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March 03, 2010

Help us analyze Bobcats survey results

Tuesday, we posted a survey that solicited your opinions on the future of the Charlotte Bobcats and your priorities for Michael Jordan as owner of the franchise.

Potentially renaming the franchise was a hot-button topic, and we offered a number of options: Keeping Bobcats, changing to Cougars, Flight or Royals, selling the  naming rights, or suggesting something else. There were tons of suggestions, including:

Airmen; Airborne; Bearcats; Breakers; Cobras; Copperheads; Crown; Diablos; Dragons; Drive; Flash; Flying Biscuits; Gold; Hornets; Jordanaires; Jumpmen

Miners; Mustangs; Patrons; Pirates; Racers; Raiders; Rebels; Sabertooths; Samurai; Sentinels; Sharks; Speed; Spiders; Swarm; Venom; Web; Wildcats.

Now, we'd like you to help us interpret the rest of the results. You can find the full survey results summary here. In the comments field below, tell us what you make of what you and your fellow fans think. What message should the results send to Michael Jordan and the franchise about what fans think is important?

We'll excerpt the best comments and publish them in The Observer.


The Editors

Posted by Observer Sports on March 3, 2010 at 01:20 PM | Permalink


I don't think you can realistically change the Bobcat's name. Whether you guys know it or not, the Bobcat's do have some loyal fans and I'm certainly not happy about someone with Jordan's track record having this much power. He certainly hasn't earned the priviledge to change the team's name, and I just hope to god he doesn't screw us over for the next few decades.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 3, 2010 1:42:15 PM

I guess the other two got you to become a part of this trivial pursuit of renaming the team. Surely there is something else you guys can write about!

Posted by: digal704 | Mar 3, 2010 1:43:22 PM

The message is as it is everywhere else...you win and nothing else matters. Fans will show up and the pettiness will disappear amoung the people. It is about putting a quality product that can win consistently on the court. But you better be careful b/c if you get a Portland or Indiana type team of thugs from years past, the fans will be gone and will take longer to return. The fact is if they win and there is entertainment value here all will be forgotten and lots of fans need to get over the Hornets thing. The time is now.

As far as the name goes, I think the flight is the worst name ever and after the "Bob"cats fiasco, putting a Jordan brand on anything is probably not a good idea right now.

More promotional events for games is a must. I know it is a corporate sponsorship thing but they need that. Get the name and symbol out. Even if it is window stickers or license plates...something so they are more visable. Marketing is as important as winning. And no raising of ticket prices for a few years

Posted by: Brian Wedzik | Mar 3, 2010 1:47:23 PM

Don't we have more important things to worry about the changing of the team name? What about the people that like the name, purchased merchandise and supported the team for the last 5 years? I personally would never purchase any new gear if they change the name.

Posted by: Kevin | Mar 3, 2010 1:54:13 PM

Gonna say it again, I like Royals! It just fits!

Posted by: Justin | Mar 3, 2010 1:56:54 PM

From the survey results alone, it is clear that the responders of this survey wish for Mr. Jordan to spend wildly with rebranding the team at a cost of 3 to 10 million dollars along with paying luxury tax fines to bring in even more elite players. This would be occuring while the team is expecting losses in the tens of millions of dollars over the next couple of years. BUT responders do not want it on the cheap-so no corporate branding on these new look jerseys. There is a concenus that not only the Cats will make the playoffs this year, but in order to secure financial security, the team muct achieve these lofty heights on a yearly basis. Readers agree that Adam Morrison was Jordan's biggest mistake, but let's give DJ and Lopez another year to see how far they grow apart in NBA developement.

Posted by: HPCatFan | Mar 3, 2010 2:14:55 PM

The fact that so many people seemingly care about the team's nickname is the larger problem of the potential fan base....its the #1 problem?!? You have got to really be kidding me that in the end, it matters AT ALL what they are called as to whether the product is good.

This is really bad news that the readers on charlotteobserver.com that read Bobcats news are concerned with issues so superficial in nature that its laughable.

Posted by: Fred | Mar 3, 2010 2:15:52 PM

If it's not to get the Hornets name back, who cares??

