Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets to stand alone as NBA switches its uniform maker

Hornets Experience unveiled at Latta Park

Hornets owner Michael Jordan speaks at the dedication of the basketball courts by the Hornets and NBA at Latta Park in Dilworth, Tuesday morning, October 18, 2016.
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Hornets owner Michael Jordan speaks at the dedication of the basketball courts by the Hornets and NBA at Latta Park in Dilworth, Tuesday morning, October 18, 2016.

When the NBA switches uniform brands next season, the Charlotte Hornets’ game gear will get a logo that sets it a bit apart from the rest of the league.

Buried in a press release about the Hornets’ plans to switch locations of the box office and fan shop at the Spectrum Center, the team noted while the other NBA teams will wear Nike brand uniforms, Charlotte’s team will wear uniforms with the Jordan Brand.

The brand brought in about worth about $100 million in 2015 for Jordan, more than his total salary playing for 15 seasons in the NBA.

According to the team, the “Hornets will be the only team in the NBA wearing Jordan Brand uniforms.”

Nike produces the Jordan Brand, named for and endorsed, of course, by Michael Jordan, the Hornets’ owner.

Reports that the Hornets likely would wear its owner’s brand first surfaced last year, as news of the NBA’s switch to Nike-made uniforms from Adidas emerged. The press release confirmed those reports.

The Jordan brand is probably best known for its Air Jordan line of basketball shoes but also produces a wider range of athletic apparel and gear. It’s also a huge source of revenue for the Hornets owner.

According to Forbes, total Jordan retail shoe sales hit $3 billion in 2015 in the U.S. alone and grew faster than the overall basketball shoe market. The brand brought in about worth about $100 million in 2015 for Jordan, more than the $94 million salary he collected in 15 seasons as an NBA player.

The Nike deal is one of the reasons the former Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards superstar, who played his final game in the NBA in 2003, likely made more money than any athlete, active or retired, last year.

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The Charlotte Hornets will wear its owner’s namesake Jordan Brand next next season, when the league switches its uniforms maker. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

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