The Pelicans will wear their Statement Edition Red uniforms to battle Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns Friday in Game 3 inside a sold-out Smoothie King Center.
New Orleans will turn to its white City Edition for Sunday's Game 4 action. The team is requesting help from fans to create a Red Out for this weekend's playoff games. Red is good for the Pelicans. Historically, it has been a color associated with the franchise's best moments and some crushing season-ending losses.
The hope is the red pays off and helps the fans connect, creating a great playoff atmosphere.
Team owner Gayle Benson said in a press release announcing the sell-outs, "I truly believe the spirit and support from our fans uplifts our team and our community, and I look forward to seeing everyone come out early to our Red Out games on Friday and Sunday night."
The reasons go beyond the team's record when wearing the right color. This shade of red resonates with the fans and helps project the great experience of attending a game.
Pelicans Vice President of Brand Strategy, Jen Martindale told Pelicans Scoop, "We've chosen to go with Pelicans Red because we want to make sure the opposing team really feels the fan energy when they're out there on the court, and the Pelicans Red really stands out on TV, too."
The Pelicans are typically on national television when they color coordinate with their fans.
In 2015, the newly named Pelicans hosted their first home playoff game with the first Red Out in a Game 3 loss against the Golden State Warriors. In Game 4, fans wore white to watch Steph Curry and Klay Thompson close out the season-ending sweep. It was also the last game in charge for Monty Williams. Now he'll see red from the opposing bench.
The next Red Out was a lot more enjoyable. The Pelicans blitz CJ McCollum's Portland Trail Blazers in 2018's first round. New Orleans stuck with red for Game 4 to finish off the sweep. However, New Orleans ran back into Golden State in 2018. New Orleans rode with the red for both home games. The Pelicans got a Game 3 win but lost the series in five games.
The Pelicans own a winning record at 4-2 during Red Outs with fans. By the way, this season's Red Outs sparked the current postseason run. The Pelicans bloodied up the San Antonio Spurs 113-103 in the first game of the NBA Play-in Tournament. Historically and culturally, red is just the right choice for the occasion.
Wearing red is just one more example the fans in this basketball city are on the same page. They are hoping it pays off in Games 3 and 4. One win in the Smoothie King Center would ensure another game next Thursday. Two wins would mean Game 6 would be for the rights to play in the second round… and more of the team's free red giveaway shirts being printed. Indeed, it would be a welcomed expense by the organization.