Bringing back the Hornets (name) « Queen City Hoops

Bringing back the Hornets (name)

Editor’s note: This is the first post from our new contributor, Jeff Hess. He’ll be focusing on bigger picture issues around the team, and starts with a post for which we can thank the Pelicans.Rebranded and Rejuvenated: Why Charlotte must seize the opportunity to be the Hornets once more

The modern NBA is all about the Brand. These days, NBA players are just as much businessmen as they are athletes. It is the reason fans see all the big name stars going to the big markets. So much so, that Commissioner Stern took notice and made changes to the new CBA to prevent it. Yet, under the radar, franchises are making a constant effort to further their brand. Each season, more and more teams release a new jersey or floor plan to try and bring some excitement for a new season. The most tangible effort this year is the moving of the Nets to Brooklyn. With a new stadium, new fans, and a total rebranding effort, the Nets have gone from the 30th to 12th ranked team in attendance. The move and rebrand have made the Nets one of the hottest tickets in the NBA.

Next year, the Charlotte Bobcats have a chance to do a similar thing. With New Orleans changing its name to The Pelicans, Charlotte is one step away from a rebranding effort that would bring the Hornets back to the Queen City. It has been just over 10 year since Charlotte was able to call its team the Hornets. It’s a change that would connect the city with the team and have Charlotteans excited about the NBA again.

Three seasons have passed since the Bobcats had their only playoff appearance since the 2005 expansion. That team consisted of some young talent like Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin, mixed with a good veteran core of Tyson Chandler, Stephen Jackson, and Gerald Wallace. It seemed like the Bobcats’ bad luck in the drafts was over and they were going to follow the same rubric as OKC is now. Unfortunately, that team fell apart and the rebuilding effort began. It was an opportunity to rebrand the franchise and look towards the future. This was reflected with the new jerseys featuring more Carolina Blue, along with the shortened named to Cats.

Now it is again time to look toward the future with the Bobcats franchise. It is looking more and more like Charlotte has finally found its cornerstone players in Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilcrest. The future looks bright and Charlotte is buzzing about the Bobcats again. It is time for the front office to put the cherry on this sundae. It is time to go back to the roots of the franchise and become the Charlotte Hornets once again. After all, Charlotte is the “Hornet’s Nest” and the team name will go back to the town where it belongs. The city can have its team back, and the results would be palpable. There are old Hornets fans that never really jumped on board with the Bobcats, and there are young fans that will finally feel a connection with their home team. The city of Charlotte is ready to become Hornets once more.

The rebrand would cost several million to take everything that once was Bobcats and replace it with Hornets. This would be the only setback I could see with the front office not going through with this idea. But, most every team has something new for a new season. The Bobcats have a chance to do this in a big way. When it does finally happen, I believe we will see a rejuvenated Charlotte team, one that can shed a losing franchise moniker and replace it with a much richer tradition. If the front office can get the name change done by 2013-14 season, expect big things from the Charlotte Hornets.

12 comments to Bringing back the Hornets (name)




  • charlottean

    hate to be harsh, but this is elementary writing at best. really generic, no new thoughts being brought to the table.

    and no we don’t need to hornets name. It’s inevitable at this point, but it’s such a backwards move. Charlotte is nothing like it was 12 years ago. Half the people, half the buildings, half the companies headquartered here, half the culture. I continue to point out that there are 15 and 16 year old die hard bobcats fans that never went to hornets game. that never had a hornets poster on their wall. The seats were empty for the hornets the last few years. It’s not the 80′s/early 90′s. It hasn’t been for a long time. and the only color scheme was horrible. we hate bob johnson so we’re going to go with george shinn’s name instead? that makes a ton of sense.

    as bad as johnson was (and i despise him) he sold the team to jordan to keep it here when he had an offer for more to move the team. shinn moved the team. new orleans was the hornets for 10+ years.

    it’s a move backwards when we need a move forwards.

    • Charlotte Hornets gear is back – this is a link to an article from the Charlotte Observer a few monts ago. There was a poll included with the article about what people wanted the team to be called in Charlotte. With over 12,000 votes cast, “Hornets” was the runaway winner, with over 84% of the vote. While not definitive, that would indicate there is actually strong interest in a return to the old name. Additionally, the Bobcats would potentially stand to gain in apparel sales if they made the change – the Bobcats color scheme has never caught on, despite several revisions in their brief history.

      For me personally – I’m indifferent to the name and the colors. Building a solid team is the most important matter. But as a financial decision for the franchise, the increased revenue may be worth the expense – it’s at least something they need to carefully consider.

      • Spencer/SDS

        i personally don’t care either way, Hornet personally i don’t like, doesn’t have a rhyme to it, i also don’t know much about Carolina or its “culture” so yea…but still either way i don’t see the “hornets” as big upgrade over the “cats”, well at least it is an upgrade from the “pelicans” but still

        the cats are a different franchise/company it shouldn’t try and copy the one that left, it also should leave with the last ownership/as in the naming and what not,

        the “Cats” really don’t sound right neither do the hornets in my opinion, so personally i would say either don’t change it or bring something new…the hornets are a different franchise that left Charlotte, i say go even further away from it, not closer, either way the younger kids, who will be making the money for this franchise 10 years down might not like the “hornets” thus why go to it? yea right now the “hornets” might bring in more income but i don’t that it would continue long term, the changing “back” to the Hornets would probably hurt it long term…IMO, plus 12,000 votes, i’m sure most of those are the “older” groups who actually 1)can vote/2) knew about it, if anything go to the schools/colleges around Charlotte and see what they think

    • Raiderlin

      You must just glance at the sports page everyday. The people that have season tickets (guess which one of us it is) want the name back.

