loud and loyal


LOUD & LOYAL

THE NBA-WATCHING world is well aware of the special bond that exists between the Thunder and its loyal (and loud!) fans. That connection developed instantly, when -- just weeks after the announcement the team would be playing in Oklahoma City in the 2008-09 season -- “sold out” covers were placed over the seats in the arena at a rapid rate; when inclimate weather offered an excuse to stay home but your resiliency said otherwise; when tragedies struck and you came together with donations, volunteer hours and participation in auctions; and how you proudly stand until the home team scores.

It is a relationship we cherish and never take for granted.



Bitter Cold, Snow No Match for Fans


I’m showing we had a little more than 3,500 people attend the 1.26.09 game against the New Jersey Nets. It was 18 degrees and we ended up getting about two inches of snow on top of already icy streets.

The game was going to be played regardless of conditions. The Nets and the referees were already in town, having arrived the night before.

As backwards as it sounds, we were hoping no fans would show up purely for safety reasons. But then people started showing up, more and more. When we asked people why they came, the most common response was, “We wouldn’t miss this!,” which really summed up the thoughts on the whole season.

Although it was incredibly cold outside that night, there wasn’t a warmer place in Oklahoma than the Ford Center. -Karlis Kezbers, Director of Business Intelligence and Ticket Strategy

Bitter Cold, Snow No Match for FansPhotos by OKC Thunder



PASSIONATE SUPPORT OF TEAM, PLAYERS


From late-night airport gatherings to welcome back the team to overflowing turnout to support players new and old; from working side-by-side with Thunder staff at volunteer events to participating in food drives and coats drives, Thunder fans unite year-round as a force like no other. Nobody says it better than Russell Westbrook: “Thunder fans are the best in the world.”

PASSIONATE SUPPORT OF TEAM, PLAYERSPhotos by Zach Beeker/OKC Thunder

PASSIONATE SUPPORT OF TEAM, PLAYERSPhotos by Zach Beeker/OKC Thunder

PASSIONATE SUPPORT OF TEAM, PLAYERSPhotos by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images



STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: BLUE ALLIANCE ROARS


With more than 5,000 fans and nearly 100 chapters, the Thunder Blue Alliance is vital in bringing the spirit of Thunder Basketball to the local level. Volunteer captains in cities throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states having been helping fans connect with one another since March, 2011, when the program was launched to help foster fan engagement. Chapter captains organize watch parties, distribute Thunder products and invite fellow members to various community events involving the team.

BLUE ALLIANCE ROARSPhotos by Zach Beeker/OKC Thunder

BLUE ALLIANCE ROARSPhotos by Zach Beeker/OKC Thunder

BLUE ALLIANCE ROARSPhotos by Jimmy Do/OKC Thunder



WELCOME BACK! … NOW EXCUSE OUR BOOS


Roster change is inevitable in professional sports, a fact Thunder fans understand. Former Thunder players and coaches traditionally receive a heart-felt roar of applause the moment they step on the court and again during player introductions. It is an emotional scene for all involved. Then the game begins, and it’s obvious those aren’t Thunder colors.

WELCOME BACK! … NOW EXCUSE OUR BOOSPhotos by Zach Beeker/OKC Thunder



MILLIONTH FAN CELEBRATION


It took just 55 games for the Thunder to celebrate its millionth fan walking through the turnstiles. On Dec. 18, 2009, Kimberly Alley, her husband Chuck and their two grandsons were surprised to learn their fate that historical night. They received courtside tickets, a custom jersey, a team-autographed basketball and more. “Oh my gosh, I’m overwhelmed,” Alley said.

MILLIONTH FAN CELEBRATIONPhoto by OKC Thunder



FANS UNITE IN CELEBRATING COMMUNITY HEROES


The Thunder has a deep history of celebrating and honoring community heroes, but it’s the fans who make the night special. Standing ovations and roars of applause are common on nights such as Feb. 6, 2013, when Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery, badly injured in the line of duty in 2011, was honored on the court.

FANS UNITE IN CELEBRATING COMMUNITY HEROESPhoto by OKC Thunder



T.R.U.E.: MORE THAN AN ACRONYM


The Thunder Relocation and Upgrade Event (T.R.U.E.) has been a staple of the sales and retention team since the end of the inaugural season. Every year, Season Ticket Members have the opportunity to find new seating options in a fun, relaxed environment. The first T.R.U.E. event took place in Bricktown, but has been held at the arena every year since.

T.R.U.E.: MORE THAN AN ACRONYMPhoto by OKC Thunder

T.R.U.E.: MORE THAN AN ACRONYMPhoto by OKC Thunder



SELECT-A-SEAT: A WEEK LIKE NO OTHER


In July of 2008, the first week that NBA basketball in Oklahoma City was official, 25,000 people called in to show their initial interest in season tickets. In August, a staff of two dozen employees collectively called that massive list to confirm, and the stakes became more serious. On Sept. 3, the name, colors and logo for the Oklahoma City Thunder were made official, and four days later, the season ticket “land run” began.

As a part of the organization’s Select A Seat event during that second week of September, thousands of fathers, mothers and children waited in line during normal work and school hours for the once in a lifetime opportunity to become Thunder season ticket members.

The event was scheduled to last seven days, but the rate of people who ultimately said “yes” to season tickets was so high that all of the seats available were sold out in just five days. People signed three- to five-year contracts on single seats in the club level and families were staking their claim to as many as six tickets at a time, completely blowing away conventional wisdom on fan behavior.

As the final day of seat selection wore down, the “Seat is Claimed” covers had turned the arena white, and the last of the fans took photos at center court to commemorate the unforgettable moment. One family remained up at the top of Loud City, picking their seats. When their seat covers dropped, a slow clap began from the court level, as the franchise’s first employees celebrated a whirlwind week to help make NBA fans’ dreams come true and to birth the first generation of Thunder faithful. -Kyle Cofer, Premium Sales Manager

SELECT-A-SEATPhoto by OKC Thunder

SELECT-A-SEATPhoto by OKC ThunderSELECT-A-SEATPhoto by OKC Thunder

SELECT-A-SEATPhoto by OKC Thunder



MY THUNDER STORY


To celebrate its 10th season, the Thunder unveiled a digital wall display last October to showcase Season Ticket Members and their Thunder story. In their own words, fans explained the impact the team has had on their life, personally and professionally, and included a photo of themselves that was included in one big, iconic mosaic image of other fans and their stories. The stories were so popular, they were shared on Thunder social media accounts and included in Thunder broadcasts as well.

MY THUNDER STORYPhoto by OKC Thunder



TAKING THE THUNDER ON VACATION


It started as an idea to fill a content void during the off-season, but developed into a #hashtag with lasting power. #WeAreThunder emerged following a request sent out to our Season Ticket Members to showcase themselves in Thunder gear while on vacation. Images poured in from all over the world, from various beaches to the Great Wall in China.

TAKING THE THUNDER ON VACATIONPhoto by OKC Thunder