SBD/June 20, 2014/Franchises

Hornets Go Contemporary, Clean With New Uniforms; Initial Reception Is Positive

Team execs wanted uniforms players would be proud to wear
Hornets execs on Thursday said that the final designs for the team's newly unveiled uniforms "paid tribute" to the original uniforms designed by Alexander Julian, while "adding a contemporary spin," according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The NBA "requires all teams to update uniforms even if the change involves a past design, meaning the Hornets couldn’t have used the old ones even if they wanted to." Pre-orders for the new jerseys "start in late August, and authentic jerseys will arrive in stores and be shipped to fans starting a month later." Like the original jerseys, the new ones "feature V-necks, but the overlay is a solid color instead of the earlier stripes." The new home whites and road purples spell out Hornets across the chest, while an alternate uniform with an all-teal base "pays tribute to the originals with 'Charlotte' on the chest." So-called "tonal accents, muted lettering on the lower right portion of the shorts, includes the word 'Charlotte' on the home and away uniforms and 'Hornets' on the alternate." The new design "clusters the striping along the left side only." Shorts also "include a silhouette Hornets logo on the waistband and a cell pattern on the bottom left leg with a secondary or alternate logo." Black, gray and light blue "are used as accent colors in the new uniforms" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/19). In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell wonders what Hornets Owner Michael Jordan's "input in the process" was. Hornets Exec VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Pete Guelli: "He wanted something high-performance. Something our players would be proud to wear." Senior VP/Marketing Seth Bennett said that the priority was "a look the team could use for many years." He added, "We didn’t want to be trendy; we didn’t want to be loud. I think this connects the two eras" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/20).

TEAL OR NO TEAL? In Charlotte, Scott Fowler noted the Hornets will wear their teal alternate uniforms "16-20 times a year, they say -- possibly more at home than on the road." None of the three uniforms "have the characteristic pinstripes coming down the front of the jersey that the originals had," which is "a lost opportunity." But the lettering "looks good and the overall look is crisp and uncluttered." While "none of the Hornets' new uniforms are bad by any means," the white home jerseys are "the weakest of the three" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/20). But ESPN.com's Paul Lukas gave the white home uniforms an "A" grade. He wrote there is "a lot to like," as the lettering and numbering "feel balanced and properly sized, the pinstripes down the left side (which is not repeated on the right) adds a nice bit of pizzazz, and the crossover collar is a nice nod to the original Hornets uni." If the team is "smart enough to leave this alone, it has a chance to become a modern classic." Lukas gave the purple road uniforms a "B-minus" grade and wrote it has the "same basic template" as the home whites, but "it doesn't work as well with this color treatment." Lukas also gave the teal alternate uniforms a "B-minus" (ESPN.com, 6/19).
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