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Ticket and merchandise sales up, says Bobcats executive VP

Ticket sales are up 59 percent from last season and "Back The Buzz" gear has a 100 percent sell-through rate, according to Bobcats executive vice president Pete Guelli. Is the name change a smashing success?

Chris Trotman

Bobcats executive vice president Pete Guelli told Sporting News that ticket sales are up 59 percent from last year and that "Back The Buzz" and "Buzz City" merchandise has a 100 percent sell-through rate. Guelli also shared some other interesting tidbits with them:

  • The team expects over 85 percent of season ticket holders to renew, and is aiming for 90 percent
  • The two-year season ticket program is responsible for more than half of new season ticket sales
  • Team store sales are double what they were last year at this time
  • The team has a few potential sponsorships in the works
  • Morale within the organization is high
I'd highly recommend reading Sporting News' story for more.

The statistics themselves are very impressive, but the positive trends shouldn't surprise anyone. I'd dare to say that Hornets gear has always been hotter than Bobcats gear -- at least on a national scale -- and because of the name change announcement in May, buzz (pun intended, unfortunately) is even higher.

It remains to be seen if these numbers can be maintained or improved upon, but Guelli is confident that they will be.

It's kind of crazy that the "Back The Buzz" shirts have a 100 percent sell-through rate, though. Any business major will tell you a 100 percent sell-through rate is insane unless demand is very high, which seems to be the case when it comes to all things Hornets. It's great to see fans both old and new embracing the Horncats* so readily and supporting the organization as it tries to regain the respect and recognition it once had.

To truly regain that respect and recognition, however, the Bobcats will need to continue improving their on-court product. They've taken great steps to improve the team over the last few years (like hiring Rich Cho and drafting well) but there's still a long way to go. It seems like Michael Jordan is committed to rebuilding the entire franchise. So that's good.

I'm excited for the official switch in 2014, too. Just remember that the Bobcats have been rebranding for years. The name is just the cherry on top.

* I'm coining this term