Thunder Launches Fan Appreciation Month

OKLAHOMA CITY, Tuesday, March 31, 2009 – The Thunder’s historic first season in Oklahoma City will be capped off with a special fan appreciation initiative featuring premier prizes, contests and community outreach throughout the month of April, the team announced today. It includes car giveaways from Chesapeake Energy and the Thunder, special items from Devon Energy, MidFirst Bank and OG&E, a visit from a group of NBA mascots, autographed shoes and jerseys for fans and special rates at the Thunder Shop.

“Our message for the month is thank you! It will be integrated into everything we do in April. Our fans are integral to our success this year and will help us rise together for seasons to come,” said Thunder Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Services Brian Byrnes. “To show our appreciation for their incredible support, we are proud to reward them with more prizes, great entertainment and bigger value for the remainder of the regular season.”

Fan Appreciation Month includes giving back to the Oklahoma City community. It begins on Wednesday April 1 as Interim Head Coach Scott Brooks, General Manager Sam Presti and members of the Thunder Basketball Operations staff join OKC Rebuilding Together to help with household repairs at the residence of a local senior citizen. On Monday, April 6, a dozen Thunder players will return to the house to finish the rebuilding project. This service project is also in conjunction with Green Week. Later in the week, on Thursday, April 9, players Nick Collison and Malik Rose, along with Rumble, will participate in the 12th Annual Celebrity Waiter’s Gala benefiting the CARE Center (Children Abuse Response and Evaluation Center).

Friday, April 3 during the Thunder v. Portland game, fans will have the chance to meet nine of the NBA’s top mascots, during Mascot Mania, as they welcome Rumble to the NBA. Fans can pose with Burnie from the Heat, Rocky from the Nuggets, Crunch from the Timberwolves, Clutch from the Rockets, Blaze from the Trail Blazers, Sly the Fox from the Nets, Champ from the Mavericks, The Coyote from the Spurs and G-Wiz from the Wizards. Fans can take pictures with all the mascots outside section 101 beginning at 6:25 p.m.

Also on Friday, Thunder guard Desmond Mason will deliver a special pregame address to thank the fans for their support. Following each game in April, lucky fans will win the chance to join Thunder players on the court to receive autographed shoes and jerseys. Also during each game in April, in-arena giveaways will be announced to randomly selected rows and seats. Prizes include autographed Thunder memorabilia, video games and music CDs. Also, Thunder staff will be distributing concession stand meal coupons throughout the concourses.

Fans will also enjoy Green Week door giveaways that include a Thunder reusable grocery tote, courtesy of Devon Energy, on Friday, April 3 and a Thunder reusable water bottle, courtesy of MidFirst Bank on Tuesday, April 7. The Thundershop will be offering a 40 percent discount on all women’s apparel for the remainder of the season. On April 3 and 5, MidFirst Bank will be giving away iPhones to two lucky fans.

At the Sunday, April 5 game v. the Indiana Pacers, 60 kids from the Thunder Youth Basketball League will be in attendance. The kids are all Spirit Award winners from this past Youth League season and are invited to see the Thunder participate in their pregame warm-up, and will also have the opportunity to get photos taken with Thunder players on the court postgame. The Thunder Spirit Award is given to the child who showed team spirit, sportsmanship and who consistently exemplified the values of the Thunder Youth Basketball League.

During the last home game of the season on April 10, 40 fans who previously registered in the Ford F-150 Drive to a Sell Out promotion will compete on court for the opportunity to win a new Ford F-150 truck. The Chesapeake Energy CNG car sweepstakes, which is the highlight of Green Week, will be given away on April 7 during the Thunder v. San Antonio game.

On April 10, the Thunder will auction off a full set of game-worn jerseys from the season home finale to benefit the Thunder Community Foundation.

Tickets are still available for game nights in April and can be purchased by visiting Thunder.nba.com or calling (405) 208-4800. Fans also have a change to win tickets to April games by signing up to follow the Thunder at twitter.com/okcthunder.