I'm not a fan of the Bobcats name per se, but the Hornets name is the only name I have any emotional ties to.

If you're going to spend millions to get a name, go all the way and try to get the name back from New Orleans and make the fans like me who grew up on (and dearly loved) the Hornets happy.

Otherwise it's a waste of time in my opinion... I am happy to see the team moving in the right direction. Go Bobcats!! (although they I still want to say Hornets)

Posted by: MB1234 | Mar 3, 2010 2:25:52 PM

The Bobcats could lose 40 million this year, be within about 6 million of the LT with only 10 players, no starting PG and faced with a qualifying offer of 6.3 million for Thomas (which would put them right at the tax, still with no starting PG).

Something tells me 3-10 million for changing the name is pretty darn low on the priority list.

The very first question I'd vote "none of the above" if it was an option. Making the team fiscally sound and a consistent playoff contender comes well before all of those choices.

Posted by: spectre | Mar 3, 2010 2:30:26 PM

I didn't really understand the big huh-bub about the team changing the name and I'm glad my fellow fans were with me on that. If Johnson truly did name the team after himself that pretty vain but guess what nationally no one paid attention and the Bobcat (animal) is native to North Carolina. So I think logic won out or emotion here.

I think what needs to be shared with the team is that fans think Jordan should live here. I kind of disagree but I'm not a business man but I do work for a company that used to have corporate seats. I talked to a higher up and he said if Jordan stopped by the CEO's office shook hands with him and let him take a picture or two then the company would probably renew their tix.

It's says that despite Jordan's desire to be private that the exact opposite of what he needs to do to make this franchise successful here.

Posted by: QCSports | Mar 3, 2010 2:33:38 PM

Rename the team the Charlotte Royals and use the City of Charlotte logo (the crown).

Hey, it worked for the New Orleans Saints.


Posted by: Chris | Mar 3, 2010 2:38:51 PM

i like the Charlotte Johannson's

Posted by: firefox | Mar 3, 2010 2:41:51 PM

spectre got it right

Posted by: The Future | Mar 3, 2010 2:49:29 PM

Since Charlotte's first semi-pro sports team (football) and first ice hockey team had the same nickname, the Bobcats should trade or buy the nickname from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Charlotte Clippers just sounds right and there is history to that nickname!

Posted by: George | Mar 3, 2010 2:56:48 PM

The high marks for changing the team name shows a pattern of Charlotte sports fans - overreaction to personal feelings about a team owner. When the Hornets were talking about leaving, fans wanted to hold the door open for them, only because they had been disgusted with George Shinn's personal life and never liked Ray Wooldridge. When the arena vote came up in 2001, it would have been voted down if the arena had only cost 50 bucks. Everyone hated Shinn that much.

Now we have a new team and another owner we don't like. So, like before, we are clamoring to change the team name because the team name has the unliked owner's name within it. I believe this is small-minded and short-sighted.

Michael Jordan needs to concentrate on making sure the team is fiscally sound while remaining competitive, and convincing Larry Brown to make a long-term comittment to remaining as coach.

James Edgar

Posted by: J | Mar 3, 2010 3:05:24 PM

How about Jordan send $3-10 Million to Haiti relief and keep the name since spending other people's money is the witch hunt the Observer employees are trying to send the fans on. Also, at least figure out what it only took Fowler 1 day to figure out AFTER he had already produced his article....They have to wait a year and a half to do it and it would alienate a lot of the current season ticketholders.

And how about the writers actually write about the product on the court, what is LB doing to get us out of this offensive funk we've been in? since no Larry Hughes, who's the next guard we are targeting, when is Nazr coming back, will Tyson play 3 games or more the rest of the year, etc.

Posted by: BlockParty | Mar 3, 2010 3:07:59 PM

Additionally...the survey is skewed. By choosing the 5 most 'pressing' issues of the team, you had to list 1 of them as the greatest concern. Only one of them was actually a valid option (spend more on player personel) and even that isn't a criticism of the new or old ownership group. What premier player left the team because of money?...NONE Some of the questions are so stupid, is their one Panther fan that buys season tickets only because Jerry Richardson lives in the state? would their be a mad-dash to sell their PSL if Jerry stopped coming to the games? no way

And based off the blog above...it's not from Rick, it's from the editors. Rick, just stick to the basketball and tell your editors, Tom and Scott to go shove it until they actually do a little bit of research on the topic they are trying to write about.

