The team was founded in 1988. Until 2002, it was based in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is considered to be one of the most basketball states in America. So the arrival of the NBA in 1989 wasn’t a surprise. But people were truly surprised by the colors of the new club, which no one had ever seen in such combination before. In the natural environment, the greenish-blue color is not seen along with the purple one. But the 90s were right around the corner, so very soon the new team’s innovation was picked up by other organizations. Therefore, less than five years later, such basketball team as Vancouver and Detroit, the hockey San Jose, the baseball Florida and football Jacksonville showed off the same indescribable shade of blue.
As for the name, the team’s owner originally planned to call the club Charlotte Spirit, but the fans voted for the Hornets. This name is directly related to the history of the city, whose inhabitants fiercely resisted British troops during the war for the independence of the American colonies. “This city is a true hornet’s nest,” said Marquis of Cornwallis, the British general.
The team got some problems at the beginning of the new millennium. The Hornets wanted the city authorities to help them build a new arena, but officials refused to cooperate with George Shinn, the team owner. Conservative charlottes unanimously hated slightly extravagant Shinn, and since he wasn’t going to sell his brainchild, it was decided to move the Hornets to another city.
It happened in 2002 when New Orleans – a merry, cosmopolitan, brilliant and impoverished American region became the city they moved in. In New Orleans, the name Hornets no longer had the same historical background, but the sentimental team’s owner decided to keep it. The primary colors remained the same, only the gold one was added. An alternative yellow form appeared in 2004. And in 2005, Hurricane Katrina came to New Orleans, and further staying in this city was poorly compatible with basketball and with life in general. The Hornets had to go to Oklahoma City, where they spent two seasons, while their arena was restored in New Orleans. At the same time, the team officially got quite an overwhelming name New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. The toponym New Orleans disappeared from the home form, but an emblem with the letters OKC (Oklahoma City) appeared on it.
In 2007, the Hornets returned to New Orleans, and a year later they slightly changed their brand, making the blue color slightly more… blue. The Pelicans emblem was also modified. Designers added two minor logos reflecting local specificity – Fleur-de-lis (symbol of Bourbonian France, whose colonists built the city) and trumpet (symbol of jazz) with the abbreviation NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana).
Before the 2013/14 season, the club abandoned the Hornets franchise, changing its name to New Orleans Pelicans. The other NBA team from Charlotte, Charlotte Hornets, took the name Hornets. The choice in favor of the name Pelicans is easily explained. The fact is that Brown Pelican is the symbol of the state of Louisiana. The animal is depicted both on the state flag and on the state seal.
Pierre the Pelican is the New Orleans Pelicans’ mascot.
New Orleans Pelicans logo history
New Orleans Pelicans basketball club has been existing since 1989. In the entire history, the team changed its name twice and once completely changed the concept and symbolism of the club’s logo in 2014. For a long time, the main colors of the team remained blue and navy blue, but in 2014 the dark blue, red, gold and white were officially approved by the team’s management.
1989 – 2002
At the very first team logo, when it was still based in the city of Charlotte and called Charlotte Hornets, the blue hornet in white sports sneakers was depicted. The inscription Charlotte H was painted on its chest in blue letters. The hornet played with an orange basketball on the image. The picture was surrounded by a blue semicircular inscription “Charlotte Hornets.”
2003 – 2008
In 2002, the team moved from Charlotte to New Orleans, but the logo wasn’t significantly affected. New Orleans replaced the word Charlotte in the title. The same replacement occurred in the drawing, too – the name of the city was replaced on the chest of the hornet. Besides, the ball and the letter H in the hornet pattern became yellow.
2009 – 2013
Changes in the logo in 2009 – 2013 were made to improve graphics because the layout and design were taken from the previous logo. Blue and navy blue colors became brighter on the picture, and the ball acquired more natural contours and color. The only change was the replacement of the inscription “Charlotte H”, located on the chest of the hornet, to the inscription “NOLA” (“New OrLeAns”).
2014 – Present
2014 has become a year of complete renewal for the team. After almost 25 years, the name and logo have been changed. The club has been renamed as New Orleans Pelicans. Dark blue, gold, red and white colors have become the new ones. Also, Pelican has become the symbol of the basketball team. Now the New Orleans Pelicans emblem has a non-standard form and blue background, with the inscription “New Orleans,” written in white at the top. Just below there are a white pelican head and golden wings. In a red beak, the animal holds a golden ball. At the very bottom, in a semicircle, there are the word Pelicans in white on a red background. A gold outline also frames the entire New Orleans Pelicans logo.