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March 04, 2013

Campaign to reclaim Hornets name now has TV commercials

What started as a grassroots campaign on social media sites now has a TV commercial.

The campaign to reclaim the Hornets name for Charlotte's NBA team has a handful of TV advertisements aimed at urging the city of Charlotte and the Bobcats chairman Michael Jordan to change the name back.

The ads, sponsored by a family-owned Charlotte business Blackhawk Hardware, were uploaded to YouTube a few weeks ago. (I saw the ad for the first time last night on the History Channel.)


"Bring Back the Buzz" and "We Beelieve" are the two flag-bearers of the name-change movement, and the Hornets2013.com site listed on the advertisements has links to both sites. Also, the site has a Change.org petition that has more than 10,000 signatures in support of getting the Hornets name back.

In January, an NBA spokesman said the association is working "with the Charlotte Bobcats on exploring whether a name change is in the long-term interest of their team" after the New Orleans franchise announced they would relinquish the Hornets name and become the Pelicans starting in the 2013-14 season.

Last week, Jordan wrote a column for his "Chairman's Corner" blog identifying the attitudes about the name change to be "very mixed."

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on March 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Permalink


We have all the market research you could ever need, MJ.


Beelieve that :)

Posted by: John Morgan | Mar 4, 2013 11:38:51 AM

Jordan is a flat out liar we all know that is the TRUTH. I have not seen one poll that supports even the mentioning of mixed. If Jordan passes on this name he might as well move the team to Seattle...but wait they may have mixed feelings about switching from BOBJOHNSON'S kittycats to Supersonics right? After all who wants to have a name that represents your area....

Posted by: CharlotteHornets | Mar 4, 2013 11:41:45 AM

I would not call MJ a liar- that's too harsh and most likely not accurate. I mean he is basing his data on current season ticket holders and I'm sure the reaction is mixed. Some of those guys have been supporting the Bobcats brand for a long time. I can respect that. The fact that it is mixed sends a strong message that the Bobcats brand is accepted only partially by the people that already buy tickets. I'm a STH and I would agree in my section that it's mixed but, we have many STH that strongly support the Hornets name coming home.

What I hope the MJ & the Bobcats realize is the immense opportunity they have to garner goodwill with all of Charlotte, not just the current STH. The masses in Charlotte are begging for him to bring the Hornets hame home. I can't believe that he will turn his nose up at all of these potential clients.

Have you ever seen a "Keep the Bobcats" movement? There isn't one because not enough people care about that brand. Not enough people buy that merchandise. (There are people that favor the Bobcats name, just not enough).

I will say this- MJ will never convince Charlotte that there was NOT enough support for the Hornets brand to change the name. If he tried that he will lose in the court of popular opinion.

I really can't see a situation where MJ is applauded for the move unless in the end the name is changed to Hornets.

If he doesn't do it- the excuses will be that the survey was fixed by not including all of Charlotte or that he was just too cheap to pay for it.

MJ is in a tough spot because he doesn't want to anger some of his current customers but, I fear if he doesn't change the name he will lose Charlotte.

Posted by: Current Season Ticket Holder | Mar 4, 2013 12:04:02 PM

This whole "mixed attitudes" about a name change is B.S. If they are polling the 6,000 current Bobcats season ticket holders, there may be a few that prefer Bobcats to Hornets, but I doubt any of those would stop supporting the team if it changed to Hornets. However, I will completely stop showing any interest in the team if they don't change to Hornets. At this point, the team on the floor is garbage and the only thing keeping my interest is the change back to Hornets. Poll the community and nation and MJ will find out how valuable and popular the Hornets name is to Charlotte. Then again, any intelligent person would already know this.

Posted by: ktown8 | Mar 4, 2013 12:06:04 PM

Also, kudos to Blackhawk Hardware. I will make sure that I make a few trips by there to make sure I reward them with my business for their effots to bring the Hornets name home.

Posted by: Current Season Ticket Holder | Mar 4, 2013 12:07:33 PM

Michael is saying what needs to be said. This name change is happening. Too many people want it to happen.

However we at Bring Back the Buzz and We Beelieve would like to thank the fine people at Blackhawk Hardware for creating this wonderful endorsement.

Posted by: Scotty Kent | Mar 4, 2013 12:21:17 PM

I don't care if they call us the CharlotteTurtles as long as they fire Higgins. No name will help with that guy here. Ridiculous.

Posted by: Jim | Mar 4, 2013 12:43:25 PM

The commercials have been around for about two weeks, although very limited showings. I saw the commercial for the first time almost two weeks ago at News14 Carolinas.

Posted by: RobC | Mar 4, 2013 12:43:27 PM

Those commercials are horrible.i actually think it hurts the cause. One business that clearly can't afford to produce a decent commercial and some people that probably can only afford cheap seats is not exactly a movement. If he is thinking about if froma financial standpoint, might give him pause. This is coming from someone who wants the change.

I have talked to a lot of my fellow season ticket holders. I would say it is about 50/50.. A lot of them have kids that have no idea who the Hornets are. No surprise he is getting a mixed reaction from that group.

Sorry if this is a duplicate. Not sure if first one went through.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder 2 | Mar 4, 2013 12:58:55 PM

I have been in Charlotte since 1986. I have supported both teams. So, let me give you this perspective.

Let's be honest!. If the Bobcats were winning, this would not be an issue. However, Hornet Name Fans, please understand that Alonzo, Kendall, Muggsie, Larry and the rest are not coming back. Dell is not going to suit up either!

So, when the name changes to the Hornets and they continue to lose, what are you going to do? Are you going to fill the arena and make Charlotte tops in attendance? Are you going to buy the new gear? Or are you going to complain about something else?

If you are real basketball fans and you love the city of Charlotte you would understand the name is "Charlotte..." not "...Charlotte". Bobcats or Hornets, do you support Charlotte?

If you do support Charlotte, put your money where your mouth is and make the Charlotte Team the best attendance in the league. Make the here and now fun.

Stop living in the 1980s and 1990s.

Posted by: Current Tix HLDR2 | Mar 4, 2013 1:02:56 PM

I have zero interest in the Hornets name. I've been a season ticket holder for seven seasons now. Is a name change back to Hornets enough to stop me from supporting the team? No. Will I be disappointed? Yes.

Frankly, it's sad that people adopt an "I won't support the team if they don't change name" attitude. A name change won't change the product on the floor; all it will do is appease a small but vocal few, who feel THIS is social activism. REAL fans support their team regardless of what their name is. Retaining a name not associated with a region's history is simply the nature of the beast. Is Utah most known for its Jazz? Is Memphis known for its grizzlies? Yeah, thought not.

Posted by: Hoagie58 | Mar 4, 2013 1:05:54 PM

"Season Ticket Holder 2"
Can you honestly say that you like the Bobcats name, logo, and colors? There is a reason we are last in the NBA in merchandise sales and why you never see anything with Bobcats on it outside of the region. BOBcats will always be a stark reminder of Bob Johnson and the way he handled the team it's first years. I was a season ticket holder the first 4 years, but when I saw the team wasn't getting any better, there was nothing else keeping me on board. I've always hated the name, colors, and logo, but wanted to support the NBA and Charlotte. There is just no deep connection between the area and team. However, there is a deep connection and historical significance between Charlotte and the Hornets. In the end, all we really want is a winning/competitive team, but during the down years, it would sure be nice to sell a merchandise across the country and world that promoted the city....even if the team stinks. GO HORNETS.

Posted by: ktown8 | Mar 4, 2013 1:08:07 PM

Remember the Charotte Oberserver poll from last summer. They asked which name people preferred; Bobcats, Hornets, Don't Care, or Other. "Hornets" garnered 87% of the vote followed by "Other", "Don't Care", and finally "Bobcats". Yeah, a few season ticket holders may prefer Bobcats, but anyone else with any sense knows the Hornets name belongs to and represents Charlotte!

Posted by: ktown8 | Mar 4, 2013 1:10:55 PM

You might want to actually read next time. I said I support the name change. This is the problem with your "movement". Completely blind to anything except that you want hear. Sorry I tried add some perspective.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder 2 | Mar 4, 2013 1:12:31 PM

Sure. lets to with the observer poll. That is scientific. Glad he Bobcats are actually doing their homework. It's bout time they actually do something with a purpose. How about some reach on who they should draft for a change. P

Posted by: David | Mar 4, 2013 1:17:26 PM

The Observer poll is a better indicator than polling the current and few Bobcats STH's. What about ESPN's national poll they did last month. A overwhelming majority of the nation wants a name change to the Hornets. We all know these polls aren't scientific, but when I see poll after poll and they all have the majority support of a name change, it means something. I'm also glad Jordan is doing his homework and having a PR firm conduct research. There is more to a team than just wins/losses. The community has have a connection with the players, management, logo, nickname, etc...Ask any person outside of the Carolina's what team they think of when you say Charlotte, and it will be Hornets. There's a reason that Charlotte Hornets gear is the #1 seller among retro apparel. There's just something about the teal, purple, and hornet that draws you to the team. Heck, most in New Orleans didn't want to give up the name, but agreed in order to have something that meant something to New Orleans and the area. BOBcats doesn't mean anything to Charlotte, but the Hornets does. I still support the team and go to games b/c I want the city to do well. However, I won't buy any of the ugly merchandise and definitely don't consider myself a die-hard fan. One again, there is no connection. Changing the name to Hornets isn't going to drive away any current Bobcat fan, but it sure will draw in new fans that may be willing to give the team another shot. As far as the draft, we need to trade our pick and go after a big-time FA. This draft is weak.

Posted by: ktown8 | Mar 4, 2013 1:42:26 PM

This is going to be a lot more difficult than people think. A name change like this is unprecedented. Benson owns the trademark of the Hornets. When the Hornets moved we lost all rights to the trademark. When the Sonics and Browns moved, one of the requirements was to give up the nickname and trademarks. Charlotte never did this.

In order to get the trademark back Jordan is going to have to buy it back from Benson. This is going to be millions of dollars on top of the additional millions he will have to pay for rebranding.

Posted by: Jason | Mar 4, 2013 2:27:58 PM

@Jason- The NBA owns all the rights to Charlotte Hornets (Not Tom Benson). Deputy Commish Adam Silver covered that point previously.

@Season Ticket Holder #2 I can't believe anyone would actually complain. This was paid for out of the pocket of a family owned business and I think it's incredible. Have you ever quoted an advertisement? It is very expensive. Also, my season tickets are in the lower bowl so your comments weren't directed at me but, they were rude. The Bobcats need all the support the can get no matter if it's in the Club seats or the rafters. Actually the lower bowl is decently filled most games, it's the upper deck ( that has the majority of the seats) that often is very empty & the Bobcats really need to address how they attract Joe Six-pack.

Posted by: Current Season Ticket Holder | Mar 4, 2013 3:02:42 PM

Actually Jason, the league owns the trademark, not Benson. Benson is giving up the rights to the name with the change to Pelicans.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | Mar 4, 2013 3:04:51 PM

To the few of you who seem to be misguided about the actual intentions of the movement. Read this, it was written by the people who started this movement and what the movement is REALLY about.


Posted by: Scotty Kent | Mar 4, 2013 3:33:37 PM

Nobody wants Bobcats stuff and the Charlotte Hornets gear is still making millions for the NBA. Jordan likes money and he's not hurting for cash. He still brings in 80 million a year from retro Air Jordan sneakers. He would be a complete idiot not to change the name just on the money to be made alone.

Posted by: Ed | Mar 4, 2013 3:40:32 PM

I've not seen one good argument for Keeping the name other than a few morons who say they have invested in bobcats "Gear" GTFOH with that nonsense.
Let's speak the truth they very very small minority of people who think keeping the Bobcats name over changing to Hornets are transplant carpet bagging morons who have no investment or ties to this city in the first place. They came here because their Job Moved and they are bitter about it.

Posted by: Season Ticket Holder | Mar 4, 2013 3:52:49 PM

I fully support the movement to reclaim our namesake. At the end of the day, I support any team that belongs to our city.

I live in Rhode Island now, but still watch at least two games a week. Although I still support the Bobcats, I would never buy a jersey. It just doesn't feel right to me personally.

If we got the Teal and Purple back, I'd get my Biyombo jersey stat.

Posted by: Derek Gomes | Mar 4, 2013 3:58:15 PM

To the very few knuckleheads in Charlotte (which are probably not originally from there or Carolina) who think that changing the name would not be an issue if they were winning take the time to realize how much that name means to this area before you type away. If the BOBcats were winning I bet you people would still be calling for this name change. You honestly think with the Hornets name available there would not be a majority who wanted it back because we are winning? You clearly are not from here is all I can say. I had Hornets gear and I watched every game I could. I do not have BOB JOHNSON'S kittycats gear or watch many games. This is not going to go away unless MJ makes a move and I can say with confidence that if he doesn't change the name he might as well move the team because this franchise will never garner enough support in Carolina to be respectable. Passing on this name would be like passing on being filthy rich..A few may say they would but in the end if it's a possibility...Smart people are going to do it. So Jordan needs to get like Nike and JUST DO IT.

