SBD/Issue 241/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Oklahoma City Thunder Set Sales Merchandise Records In 24 Hours

Thunder Merchandise Sales Sets Records
In First Day After Announcing Nickname 
The Thunder "set sales records for the first 24 hours after the Oklahoma City NBA team announced the nickname" on Wednesday, according to Mike Baldwin of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN. XP Events President Alan Fey, whose company is the Thunder's merchandising partner, indicated that "non-game day sales records were established for the company at both the team store in downtown Oklahoma City and online." Fey said of the record sales, "I've been in this business a long time and it's been a pretty amazing experience." Sales also were "brisk Thursday at Academy Sports and Outdoors' three Oklahoma City locations." Academy Regional Marketing Dir David Good said that the chain's stores "are well stocked with Thunder items," with different versions of Thunder T-shirts expected to arrive "in the next couple of days." Good said the Thunder "has its own unique identity that sets itself apart" from the two dominant college programs in the OKC market, the Univ. of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Univ. Good: "They're pulling from every fan group" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/5). In Toronto, Doug Smith wrote he was "mildly disappointed" in the logo, but local residents will likely "snap up merchandise like it's going out of style" (THESTAR.com, 9/4).

ROLLING THUNDER: In Oklahoma, John Rohde writes Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett "should have been front and center" at the formal unveiling of the logo Wednesday. Cornett is a "big reason Oklahoma City was able to join the big leagues," and he "should have been on hand." Rohde: "Shame on the Thunder for not scheduling around Cornett, who has to rely on second-hand information surrounding the announcement." With the Thunder's home opener "just 54 days away, Cornett admitted the NBA undertaking has been a bit overwhelming in spots." Cornett: "I think this was more of an ordeal that I expected. With the Hornets relocating here, we did that with such a short ramp-up, and it still went fairly smoothly. Here, we were two or three months further along. We had owners who knew the city and knew the players. There should have been some ease in all that, but because it was a permanent move, it did create some decision-making that needed a lot of time. Plus, I underestimated the legalese involved with the colors, the logos, the Web site and all those things" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/5).

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