The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Starting Five

OKLAHOMA CITY, Sunday, October 26, 2008- The Oklahoma City Thunder today announced its Founding Partners, the five major cornerstone corporate sponsors whose support is vital to Oklahoma City’ s NBA franchise. They are: Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Devon Energy Corporation, MidFirst Bank, The Oklahoma Publishing Company and SandRidge Energy, Inc. "It is a tremendous honor to have these five significant Oklahoma companies show their confidence and support for the Thunder and the NBA in Oklahoma City," said Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett. "We couldn't ask for a better team of partners. They represent integrity, ingenuity, hard work and a commitment to excellence. Besides being successful corporations, each has a long-standing, deep-rooted commitment to the community.” The Thunder plans additional corporate sponsor relationship announcements in the near future. “The Oklahoma City business community’s support of the Thunder is fundamentally important to the long-term sustainability and success of this franchise. We are forming outstanding relationships with our corporate sponsors and we are excited at the possibilities those partnerships offer for the team and the community,” Bennett said. "Chesapeake is proud to align our company with the Thunder as one of the founding partners,” said Aubrey K. McClendon, chairman and CEO, Chesapeake. “The NBA’s presence in Oklahoma City represents a historic and tremendous step forward for our city and state. We are pleased to be part of the excitement surrounding the Thunder." “The Oklahoma City Thunder’s arrival to our city has already generated a great amount of excitement in our community,” said Larry Nichols, Devon chairman and CEO. “We are honored to help support an NBA team that will represent our city to the nation and enhance the quality of life for people who live, work and play in Oklahoma City.” “MidFirst Bank is honored to be one of the founding partners making history with the addition of Oklahoma’s own NBA team,” said Jeff Records, chairman, MidFirst Bank. “Bringing this to fruition was a team effort involving many local businesses and civic leaders; now it’s time to build the Thunder winning tradition.” "More than news and information, The Oklahoman has always been deeply involved in building our community. We are thrilled to support the Oklahoma City Thunder's inaugural season,” said David Thompson, president and publisher, OPUBCO Communications Group. “Our mission is to make a difference in people's lives and we expect the Thunder to have a lasting impact on our city and the great state of Oklahoma." “Having the NBA permanently in Oklahoma City is a great benefit for the continued growth of our community," said Tom L. Ward, chairman and CEO, SandRidge Energy, Inc. "We are pleased to welcome the Thunder players, coaches and staff to our community and are looking forward to partnering with them as we work to continue the ongoing development of OKC." The Thunder’s historic opening night in the Ford Center is Wednesday, October 29 against the Milwaukee Bucks.