HoopsHype Charlotte Hornets rumors

May 19, 2013 Updates

The Charlotte Bobcats are on their way to becoming the Charlotte Hornets. The Bobcats have started pursuing a name change to Charlotte's original NBA team, an informed source confirmed to the Charlotte Observer. Though the Bobcats will need permission from the league to make such a change, incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver has twice indicated that shouldn't be a problem. Charlotte Observer

What's still in question is when the name change could be implemented and how extensively the Bobcats would assume the Hornets' old look. The source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, would not comment on whether the popular teal-and-purple color scheme would return to Charlotte. Charlotte Observer

Any change probably couldn't be implemented before the 2014-15 season. Silver said last month during a trip to Charlotte that it would take a minimum of 18 months to rebrand an NBA franchise. The league's uniform-maker, Adidas, and other licensees need that much lead time to produce branded merchandise. The Bobcats have estimated it would cost them about $3 million to rebrand because so much signage and other logo material would have to be replaced. Sources indicate both Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern advocated a switch to the Hornets to better market Charlotte's team. Charlotte Observer

May 18, 2013 Updates
March 4, 2013 Updates
December 6, 2012 Updates

The Charlotte Bobcats face a $3 million decision: Is it worth the investment to change the team’s name to “Hornets,” hoping to capture the nostalgia for Charlotte’s original NBA team? Reports Tuesday said Tom Benson, the new owner of the New Orleans Hornets who said he wants to change his team’s nickname to something that represents that city, has chosen “Pelicans” as that new name. Charlotte Observer

“There is enough nostalgia about that name that you could get some good karma from it,” said Joe Favorito, a professor of advanced sports marketing at Columbia University. “Would they stick around if the team isn’t good? Probably not. But that nickname could have the effect of getting some customers to give it a second look.” Charlotte Observer

The team has prepared, though. A marketing study of Charlotte the team commissioned during the summer of 2010, couldn’t ask specific questions about the Hornets, but did poll Charlotteans on the name “Bobcats.” The results might surprise you. According to chief sales and marketing officer Pete Guelli, more than 60 percent of those polled liked the name Bobcats; about 20 percent advocated a name change. Charlotte Observer

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