Posted by: BlockParty | Mar 3, 2010 3:16:01 PM

Rick, can we please stop talking about the name already? I want to read about what they can do to turn this slide around. What are they going to do to fix these fourth quarter melt downs? What's up with DJ & Raymond? Are they looking at any free agents that could possiblity help?

We expect more from you than possible name changes, let Fowler handle that.

Posted by: Chris G. | Mar 3, 2010 3:16:39 PM

I would rather focus on the game rather than the name.

Posted by: redhotdave | Mar 3, 2010 3:21:31 PM

Changing the name is a critical step in purging ourselves of the Johnson era. Of course, winning more games is number one, but we really need to do whatever we can to get a fresh start with the hope that more people in Charlotte will care about our team like they did for the Hornets. Marketing is going to be key over the next year.

And I have to admit, the Charlotte Samurai is a great name. Thanks to whoever suggested it.

Posted by: Cameron | Mar 3, 2010 4:58:03 PM


our main liscence plate is the airplane, so other state has that, so INSTEAD OF A GENERIC NAME LIKE BOBCATS, maybe we should do like the liscence plate AND FLY!

Posted by: parker | Mar 3, 2010 5:03:48 PM

Chris G:
I wrote a blog a few days ago about how many people had emailed me, suggesting another a name change. Haven't written another word about that subject. This survey (which I have no problem with, by the way -- some people care a LOT about this) came from my editors.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Mar 3, 2010 5:07:04 PM

Keep the name the way it is. Though I was never a supporter of it I still think its a better brand overall. Flight sounds great, but when it comes to branding (mascot, logos, etc) I don't think there is much to go off of. That's the entire point, right?.

Within a few years of Bob Johnson being out and Jordan being in no one will remember the "bob's cats" - or at least it won't be the running joke any longer.

Aesthetically we need to focus on more of the blue/grey color and less of the orange. Other than that Jordan needs to focus on community involvement/presence and getting the cats into the playoffs. I think everyone would be happy if we could fly under the Hornets banner again, but if that isn't possible, we need to build our base like we did back then.

Posted by: Ben Bowers | Mar 3, 2010 5:31:45 PM

It looks like the Observer is kind of pulling a FOX NEWS approach to journalism here.

Step #1 : They Create A Story Based On No Real Event Or Data – ”Will The Bobcats Change Their Name?”

Step # 2 : They Cover The Story As If Anything Is Actually Happening – ”Let's Review Our Reader's Survey”

Step #3 : Recap The Story So That They Are More Important Than The Story – “Well, Our Survey Shows That Charlotte Wants...”

Let's keep in perspective that there are quite a few basketball fans in the area that don't read the Observer (in print or online). Whatever the local NBA beat writer wants to report to the new ownership is only a small portion of real basketball fans in the area.

Posted by: BallerCat | Mar 3, 2010 5:43:19 PM

My Analysis:

Beat the Celtics. Nothing else today matters.

Posted by: muttley | Mar 3, 2010 6:27:24 PM

someone find out if we are signing michael finley. we need the shooter off the bench.

Posted by: joe cool | Mar 3, 2010 6:29:10 PM

adam m. dj and henderson were are good suggestions by the white establishment too. how is that working out for you?

Posted by: maurice | Mar 3, 2010 7:07:08 PM

I love the Cougar name, but I'm just fine with the Bobcats name too. MJ is not going to rename the team and it should not be a big deal. Bobats are real. Now if he had named them the Bobponys or the BobEagles that would be different. Most people have already forgotten Bob Johnson as a owner.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Mar 3, 2010 7:17:51 PM

The results of this survey are pretty depressing.

