal how much hate this name is getting. Personally, I like it. Has roots here in the city and the new colors also reflect the city in multiple ways (flag and colors of the old New Orleans Bucaneers). I agree with another post saying if the uniforms have a real traditional, classic look to it this could be a big hit. Also, when was the last time someone liked a new franchise name? I don't recall people falling hard for thunder when first introduced and definitely not bobcats. I bet if the Lakers, Bucks, Kincks, Celtics, Hawks, Heat, or countless other teams were receiving those names in the present,, those names would be hated on. Just give it time, it will be okay!

Andrew
Andrew

First comment I got on facebook from a friend upon hearing the news said "PeLOLicans" We're a JOKE.

Ding
Ding

Looking at the issue of intimidating mascots in the NBA, there are maybe 4 -5 team names that could conceivably be "intimidating": the Bulls (running with the bulls does look dangerous) Timberwolves (didn't you see the Grey?) Grizzlies (who isn't afraid to camp at Yellowstone?) Raptors (vicious dinosaurs after all) AND perhaps the Warriors, (though their logo is now a bridge again, so theres that - if your afraid of heights). Not sure who is being "intimidated" by a team's name or their mascot. There are reasons to not want the team to be Pelicans, but their not be intimidating probably doesn't make a lot of sense. Now Pelicans are not inherently very cool. But what team mascot is inherently cool they are all pretty absurd. Teams become cool because of the players they have and because they win big. How lame is the Spurs name be in a vacuum? Most of the NBA team names are pretty lame, but history and wins give the team name a different connotation than it would have on it own. And if it is too weird or uncool it gets shortened to something else: Cavs, Mavs or, Knicks. It is hard to imagine the Wizards ever being cool, but it is also hard to imagine them ever winning a championship.

Ding
Ding

Do we need a mascot? Can the team just be NOLA? They can create some mascot Pelican or what-not for the kids and to man the t-shirt cannon. But let it just be NOLA. Simple. Not corny. I think all mascots are pretty corny anyway Pelican, Hornets or Thunder - whatever. Besides few things are more intimidating or hip than a Knickerbocker.

Nithenz
Nithenz

There are severalpoints of view for this, and as an Argentinian fan since 1992, to have the Hornets brand disappear would be a very sad day. I will always support this team, but it wont be the same. The Hornets made me travel to Charlotte just to see a game, and had plans to travel to New Orleans to see another one there. For those supporting the "more local brand", that is just nonsense, not every team has a name that reflects the local culture. Teams are about history and this team history has Hornets next to it. Dont tell me you didnt feel sad for the Supersonics brand disappearing... I was sad, even though i was not a Seattle citizen, or anything, it was a part of my NBA history disappearing. I know Seattle is a different story as the city hold the rights to the name, not the franchise, but anyway, i would just prefer the team leaving the HORNETS on it. On a side note, anyone who read what i usually post can see that i reallylike the team and city, but the lack of support is concerning me more and more lately.I know NFL season is still on and that attendance usually goes up past january, but im feeling kind of ashamed of seeing my team play and watching so many empty seats. I saw the NY game with a NY fan and he was just laughing of it. Jason, i have seen some replies you post saying why should we care about attendance now with the owner in place, but wouldnt you, as a player, be more happy playing with an arena full of people cheering, or this half full ( trying to see the glass half full, not half empty) arena? That is one of the things that worries me most about the great future awaiting this team. What will our great rooks think at the moment when their contracts are done... Im not talking playing for a big market city, but at least playing in an arena where you could get 90% of it capacity going wild every night watching you play. DONT KILL MY HORNETS PLEASE...

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

The football thing is a myth promulgated by fans. Please ignore it until evidence supporting it arises. http://www.hornets247.com/2012/01/21/attendance-claws/ If the rookies don't sign (and we don't resign them as RFA's) or sign QO's to get out after 5 years, it won't be because people aren't attending now. It'll be because the team is in shambles and we are losing tons, which will also be marked by bad attendance then. Ice sales incraese as shark attacks increase. Why? Because both increase as temperature increases (near the beach). Correlation is not causation.

