Basketball Bobcats get shorter name from wildlife breeder

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Bobcats finally have a
simple Web address.

For its first three years, the team used the domain name
www.bobcatsbasketball.com because the rights to www.bobcats.com
belonged to a bobcat breeder in Montana.

Barbara Roe owns Bitterroot Bobcat and Lynx in Stevensville,
Mont., and had the rights to the Web site name for 10 years. She
says team officials began asking her in 2004 about buying the
rights, but the early offer of a couple thousand dollars wasn't
enough. Roe says the team earlier this year met her price of about

"It's called business," Roe said. "It's what you do. If you
have a business somebody wants, you capitalize on it."

The newly named Web site and an upcoming redesign are part of a
marketing campaign that will feature star forward Gerald Wallace
and newly acquired Jason Richardson.

Bobcats president Fred Whitfield would not say how much is being
spent on the campaign, which also includes the slogan "Elevate,"
new uniforms and a new secondary logo.

"This is about us improving as a franchise -- on and off the
floor," said Whitfield, who's in his second year with the team.

The Bobcats ranked 27th of 30 NBA teams in attendance last
season despite cutting ticket prices each of the past two seasons.
The franchise has yet to make the playoffs.

Whitfield said the team has sold all but three of Bobcats
Arena's 60 luxury suites and that floor seating at $1,000 a game is
sold out.

The Bobcats also are increasing their community involvement, he
said, partnering with Presbyterian Hospital, Mecklenburg County
Parks and Recreation, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.