Charlotte Hornets fans have loved the teal pinstripes since 1988. The team listened and learned.
Next season’s primary uniforms will be white jerseys with teal pinstripes and teal jerseys with white pinstripes, the Hornets announced Monday. They won’t quite be direct replicas of Alexander Julian’s iconic design, but they’re close.
The new look will be available to fans for retail purchase Oct. 1.
When the Bobcats re-branded to the Hornets’ name and look in the spring of 2014, they adopted the original teal and purple color scheme. However, the uniforms were dissimilar to Julian’s pinstripe-and-pleats look, which so contributed to the expansion team’s popularity in the early 1990s. They were teal as the dominant color, but had broader stripes down the side of jerseys.
The Hornets wore replicas of the original uniforms for a handful of games each of the past three seasons, and again that uniform was wildly popular. So, this new design owes heavily to that look.
“We really had our ear to the ground listening to our fans’ comments, many of which through social media,” said Seth Bennett, Hornets senior vice president for consumer engagement. “As we were unveiling some of the uniforms, we kind of paid attention to the feedback and comments we were getting. And some of the polls that we used, to see the popularity of various uniforms.
“We definitely used that to inform the process.”
Under NBA rules, Bennett said, the Hornets couldn’t change the look of their primary uniforms for at least five years.
The Hornets will wear the new pinstripe uniforms most games next season. There will be two other uniforms available: Purple ones with “CHA” stenciled across the chest and an updated version of the “city edition,” to be unveiled later. Most recently, that “city edition” was a gray uniform with “CHA” across the chest.
The rebrand to Hornets has been a success: Bennett said the Hornets have been in the top half of the NBA in merchandise sales consistently since the switch from Bobcats to Hornets
The original classic uniforms, worn by the likes of Larry Johnson, Dell Curry and Muggsy Bogues, will now only be available for celebrating anniversaries. Bennett said, “it will be a few seasons before you see those classic jerseys again.”
Source: The Charlotte Observer