Harris Teeter to Sponsor New Basketball Team in Charlotte, N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Harris Teeter, Inc. has unveiled a five-year sponsorship with the Charlotte Bobcats, a new NBA team. The regional grocer, based in Matthews, N.C., was a long-term partner with the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA team that moved to New Orleans in May 2002.

The overall sponsorship package is worth $300,000 to $500,000 annually, industry experts told the Charlotte Business Journal.

"We've always been a supporter of the community and the sports teams," John Rohr, Harris Teeter regional v.p., told the newspaper. "We think this fits in with our track record."

Harris Teeter has similar agreements with the NFL's Carolina Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes, the North Carolina Triangle region's NHL franchise. Rohr said the Bobcats deal will be similar, with promotions in area grocery stores as well as at the team's home games.

Bobcats president Ed Tapscott noted that having a grocer as a sponsor helps sports franchises because so many consumers will come in contact with tie-in promotions and team logos used in the stores.

The Bobcats begin their first season in Charlotte with a Nov. 4 game against Washington. In 2005, the team will begin play at its new arena uptown.
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