Came home from the grocery store this pm to a passed out waiter on my front lawn. Took my daughter and I 45 mins. to figure out who he was.— Mary B. Sonnier (@ChefMarySonnier) June 29, 2013
First it giveth, then it taketh away. Newspapers are dead and buried then return to a daily schedule. New Orleans Pelicans come and go within minutes. Prison donuts are a thing and likely will not be anymore. The right and left react to landmark decisions in Texas and D.C. A $100 brunch institution shuffles off this mortal coil. Service industry employees slumber in unusual ways. Governors — do they poop?
In this week's delayed edition of Y@ Speak (not what you expected, right?), New Orleans examines what is real, or really real, and whether they're, you know, cool about it. If not, one can always seek refuge in Target on the West Bank, where the celebrities go.
So the New Orleans Pelicans just released the image above of their new court and, well, it's all just a bunch of meh. In all fairness, the NBA isn't a bastion of creative court design and none of them can hold a stick to some of the better NCAA basketball courts. But as a supporter of this team's re-branding from the get-go, it's hard not to feel a little let down. Everything leading up to this point has had so much flair and it feels as if the court is just an afterthought.
Oh well, at least we have Jrue Holiday.
The New Orleans Hornets, in possibly the most anti-climatic press conference ever, officially announced today what people have assumed for weeks. Beginning next season, New Orleans' NBA franchise will be known as the Pelicans.
The announcement comes after Yahoo! Sports broke the news in December and after a series of debates on the possible name change, as well as some creative logo mockups on the national and local level. Also, because this is the future and we can't wait for anything anymore, the news of the official announcement broke yesterday and, just under an hour before the press conference, this Pelicans promotional video was found leaked online (a video that, not surprisingly, echoed many of the positive points I made about Pelicans and in support of the name change).
The video, which was also shown at the press conference, stresses the connection that the name Pelicans has with New Orleans and Louisiana and how pelicans adorne the state flag and capitol building. Another message conveyed in the video — and echoed by team president Dennis Lauscha, owner Tom Benson and Mayor Mitch Landrieu during their press conference comments — was of the Hornets/Pelicans commitment to the recovery, restoration and preservation of the Gulf Coast. The Pelican represents "Somebody that takes care of its young" and "Reselience and coming back from near-extinction", Landrieu said. "We have our name."
This name change was a long time coming and Benson, who donned a Pelicans hat on stage, had put the rebranding machine to work even before he bought the Hornets. Yes, the local connection is clearly important but let's not forget that Benson is also a businessman and that this rebrand will mean millions in product sales. The team has not wasted any time in launching a new website "Introducing your New Orleans Pelicans" and an online store with Pelicans merchandise.
In the end - and as several players and coaches have mentioned - the team name really won't mean much if the team itself can't produce successfully on the court. But seeing as how the Hornets are last in their division right now and debating the merits of the current squad is kind of depressing (unless you look to the potentially bright future) let's just distract ourselves with some logo talk. Hit the jump for the very early twitter reactions to the Pelicans logos:
Not too long ago, we posted about 99Designs.com's winning entries to their New Orleans Pelicans' design contest. The designs, which were presumably made by a whole lot of people not from New Orleans (the winning artist is from Eastern Europe), ranged from clever to silly and we urged local t-shirt designers Storyville and Dirty Coast to come up with their own mock-ups.
Well, it looks like that at least Storyville has (sort of) responded to our call by launching their own design contest which starts today and runs through January 25. Like most of their design contests, the winning entry will receive a cash prize and will be featured on Storyville t-shirts. It should be noted that the photo above is not a contest entry but rather a promotional design for the contest itself. However, that design (and the first contest entry featured on Storyville's Facebook page) are both already more localized than most of the 99Design.com entries.
It should also be noted that this is still all in good fun and that, despite reports of filing for trademarks, neither the New Orleans Hornets nor the NBA have made any official announcement about the possible name change to Pelicans. Despite that, it will be very interesting to see how locals tackle designing the logo. The 99Designs entries clearly came from a perspective of marketing the Pelicans to a global audience. Surely the Storyville entries will be more hyper-local but it will be awesome to see if anyone comes up with a design that has both global appeal and is representative of New Orleans and Louisiana.
Anyone interested in submitting a design should head over to Storyville's website.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Hornets are 4-1 since we first posted about New Orleans Pelicans design contests. So there's that.
God's speed, Rodrigue
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