The New Orleans Hornets were sold to Tom Benson on April 13, 2012.
After purchasing the team, Benson indicated that he wanted to change the club's nickname to something more regionally appropriate. On December 14, 2012, it was reported that the Hornets would change their nickname to the New Orleans Pelicans.
On January 24, 2013, the team held a press conference, where it unveiled its new nickname, logos and colors. The name Pelicans is a reference to the brown pelican, the state bird of Louisiana. The team said in a press release that its colors would be navy, gold and red; each color is represented in the city flag of New Orleans.
The team formally adopted its new brand identity at the end of the 2012–13 NBA season.
On August 1, 2013, the Pelicans released their new uniforms. The 'New Orleans' wordmark logo across the front of the jerseys is inspired by French Quarter street signs; the Pelicans are one of three NBA teams to wear the city name across the front of both home and road jerseys. The partial logo is featured on the sides of the shorts, and the "Bird-de-Lis" logo (a combination mark of the pelican, fleur-de-lis and crescent basketball shape) is featured on the back neck.
NBA teams were not allowed to have alternate uniforms during their first season of operation.
On September 23, 2014, the Pelicans unveiled a red alternate uniform for the 2014–15 season that will be worn four (4) times in the year. Prior to the red alternate uniform unveiling, the NBA announced that its league logo would be moved to the back neck of game jerseys for all 30 clubs; as a result, the NBA league logo replaced the "Bird-de-Lis" logo on the back neck.
On September 17, 2015, the Pelicans unveiled a new alternate uniform, introduced as part of the NBA's "Pride" uniforms for the 2015–16 season. The short-sleeved uniforms feature Mardi Gras' signature colors – purple, green and gold. The tops are purple with green accents on the sleeves and sport 'NOLA' (a local acronym for New Orleans) across the chest in the Pelicans’ signature font in gold letters trimmed in green. The Pelicans 'NO' logo is featured at the bottom of the v-neck and the Crescent City basketball logo is on the left sleeve in Mardi Gras colors. Additionally, the trim around the neckline is purple, green and gold-striped. Additionally, on the back of the jersey, the players’ numbers will be gold with green trim, last name in white traditional lettering and the NBA logo will be featured at the base of the neck. The purple shorts will have green and gold stripes down the side with a small secondary logo – the "Bird-de-Lis" in gold centered on the waistband. The Pelicans’ partial logo is on both sides of the shorts in Mardi Gras colors.