ERROL’S COMMENTARY: “NEW ORLEANS” ON THEIR CHESTS
Have you noticed during the series with San Antonio that, both at home and on the road, the other’s team’s jersey says "Spurs." The Hornets’ jersey, at home and on the road, says "New Orleans."
Thank you, George Shinn. The Hornets’ owner believes in using his team to promote its city’s name. The impact can be enormous. During the regular season each team plays 82 games. That means there are that many nights, nearly one-fourth of the year, when folks watching ESPN or other sports shows see the words "New Orleans" presented in a positive, prestigious way. (That is especially important these days when the city needs all the positive visualization and prestige it can get.) When a team makes the playoffs, the TV opportunities and airtime increase. So far the Hornets have played nine playoff games with more to come – each time flashing the city’s name across the continent.
No sports’ uniforms provide better billboard space than basketball’s. A city’s name would get lost in the bulky equipment of football and helmets tend to carry team logos but not a city name. Depending on the player’s position, baseball uniforms provide some name exposure, but not as much as a head-on shot of a basketball player at the foul line, his heaving chest facing the camera.
A recent sports blog suggested that the Hornets’ uniform should say NOLA or maybe NOL in imitation of the Phoenix Suns whose jerseys say PHX. Both are bad ideas. Most of the nation doesn’t know what a NOLA is and NOL sounds like an airport designation. Let the world see the words "New Orleans" and let it know that recovery in this city is, like the team, prone to a slow start, but watch out for a big finish.
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