Who doesn’t like Pelicans?


Image courtesy of nba.com

Remember the Charlotte Hornets?

For basketball fans players like LJ, Zo, Muggsy Bogues, and even Dell Curry come to mind. For awhile it was cool to have Hornets in Charlotte. Sadly all the Hornets have gone (but there are Bobcats!) Since 2002 the made Hornets have New Orleans their home. It seemed like a good relationship but now New Orleans no longer has the Hornets either.

Now they have Pelicans!

The team hasn’t moved but there is a move in culture and identity going on.

Why the change?

Honestly it’s all about marketing.

When you think of the insect you don’t really think New Orleans. Teams names don’t always need a direct correlation with the city culture but it helps. The Bulls do just fine in Chicago even though you won’t see any bovine animals strolling down Michigan Avenue. But when a team names sync with the city it just works. The name Miami Heat works because South Beach is known for its temperatures and nightlife (both are known for being hot).

As far as Pelicans go apparently the Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana and the qualities of this bird work for several sports analogies. Here’s are some quotes from the soon to be created team page on NBA.com:

“Revered as a skilled hunter and loyal protector, the brown pelican possesses a speed, precision, and resourcefulness unmatched by others within its species. It represents the essential qualities embodied by any successful team”

“Their resiliency in the face of extreme peril is yet another important reason why the bird epitomizes what our region and basketball team is all about”

So contrary to the dismay of many basketball fans, the name Pelicans does work.

Do you need to change?

Often in sports teams will change names, colors, mascots, and logos over a period of time. The marketing directors for professional teams realize that the qualities of a team or the draw of the fans has changed over time. As a result something about the team needs to be different. This could be subtle, like a slight font change in the name or logo. The Detroit Lions made a subtle change in both the lion and the font that make up their logo. Or the change could be major, like the transition from a hornets to a pelican. Sports teams aren’t the only organizations that make changes. Just look back at a your favorite candy bar wrapper or soft drink label over the years. Have you notice any changes?

Now look at the organization that you lead. What changes in identity need to be made? Does your logo need updating. Is the font you’re using truly reflective of your company? Do the colors make sense? Remember it’s more than just the service that you provide that is a reflection of your organization. Everything tells a story. Everything sends a message.

Look over every marketing piece for your organization. Put all the business cards, postcards, brochures, coffee mugs, wristbands, and even your website on the table. What message is it sending? Is that the message you want?

What are some great examples of company rebrands? 

  • Chip Dizard

    Good post. American Airlines went through a recent rebrand. They had the same logo for 40 years. I say our churches and non-profits should look to rebrand itself every 10 to 15 years.

    It is interesting many people don’t want to change, but sometimes it may be the best thing to do.

    Even though I don’t like the Pelican name, but once I know the history, it makes sense.

    • http://www.pierrecquinn.com Pierre

      Chip. I agree. Some of our organizations have changed anything about themselves. Here’s one of my favorite parts of the link you sent “Their new branding includes everything, from the logo to the planes to the terminals to the website.” I wonder how this change will impact the overall American Airlines culture?

  • Dayufpasta

    My beloved Knicks have been rebranded at least 4 times since the 70s that I can remember. Many of our churches struggle in this area when a new pastor comes in or an existing pastor stays for an extended period of time(more than 4 years). It is necessary to be open to the rebranding, changes in focus and culture of an organization/church in order for that church/organization to remain viable and vital in the arena it is to work in.

    Good post!

  • Glenn

    Good post Pierre. When I think of rebranding I think about the New Myspace.com. I thought they were dead, but just last week they roll out a new brand, website, and service. Not sure if it will work, but its generated some buzz.