The Logic Behind The New Orleans’ Pelicans Rebranding

The Logic Behind The New Orleans’ Pelicans Rebranding

A decade after relocating from North Carolina, the New Orleans Hornets will change their name and logo at the end of the season.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 6 february 2013

Less than a year after purchasing the New Orleans Hornets franchise, new owner Tom Benson is making good on a promise to rebrand the team. While the change has been somewhat expected, the same certainly can’t be said about the new name.

Tipping-off the 2013-14 season will be the New Orleans…Pelicans. With subtlety clearly having zero influence on the team’s rebranding angle, the franchise decided to select a symbol that would be undoubtedly ‘NOLA.’ Considering Louisiana is known as ‘The Pelican State’ and features a pelican on the state flag and seals, there should be little question around the NBA next year where the Pelicans call home.

Benson and those within the organization wanted not only a mascot but also a long-standing symbol of the city and region, deciding that the pelican:

will represent the culture and resolve of the Gulf Coast region while also symbolizing Louisiana’s most pressing initiative of coastal restoration and wildlife conservation.

Additionally, in the wake of climbing off the endangered species list in 2009 and enduring through the Gulf Oil Spill,

The Pelican symbolizes the determination to not only survive, but thrive even when the odds are stacked against them as our region has demonstrated over and over.

The logo treatments, which can be found in the gallery at the end of the article, are replete with an ominous looking pelican (or at least as ominous looking a pelican you can make), fleur de lis, French Quarter street sign inspired typography, and references to the city’s nicknames ‘NOLA’ and ‘Crescent City.’

The team’s new official colors will be blue, gold, and red. The primary color will be blue, which is taken from the state flag. Gold is to represent the ‘flourish’ of the city and its celebratory spirit, while also forging a connection with the city’s NFL team, the Saints. Additionally, gold is often the color of the “crown” of the pelican. The color red is meant to signal fraternity, and also represent:

the legend of the mother pelican picking her own breast to feed her young in times of need, doing whatever it takes to endure.

The ‘Pelicans’ reportedly beat out other names like the ‘Mosquitoes,’ ‘Swamp Dogs,’ and ‘Bullsharks.’ While it is difficult to imagine a pelican striking fear into the heart of an opponent, is it really any worse than other descriptive NBA team names like the Miami Heat, Phoenix Sun, or Denver Nuggets? Plus, will the new name have an adverse effect on the performance of the team? They haven’t exactly been winning championships anyway, so it doesn’t look like a rebrand could hurt.

Check out the new logos below, and see if you can come up with a better team name:


New Orleans Hornets


Images via NBA and the New Orleans Hornets


Transformable Table Maximizes Utility In Small Spaces

Design & Architecture
Syndicated Yesterday

How Fashion Became All About Fonts

Why a new wave of designs have put typography front and center on your clothing

Retail Yesterday

GM And Audi Are Experimenting With Car Rentals In SF

The automakers are trying something new to capture the segment of urban dwellers who don't want to own a car


Get PSFK's Related Report: Innovation Debrief: Boston

See All
Travel Yesterday

This Vertical Forest Hotel Will Improve The Air Around It

An architectural firm is creating a lush mountain lodging in China with so much greenery that it will actually clean the atmosphere

Europe Yesterday

This Company Believes Insects Can Provide Biofuel To Power Our Future

A Polish group is testing out a new factory concept that can provide a source of renewable energy, and even serve space missions

Technology Yesterday

Music Venue Caters To Virtual Reality Events

Boiler Room has launched the first VR hub for content creators to capture special footage for the masses

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Automated Chessboard Lets You Play Against Anyone In The World

Square Off is an AI-powered board that can move the pieces on its own

Technology Yesterday

Contraband Recorder Helps Those In Need Capture Captive Conversations

Designer Marianna Mezhibovkaya created the device to help prison inmates capture crucial evidence of abuse


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Advertising Yesterday

A Compelling Brand Purpose Is Never Born In The Boardroom

Strategist and Designer Anna-Rae Morris shares why she believes all brands exist for a reason, and how Snapchat has upended our behavior

Retail Yesterday

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Xs And Os Of Performance-Enhanced Sports

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats explain that we're only at the iceberg's tip of performance enhancement

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Kodak’s Smartphone Is Inspired By A Retro Camera

Ektra is an Android phone with a powerful lens aimed at photographers

Sustainability Yesterday

Modern Home Created Entirely Out Of Modular Shipping Crates

A project in Ecuador used the ubiquitous material to design a spacious and industrial-chic house

Retail Yesterday

Retail Concept Offers Food Hall Inspired Space For Online Brands

The store will offer a lower cost way for internet entrepreneurs to try physical retailing

Advertising Yesterday

Disney Retells Beauty And The Beast On Snapchat

In a partnership with LACMA, the entertainment platform drew from over 130,000 works in the museum's collection

No search results found.