Posted Dec 21, 2013 10:25 PM - Updated Dec 22, 2013 3:42 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The buzz is back in Charlotte.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveiled the new brand identity the Charlotte Hornets will use after this season.
Jordan introduced the team's primary new logo and word mark -- as well as eight alternatives -- during a halftime ceremony Saturday night, saying "You guys asked and we delivered."
The primary logo features the purple and teal formerly used by the Charlotte Hornets from 1988-2002 with a more aggressive-looking hornet with piercing eyes, a raised antennae, larger wings and pointed stinger. In the logo is a basketball that doubles as the hornet's body with the Hornets wood mark written across it.
The Bobcats officially become the Hornets the day after their final game this season.
"Tonight is a special night," Jordan said.
The event featured former Muggsy Bogues, Rex Chapman, Dell Curry and Kelly Tripucka, all former NBA players who played for the Hornets in Charlotte, as well as a video display with the new logo.
Jordan received permission from the NBA board of directors this year to change the team's name after New Orleans owner Tom Benson vacated the name in favor of the Pelicans. The Hornets were located in Charlotte from 1988-2002 before then-owner George Shinn moved the team to New Orleans.
On the video presentation at halftime, the voiceover began by saying "What once was lost has been willed by you to be found. The legend is our new legacy. Get ready for the buzz to return. Our city. Our colors. Our name. We're all coming home."
The new images can be seen at Backbuzzcity.com.
The merchandise featuring the new Hornets brand identity will be available for purchase at the Bobcats team store on Jan. 18.
Bobcats COO Fred Whitfield said the team began conducting a Harris interactive poll to seek a name change shortly after Jordan became the team's majority owner in 2010.
Whitfield said there was an enormous amount of time put into the decision to change the name, as well as the logos.
"As we looked at the old logo, we realized we had to refresh it but respect the legacy that was here," Whitfield said "There's more fierceness in the face of this Hornet. And they are very protective of their territory, which is what we want this team to be about."
The Hornets also announced that "Hugo" will officially return to Buzz City as the team's mascot.
"The players were beloved as was the mascot," Whitfield said. "So we're all thrilled to bring Hugo back."
Bobcats chief marketing office Pete Guelli said Jordan was very involved in the name change decision.
"As with any owner, he wanted to be in the process," Guelli said. "And he did know a little bit more than most. But it really was a collaborative effort. He was part of the team that made a decision on which way to go."
Guelli said the new brand identity logo design was collaborative effort between the Bobcats, Nike (Jordan Brand) and the NBA's Global merchandising group.
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