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

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.