Alive At The Hive: Hornets Name Officially Returns To Charlotte
The Hornets yesterday formally executed their transition away from the Bobcats brand, and though the new name "won't make the team any better," it will "make them more interesting," according to Tom Sorensen of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The Hornets "finally are in position to become a factor in Charlotte." The team "more than doubled its victory total this season, and made the playoffs, and reclaimed its name." Sorensen: "That's synergy, good timing and good work." Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield said that the team has "sold 2,000 more season tickets this offseason than last offseason, and their season-ticket renewal rate" is at 90%. The Hornets' uniforms will be "unveiled June 19," and the team's primary colors "will be the old Hornets colors, purple and teal, the secondary colors black, gray and light blue." The Hornets' new court will be unveiled June 26, and the Hugo the Hornet mascot returns June 5, but it "won't be the original Hugo." About 200 fans showed up at Time Warner Cable Arena "for the name-change news conference" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/21). Whitfield said, "For me, this day is almost surreal because I was a Hornets season-ticket holder. I know what it felt like in the old Hive and the energy and excitement that happened to be there." The AP's Steve Reed noted Whitfield also announced that "all the statistical information, records and history of Charlotte NBA basketball will be restored to the franchise." Whitfield said that Hornets' records from their years in New Orleans will "revert to the Pelicans' history" (AP, 5/20).
SOCIAL BUZZ: Over the last 24 hours, the official return of the Hornets moniker has provided a nice bump in popularity in social media for the team. The Hornets are up 16,400 new likes on Facebook (778,900 overall), an additional 8,700 new followers on Instagram (78,770 overall) and 5,900 new followers on Twitter (214,900 overall) (Ryan Baucom, Staff Writer).