New Orleans Hornets Nickname/Colors Change:
Since the Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002 I’ve been on my soapbox lobbying for ownership to change the team name and colors.
Back in 2002 unconfirmed reports had former minority owner Ray Wooldridge ready to change the team name and colors to something more representative of New Orleans…but being a native North Carolinian majority owner George Shinn loved the name Hornets and insisted that name remain with his NBA franchise.
For the record, the name ‘Hornets’ evokes a great sense of pride in North Carolinians…the name goes back to the Revolutionary War…which was won in the Carolinas because the people there turned Charlotte into a “Hornet’s Nest’ for Cornwallis and the Brittish.
For New Orleanians, losing the Jazz to Utah in the late 1970’s allows us to relate to what North Carolinians deal with every time they see a name that is so strongly tied to their area used to represent another city/state.
It was my belief that because tobacco road was getting an NBA expansion franchise…that the Hornets name and stats should have remained in Charlotte when the team relocated to New Orleans…much the same way the Sonics colors, logos and records remain in Seattle. Oklahoma City got to rename it’s franchise…in essence, start from scratch with a nickname and colors fans relate to and take pride in.
So once again, I beg….please consider changing the name of our city’s NBA franchise to something the people in this area can take pride in!!!
Now is the perfect time for such an endeavour. A new collective bargaining agreement in the NBA will hopefully be favorable to smaller market teams…allowing these franchises to become more financially viable while keeping star players. If the NBA fixes its business model then local ownership should emerge (Gary Chouest?!?!?!).
If the NBA finds a local owner…and for the first time since relocating to New Orleans nearly a decade ago professional basketball seems committed to the city long term…then a request should be made to change the name and the color scheme of the franchise. New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has submitted the paperwork to change the name of his franchise when it moves to Brooklyn in 2012…so changing names is not unprecedented.
I look at a New Orleans name change as a fresh start for a franchise that is finally stable.
The Hornets already feature some of the hardest working and creative marketing executives in professional sports…so imagine if these smart men and women had a strong local nickname to promote and sell?
That said, I’ve got a new name for the Hornets that is truly New Orleans and something we could all take great pride in. This name would also allow for tremendous marketing.
THE NEW ORLEANS DOMINOES
Okay, so some of you reading this may be asking yourselves…WHAT????
To all of you…KEEP READING!!
The nickname Dominoes is in honor of local music legend Fats Domino.
No matter your race, creed, color, religion, sex or age….we can all agree that Fats Domino is an amazing and iconic figure synonymous with New Orleans.
The nickname Dominoes is quirky and would be one of a kind…and those are two qualities New Orleanians love.
(Sidebar: Kudos to WDSU News Director Jonathan Shelley for coming up with the nickname Dominoes during a quick and impromptu brainstorming session)
For those who are under the impression that naming the team after a person is unheard of…think again!
The Cleveland Browns were named in honor of team president/coach Paul Brown and the Charlotte Bobcats were named to honor owner Bob Johnson.
I also believe that because of the Saints success the team colors for the city of New Orleans are black & gold.
Therefore, the Dominoes should also be black & gold.
Teams in the same city sharing colors is nothing new…in Pittsburgh the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins all share black and yellow. Rapper Wiz Khalifa even produced a song to honor that city and it’s colors.
The name Dominoes could perhaps make it easier for SMG to finally sell the name rights to the New Orleans Arena…The Domino’s Pizza Arena…home of the New Orleans Dominoes!
Fats could even be featured in some pizza commercials.
Maybe the sweet play of the game brought to you by Domino’s Sugar?
For the marketing executives…just imagine all of the possibilities and tie-in’s with Fats Domino’s songs:
I Found My Thrill…with the New Orleans Dominoes
I’m walking to New Orleans…to see the Dominoes play
Whole Lotta Loving…for Chris Paul and the Dominoes
In 2008 the city talked about opening a New Orleans Music Hall of Fame on Rampart Street. Why not build this museum in one of the adjacent parking lots next to the New Orleans Arena (or in the under construction Benson Tower) and offer free admission to those who purchase Dominoes game tickets (and vice versa…tourists going to the museum can use their ticket to get into Dominoes games).
Perhaps a monument to Fats could be built between the New Orleans Arena and a newly constructed New Orleans Music Hall of Fame.
I know all of this is crazy thinking but having something local…a name that we can all take great pride in and that truly represents who we are…can be inspiring to people and could perhaps reignite a fan base that seems lethargic towards the Hornets.
Below are some renderings I made for possible New Orleans Dominoes uniforms: