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May 18, 2013

Grassroots Hornets name campaigners get their day

Over the past three years, John Morgan, Evan and Scotty Kent have seen their cause go from an internet petition to a nationally recognized Twitter hashtag to television commercials.

Now, the creators of "We Beelieve" and "Bring Back the Buzz" can celebrate.

The Charlotte Bobcats are starting the process to change its name to the Hornets, and the trio of grassroots campaigners couldn't be happier.

"It’s nice to be, 'Mission Accomplished," said Evan, a 21-year-old senior marketing major at Appalachian State and co-creator of Bring Back the Buzz. "We’re excited to make a fan group and just be normal fans again."

Morgan, a 31-year-old elementary teacher in Charlotte, began the "We Beelieve" petition in 2010, and said he got about two hours of sleep last night due to excitement, Facebook updates and texts from friends and reporters.

At the risk of sounding falsely modest, Morgan said he understands his position in the conversation around the name change. 

"I’ve been thinking about it a lot today because there’s been a deluge of people personally thanking me and us and giving us all this affection and 'Way to go guys,'" Morgan said. "I think we kind of brought the conversation into the public consciousness. It was always something to me that just made too much sense, it probably won’t happen. It’s too perfect.

"I think we were a catalyst or a template for people to sort of voice their own desires. If it wasn’t us it would have been somebody else. It was too obvious."

The three men don't even mind having to wait a year and a half for the change to go into effect. The switch from the Bobcats to Hornets is expected to take 18 months.

They're just happy to finally see their work has paid off.

"I said to Evan last night when this is all going down, in a weird way, I’d like to thank (former Bobcats owner) Bob Johnson," Scotty Kent said. "Because if he would have came up with a better name and a better color scheme, we would have never had an opportunity to get the Hornets back."

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on May 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Permalink


Yes!!! Welcome home, Hugo!

Posted by: EFord | May 18, 2013 12:28:00 PM

nice. hello again charlotte bobcats!! actually i was to young to remember the hornets. i was like 4. still excited

Posted by: james | May 18, 2013 12:44:15 PM

Welcome home Hornets!!!

Posted by: Timmy | May 18, 2013 1:22:13 PM

Re-brand all you want but this doesn't take away the fact that Michael Jordan is still the owner. Just putting that out there.

Posted by: Debbie Downer | May 18, 2013 1:56:07 PM

What can I do to help?

Posted by: Sam Vincent | May 18, 2013 2:06:52 PM

You did it!
I'm so proud!

Posted by: MamaBuzz | May 18, 2013 2:56:45 PM

I'm always ready to start at point, Sam. Promise we won't lock you out of locker room this go around.

Posted by: Jeff McInnis | May 18, 2013 5:19:35 PM

Glad to see it happen, but it seems like the wheels went into motion for the Bobcats when the name became available, Seemed pretty obvious. Now will see which of these people become season ticket holders.

Posted by: Symbiotic | May 18, 2013 6:01:27 PM

As usual Bonnell is 2 days late and a fistful of dollars short....

....I broke this story 2 days ago in the MKG article ;)

Posted by: Billy Thomas | May 18, 2013 9:44:46 PM

Awesome. I'll be one of the first in line for tickets now, even though the team kind of stinks currently. Always was a huge hornets fan growing up.

Posted by: Jmsc2009 | May 18, 2013 11:36:40 PM

This franchise has changed its uniforms no less than six times, had four different court layouts and eight different logos...you all think the old name will work? Terrible new colors...a name New Orleans no longer wanted?

It's absolutely hilarious...

Is anyone going to be more interested to watch Byron Mullins brick threes in purple over blue?

Posted by: Rick | May 18, 2013 11:39:42 PM

Good news! Hopefully, the improvement of the team by the '14-'15 season will match the excitement "bringing back the buzz" generates.

