Since free agents aren't lining up to play for the league's worst team, and there's not much else to talk about on the Bobcat's front, I'll share an interesting conversation I had recently. At least I found it interesting. I've been on a search for Charlotte Hornets apparel for a short minute now. The caps are everywhere, but t-shirts or other items are harder to come by. You can sometimes find them on e-bay, but they usually have ridiculous prices... $40 or more. So I visited a number of stores this weekend, and the only one that had t-shirts was Sports Fan Attic at Carolina Place mall. Pro Image said they had some t-shirts recently but just sold out. They did however have one Mourning jersey and one Johnson jersey.
I spoke with the owner of Pro Image and a number of employees at Sports Fan Attic, and asked about their opinions of the Hornets brand vs the Bobcats. They all echoed the exact same thing...
They can't keep Charlotte Hornets gear on the shelves. Consumers love it. They get a shipment in, and people immediately scoop them up. When I asked about Bobcats apparel they said that it doesn't sell well at all. A matter of fact, MJ and Panthers brands are usually featured at the front of most athletic stores, while anything with Bobcats on it is usually stuffed away on a back shelf. They all said that even with sporadic shipments of Hornets gear (sometimes not even of great quality), it still sold much better than Bobcats gear.
This begs the question... Why would MJ and company pass on an opportunity to capitalize on such a hot revenue stream? They could instantly go from the league's least popular brand, to a brand that even with a non-existent team, stores just can't keep on the selves. The employees I spoke with seemed to think it was just a matter of time before this inevitably happened. It seems like a no-brainer to me. But since so many of you are reluctant I'd thought I'd throw it out their for conversation.
What do you think? Capitalize on an already hot selling brand, continue pushing the struggling Bobcats brand, or do something else?