Fred Whitfield Rumors
The Charlotte Hornets and Bank of America this month partnered for the seventh annual Military Care event. This year’s unique initiative saw the full Hornets team and coaching staff, along with 90 volunteers from the two organizations working at home, partner to pack 3,000 care kits to be distributed by the USO of North Carolina to military service members who are required to self-isolate after deployment for 14 days at a quarantine facility before returning home to loved ones. “It is extremely important that we show our gratitude for our troops and the protection they provide,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Even though we could not gather in person like we have in previous years, we are pleased that we were able to continue to partner with our friends at Bank of America to provide these care kits as a way of offering our thanks to our military service members.”
The Charlotte Hornets Foundation has donated $25,000 to Novant Health to assists with COVID-19 relief and response efforts as its annual Wellness Grant. The funds will be used to purchase additional COVID-19 rapid test kits for mobile unit screenings, disposable masks, and to translate COVID-19 educational materials into Spanish. The tests and supplies will mainly benefit economically distressed neighborhoods and minority communities. “We are pleased to be able to provide support for our friends at Novant Health as they continue to lead the way in keeping our community safe and healthy,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We are appreciative of their efforts throughout the pandemic and are glad to have the ability to assist our longtime partner in any way we can, including hosting vaccination events at Spectrum Center.”
The Charlotte Hornets hope at least some fans can return to Spectrum Center as soon as next month, but team President Fred Whitfield cautioned that the NBA franchise will err on the side of public health before moving ahead. State and local government health mandates will be the ultimate arbiters. The NBA has largely left it up to teams and local health and government officials to determine when fans are allowed in arenas and how many.
“We’re working with the NBA to find out what other teams are learning,” Whitfield told the Charlotte Business Journal. The league “is going to gather all the data and information from all the teams, share what’s working, what’s not working, show us some fan survey results and hopefully help us be able to put together a compelling case … that we can host some amount of fans at some point.”
Whitfield added, “Hopefully in March, but who knows? A lot of it is going to be incumbent on what the numbers are, how many vaccines are being added — there are a lot of dynamics (health officials) are going to have to consider.”
“When we really started to see a lot of energy is when we rebranded from the Bobcats to the Hornets,” team President Fred Whitfield told CBJ. “Clearly, with the excitement around us bringing that brand back and the colors and all the history, we started to see some growth in that area.”
Jersey sales have been spurred by four players: Ball, free-agent signee Gordon Hayward and returning players Devonte Graham and P.J. Washington. Whitfield and Bennett credited Jordan Brand, the Nike division that resulted from the Hornets owner’s Air Jordan shoes and apparel, with boosting interest through the creation of the City Edition uniforms. The colors, which also include gold and granite, play off of the region’s role as a gold rush site and a financial center dating back to Charlotte’s status as home to the first branch location of the U.S. Mint.