The Charlotte Bobcats today completed the franchise's identity with the unveiling of the team's uniforms. The unique on-court look includes orange as the primary road jersey with the Bobcats becoming the only team in the NBA to wear orange jerseys for all away contests.
“Charlotte asked us to create a unique identity, and this is the final branding piece of our identity puzzle that makes up the Charlotte Bobcats,” said Ed Tapscott, president and chief operating officer of the Charlotte Bobcats, which began their identity launch on June 11, 2003, with the unveiling of the team name, logo and colors.
The Bobcats Orange road jerseys will bear the “Charlotte” wordmark, and the team will wear white jerseys that read “Bobcats” for home games. Both home and away jerseys incorporate Bobcats Orange with the team’s other colors of Bobcats Blue, black and silver on a side panel design. The uniform colors combine with the wordmark lettering style and its shadowbox effect for a look that is broadcast friendly and visually appealing.
“The new Charlotte Bobcats uniform is an exciting combination of classic NBA style and progressive detailing, and we’re looking forward to seeing it on court this fall as the Bobcats launch their inaugural campaign,” said Christopher Arena, senior director of apparel licensing for the National Basketball Association, which worked together with the Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte clothing designer Cary Mitchell, Tom O’Grady of Gameplan Branding Group and Reebok as the architects of the Bobcats identity.
To assure players gain optimal performance benefits from the new uniforms, the design team incorporated features that offer flexibility, comfort and breathability: a wider opening at the jersey’s back v-neck allows more freedom of movement than other NBA jerseys do; hidden seams alleviate the chaffing caused by exposed threads; and diamond mesh fabric inserts on the side of the uniform allow greater air flow, keeping the player cooler.
Designers also sought to give players wearing the uniforms the benefit of moisture control and a sense of weightlessness. The predominant uniform fabric, called Shimmer, uses Reebok’s Play Dry advanced moisture management system that wicks moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric where it quickly evaporates, preventing the heaviness of perspiration build up. Additionally, kiss-cut tackle twill lettering in the team wordmarks and player numbers is lighter in weight than the layered lettering used by many other NBA teams.
Durability was a key consideration in fabrication. Both home and away jerseys have an insert at the front V-neck, strengthening a seam that typically is at risk to stretch.
“An NBA jersey has to last through at least 50 games a season, and the Charlotte Bobcats uniforms were designed both to endure the rigorous demands of the sport and to assure a player’s comfort,” said Ken Thornby, senior director NBA for Reebok, the exclusive uniform provider of the NBA.
The Charlotte Bobcats on-court warmup program completes the team’s uniform, including black pants for both home and away games, a Bobcats Blue top for away appearances and black top for home contests, as well as three shooting shirts – one long-sleeve, one short-sleeve and one sleeveless. The warmup shorts and shirts were designed by Reebok with color direction from the Bobcats.
“The Charlotte Bobcats’ new uniform has an attention to detail that is unparalleled,” said Cary Mitchell of Cary Mitchell Designs in Charlotte, who designs apparel for a long list of professional athletes and celebrities. “It brings together the traditional NBA uniform look in a fashion-forward and sophisticated design that fans will enjoy.”
Fans were able to purchase replica jerseys immediately following the unveiling, with replica jerseys available exclusively at Belk Department Stores on Saturday and Sunday, August 21 and 22, 2004. The newly-introduced replica jerseys will be available at various Charlotte-area retailers beginning Monday, August 23, 2004. Fans can also purchase replica jerseys online through the Bobcats' official team store www.ShopBobcats.com.
As part of the uniform introduction the team also unveiled its secondary logo, which is featured on the team’s uniforms on the bottom mesh side panel of the shorts. The mark features a Bobcats Orange side-profile bobcat head located within a silver basketball, outlined with the team’s Bobcats Blue and black colors.
“The secondary logo adds another impression to the teams’ progressive identity,“ said Tom O’Grady of Gameplan Branding Group, Inc., who was the lead designer in the development of the new Bobcats brand identity. “The secondary logo retains the unique profile of the Bobcats primary mark, but since it does not have the city or team name, it allows additional flexibility through all branding touch points.”
Showcasing the new uniforms at the unveiling event at SouthPark Mall were Charlotte Bobcats players Jason Kapono and Gerald Wallace, who also signed autographs for fans. Team mascot Rufus Lynx and the Bobcats Dance Team performed for the fans in attendance.