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September 6, 2017 – Hornets Sports & Entertainment and Barings today unveiled the new Barings Book Bus, a signature element of the partnership between the two organizations. In addition to the Book Bus, Barings has also become the presenting partner of the education pillar in the community efforts of the Hornets corporate social responsibility department and the Charlotte Hornets Foundation. The partnership is Charlotte-based Barings’ first with a professional sports team in its home market.
“We are very excited to unveil the new Barings Book Bus and to have Barings as a partner in the education space,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield. “We all recognize the importance of reading and of ensuring that our young people develop a love for reading. As Barings continues to make an impact in the Charlotte community, we are pleased that they have joined us in our efforts.”
The Book Bus was initially launched in 2013 with the goal of demonstrating the importance of reading to children and increasing opportunities for literacy in underserved communities by distributing books throughout the school year and the summer. The Book Bus travels to elementary schools and youth centers in the Charlotte area, where Hugo performs an interactive and entertaining program that inspires students to read. After the program, one class from each location boards the Book Bus to pick out a book to take home. The full-service literacy bus holds over 3,000 books ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade reading levels and has distributed nearly 24,000 books since its inception in 2013.
“Barings is committed to making a difference in the communities where our associates live and work, and we are particularly interested in supporting programs that promote educational advancement and literacy in children and young adults,” said Tom Finke, Chairman and CEO of Barings. “We are excited to partner with the Hornets to provide a fun, engaging way to help young students across the Charlotte region develop a love of reading and set them on the path to future success in school and life.”
As part of the partnership, Barings is designated as a “Proud Partner of the Charlotte Hornets” and receives signage around Spectrum Center, the rights to use team logos and marks and hospitality opportunities. The signage includes permanent back-lit signs on two corner board panels and branding on one of the basket pole pads, as well as an arena takeover during each regular-season home game with a feature on the center-hung scoreboard and simultaneous branding on the 360 LED boards, scorer’s table, basket stanchion LED boards and corner board digital screens.