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April 18, 2012

Ninety-Nine Name Ideas for Rebranding the New Orleans Hornets

HornetsLogo.pngTom Benson, the new owner of the New Orleans Hornets, purchased his basketball franchise on Friday for $338 million.

And now it looks like he is planning to purchase a new team name as well. Or perhaps pick up a free one from the fans.

Benson says the name "Hornets" means nothing to the city. He's asking fans for their help in coming up with a new nickname.

I think he's got a point about the name, Hornets. That name also originated from the team's fans, back when the Hornets were a fledgling team in Charlotte North Carolina. The name was derived from the city's fierce resistance to the British occupation during the Revolutionary War which prompted the British commander, Lord Cornwallis, to refer to it as "a veritable nest of hornets."

Since the announcement of a possible name change, another veritable hornets nest has emerged from the fan base. Truth be told, Hornet fans have some clever team name ideas. And a lot of them.

The following 99 name candidates have been culled from social media and readers comments over the past five days. Since we have not been privy to any of Mr. Benson's marketing plans, we are loathe to make any strategic name recommendations. However, we have categorized the names to make his selection more convenient.

Saints & Sinners

Surprisingly, many of the fans comments called for the franchise to brand themselves as the Saints. But there's a football team that's not too keen on that idea. Here are some heavenly (and not so heavenly) alternatives that might address this spiritual need.

  • Angels
  • Apostles
  • Spirit
  • Soul
  • Bishops
  • Knights
  • The Parish
  • Beasts
  • Devils
  • Sinners
  • 666
  • Outlaws
  • Pirates
  • Crime
  • Gravediggers
Cuddly Animals

Let's face it, it's hard to hug a hornet. With some exceptions, teams named for these indigenous Louisiana creatures could be slightly more approachable.

  • Black Bears
  • Gatahs!
  • Pelicans
  • Termites
  • Mud Bugs
  • Mud Dogs
  • Skeeters
  • Mosquitoes
  • Crawdads
  • Crawfish
  • Crays

Sugar & Spice

New Orleans is known for it's great food experience. Any of these team names could positively impact the sale of concessions.

  • Sugar Cane
  • Spice
  • Po' Boys
  • Hot & Spicy
  • Fighting Gumbos
  • Hush Puppies
  • Jambalaya
  • Fighting Beignets
  • Steamers
  • Muffulletas

Never-Ending Night Life

From Mardi Gras to to New Years this is the city that knows how to party. And based on these name suggestions, apparently many of the team's fans do too.

  • Drunks
  • Celebration
  • Brew
  • Bourbon Street Players
  • Beads
  • Fests
  • Fling
  • Ballers
  • Bash
  • Revelers
  • Jesters
  • Razoo

String Music

Not surprisingly, a significant number of Hornets fans are vying for the return of the name 'Jazz' to the city from whence it came and more appropriately belongs. But since that brand has been playing well in Utah, fans might consider the following.

  • Sound
  • Brass
  • Blues
  • Boogie
  • Beat
  • Rhythm
  • Mambo
  • Groove
  • Soulmen

Blood Sports

These names could potentially broaden the fan base to include the 13 million + Twilight series fans.

  • Vampires
  • Zombies
  • Voodoo
  • Dreadlocks
  • Swamp People
  • Swampsters
  • Witch Doctors

Courting Disaster

Rather than being the victim of natural disaster, why not promote a team brand that brings disaster to its opponents on the basketball court?

  • Storm
  • Oil Spills
  • The Flood
  • Levees
  • Hurricanes
  • Flash Floods
  • Zephyrs
  • Nightmare
  • Crescents
  • The Wave
  • River
  • Poseiden

Real Life Resilience

On the court and in real life these team names reflect a people that fight back and win.

  • Survivors
  • Fighting FEMAS
  • Bounce
  • Fighters
  • Pride
  • Defenders
  • No Limit Soldiers
  • Laginappe

By the People and for the People

Why not name the team for the people of New Orleans and the heroes who inspire them?

  • Cajuns
  • Gulf Coasters
  • Ragin' Cajuns
  • Lil' Wayne
  • Bayous
  • The Bounty Hunter


These team name suggestions defy categorization.

  • Bensons
  • Bounties
  • Breez
  • Jaxx
  • Krewe
  • Looters
  • Raiders
  • Runners
  • Weezy
  • Who Dat
  • Magnolias

Don't Stir the Hornet's Nest

Since the cost of a name and logo change can be somewhat stinging,some potential cost-savings could result from limiting the change to a slight variation on Hornets.

  • Stingers
  • Horns

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Posted by Diane Prange at April 18, 2012 3:48 PM
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