Posted October 31, 2013

New Orleans Pelicans introduce new mascot ‘Pierre’ as part of rebranding effort

Ben Golliver, Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Hornets, Hugo The Hornet, New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, Pierre The Pelican, Tom Benson
(@PelicansNBA)

“Pierre The Pelican” is the New Orleans Pelicans’ new mascot. (@PelicansNBA)

The New Orleans Pelicans unveiled their new mascot — “Pierre the Pelican” — as their 2013-14 season opened on Tuesday.

The mascot’s costume incorporates the Pelicans’ new blue, gold and red color scheme. Pierre sports a blue jersey and shorts, matching blue gloves, blue accents on his yellow, furry wings and blue eyebrows. Pierre’s face looks a bit like an oversized clown mask, with an attention-grabbing red mouth and beak.

Pierre replaces “Hugo The Hornet” as part of the organization’s re-branding effort. The New Orleans Hornets officially changed their moniker to the Pelicans in April after initially unveiling the name change and the new color scheme back in January. Hugo had been with the organization since its inception as an expansion franchise in 1988.

(Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

“Hugo the Hornet” served as the mascot for the Hornets in Charlotte and New Orleans. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

The Hornets name came with the franchise when former owner George Shinn relocated the team to New Orleans in 2002 after 14 years in Charlotte. Shinn then sold the Hornets to the NBA in 2010. When Pelicans owner Tom Benson purchased the team from the NBA in April 2012, he expressed a desire to find a name that better reflected the city of New Orleans.

“It was very important to me and our staff that we change the name of this club to something that represented New Orleans, Louisiana,” Benson said in a promotional video earlier this year. “We worked on it. It wasn’t something that just came out of the blue, overnight. We worked on it for a long period of time. You just can’t have a better name for Louisiana and New Orleans than the Pelican. It’s the perfect representative.”

RELATED: Pelicans unveil new uniforms

Louisiana is known as the “Pelican State.” The brown pelican is the state bird and it adorns both the state flag and state seal. New Orleans also had a Double-A minor league baseball known as the Pelicans for more than 70 years. The Pelicans name beat out more than 100 other possible nicknames during a lengthy brainstorming process.

The Charlotte Bobcats announced in May that they will return the Hornets nickname to Charlotte for the 2014-15 season.

5 comments
PhillipJacobs
PhillipJacobs

The  more  the  rest  of  the  country  TRASHES  our  team  name  the  more  I  love  it.....First  of  all  its  our  state  bird that  fits  perfectly  , AND  BETTER  THEN  HALF  THE  GARBAGE  NAMES  IN  ALL  4  MAJOR  LEAGUES...5  NOW  WITH  MLS  if  you  THINK  about  these  names  and  what  they  are......Also  Pierre  is  a  French  name  fitting  our  Cajun  French  culture....GO  PELICANS  !!!!!!!!!!!

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

A pelican offers such possibilities for creativity. They are weirdly  shaped birds! I'm trying to go with Pels and the boring lettering because at least they have a funky logo. Now they're 1 for 4. and what had they done with the high flying, dunking hornet anyway? That hornet looks like a drunken bumblebee who fell into a paint can.

pm2875
pm2875

Pierre the Pelican? Pierre? LOL. Well, if you wanted people to stop laughing at your queerly named franchise, that's not the way to do it. 

MatHill1
MatHill1

Can we stop with the stupidity that is NBA mascots? Next thing you know, the Portland Trailblazers will wheel out a lame "Trail Cat" named "Blaze" in some sort of loose correlation between fire and trailblazing the Oregon trail. Er, wait...

SidelineMOB
SidelineMOB

Holy crap, Pierre the Pelican has a sad clown face. Guarantee you that mascot makes kids cry.