I'm sure that by now, everyone has heard of the New Orleans Hornets and their eventual rebranding effort to be known as the New Orleans Pelicans. Well, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the high-A Carolina League have also heard, and they're not very happy about their nickname being scooped. In fact, the Pelicans posted a (tongue-in-cheek, I presume) press release on their website on Friday afternoon soliciting suggestions for a New Orleans themed rebranding effort for their team.
In addition to suggesting various New Orleans style names for the team (Saints, Hornets, Jazz, etc), the press release also states that team GM Scott Brown would be willing to move to Charlotte (former home of the Hornets) and become GM of the AAA Charlotte Knights, as well as create the following promotions for the team in 2013.
-The team's home ballpark would be renamed "TicketReturn.com Field at Preservation Hall" Areas of the ballpark would also be re-branded. The pond in the parking lot would be called "Lake Pontchartrain", while patrons enterting ballpark restroom facilities would be taking their personal business to the "French Quarter"
-The club would petition city and county officials to rename streets and landmarks around the area. 21st Avenue North, which runs along the ballpark, would be called "St. Charles Avenue," Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach's entertainment hot spot, would become "Bourbon Street," and, boldy, the team would call its home county "Horry Parrish."
-The logo of the new team name would include a fleur de lis, much in the same fashion as the current logo, which incorporates a crescent-shaped moon in the background.
-A different NOLA-themed promotion for every day of the week would be incorporated. The lineup would feature Mardi Gras Mondays, Fat Tuesdays, Wet Wednesdays (featuring 1/2 price hurricane drinks), Thirsty Thursday (featuring Creole Bloody Marys), Big Easy Fridays (featuring the music of Al Hirt, Louis Armstrong, Aaron Neville and other New Orleans legends), Sazerac Saturdays and Voodoo Sundays (Details currently under development).
-The team's game night entertainment would also reflect the newly-created team image. The club's entertainment staff would be known as the "Promotional Krewe", jazz music would serve as player at-bat songs, legendary political strategist James Carville would be invited to serve as one of the team's radio announcers, and the playing of the Smokey and the Bandit theme song during the 7th Inning Stretch would be replaced by "When the Saints Go Marching In."
-Saints quarterback Drew Brees would be invited to toss out the ceremonial first pitch of the 2013 season and a season-long "Superdome" promotion would be instituted, providing ticket discounts to anyone with a "bald dome."
-TicketReturn.com Field at Preservation Hall concession stands would offer traditional New Orleans foods such as poboys, crawfish, jambalaya and gumbo with classic side dishes such as red beans and rice. Team merchandise would obviously include team beads, as well as NOLA-themed t-shirts, and plush dolls of mascot Splash would be turned into Voodoo dolls
This is all pretty funny stuff, but it comes off as a little bitter from the Pelicans. With as much as teams rebrand, there's bound to eventually be a conflict one of these days between a rebranding pro team and a minor league team that has likely rebranded several times throughout its history. I don't think the Hornets set out to rip off the Pelicans by any means, but short of going with something completely stupid, it's tough to get a completely original nickname nowadays considering how many teams there are in all pro sports leagues.