SBD/November 5, 2013/Franchises

Bobcats Season Tickets Up 55% Since Michael Jordan Took Over In '10

Bobcats fans can expect splashy unveilings of Hornets colors, logos and other changes
Since Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan bought the team in '10, season tickets "have increased to 9,362 from 6,044, a gain of 55%," according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Bobcats President Fred Whitfield and Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Pete Guelli said that fans should "expect a number of Hornets-themed events in the year ahead as the transition takes place" to the new name. Fans can "expect former players to make appearances, along with splashy unveilings of the team colors, logos and other changes." Jordan and the team will spend $4M updating Time Warner Cable Arena, the floor and website, "among other things affected" by the name change. Guelli said that with the season-ticket gains and sponsorship revenue up at least 10%, the Bobcats are "poised to take advantage of anticipated improvements on the court" (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/1 issue).

CAT'S IN THE CRADLE: In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell wrote the "biggest thing" Jordan has learned as owner is to "admit and rectify mistakes quickly." An example was him "replacing Mike Dunlap one season into his tenure as coach." Jordan said, "I actually liked Mike, I absolutely did. I said it last year when we first hired him that I could have played for him. But that doesn't translate to today's kids." New coach Steve Clifford is the "third Bobcats coach in as many seasons, but Jordan thinks the team is on the rise" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/2).

BRAND BUILDER: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted when the Jordan brand signed Bobcats C Cody Zeller last week, it "marked the fourth Bobcats player to be signed to the brand, a disproportionately high number considering Jordan itself has only 20 active NBA players on its roster." But the league has "put in place provisions to make sure proper league procedures are followed." When Jordan became the owner, walls were "put up to make sure Nike was making its decisions for the Jordan brand on its own, a departure from its previous statements that suggested Jordan handpicked his endorsers." Zeller joins F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, G Jeffery Taylor and C Bismack Biyombo as "other Jordan endorsers who play for the Bobcats." There are "more players on Jordan's team getting paid to wear Jordan gear than on any other team in the league" (ESPN.com, 11/4).
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