First of all, the team isn't really in a situation to spend MORE money than they already are spending. They're perilously close to the luxury tax already, and they're not even a .500 ball club. So spending money isn't going to make them better/more entertaining.

Second, as someone already stated, who cares where the owner is living, or if he attends games? People in this town need to get over George Shinn. It's been a decade, time to move on, or lose pro basketball forever.

FINALLY, what is so bad about corporate branding? The rest of the world has been doing it for YEARS. Would you really miss having "Bobcats" on the front of the jersey? Instead of having a name just for the sake of having a name, imagine the swoosh on that jersey. Imagine the Jumpman23 logo on that jersey. We're talking about a situation that would be INFINITELY more marketable, and to top it off the corporation would (very happily) foot the bill to change the name of the team. Charlotte would be INNOVATORS, the first major pro sports franchise in America to have such a branding contract, and with MJ as the owner they're the perfect prototypes (David Stern is going to be MJs biggest cheerleader, if MJ wanted this to happen Stern would find a way to help him). Bottom line, it makes TOO MUCH SENSE not to at least TRY something like this. I guess that's why it probably won't happen.

Posted by: David | Mar 3, 2010 7:56:34 PM

The real fans of the team think this name-change stuff is basically idiotic. How many of the name-changers regularly attend a game? Where is the stat on that? How about some coverage about something that matters, like Nazr or Chandler's health? Or whether Gerald is playing to many minutes and looks tired out there? Leave the superficial stuff to Sorenson. Maybe he'll write about the latest cotton-candy flavors at the arena.

Posted by: jiff65 | Mar 3, 2010 9:58:46 PM

The best name and the one that makes the most sense is the Charlotte Air, you've got the connection to North Carolina being first in flight, Air Jordan, and finally the large airline hub in Charlotte.

Posted by: Justin Chandler | Mar 3, 2010 11:21:50 PM

On the name: We've learned that the fans cannot be trusted with naming rights if they think "Flight" is a good choice and that Jordan and Co. should not let the fans come up with the names.

Posted by: Bro. D. | Mar 3, 2010 11:55:21 PM

#1. I don't care if Jordan lives in Charlotte.
#2. It would help attendance if he was at games. There are many "casual" fans who would come just to see him.(and Ric Flair)
#3 Don't change the name. While I wish we could because of BOB Johnson being the BOBcats...but this makes NO business sense. Change all the signage, uniforms, uniforms, just to name a few...in this economy...no way!!!
#4 Stay with the direction of this season...secure Larry Brown and staff....your on your way to the playoffs.
#5. Draft better....to think we could have Gay and Grainger makes me sick.

Posted by: jeff coffey | Mar 3, 2010 11:57:05 PM

my analysis: a lot of those names are horrible and nobody should really care anything about what michael jordan does outside of basketball decisions.

75.2% of the people taking your survey only show up for games against the cavs.

drafting adam morrison wasn't an error. adam morrison tearing his acl before his 2nd season does not qualify that as a bad pick. we take roy and he tears his acl before his 2nd season....its the same story and everybody is mad that portland drafted adam morrison.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 4, 2010 1:04:48 AM

The Charlotte Speed sounds aggressive and catchy. Much better than the Bob-cats.

New owner + good name = new start

Posted by: Tim | Mar 4, 2010 9:00:45 AM

@ Chris in first comment:

A few loyal fans is not what you need to have a successful NBA team. You need a city behind you. The poll was an overwhelming 80% for a name change. The 20% who like the Bobcats name are fringe fans, but you need the masses.

Posted by: Tim | Mar 4, 2010 9:04:06 AM

The name change will not help this team. Jordan isnt going to help things either. Just get rid of the team already.

Posted by: Erock | Mar 4, 2010 10:09:53 AM

It takes all Kinds to support this team. All Points Of View. You may think something is Petty, others may not. You don't try and address all, you may lose those supporters(of the team) of that paticular view. Can't make everyone 100% happy, but you can show you're trying.

Posted by: fox has to go!! | Mar 4, 2010 1:32:26 PM

75.2% of survey takers are the fairweather fans that show up only when we demolish the cavs (or lakers).

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 4, 2010 5:41:57 PM

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