CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets revealed what they will look like on the floor next season — at least from a fashion perspective.
The Hornets unveiled their three new primary uniforms on Thursday featuring white, purple and teal colors. The uniforms bear a strong likeness in color scheme to the old Hornets regime but have been slightly modernized.
Pete Guelli, the Hornets' chief marketing officer, said the process was about building a brand identity for the organization. "Each step of the way we tried to mindful about connecting the original Hornets with the modern DNA," Guelli said. "We knew we could never go back to the original logo. We wanted to reflect the heritage and evolve the brand that left the 12 years ago."
The home white and away purple uniforms both read "Hornets" on the front, instead of "Charlotte" as in years past. The alternate teal uniform, which will be worn 16-20 times per season at both home and away games, has "Charlotte" written across the chest.
The home and away uniforms represent a change from when the Hornets were here last from 1988-2002. Back then, all of the team's uniforms read "Charlotte" across the chest. Hornets senior vice president of marketing, entertainment and Interactive media Seth Bennett said it was no longer necessary to emphasize the city's name.
"In 1988, a lot of people needed to know who Charlotte was, but that's no longer the case," Bennett said. "Our community has grown. People recognize Charlotte as an international city." Bennett also said fans had pushed for Hornets on the front in the research the team conducted.
Another noticeable change is the team did away with the popular teal pinstripes down the front of their home uniform and pleats, instead going with a cleaner, block-letter design with thicker stripes down the left side of each uniform.
The Hornets focused on simplicity. "We didn't want to be trendy, we didn't want to be loud. I think this connects the two eras," Bennett said. Hornets owner Michael Jordan had input on the design of the uniform.
"He wanted something high-performance. Something our players would be proud to wear," Guelli said. Although the uniforms are Adidas as per NBA policy, it was Nike's Jordan Brand that designed and worked on them for more than a year.
The team announced fans can start pre-ordering replica jerseys in August, but the uniforms won't be available in the team store until late September.