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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Hornets getting dropped by key sponsor?

Michael Jordan in a suit

Dec 21, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveils the new Charlotte Hornets logo at halftime during the game against the Utah Jazz at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets may have another addition to their list of woes.

Hornets fan union The Crown Club reported this week that online lending marketplace LendingTree is ending their run as the Hornets’ jersey patch sponsor upon the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. LendingTree is also unlikely to return as a Hornets sponsor in any capacity, the report adds.

Here is a sample of what the team’s jerseys look like with the LendingTree patch (on the upper right):

Many users pointed out that the move may be tied to LendingTree’s recent financial difficulties. The company’s stock (NASDAQ: TREE) closed Friday at a price of $22.18 per share. That marks an 83.0 percent decline over the last year and a whopping 94.9 percent decline from their all-time high of $433.34 (achieved in July 2019).

But the Hornets do not have the greatest brand right now either. They only have seven nationally-televised games this season (four of which are on NBA TV) and are currently tied for the worst record in basketball at 10-29. While star player LaMelo Ball is a big box-office draw, he has played just 15 games because of injury and is being hamstrung by head coach Steve Clifford’s plodding offense (which is dead-last in the NBA in offensive efficiency).

The team has also sparked some recent controversy, and, for one reason or another, LendingTree now seems to be pulling the plug on their partnership.

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