NBA Expansion Franchise To Be Named Charlotte Bobcats
“It is with great pride that I introduce the newest symbol of the City of Charlotte,” said Johnson, whose team will begin play in the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the 2004-2005 season. “Please welcome your Charlotte Bobcats.”
“With a name, logo and colors that are unique in the world of professional sports, the identity of the new Charlotte Bobcats delivers a strong message that professional basketball is back and here to stay in the Carolinas.”
The Charlotte Bobcats logo depicts the spirit of the new franchise, illustrating the team’s aggressive hopes and aspirations. The logo draws on the distinctive ears of the cat, featuring the animal’s sleek profile as if poised for attack with ears drawn back and fangs displayed. The cat profile and Bobcats word mark are retained within the outline of the logo, with the name Charlotte placed across the top. A robust orange, referred to as Bobcats Orange, fills the cat profile and is the primary color of the logo. A rich blue, referred to as Bobcats Blue, along with black and sliver, joins Bobcats Orange in making up the four colors of the new team’s identity.
The team also announced the launch of their new website, www.bobcatsbasketball.com, where fans can visit for all of the latest Charlotte Bobcats news and information.
“The Charlotte Bobcats team will be as athletic, fierce and hard-working as the bobcat itself,” noted Johnson, who referred to the animal that is being used for the first time asthe name of a professional sports franchise. “No one wants to meet up with a bobcat in the woods, and that’s the feeling we intend to create on the court with our team’s new identity.”
Bobcats, indigenous to the Carolinas but infrequently seen because of their stealth and nocturnal habits, are fierce and swift. They attack with the aid of an expansive 10-foot leap, making them an ideal representative for Charlotte’s new NBA entry.
The team’s name, logo and colors were selected following a six-month process that included various forms of fan feedback, a series of creative phases and a thorough analysis of merchandise opportunities, game presentation possibilities and licensing considerations.
“This naming announcement is one more part of the new and exciting chapter that we have begun with the NBA and Bob Johnson,” said Mayor McCrory. “Charlotte is well-known, in part, because of our NBA connection and I look forward to seeing the new Charlotte Bobcats logo and colors throughout the city, nation and world, but most especially on the backs of the players who will call Charlotte home and become a part of the fabric of the community.”
Input from the Charlotte community was an important factor in the development of the new team’s identity. The process tipped off with the aid of the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission, which netted over 1,250 team name suggestions in their “Help Name the Team” effort. Following focus groups with Charlotte-area residents and meetings with business and civic leaders, the team announced three nickname finalists in May – Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Dragons and Charlotte Flight.
To unveil the Charlotte Bobcats new identity, the city closed off streets in the center of Uptown Charlotte – just two blocks from the site of the city’s new arena which will be the future homeof the Bobcats – for the midday unveiling and basketball street festival that featured interactive basketball games, live entertainment, vendors and team giveaways.Fans at the street festival also learned more about the elusive bobcat and its history in the Carolinas from representatives of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission.
The introduction of the team logo took on many forms. Four, 20-foot statues standing on each corner of the city’s center intersection at Trade and Tryon Streets were dressed in jerseys with the new team logo. An NBA extreme dunk team, dancers and youngsters from the Charlotte area all joined in to help introduce the new logo and colors.
The new franchise will introduce the team’s mascot late this year. The club’s new uniforms will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2004.
The Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association and the Charlotte Sting of the Women’s National Basketball Association are owned by Robert L. Johnson. The NBA announced on December 18, 2002 that Johnson would become the owner of both the NBA expansion franchise in Charlotte and the Sting. The Charlotte Bobcats, who select fourth in the 2004 NBA Draft following an expansion draft of players from other NBA teams, will play their inaugural season in 2004-2005 at the Charlotte Coliseum before moving to Charlotte’s new Uptown arena beginning with the 2005-2006 NBA season.