Nithenz
Nithenz

I remember that post about the football season now that youreminded it to me, but maybe i was not clear enough explaining my point. Wouldnt you prefer playing for a team that has a full arena regardless of the W/L column than one that just have fair weather type of fans? I just paid leaguepass to be able to watch games later as i knew that taking care of my new baby would take LOTS of time from me, and i can say i may have misssed no more than 20 games in the last 3 seasons. I think that a loyal fanbase is one of the intangibles a team must have to play to their maximum capacity. I always give my best inside a court (super amateur here, nothing more than friends games each weekend) but whenever a friend or my gf stop by to see me, i give a little extra. Maybe Pros dont need that kind of extra motivation, but i always think that a full arena atmosphere raises the game of every home team. This is not that im saying that NOLA fans are bandwagoners or anything like that, but i get shock each time i see so many empty seats. I think not even 75% of season tickets holders are attending games right now, and it gets me sad... i would be so happy to live there and attend every game...even a Vs Washington a wednesday nigth...

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

The fact of the matter is that most NBA teams deal with this, and it's all about wins, regardless of who is a diehard.

Lucas Ottoni
Lucas Ottoni

NOLA BASKETBALL??? New Orleans' fans not attend the games. NO arena is always with several empty seats...

jv
jv

That may be due to the very large social life of New Orleans. Its not an Indianapolis or Cleveland, we have free concerts, festivals and other social events to attend, not just sporting events.

Jose
Jose

How about the Green Frogs? It's Lousiana's state amphibian. The Frogs taking big leaps ! They're agile quick bouncy animals that have great survival instincts. Bears would work also since that's the state animal. But how about the Gators? Gators. That's the state Reptiles. Between the Frogs and Gators, those are the two most logical choices if you want to symbolize the state.

Hornets686
Hornets686

Pelicans!?!? That's terrible! It's crazy to change the team name now after they moved already! If the Bobcats (another crappy name) get the Hornets name who's history will they have?!? Very confusing! I agree Hornets is a classic brand I remember 15 years ago people in Connecticut(where I live) use to wear Hornets gear all over just like Knicks, Lakers and Bulls.

Jacob
Jacob

And for the last time, we have an arena football team named the VOODOO. You can't have two teams named voodoo. For people who are supposed to appreciate originality, you sure are being redundant.

jv
jv

Guess with exception to Giants, cardinals, etc. How about the Chicago cubs and the Iowa cubs

Jacob
Jacob

Please everyone petition for this not to happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jacob
Jacob

This is horrible. Pelicans is AWFUL for basketball. It's for triple A baseball teams and car washes. Not professional basketball teams!!!! Please do not use this. Krewe would be ok, but not the best.

Okithor
Okithor

An article on ESPN today says that Jordan is open to rebranding the Bobcats to the Hornets if the name is available. Who will jump ship to the newly branded Bobnets if this goes down? What will happen to Hornets247?

mojart
mojart

if he is open to that maybe we can get the jazz name back too

Trackbacks

  1. [...] too often when we think of the next player that we would love to wear the Red, Navy, and Gold, we dream of a point guard who is a magician with the ball in his hand, a wing who can rip the nets [...]

  2. [...] mojart What a night! Watched till 68-63 and had to go to the delivery room to have my first son, and found [...]

  3. [...] Pelicans moniker has been rumored as a possibility for some time, according to Hornets247.com. A Facebook fan page advocating for the name change was founded back in April and ESPN.com’s [...]

  4. [...] The New Orleans Hornets could soon become the New Orleans Pelicans. A new Yahoo report cites “numerous sources” as saying the rebranding may happen as soon as 2013-14. The report by Marc J. Spears confirms what the guys at Hornets247 have been suspecting for days. [...]

  5. [...] Pelicans moniker has been rumored as a possibility for some time, according to Hornets247.com. A Facebook fan page advocating for the name change was founded back in April. Louisiana is [...]

  6. [...] the name Tom Benson and company have chosen to replace Hornets as the nickname for the franchise. This had been discussed most recently a week before Spears’ report here at Hornets247 and this name was first reported as a strong possibility in [...]

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  8. [...] will confirm reports made here in November, and here in [...]