Lin’s Arrival In Charlotte: Business or Player?

The Charlotte Hornets received a spike in attendance of over 10% last season. This increase was one of the largest in the NBA, trailing only Cleveland (Lebron), and Atlanta (The Bandwagon Effect). The rise in attendance can largely be attributed to the return of the historic moniker to its origins in a region that revered and coveted the Hornets name. This comes as no surprise as the original team was one of the first things, beyond banking, to put Charlotte on the national stage. It brought in the very sponsors that had avoided the Bobcats brand like a marketing plague. The old/new name also had apparel flying off the shelves with the first-night sales dwarfing all records the team-store had set on it’s best night with the Bobcats. The name brought fans. On many game nights the crowds went flocking to nearby uptown restaurants and bars. Venues like Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub were regularly packed because of their proximity to the Hive. The economic impact was obvious, and the Hornets made their money back on the cost of the re-brand almost immediately.

The excitement leading up to that first season was palpable The anticipation and expectations for the team had arguably never been that high during the entire tenure of the current franchise. The arrival of Lance Stephenson was controversial, but his presence resulted in many fans predicting the Hornets would make the playoffs somewhere between the 3rd and 4th spot. Stephenson was an exciting risk, and a personality that we had never gone for in the history of the organization. This move allowed us to believe that we were actually trying to win and even the the perennially cynical fans found themselves feeling the buzz as they were soon swept up in the hype. The opening night was so magical it almost felt scripted, but then the season happened. The injuries began to pile up and the hopes started to fade with the buzz, but surprisingly, fans kept buying apparel. The attendance dropped a little as the season progressed, but it was still better than what the Bobcats had come to expect. The name return had given the fans a sense of ownership and that pride has given the franchise a grace period to get it together. Even without last year’s disappointing record, attendance was going to drop this season. No matter how hopeful you want to be, the fact remains that was a lot of new season tickets to re-up.

Then the Hornets got Lin. My initial thought was not about the skill set that Lin had as a player on the court but of how much of a genius PR move this was. My brother and I were in awe. Not only is he a good player but you just saved yourself the

embarrassment of a noticeable drop in attendance. The man has 1.48 million followers on twitter and a fanatic following that out shined us in our own house in the heat of Linsanity (granted we were the worst team in the NBA at the time). I remember the one game specifically because Baron Davis got a standing ovation from the home crowd. He’s the personality we wanted from Lance but without all the blowing in the ear BS. This is how you let the rest of the world know that we are not the “Bobcats” anymore and that we are back to the cool teal and purple.

Bringing Lin to Charlotte is also an economic opportunity. The Hornets announced on Aug. 31st 2015 that they had landed a the first ever franchise tire sponsorship from MAXXIS Tire USA. Do you know why that is? MAXXIS Tire has followed Lin and partnered with every team he has played for from New York to Houston to LA and now to Charlotte. This is more than a team name or a popular player, this is the development of an exciting opportunity to grow franchise revenue and shine some light on Charlotte at the international level. This is a chance to showcase the fastest growing city in the Unites States and maybe bring more business here.

The team is also graced with the unexpected coincidence that they will be playing in Shenzhen and Shanghai on Oct. 11th and 14th to play in an exhibition match against the Los Angeles Clippers for the Global Games in a region where Lin has an ever growing following. Erik Spanberg even wrote that

“team executives plan on meeting with potential sponsors while helping a local recruiter make general business contacts for the region, too.”- Erik Spanberg

Lin’s popularity and level of comfort in front of a camera (as shown by his youtube channel) could really help the Hornets on their first appearance as a brand on the global stage.
The arrival of Jeremy Lin in Charlotte has been surprisingly ignored by the national media considering their almost Tebow-level fixation on his first couple seasons in the NBA. Then again, this team is flying under the radar of its own fans who largely fail to recognize that thru deft moves, Rich Cho is slowly trading a red paper clip into a red Porsche. This acquisition of Lin is not only a great fit on the court, but a great fit for the organization’s plans for growth… Business AND Player

Who is the best player on the Charlotte Hornets


With the beginning of the 2015-2016 NBA season just around the corner, there have been quite a few  changes to the Charlotte Hornets roster. With that being said, we figured now was the best time to ask the fans “who is our best player?”.

Cast your vote below and we will share the results after this weekend!

Possible Charlotte Hornets 2014-2015 Uniforms, Logo, and Court!

At this point in the process there is no doubt in our mind that the 2014-2015 season will be the return of our beloved Charlotte Hornets. One can only fathom how magical this day will be when it takes place. The next logical step is to wonder what will MKG and Kemba Walker be rocking when they step on to the court. Well, a few months back a designer friend of ours from New Orleans, Rollin BigDub Garcia created some jaw dropping renditions of what a contemporary version of the uniform would look like. We thought we would re post it for our new followers.