Posted by: Sandy | May 19, 2013 12:29:57 AM

C'mon. Giving these guys credit. Really? The name was still in NO when they started their "movement". I was at the arena to when they had their group show up. If you squinted you could see a few of them at the top of the upper deck.

Posted by: David. | May 19, 2013 5:41:56 AM

Rick you are obviously not a native of this area and would not understand its significance. Go on cheer for the Miami heat we don't need you. Can't wait to get some new hornets merchandise as my old stuff doesn't fit.

Posted by: Scott | May 19, 2013 8:22:53 AM

The self agrandizing name BOBcats couldn't be more grating to all of us longtime CLT NBA fans. It was disliked immediately and never made any sense to anyone other than Johnson. Unofficialy changing it to Cats this last season was the writing on the wall. Good riddance and good work by anyone that helped push it out of here and bring back Hornets. The Bobcats never won anything and its nice to know the name never will be anything but a bad memory.

Posted by: Sports don | May 19, 2013 8:59:46 AM

The name Bobcats is by far the worst name for a pro team ever! Bob Johnson the worst owner ever ! The orange color scheme is the worst ever! The hornets name is tied to the city and will be to the fans of the hometown team once again. Anyone who disagrees is a transplant who can go back to their miserable hometowns. We dont need you anyways. Finally the name of a team doesnt bring wins so any idiot that says the name change wont help win games is as stupid as their comment. OF COURSE IT DOESNT. We the hometown fans of the Charlotte Hornets wanted our name back and we got it so there! Be gone naysayers.

Posted by: tomb43 | May 19, 2013 7:30:54 PM

Giving these guys credit for the name change is an absolute joke. No professional sports team is going to make a multi-million dollar decision based on what an art teacher and a college student think. If they want to be true changers, buy season tickets and let your voice be heard like the rest of the loyal Charlotte sports fans and not the fair weather, "I'll support the team when I want to" fans. There's a reason the Bobcats surveyed season ticket holders and partners about the name rather than the general public.

Put your money where your mouth is Charlotte!

Posted by: LoyalHometownFan | May 19, 2013 7:57:33 PM

I made the mistake of getting rid of my Hornets gear. So, should I keep my Bobcats gear? Maybe my grandchildren can cash in on it when they are old. By then, most Bobcats gear will be gone.

Welcome back Hornets. Now it just sounds silly to say Charlotte Bobcats.

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Posted by: Tim | May 20, 2013 12:43:30 AM

I am glad that the name is changing and its something I've wanted all along. In the last 6 months it became so annoying that I mostly want it to change to stop having to hear about it. At first I thought the movements were a good thing but they mostly got annoying. Spelling the name as B*bcats, or whatever they do, seems just childish. But to anyone who keeps saying a name change won't brng wins, we all know this stop saying it. This will bring excitment but if the team doesn't start winning the excitement will wear off.

Posted by: Josh | May 20, 2013 12:26:15 PM

Charlotte "fans" are ridiculous. I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan when they moved to LA, unless they bring the LA Dodgers back to Brooklyn as the Brooklyn Dodgers then any team called the Brooklyn Dodgers is not the same. So unless the NO frnachise was moved back to Charlotte as the Hornets then you only have a facsimile. But don't worry there will be 10,000 new season ticket holders on line the day the name changes. Pathetic

Posted by: TrueBBallFan | May 20, 2013 1:52:03 PM

Never thought I'd thank Bobby Jo for anything. His first words to the Observer were, and I paraphrase, I don't care about Charlotte, I don't care about the people, all I want is their money.

Way wrong thing to tell a city that has just been told nah you don't know how to vote. We are giving you buses, rails, stadiums, and museums anyway. Especially when we actually have the choice to "pay" for a ticket.

Yes, thank you Bobby Jo for allowing us our team, our name, our Jordan, AND the hope that maybe, just maybe, we will care about the NBA again!

Posted by: Josh Purser | May 23, 2013 9:25:57 PM

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