Four Quack-erjack New Marketing Schemes for the New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans NBA team ended last season as the Hornets but will begin this one as the Pelican--a step down, intimidation-wise, but it could still be a marketing boon. Reps of other birdbrained teams show the way.

Work the Sponsors

Advice from: Temple Owls (of Temple University)
Think outside the norm. Gorton's Fish Sticks, perhaps? "Maybe they do a promotion where the mascot stands at mid-court and you've got to try to throw [fish] into its mouth," says associate athletic director Scott Walcoff.

Own the goofiness

Advice from: Madison Mallards (a summer collegiate baseball team)
"If I were making the decisions for a team like that, I would tend toward fun," says Mallards president Vern Stenman. Goofy mascots draw kids; fun logos sell shirts. Basketball is only a game, after all.

Get tough when it counts

Advice from: Baltimore Orioles
Less fierce means more flexible, says Greg Bader, Orioles' VP of communications and marketing. His team's mascot is a playful, cartoonish bird, but toward playoff time last year, it resurrected an old logo of an angry bird to fire up the fans.

Play the home- court advantage

Advice from: Pittsburgh Penguins
The pelican is Louisiana's state bird. "This team more fully represents the area," says James Santilli, the Penguins' VP of marketing. He suggests tapping into that hometown pride with a slate of basketball clinics and open practices.

[illustration by Till Hafenbrak]

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