Charlotte Hornets - 2013 Style Guide (Court) (1)

Carolina or Charlotte “Hornets”? POLL

We asked this question a while back to our followers and got a resounding “NO” with a few “yes” from some of the South Carolinians supporters. Now that we a little larger fan base we like to reintroduce the question of whether or not you would prefer the NBA franchise in Charlotte to be called the Charlotte Hornets or switch things up and hope for larger fan support with the Carolina Hornets?

We at Bring Back The Buzz have our opinion but we will keep that to ourselves :)

Tricia “Mama Buzz” Kent’s letter to Michael Jordan

Dear Mr. Jordan,


I’m 50 years old. That makes us contemporaries in the same generation. I was graduating college and getting married just as you were hitting the big time. My husband and I moved to Charlotte in 1984 and had our oldest son the very year the Hornets first played. For years, our house was a sea of teal and purple punctuated by the occasional Bulls #23. The Hive was a celebration and late-night games on the radio a given. Birthdays and Christmas’ were all about the VHS of Space Jam, the latest Jordans or the video game. I watched our sons grow up loving the Hornets, following everything NBA, and looking up to you like some sort of superhero.


Please allow me tell you something about their generation that you and even your children might not realize in your insular world of super-stardom. The horror of 9/11 happened to them at the worst possible time. Our sons were 9 and 13 when suddenly all that was safe and predictable wasn’t. This is fact not melodrama.  Hormone’s hit, grades dropped and they and many of their friends retreated into the security of sports and music. At the bottom of the pit of the worst parenting year I can remember – they lost the Hornets.


I am not the least bit surprised that our sons, Scotty and Evan, started Bring Back the Buzz. For ten years they bemoaned, and wished, and what-ifed about their Hornets until they were old enough to take matters into their own hands. They had to try. They had to give it their best shot in order for those wonderful memories from their childhood to be redeemable. It is the one wrong out of many that perhaps they can have a chance to help make right.


As a Charlottean I have worked for 28 years in and around the “history” community. I could spend many pages telling you about the American Revolution and the Hornets moniker. I could iterate the countless teams, both professional and amateur that bore the Hornets name. I will always have a deep seated resentment for any and all who allowed Shinn to slink out of town and pilfer this city’s identity.


You, Mr. Jordan by virtue of your power and your money have the ability to return to this town a piece of its rightful heritage. That alone would be worth years of PR and marketing. Still, I must confess, what I really want is for you to give back this bit of joy to our sons and their generation, to the parents who bought your gear and to the now young adults who worshiped you and still defend you. With this singular act, you will in turn gain their loyalty and that of their children.


It’s now clear that New Orleans will be doing their part.

I call on you, Michael Jordan to step forward and be the hero one more time.


Bring Back the Buzz!

Tricia (Mama Buzz) Kent


Evan Kent’s Letter to Michael Jordan

Dear Mr. Jordan,

I was there at the first NBA game the Charlotte Coliseum had hosted since George Shinn took the Hornets to New Orleans. I was so pumped at the idea of the NBA coming back to the Queen City. It was October 20, 2003 and the Atlanta Hawks were hosting the Washington Wizards and we had just received the news that our team would be called the Bobcats. My parents were so excited they bought tickets for us to go. The old “Hornets game feeling” was back and I couldn’t resist it. I made a sign that said “Who are these guys? We want the Bobcats”. I walked into the Coliseum and everyone was adorned in Hornets apparel. Nostalgia had never had such a young victim. The memories flooded back, I could practically see Hugo running around the court with a deer head on a plaque to shatter the Buck’s reserve. I could hear the Buzz noise building in my head as the “Hive was Alive”. A swell of pride for my city was in my heart.

Nine years later you would never find a larger advocate for the name change. I’ve been to over several Bobcats games every season in that time. I have sat in box seats, was in the arena for draft day when we got Adam Morrison. I’ve sat in the nose bleeds and bought jerseys. But I am embarrassed. Embarrassed of how detached I have become with the identity of a Bobcat. Not the Flight because we are “First In Flight”. Not the Spiders for an arena called “the Charlotte’s Web” and a cheerleading team called “the Black Widows”. Not the Cougars after the original ABA team but “BOB”cats for a man’s ego.

I pity every kid who misses out on what I had as a child. Nothing was like going to a Hornets game. It was a carnival; an atmosphere I have never seen again. Every Thanksgiving my brother and I would conspire on how to get our parents to take us to the game. I would get so giddy that I would ruin it every time and Scotty would get so mad because I couldn’t help but ask my parents if we were going. I know this is redundant but I will never forget the last game on TV. I will never forget listening to 1110 WBT the next morning and listening to their montage of Hornets sound bites. We all cried. They were gone. We didn’t just lose the team of that year. We lost every Hornet ever. We lost Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Vlade Divac, Muggsy Bogues, Baron Davis, David Wesley, Jamal Mashburn, Bobby Phills etc. I felt robbed of my identity and there was nothing I could do about it.

You have a chance Mr. Jordan to not just change NBA history but a city’s history. You have the ability to impact a community like you haven’t since you retired from the court. You have the ability to make a sacrifice and give us a gift that we will never forget.

Bring Back the Buzz!

Evan Kent