It's official. After news broke that the New Orleans would announce a name change this week, the franchise officially unveiled that they will become the New Orleans Pelicans... and showed off their new logo.
Owner Tom Benson announced the change Thursday (January 24), a name that 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.
The team, however, will remain the Hornets throughout the 2012-13 season, before becoming the Pelicans next season. Benson introduced the team's new logos, as well as color scheme during the announcement.
"When we purchased the basketball team, it was a priority to change the name to reflect our culture, our community and our resolve. The Pelican does that," Benson said, who also owns NFL franchise, the New Orleans Saints. "Our region has been hard hit in recent years and the one thing that stands out is the resiliency and determination to comeback, to fight and overcome. The Pelican symbolizes that. The synergy of this name, this bird and the future of our state and region are intertwined and in three, five, ten years from now, it will be not only be a name of a sports franchise but it will also be the face of the continued recovery of our region. We will promote healthy habitats, not only for our youth but for our community, our coast and our wildlife. The Pelican name will do that. It is more than a name. It represents our way of life."
The Pelicans' colors will be blue, gold and red. The team's primary color, blue, is taken from Louisiana's state flag. And, gold is shared for both the Pelicans and Saints, uniting the organizations, while celebrating the spirited life of New Orleans and its many celebrations (gold is also a commonly found color on the "crown" of the pelican). Red represents fraternity and is indicative of the blood provision of the mother pelican and the vibrant color underneath the pelican's throat. All three colors are found on the City of New Orleans flag.
The team's new uniforms have yet to be revealed. A limited number of Pelicans merchandise has already been released at the Hornets team store, HornetsNestOnline.com. For more info, visit PelicansNBA.com.