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By James Martin

Mint Museum Uptown hosts public unveiling of new Charlotte Hornets team uniforms

June 19, 2014

NBA team also privately unveiled the uniforms to three star players inside the Mint this week

The Charlotte Hornets NBA team selected Mint Museum Uptown as the venue for the public unveiling of its new white, purple, and teal uniforms, as well as for a secret video shoot to unveil the uniforms to three of its star players this week.

The public is invited to the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium of Mint Museum Uptown from today through July 10 to view the uniforms up close. The Mint is the only Charlotte venue aside from the Hornets team store where the uniforms are available for public viewing. Access to the atrium is free during regular museum hours. The display may be temporarily moved during select events; call to check availability at 704.337.2000 or visit mintmuseum.org for details.

On Tuesday of this week, players Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker, and Al Jefferson were dropped off on Levine Avenue of the Arts and walked across the plaza and up the grand staircase of Mint Museum Uptown before being greeted by a set secretly constructed inside the atrium while the museum was closed to the public. The circular structure contained three curtained recesses behind which were the three uniforms – the white home uniform, purple road uniform, and teal alternate uniform. All present during filming were sworn to secrecy until Thursday’s public announcement.

The players sat on three stools in front of each curtain, and with a “whoosh,” each curtain dropped to reveal a mannequin, which the players walked up to and moved around to see the uniforms from all angles. They gravitated toward the teal as their favorite version. The Hornets’ video of the unveiling is visible at this link and at Hornets.com.

Then on Thursday, the Hornets unveiled the uniforms and then delivered them to the Mint’s atrium for a public display. The connection is fitting – the Mint is internationally known for collections of craft, design, & fashion; the Mint also has a strong selection of items in its Art of the Ancient Americas Collection related to the Mesoamerican ballgame, a precursor to basketball dating back 3,500 years in which players were sometimes put to death following games. (See more information at the Mint’s award-winning site, ballgame.org.)

The home and road uniforms feature the word “Hornets” on the front, while the alternate jersey says “Charlotte.” Each of the uniforms feature several elements tied to the history of the uniforms used by the original Hornets, including the use of stripes, the crossover-style V-neck collar and the placement of a logo on the waistband of the shorts. The stripes appear on the left side of the uniform only and bring back the purple, teal and light blue striping used by the original Hornets, along with the addition of gray. The shorts feature the team’s one-color silhouette logo on the waistband and a cell pattern on the bottom left leg with either a secondary or alternate logo. In addition, the bottom right leg includes tone-on-tone lettering that says “Charlotte” on the home and road uniforms and “Hornets on the alternate, meaning the words “Charlotte” and “Hornets” will both appear somewhere on each of the uniforms.

“It was important for us that our new uniforms reflect the heritage and history of the original Hornets both visually and philosophically, while also having aspects of the evolution to a new brand,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield. “We wanted a look that was sharp and precise, echoing the attributes of our team. We are elated to unveil our new look to our fans and hope they are as excited by the uniforms as we are.”

The white home uniform has a teal V-neck collar with a purple stripe. The word “Hornets” appears in teal with a purple background, while the numbers are purple tone-on-tone and the player’s name is teal. A teal silhouette logo is on the waistband of the shorts, which has the Crown CH logo on a teal cell pattern background on the bottom left leg and the word “Charlotte” in white tone-on-tone on the bottom right leg.

The purple road uniform has a teal V-neck collar with a purple stripe. The word “Hornets” appears in white with a teal background, while the numbers are teal tone-on-tone and the player’s name is white. A teal silhouette logo is on the waistband of the shorts, which has the Crown CH logo on a teal cell pattern background on the bottom left leg and the word “Charlotte” in purple tone-on-tone on the bottom right leg.

The teal alternate uniform has a purple V-neck collar with a teal stripe. The word “Charlotte” appears in white with a purple background, while the numbers are purple tone-on-tone and the player’s name is white. A white silhouette logo is on the waistband of the shorts, which has the secondary logo on a purple cell pattern background on the bottom left leg and the word “Charlotte” in teal tone-on-tone on the bottom right leg.

Due to the color of the teal uniform, it can be used as an alternate for either home or road games. The alternate can be worn a total of 16-20 times per season, allowing more usage for the popular color in front of the home fans.

The word “Hornets” appears on the front of the home and road jerseys to signify the importance of the name returning to Charlotte. The alternate jersey provides an opportunity to pay homage to the original teal uniforms that said “Charlotte” on the front, which in 1988 conveyed the pride of the city having its first NBA team.

As with the team’s overall brand identity, the uniforms were designed in collaboration with senior executives within the Hornets organization; Jordan Brand, a division of Nike; and the NBA’s Global Merchandising Group. Both Jordan Brand and Nike have a long history of working with professional teams and universities in developing brand identities and utilize some of the world’s most highly recognized designers.

The uniforms are manufactured by adidas, the NBA’s official uniform provider, and are part of the NBA Revolution 30 series. The uniforms are 30 percent lighter and incorporate the company’s CLIMACOOL fabric which dries twice as fast as previous NBA uniforms.

A set of uniforms will also be on display at the Hornets Fan Shop at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Fans will be able to begin pre-ordering jerseys in August at the Hornets Fan Shop. Jerseys are expected to arrive in late September.

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