Charlotte Hornets Logo, The logos and other branding the Charlotte Bobcats will take on when they become the “Hornets” next season won’t be a time trip back to 1990.
But they will be something close.
As the team already announced, it will return to the teal-and-purple color scheme. The nine new logos – unveiled at halftime of Saturday’s Jazz-Bobcats game – have a slightly fiercer look than the ones Charlotte’s original NBA franchise used.
And Hugo will be back as the team’s mascot, team officials confirmed.
The Bobcats’ business side, in collaboration with NBA branding officials and designers brought in from Nike, came up with the look revealed Saturday. The primary logo is a hornet with spread wings and lettering across the body. A secondary logo is a side view of that same hornet, stinger drawn as if poised to attack in a diving motion.
The other seven logos have specific purposes, such as reintroducing Hugo to the Charlotte public or a kids club tie-in or a block-letter symbol with a crown atop, tying the team to the Queen City.
What was both fun and daunting about the Bobcats’ process was that – to the team’s knowledge – never before had a major-league sports brand left a city to be used elsewhere (in this case New Orleans), then returned to the original city with another franchise.
“It’s never happened before and it may never happen again,” said Pete Guelli, the Bobcats’ chief marketing officer. “It wouldn’t have happened had New Orleans” not made a change to the Louisiana-themed Pelicans.
“The Cleveland Browns are the only example that would even remotely connect,” said Christopher Arena, the NBA’s vice president of identity, outfitting and equipment.
When the NFL Browns left Cleveland for Baltimore in 1996, owner Art Modell agreed to leave behind the name, logos, colors and records in Cleveland, should the NFL expand to there.
Nothing similar happened when the Hornets left for New Orleans in 2002. Owner George Shinn took the name, the colors, the uniforms and Hugo to the Big Easy. Only when new owner Tom Benson started purchase of the team in 2011 was a name-change broached publicly.
Similar as the new-look Hornets will be to the old look, they didn’t have the option to simply adopt exact replicas from the 1990s.