Posted January 23, 2013

Report: Hornets to officially announce name change to Pelicans on Thursday

New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis will play for the Pelicans next season

Anthony Davis will reportedly sport a new Pelicans jersey next season. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Rob Mahoney

A name change and logo overhaul have been in the works for the New Orleans Hornets for some time, but months of speculation and mock designing will come to a halt this week.

According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Hornets are set to officially announce their name change to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, and they’ll also unveil a new logo and color scheme (blue, red and gold) that will be used as soon as next season. In December, the NBA’s attorney filed trademarks on five potential team names (Pelicans, Rougarou, Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs and Bullsharks), though Pelicans was rumored to be the preferred choice all along.

All of the proposed names come in an obvious effort to align the franchise with New Orleans via locally significant branding, and the Pelicans moniker certainly accomplishes that goal. The pelican may not fit perfectly with the spirit of New Orleans itself, but the bird adorns Louisiana’s state flag and state seal as the official state bird. The name “New Orleans Pelicans” may seem odd at first, but is no stranger than “Hornets” or the handful of other strange team names (Wizards, Magic, etc.) around the league. At least it has the benefit of drawing real significance from the city that the team calls home.

The logo, though, is the big reveal of Thursday’s reported news conference. If done right, the Pelicans’ rebranding could go off without a hitch and noticeably improve on the Hornets’ visual aesthetic. But the name also opens itself up to some ridiculous design possibilities that could make the new moniker seem that much more ridiculous. For now, only Hornets staffers know — though an open design call from 99designs.com yielded some interesting possibilities and could give an idea of what to expect.

18 comments
DougEconomou
DougEconomou

I'm hearing rumors that Charlotte will take back the Hornets name.

BobbyRestor
BobbyRestor

New Orleans Witch Doctors (dunno if it's trademarked)

Staz
Staz

Pelicans just doesn't make sense. Other animal/dinosaur related names such as the raptors, eagles, falcons can be associated with being fast, strong and so on. However when I think of pelicans I think of some fat bird floating around just minding its own business. Not sure what sort of image they're going for.

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

Kind of like the Swamp Dogs. Going with Pelicans just seems to be asking for trouble. 

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

The only good one I heard was New Orleans Brass.  All of the filed names are stupid, including the moronic Pelicans. It's far to whimsical a name for an NBA team. Heck, even MLS would probably turn it down.

halfdog
halfdog

Utah give N.O. back the "Jazz" name, N.O. give Charlotte back the "Hornets" name and then let Utah owners/fans pick a new name, seems like the only logical thing to do. My suggestion for Utah would be the "Quakers" or "Ski Lifts"

Chris69
Chris69

How about the "Jazz" giving the name back to NO - and then Utah can be the Pelicans, or Garter Snakes, or Chosen, or Lawnmowers, or Fathers

Jean-PhilippeLemieux
Jean-PhilippeLemieux

How long till the bobcats follow suit and change their name back to Hornets??? C'mon Jordan! :)

joshua33nelson
joshua33nelson

I would have went with the "New Orleans Looters".

stagger
stagger

 @MattBugajI agree, it's a stupid name. But, too whimsical for an NBA team? The league is chock full of stupid names. Knickerbockers? Pants. Thunder? Noise. Heat? Temperature. Pistons? Auto Parts. Spurs? Cowboy Fashion. Lakers? Water. Jazz? Music. Nuggets? 76'ers? Nets? And on and on and on... Pelican fit right into the SNBL (Stupid Name Basketball League)

 

C-Diddy
C-Diddy

@halfdog

Spot on.  New Orleans should be The Jazz.  Utah should rebrand.

 

Utah Freeze    Utah We Are Mostly Ex-Californians  Utah Majesty  something along those lines.

 

utoo
utoo

 @stagger  @MattBugaj Knickerbockers is what New Yorkers where called before they became New York. It has nothing to do with Pants.

DougEconomou
DougEconomou

 @C-Diddy  @halfdog I'd agree if it was the 70's but the Jazz have been in Utah for 30 years. It's the teams entire history. 

stagger
stagger

 @DougEconomou  @stagger  @utoo Well, that's fantastic. Using that theory, Pelicans isn't a stupid name because it identifies with the region. Sorry. All of the names you mentioned are terrible. If they were expansion teams starting today, everyone would hate those names. They've just become ingrained over time and they don't seem that bad. But, honestly, why do you think they shortened it to Knicks? Easier to say and less goofy... 

 

DougEconomou
DougEconomou

 @stagger  @utoo It isn't stupid. It identifies with the history of New York.  The best team nicknames are those that identify with the city.

 

Knickerbockers, Celtics, 76ers, Pistons, etc.

stagger
stagger

@utoo Oh. In that case... Still stupid.