• Timothy E. Burson Queens University of Charlotte
  • Bradley W. Brooks Queens University of Charlotte


sports management, marketing


The Charlotte Bobcats joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) as an expansion team in the 2004-05 season. This was the second NBA franchise awarded to Charlotte as the original team, the Charlotte Hornets, had relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana after the 2001-02 season. A major complication/or the Bobcats was the disintegration of the relationship between Charlotte and its once-beloved Hornets.  A market generally welcomes an expansion sports franchise with open arms; the Bobcats received a more indifferent welcome, as many fans remained bitter and detached after the Hornets' departure. To be successful, the Bobcats would have to re-energize the Charlotte market, and executives determined that the team would have to tell its story repeatedly through the media, particularly television, where the largest numbers of potential fans would be reached.

Nancy Troy, executive vice-president of media rights and entertainment, was charged with developing options and a recommendation for the regional television network for transmittal of Bobcats programming to Charlotte and surrounding markets. Troy, a practicing attorney before being hired by the Bobcats, realized that this was the first time in her career that she would have to orchestrate an executive decision. During her days practicing law, she was always part of a legal team generating research and information for the ultimate decision maker, that person being the judge, client or chief litigator. She would have the support of her staff, but the ultimate recommendation would have her "signature" on it. She also knew that Bob Johnson, like most highly successful businesspeople, demanded results from his executives, and did not have a lot of patience. She would have to move quickly but carefully, working through this critical piece of the Bobcats puzzle.