Hornets to Launch Fan-Friendly Commemorative Game Ticket NFT Series
May 11, 2021 – The Charlotte Hornets announced today that the team will launch its first-ever commemorative NFT during the May 13 game against the L.A. Clippers, becoming one of the first U.S. professional sports teams to mint an NFT. This limited-edition NFT will be the first in a series of Hornets commemorative NFTs featuring artwork in the form of digitally designed commemorative game tickets that will be available to fans.
Fans in attendance at the Hornets Fan Appreciation Night on May 13 will have the opportunity to purchase from a limited release of the commemorative NFT through the Hornets App for $4.99 in U.S. currency; cryptocurrency is not required. In recognition of the Hornets inaugural season (1988-89), there will be 88 NFTs minted on the Flow Blockchain. The design of the commemorative ticket will debut for the first time publicly during the May 13 game.
“The Hornets are thrilled to be one of the first professional sports teams to introduce to our fans a series of commemorative NFTs,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Innovation is in the DNA of the Hornets organization, dating back to our original uniforms and colors, and we wanted to offer our fans the opportunity to participate in the excitement, popularity and cutting-edge nature of NFTs. We take pride in the fact that these are fan-friendly NFTs with a very low barrier to entry. We think our fans will enjoy the design, and we look forward to growing in this space in the future.”
The Hornets will launch additional commemorative NFTs as part of a collectible series, including during potential games in the State Farm Play-In Tournament and NBA Playoffs. These dates will be announced later. The Hornets worked with Dapper Labs and Mint to launch the first sports team NFT on the Flow Blockchain. The Hornets in-house creative department designed the digital artwork and collaborated with other departments across the organization to bring it to life and make it available to fans.
“I love the Hornets NFTs because they’re historic yet accessible to every fan,” said Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs. “These game tickets are collectible memorabilia that let fans keep and relive a moment forever.”
“We are thrilled to be working with the Hornets to help bring this unique NFT to Hornets fans,” said Joseph Djenandji, CEO of Mint. “This innovative concept bridges the offline and online world by linking an emotional experience to a digital collectible.”
|Location||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Team colors||Teal, dark purple, gray, white
|General manager||Mitch Kupchak|
|Head coach||James Borrego|
|Retired numbers||1 (13)|
The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team is mainly owned by Basketball Hall-of-Fame member Michael Jordan, who acquired a controlling interest in the team in 2010. The Hornets play their home games at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte.
The original Hornets franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team, owned by George Shinn. In 2002, Shinn’s franchise relocated to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004, the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, which was regarded as a new expansion team at the time. In 2014, the Bobcats were renamed Charlotte Hornets, and acquired official history and records of the original Hornets (spanning from 1988 to 2002) from New Orleans’ team.
2009–2010: Michael Jordan’s acquisition of the franchise
During the off-season, the team picked Gerald Henderson from Duke 12th overall in the 2009 NBA draft. The Bobcats traded Emeka Okafor for New Orleans Hornets’ center Tyson Chandler, and through more trades acquired Stephen Jackson and Acie Law from the Golden State Warriors. On February 27, 2010, it was announced that Johnson had decided to sell the team to Jordan, allowing Jordan to become the first former NBA player to become majority owner of a franchise.
On April 9, 2010, the Bobcats clinched their first playoff berth since 2002 with a 104–103 road win over the New Orleans Hornets, finishing the 2009–10 season with an overall record of 44–38, their first-ever winning season. Gerald Wallace was a huge factor in the playoff run as he became the Bobcats’ first and only NBA All-Star. However, the Bobcats were swept by the Orlando Magic in 4 games
2014–present: Return of the Charlotte Hornets
On May 21, 2013, Jordan officially announced the organization had submitted an application to change the name of the franchise to the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 NBA season, pending a majority vote for approval by the NBA Board of Governors at a meeting in Las Vegas on July 18, 2013. The NBA announced, on July 18, 2013, that it had unanimously approved the rebranding, which would begin upon the conclusion of the 2013–14 season.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American businessman and former professional basketball player. He is the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and of 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the official NBA website states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” He was integral in helping to popularize the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming a global cultural icon in the process.
Jordan played college basketball for three seasons under coach Dean Smith with the North Carolina Tar Heels. As a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels’ national championship team in 1982. Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick, and quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring while gaining a reputation as one of the game’s best defensive players. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “His Airness”. Jordan won his first NBA championship with the Bulls in 1991, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat“. Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the 1993–94 NBA season to play Minor League Baseball, but returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three more championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. He retired for a second time in January 1999 but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Washington Wizards.
Jordan’s individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA records for career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game). In 1999, he was named the 20th century’s greatest North American athlete by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press‘ list of athletes of the century. Jordan was twice inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, once in 2009 for his individual career and again in 2010 as part of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team”). He became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.
One of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation, Jordan is also known for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike‘s Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1984 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred as himself in the 1996 live-action animated film Space Jam, and is the central focus of the Emmy Award-winning documentary miniseries The Last Dance (2020). He became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats (now named the Hornets) in 2006, and bought a controlling interest in 2010. In 2014, Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history. With a net worth of $2.1 billion, he is the fourth-richest African American, behind Robert F. Smith, David Steward, and Oprah Winfrey.
Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets
On June 15, 2006, Jordan bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (now known as the Hornets), becoming the team’s second-largest shareholder behind majority owner Robert L. Johnson. As part of the deal, Jordan took full control over the basketball side of the operation, with the title “Managing Member of Basketball Operations”. Despite Jordan’s previous success as an endorser, he has made an effort not to be included in Charlotte’s marketing campaigns. A decade earlier, Jordan had made a bid to become part-owner of Charlotte’s original NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, but talks collapsed when owner George Shinn refused to give Jordan complete control of basketball operations.
In February 2010, it was reported that Jordan was seeking majority ownership of the Bobcats. As February wore on, it became apparent that Jordan and former Houston Rockets president George Postolos were the leading contenders for ownership of the team. On February 27, the Bobcats announced that Johnson had reached an agreement with Jordan and his group, MJ Basketball Holdings, to buy the team from Johnson pending NBA approval. On March 17, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved Jordan’s purchase, making him the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA team. It also made him the league’s only African-American majority owner.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, The New York Times wrote that Jordan led a group of 10 to 14 hardline owners who wanted to cap the players’ share of basketball-related income at 50 percent and as low as 47. Journalists observed that, during the labor dispute in 1998, Jordan had told Washington Wizards then-owner Abe Pollin, “If you can’t make a profit, you should sell your team.”Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com called Jordan a “sellout” wanting “current players to pay for his incompetence.” He cited Jordan’s executive decisions to draft disappointing players Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison.
During the 2011–12 NBA season that was shortened to 66 games by the lockout, the Bobcats posted a 7–59 record. The team closed out the season with a 23-game losing streak. Their .106 winning percentage was the worst in NBA history. Before the next season, Jordan said: “I’m not real happy about the record book scenario last year. It’s very, very frustrating.”
During the 2019 NBA offseason, Jordan sold a minority piece of the Hornets to Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim, retaining the majority of the team for himself, as well as the role of chairman.