  • jeff

    I’m with Brett. The name can only bring so much. There may be some increased revenue and excitement, but the only thing that’s really going to put fans in the seats is a good team.

    As attributed to in the article, the bobcats have a great young cornerstone of players. If the Bobcats can make the right moves, I think Charlotte will see a rejuvenated franchise.

  • David_C_Hornets

    growing up in charlotte for most of my life, a lot of the great memories i have from being in charlotte was the charlotte hornets. i know its just a name, but for a lot of fans that grew up in charlotte, the hornets were the team. Jordan said himself that one of the craziest away games hes played as a bull was against the hornets. the stadium was electric and they sold out every year except the last year when shinn decided to move the team. iirc, we made the playoffs that year and no one showed up because of what shinn did/decided to do which was move the team.

    i for one, would not want to be associated with the name bobcats because it carries a losing vibe to it. and i wouldn’t call 15/16 year olds die hard fans. i dont see any of em scraping up every last dollar to purchase a ticket to game (even though tickets are like 10 bucks now)

    i dont see anything that would negative coming from changing our names BACK to the hornets; all positives.

  • Hornets belong in Charlotte

    The Hornets belong in Charlotte.

    The team has nothing to lose (except for 3 million in upfront money)

    The name change will attract new fans, sell more merchandise and while some current customers may be upset, they won’t abandon the team.

    If I were the Bobcats, I would switch to Hornets and offer a trade in for any fans that have Bobcats gear. The Bobcas colors and logo look like a middle school team and I think they do sell many because I never see Bobcas jerseys or hats in Charlotte. I do still see Charlotte Hornets shirts and hats though.

    I would be more excited about the Hornets because that would show that MJ cares about the fans wishes. A lot of Charlotte is turned off by what the NBA allowed Shinn to do to us, thisvwould make us whole again and provide a clean slate in my book.

    Please bring the Hornets home Michael

  • Bigred28655

    The Name has roots in Carolina, some good, some bad. I am for the name coming back, but I am also for the games being shown on regular tv and not some off sports channel. Having the Hornets moniker without The Shin would be awesome and perhaps may bring some old fans back. Either way, Bobcats or Hornets, their my team.

  • charlottean

    A 15/16 year old isn’t a die hard because he doesn’t buy courtside seats? They watch every game, they put the posters on the wall, they are the future ticket base. Not to mention, you go to the arena you see A TON of kids. 12000 votes on some online poll is meaningless. They aren’t going to the games either.

    And don’t tell me they WOULD go to the games because they didn’t go back in 2000-end. And we had a great team then. And i’m talking even before that before they announced the move. The 80′s and early 90′s are long gone. Name change feels good for a few effs that can’t move on like adults. But those aren’t the fans anyways.

    I know a majority don’t agree with me. A majority aren’t the smartest people either and a majority think you can save domestic animals. I actually want them to stay with bobcats and mix in the cougars and hornets uni’s along with it. For fun. But teal and purple? Worst color scheme ever. And i grew up with a teal and purple decorated bedroom with muggsy, dell, baron, bobby, larry signed memorabilia everywhere.

    So as i hated it when they took that away, i would hate to take away that same ish from the kids that have grown up with the bobcats. There aren’t as few as you might think. And because we, as grownups, should be able to move on.

    Charlotte is NOT the same city. Changing the name doesn’t get us back baron davis in his prime, or anthony davis in this years draft. Only season ticket holders and die hards should have any say on the matter. It’s like changing the name of a restaurant when everyone complains about the menu. Fix the menu (talent) and nobody cares what you call the restaurant.

    It’s not like people stopped going to big daddy’s when they changed to bad daddy’s. The menu was fine and that’s all anyone really cares about. Baltimore embraced ravens. We can embrace bobcats.

  • Ash

    I know it was his first article, but damn can somebody proofread?

  • Chris

    I was born and raised here in charlotte, And I seriously doubt that It really matters whether or not It’s Hornets or Bobcats. We Are really debating about who come to games, who wants the name changed? All of that is irrelevant if the team is a losing team. First of all for as long as I have stayed here in charlotte I have never seen The fans support a losing team. You can be a new york knicks fan and lakers fan and they both can win 13 games all season and they will still fill stadiums. The fact of the matter is. If you are not winning here in charlotte your support for any team is non existent. So If we want to make a splash in the nba and impact on our economy lets get some talent down here and start from there. Jordan is the biggest name in basketball history and I find it quite surprising that he has more talent on his damn Jordan team than he do his franchise. Let’s get some better talent scouts up front, then get some more talent on the court, And when we get the talent on the court, Let’s try holding on to the talent for more than 3-4 years. Lets try doing these things and maybe we can win games to fill stadiums, and make a bundle from whatever the name is gonna be.