Without even taking the court as the Hornets—that won't happen until 2014—there has been an immediate impact on one of the NBA's most forlorn franchises.
Most notably, new ticket sales are up 59 percent from last year.
"What's really encouraging about that is the vast majority of those people have taken advantage of the two-year season ticket program," Guelli said.
The two-year plan involves buying tickets for the final season of the Bobcats, the upcoming 2013-14 season, and also the return of the Hornets in 2014-15. The price over two seasons is frozen.
The story is equally encouraging on the season ticket renewal side, where the Bobcats are up 11 percent year-over-year, already surpassing last year's renewal number with months to go until the preseason begins in October. Many of those fans renewing also have taken advantage of the two-year ticket plan offered to new season ticket buyers.
To put those numbers in perspective, an industry source tells Sporting News the Bobcats are in the NBA's top 10 for new season ticket sales for next season. The Bobcats ranked 24th in home attendance last season.
The new Hornets uniforms, logos and other gear have not been unveiled, but the team created two sub-brands—"Back the Buzz" and "Buzz City"—using familiar colors to begin building interest. The "Back the Buzz" gear is so popular it had a 100 percent sell-through rate and has the team chasing additional inventory.
"A slow window turned into a hot sales opportunity," Guelli said. "The sales in our team stores have doubled this summer from where they were last year."
The rebrand isn't without cost—a price tag of at least $3 million, according to the Charlotte Observer—but recouping that cost might not take as long as the big figure would lead skeptics to believe.
"We're almost there right now," Guelli said. "The fact that (ticket sales) are going to occur over a two-year period
... When we calculate those numbers on top of what we know we're going to do from sponsors, we're almost there, so moving forward we'll be looking at upside."