The "BayHawks" name alludes to the Presque Isle Bay, on which Erie lies. The hawk represents the city's wildlife and naval history, especially because hawks were used by naval expeditions to send important messages. The team's colors of black, red, and gold pay homage to the Erie-based CommodoreOliver Hazard Perry and to the United States Navy uniforms worn during the War of 1812.
The Erie BayHawks made headlines on January 17, 2012, when Jeremy Lin was assigned to the team. On January 20, he had a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in the BayHawks' 122–113 victory over the Maine Red Claws. Lin was recalled by the Knicks three days later. In December 2012, the Knicks assigned NBA veteran Amar'e Stoudemire to the BayHawks because of an injury.
In 2012, the Knicks offered the BayHawks head coach position to Patrick Ewing, one of their most prominent alumni. However, he turned down the offer citing his desire to coach in the National Basketball Association as opposed to the D-League. Ewing has worked as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, and Orlando Magic.
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) officially partnered with the Erie BayHawks in 2008. As part of the deal, LECOM is the team's official presenter and medical provider. Additionally, the school's name is featured on the BayHawks' jerseys and court design. In September 2012, the BayHawks extended their partnership with LECOM to 2018. Furthermore, they will continue to work out and practice at the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center.
In 2014 the Knicks ended their affiliation with Erie in favor of starting an expansion D-League franchise, the Westchester Knicks, forcing the Bayhawks to find a new affiliate. In April 2014 Erie entered talks for a hybrid relationship with the Orlando Magic. A deal was announced May 19, 2014.
The official colors of the Erie BayHawks are black, gold, and red. The primary logo depicts a red and black hawk in flight with a gold beak and talons. The hawk is superimposed over a gold basketball and a partial, black roundel charged with the "Erie" typeface. The "BayHawks" wordmark is centered over the entire design in white letters with black outline.