Flight of the Pelican


HATTIESBURG/NEW ORLEANS— The vibrant city of New Orleans officially embarks upon a new era of basketball success. Released earlier today by the team’s organization, the NBA team formerly called the New Orleans Hornets will now soar to new heights as the New Orleans Pelicans. After team ownership settled upon a new naming convention, the Pelicans’ new brand development and identity was placed in the hands of RARE Design. Founder and Principal, Rodney Richardson, is experienced in connecting with the heartbeat of the game, the players, and the fan-family that surrounds professional athletics. These experiences make RARE the easy go-to experts in discovering the story behind the team and visually sharing that story with the world.



New Orleans is a city so unique, that the adoption of a brand transferred from another city wouldn’t do. The brand of this team needed to be native to this area, a brand that the people could identify with, love, and grow with. And with this…the Pelicans came to life.

“Brands are built around stories. And stories of who we are and where we’ve come from – and how those experiences shape our vision for the future – those are the most impacting stories of all,” Richardson explains.  “And for the City of New Orleans – actually for the entire Gulf South region – there really is no more relevant story than the story of new life, regeneration, and renewal. A story of not just the determination to survive, but to thrive even against the odds. The pelican symbolizes all these things. That’s why, since the earliest explorers visited the coastal waters of South Louisiana to its adoption as an official state symbol, the pelican has embodied the spirit of New Orleans and all of the Gulf South. It’s why, in this new identity, the city’s name rests atop of the Pelican’s wings, because they rest on the hope and expectation to thrive, to renew, and to succeed as a city, a region, and a team.”