Oklahoma City's arena has been just called "The Oklahoma City Arena" for the past three seasons, with the team not needing a sponsor or having one in place yet. But that changed Friday as the Thunder, along with the city of Oklahoma City, which owns the arena, announced its new sponsor: energy giant Chesapeake Energy. The new "Chesapeake Energy Arena" will have all the standard, overbearing signage in place by the 2011-2012 season.
The deal is worth $3 million for the naming rights, which isn't bad for a market like OKC. From the presser:
The 12-year naming rights agreement has an initial annual cost of $3.0 million with a 3.0% annual escalation. The agreement includes Chesapeake branding throughout the building including on the basketball court, prominent premium placement on the high-definition scoreboard and new state-of-the-art interior and exterior digital signage. Most of the signage will be in place by the start of the Thunder’s 2011-12 season.
Chesapeake's involved in oil drilling, but has shifted a majority of its business efforts toward natural gas. So with that in mind, what should we call this place as a nickname? You know, like "The Q" in Cleveland, or "The Cable Box" in Charlotte. Maybe "The Gas Hole?" No? How about "The Oil Slick?" Maybe just "The Well?"
Not exactly the most appealing possibilities, but for $3 million I'm pretty sure OKC would let whoever name it whatever they wanted.