Posted by: CharlotteHornets4LIFE | Mar 4, 2013 4:03:09 PM

Whoever said that the supporters for the name in Charlotte or even in the Carolinas is small needs to be tested for drugs and probably is on them as we speak. Who in their right mind actually believes that? Have you even seen the public policy polling results (a very prominent polling agency) that state even the majority of BOB JOHNSON'S kittycat supporters want the name changed. Clearly someone pissed that they paid all that money into BOB JOHNSON'S legacy only to have Carolina say I'd rather be the Hornets which MAKES SENSE. The actual statistical minority by a long shot is people who want the name to stay the same. I do not see where that person is coming off at but clearly in need of some drug counseling.

Posted by: CharHornetsNOW | Mar 4, 2013 4:12:42 PM

@Current Season Ticket Holder

I just looked up the trademarks for "Charlotte Hornets" and "New Orleans Hornets".

The owner of every trademark is listed as:


Jordan will have to go through more than you think. Watch the Seattle Supersonics 30 for 30 documentary. One of the last things the mayor of Seattle made the ownership group agree to was to lose the trademark and all records for the Super Sonics. The same thing happened with the browns. This has never happened with another professional franchise. We are in uncharted waters.

Posted by: Jason | Mar 4, 2013 4:15:37 PM

Blows my mind that THIS is what adults care about. Grown aaa men worried about jersey colors and mascots. I don't care if they were called the tinkerbells....it's basketball. But why change the stuff that should only matter to kids? Then the kids that have grown up on bobcats are going to grow up to become the pathetic losers that care and start a grassroots movement to get the name bobcats back?

All Seems pretty dumb.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 4, 2013 6:32:41 PM

@charlottean Your an idiot says 90 percent of Carolina. I refuse to be BOB JOHNSON'S lapdog you probably bend over backwards for him and his legacy. HORNETS is the true mascot, colors, and identity of CAROLINA NBA basketball

Posted by: charlotteanIsAnIdiot | Mar 4, 2013 6:50:10 PM

I am fine with the name, but if they bring back those hideous colors it is a mistake.

Posted by: David | Mar 4, 2013 7:51:13 PM

So for all those who are too young to recall the Hornets, this means that their Bobcats memories are grand and wonderful?
All memories of the Bobcats are fetid.

Posted by: tarhoosier | Mar 4, 2013 7:58:04 PM

Doesn't matter, it's their team. There ARE kids with bobcats posters all over their walls. Adults just shouldn't care about this kind of stuff. The reason jordan is conflicted is because season ticket sales have increased during years the team has gotten worse and the people buying the tickets aren't voting for the name change. The people that ARE come in and go to the upper deck to start chants that you can hardly hear from the lower level where the fans are actually watching the game.

I never said 90% anything. Great job on quoting. And reading. And typing. And thinking. And living. Keep up the good work.

I hate bob johnson more than most. I don't care if the team WAS named that because it reminded him of his name. It's been the name for 9 seasons now and our franchise moved to new orleans before that. And there weren't many hornets fans showing up for the games the last few years either. And we had a great team then. I know....i was there. You didn't buy tickets then, you don't now, you complain about things that just really really really don't matter because complaining is fun to you. Yaaaay negative ish.

You pay 300 plus million for a franchise. You name it what you want. Ask tom benson.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 5, 2013 12:37:49 AM

@Charlottean, you make extremely valid points, and as one of the 3 people who began this movement I understand a lot of what you are saying. First let me start off by saying this movement was created by 3 Bobcats fans, I worked in concessions for them their very first year, I have gone to multiple games every season, have only missed a handful this season, have tons of merchandise (even stuff with the new logo)and love Charlotte NBA Basketball. The best argument for keeping the team is that there are some kids who have grown up knowing the Bobcats, and thats all they know.

However, I am a middle school teacher and my friend John who started the "WE Beelieve" campaign is an elementary teacher, and we can assure you that the majority of the kids in Charlotte could flat out care less about the Bobcats. That is a fact, I have seen way more students at my school with Hornets stuff on then I ever have with Bobcats stuff.

