In the late 80s of the last century George Shin, the entrepreneur from North Carolina, together with a group of like-minded people, decided to return the professional basketball to Charlotte (in the 70s there was the team of ABA called Carolina Cougars). The fact of historical heritage, coupled with high growth rates of the city, allowed Shin to receive the approval of David Stern (the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1984 to 2014) to open the 24th NBA club.
The name of the new club was chosen by voting among the passionate population, and as a result, the priority variant Charlotte Spirit gave way to the name Hornets. However, by the end of the 90s, the popular team in the past was in a deep crisis: the arena did not cover the need for places for VIPs, and Shin was accused of rape, which negatively affects the attitude to the team in general.
Having overcome all the difficulties, Hornets managed to change the residence permit and move to Louisiana. However, the Turpentine State got its team very soon: the agreement on the relocation of the previous team provided for the possibility of creating a new club. That was done in 2003.
Remembering the experience of the glorious past, the Regional Sports Commission of Charlotte again referred to the fans’ imagination and fantasy. They suggested such names as original Charlotte Shinn Kickers, the unique Charlotte Carolinas, and the nostalgic Charlotte Cougars. In the final shortlist were Dragons, Fly (North Carolina is also known as the State of the First Flight – thanks to the Wright brothers) and, in fact, the Bobcats. The last variant was identified as a new name. The promise was fulfilled, and in 2004 the Charlotte Lynx appeared in the league.
Such a name was chosen not by accident: North Carolina, along with Colorado, leads in terms of the number of red lynxes inhabiting here (about 12 subspecies). This animal accumulates all the qualities inherent to the perfect basketball player: athleticism, speed, the fearlessness of a stronger predator, and excellent hunting skills. Evil tongues also say that the choice in favor of the Bobcats is directly related to Bob Johnson, the owner of the team.
According to the old proverb, there’s never a new fashion, but it’s old. In May 2014, ten years after the team’s appearance, the Charlotte Bobcats were surprisingly renamed into Charlotte Hornets.
Following the agreement between the clubs, the whole early history of it (before moving to New Orleans in 2002) will be assigned to the team from Charlotte, if the moving team decides to get rid of the “Hornets” in the name.
Meaning and History
The expansion franchise, which appeared in 1988, received the original logo immediately after the name was approved. He was offered during the competition. This option’s choice is due not only to the aggressive nature of the insect but also to the historical statements of some famous personalities. For example, General Cornwallis once called the city of Charlotte, “a nest of rebellious hornets.” Residents proved themselves during the Revolutionary War when the British were fierce defenders and formidable opponents. Therefore, George Shinn, the owner of the club, chose this name. Over the years, the team has had six logos.
1988 – 1989
All the history and glory went to the team from Charlotte according to the arrangement with the club that moved to New Orleans and got rid of the “Hornets” in the title. The opening version contained the image of a hornet – one of the swarm’s representatives, fierce and merciless towards rivals. The insect is in flight. The dark wings are spread, and a basketball is clamped in its front paws. The hornet is in front of a large white “H.” Behind them is a large turquoise “C.” The word “Charlotte” is written at the bottom. It has an arched shape and is made in capital letters.
1989 – 2002
In the 1989 season, the updated team logo was introduced. An anthropomorphic winged insect in white gloves and sneakers plays with a basketball. Small strokes around each object indicate movement. On the hornet’s face, there is a condescending grin, and on the chest is the letter “H,” over which the word “charlotte” is written. The insect is surrounded by the full name of the club and expresses its readiness to attack. This is evidenced by his raised antennae, piercing gaze, spread wings, and a sharp sting.
2005 – 2007
Until 2005, the club did not play as it was evacuated due to the devastating hurricane Katrina. After the forced relocation and renaming of the team to Charlotte Bobcats, management approved a new logo. This is a snarling lynx with its head turned to the right. The author of the picture is designer Chris Weiller. He introduced a red-haired forest predator with an aggressive grin and sharp teeth. Above it, there is an oblique inscription “Bobcats,” and even higher – the mark “Charlotte.”
2008 – 2012
In 2008, a small logo redesign took place. He touched the color palette. As a result, the colors became muted: instead of fiery red, orange appeared, and dark blue is now slightly lighter.
2013 – 2014
Experiments with color continued in 2013 when the developers removed orange from the logo and replaced it with gray. On the other hand, the text part got orange: it says the word “Charlotte,” which the designers added to the general background, enclosing it in frames. The second part of the name is in white.
2014 – present
At the end of 2014, the team returned to their original name “Hornets”, so they switched to their debut image using the formidable hornet. Its current version is located in profile and is depicted in front of the phrase “Charlotte Hornets.” The insect has white wings spread in flight, a piercing gaze, and a sharp sting. It clasped the word “Charlotte” with its upper legs. A basketball replaces the lower part of the body.
Font and Color of the Emblem
Due to frequent movements, the club changed its logo many times, following the next name. In particular, they were based on two images – a hornet and a lynx. The latter is an aggressive insect with a powerful sting.
In different seasons, the typeface of the logo had a different type of spelling. The Charlotte Hornets emblem uses elongated serif letters from the start. On the Charlotte Bobcats logo, the symbols, on the contrary, are chopped, grotesque.
The official team palette is turquoise, navy, and white. Some versions also contain red, orange, and gray.