(DA -- From the FanPosts)
No, I'm not talking about stats and rosterbation possibilities. The Charlotte Business Journal is offering some specifics regarding the growth of the Charlotte Bobcats as a business since the inception of the Jordan era. Corporate sponsorship is not only way up, but so is retention. There are also 2 major sponsors about to sign agreements. Although it isn't in the article, one of the new sponsors, CPI Security Sytems, is prepared to sign a multi-year deal as opposed to the year-by-year arrangements companies have been interested in most of the time. I know most of the interest here is on the players, but the business itself must remain healthy in order for the team to build the roster in the first place. This is the first time financial security has been solid since the birth of the organization.
One interesting note in the article that you can't see unless you pay for a subscription is that Forbes and Fortune are reporting that Michael Jordan actually paid $175 million for the Bobcats, not the $275 million originally reported.
Also, Lifelock Corporation signed as a sponsor on Friday as well. Things may not be roses and sunshine on the roster (especially if you read the opinions of many here and at the Observer) but the financials have never looked better. That means cheaper tickets, additional jobs for the city of Charlotte, and the sort of stability that attracts smarter players. The Bobcats may be in a second-tier market, but we are no longer standing on financial toothpicks. A solid foundation is being built and that's great news for the fans, the city itself, and the future of professional sports in the Carolinas.
Also, until now retention of corporate sponsors has been running at 60%. Each season we would lose 40% of the team sponsors and that's a deep dent to recover from just to get back to even with the previous year. This year retention of corporate sponsors is standing at 85% which means we have a great opportunity to build on partnerships already in existence and broaden the base of business investment as well.
On the ticket front, the Bobcats may surpass 10K season tickets prior to the start of the season for the first time in their history. Last August new season ticket sales were at just under 400. Thus far this season there have been over 1500 new season ticket packages sold. Those aren't Lakers numbers - shoot, they aren't even old Charlotte Hornets numbers - but for a team that was reportedly on the ropes just 18 months ago, it is a remarkable turnaround. The Bobcats are now one of the stronger financial franchises in the NBA. Thank you Michael Jordan for bringing your cachet to the team and also thanks to Bob Johnson for bailing out before his incompetence cost the Carolinas its second NBA franchise. If the Bobcats were forced to close shop or leave town we wouldn't see the NBA here again until our grandchildren were old enough to invest.