This movement was started by 3 Charlotte Bobcats fans who are still Charlotte Bobcats fans. We support the current team. This movement was created to return the name that was given to us over 200 years ago by Lord Cornwallis and put it back into the community in which it rightfully belongs.This movement was created to bring back a passion and an identity to a team that plays in a city with very rich history This is and has never been an “us v them” movement….because in our mind we are one in the same. To think that we are not makes absolutely no sense, since the Charlotte Hornets will be the exact same franchise as the Charlotte Bobcats just a different name.

Posted by: Scotty Kent | Mar 5, 2013 8:53:55 AM

if you've been to games you've seen how the arena is FILLED with kids every game. I have an 8 year old nephew who is obsessed with the bobcats and can barely recall players names. but he knows rufus. mascots and jerseys are for the kids not for the adults. just because they aren't your students doesn't mean they aren't out there. I think it's far more reflective of either where you teach or the general problem with charlotte sports......people only support the team when it is winning. it's a very fairweather sports town. or the age range.

i grew up a hornets 80's baby. i remember the first few seasons before we got johnson and mourning, i remember zo's jumper to clinch the playoff series against boston and i also remember how rough the last season was. and i also remember watching hornets games disgusted for the 2 seasons before the bobcats started playing.

i've said it all along. it feels like an ex girlfriend that left and went and slept around in new orleans and OKC and then just got dumped by new orleans and now she wants me back. yea, no thanks. and it has nothing to do with basketball. the kind of people that would all of a sudden get excited about the name change, aren't the kind of people that buy court side seats year in year out or the kind of people that religiously watch every single road game regardless of how late the west coast games are. that's who they make money off of and that's who actually cares about basketball which is what the whole point is.

you were extremely polite in responding to my post so props to that and I hope in our disagreeing opinions it can stay that way. but please.......guys.......seriously......get people excited about basketball. 1st and foremost. it's just not about the jersey's. like i said, as long as they say charlotte......nothing else should matter.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 5, 2013 12:36:44 PM

The Hornets name belongs here. It represents the history, pride and tradition of our city. I don't understand how anyone can look at this with anything else other than positivity. Everything about this movement is for the good of our team and our town. I wouldn't compare the Hornets name to an ex-lover. I'd compare it to a long lost family member or pet. One that you'd never miss the opportunity to reunite with.

I've got plenty of Bobcats apparel. But I don't feel remotely the same about it as I do my Hornets stuff. I've been to more Cats games than most, including the first ever home game against Washington in the old hive and for the first game uptown against Boston. My family had season tickets the first year on Tyvola and for the second season in the club level of section 114 uptown, just a few rows from court side. I've probably been to over 100 games since '04-'05 (probably went to twice as many Hornets games as a kid).

Now that I'm married and on my own, I take my wife to as many games as she'll go to. Usually it's a few times per year. That would all change if Jordan brings our Hornets name home. A common topic of discussion between my dad, several of my close friends and I is the progress of the name change to Hornets. I know 4 or 5 people right now that would hop right in for season tickets once a Hornets name change is announced. If you don't believe me, I'll be at the game on March 23 against Detroit in the club level of section 105 wearing my Hornets colors. We can discuss it at length then. I'm looking forward to chatting with as many people as possible about this. Because everyone I've talked to about it seems to support the change to Hornets 100%.

Before I finish, I just want to address the issue of the name change and how it would affect kids that have never known the Hornets. A couple of my friends, a married couple, have 2 young kids that love the Bobcats. They're both transplants from other areas of the country. One from NY and the other from California. The guy knows about the Hornets because he's an NBA fan. His wife wasn't aware of the Hornets at all. But the thing is, she's seen plenty of people wearing Hornets stuff to Cats games. Once I explained to them what Hornets actually means around here, they were ready to go and give their kids a history lesson. I just see this as a unique opportunity that could and should appeal to every one of us that call Charlotte home. It doesn't matter if you're from here or you moved here. Charlotte is the Hornets Nest and we're all Hornets anyway!!! Charlotte Hornets For Life!!!

Posted by: bigdave7467 | Mar 5, 2013 3:40:28 PM

just don't get what that has to do with whether or not you go to the games. it's not a fashion show or anything.

i get why kids and women care about this kind of stuff but grown men? do not get it.

and i probably have some of the most elaborate hornets memorabilia too. i've got autographed uni's, game worn sneakers, rookie cards, starter jackets (remember those?) all kinds of bs.

i just don't get the need to change it back. 14 years of hornets and we're in year 9 of bobcats. it's not like hornets was here for 35 years.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 5, 2013 10:37:52 PM

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