Rockets Rebrand?

Leaked renderings shed light on Fertitta’s plan to shakeup his newly acquired NBA franchise…

In a day and age where social media dominates, branding is everything. This rings true not only in the corporate world, but also in the realm of sports, where recent rebrands have proven to reinvigorate franchises and pique a newfound level of interest among fan bases where teams’ identities have grown stale.

Tilman Fertitta acquired the Rockets franchise for 2.2 billion dollars in 2017.

We’ve received solid word through reputable sources that new Rockets owner, billionaire Houstonian Tilman Fertitta, plans to follow in the successful footsteps of rebranded organizations like the Toronto Raptors and shake up the team’s presence, while putting his own unique stamp on his newly acquired franchise.

Beyond just brand recognition, Fertitta has his eyes on total brand immersion between his restaurant and entertainment dynasty, Landry’s, and his crown jewel basketball organization.

Introducing, The Kemah Boardwalk Joe’s Crab Shack Macarena Men.

rockets rebranded logo-01
The new identity of the Houston franchise is a masterclass in cross-branding from the billionaire with a shrewd business acumen.

Tillman’s visionary pursuit of cross-branding, sparked by extensive looks at MLS franchise New York Red Bulls and former Women’s Professional Soccer League team magicJack, will be taken to new and exciting heights with the Joe’s Crab Shack Macarena Men.

Superstar Guard James Harden in a mockup of the potential home jersey for the Macarena Men.

The team, named for the (recently reacquired) flagship seafood restaurant Joe’s Crab Shack, takes its nickname from the fan-favorite staple of the dining experience: the wait staff abruptly dropping their duties to dance the Macarena.

Fertitta’s hope is that the Rockets’ resonance in the community will help propel the Crab Shack, described as a “noisy, fun place with average food” and “Something to try only once…IF you want to spend a ton of money,” back into relevance after its Kemah location closed its doors a few years back under previous ownership.

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With the relocation of the team to the Kemah Boardwalk, the billionaire owner will bid farewell to the Toyota Center, which has served faithfully as the home of the Rockets since the team moved on from what was then the Compaq Center (now Joel Osteen’s anti-refugee 16,800 seat donation center) after the 2002 season.

Leaked renderings show Fertitta’s master plan to place a regulation court inside of the Boardwalk’s main attraction, the Boardwalk Bullet:


A source told me:

Fans will now have the opportunity for a double attraction, as they will view the game from a seat of the rollercoaster. Instead of merely buying a ticket for a basketball game, you will now buy ride tokens for the Boardwalk Bullet, and catch the game at the mind-bending speed of the coaster in motion.

The vision doesn’t stop at aesthetics, however. Fertitta’s ultimate goal for the team to embody Joe’s Crab Shack extends all the way to the roster. He plans to acquire solely players named Joe to fill out the roster alongside his superstar asset James Harden, who has filed paperwork to legally change his name to Joe Harden.

Targets include:

Jazz forward Joe Ingles

76ers center Joel Embiid

Kincks center Joakim Noah

Retired Pistons guard Joe Dumars

Former NBA referee Joey Crawford

Magic Mike XXL star Joe Manganiello, who has experience playing a Slamball superstar on the television series One Tree Hill

And Nets guard Allen Crabbe.

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Fertitta also plans for the “Fear the Beard” moniker to be tweaked to a new slogan: “Feed the Beard,” as he plans to, before every game, stick a fresh batch of Joe’s Crab Shack’s famous fried calamari into the MVP candidate’s beard.


Out of respect to the Rockets’ ongoing pursuit of an NBA championship for the 2017–2018 season, Fertitta plans to hold off on setting this plan in motion until the 2018–2019 season, although permits are already being secured for the construction of the Macarena Men’s new home.

In conjunction with the Rockets’ move to Kemah, the eccentric owner has other plans for the 18,000 seat Toyota Center. Fertitta is aiming to perform the classic “switcheroo” and intends to turn the vacant arena into what will be the world’s largest Joe’s Crab Shack.


What do you think about Fertitta’s plans? Are you in favor of this new direction? Leave a comment and voice your thoughts.



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