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Thunder finds jersey sponsor close to home

If Russell Westbrook or Paul George break the internet on Saturday while viciously dunking over the Splash Brothers, Boogie, Draymond or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named — an Oklahoma City-based business is going to capitalize.

Love’s Travel Stops and the Oklahoma City Thunder are announcing a partnership Friday that will place the Love’s heart logo on Thunder jerseys for all games. The corporate patches will make their debut Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.

The jersey deal is a continuation of a longstanding relationship between the company and the local team. Love’s has partnered with the Thunder since 2008, and founders Tom Love and Judy Love can be seen courtside at many home games.

The value of the sponsorship deal was not disclosed by either company. It is a four-year agreement that will run through the end of the 2022-2023 Thunder season.

Forbes reported several NBA teams agreed to deals with corporate sponsors ranging from $2.5 million to $10

million annually, though ESPN reported in 2017 the Golden State Warriors deal with Rakuten is worth nearly $20 million annually.

Love’s existing sponsorships include naming rights to Love’s Loud City and the Love’s Kiss Cam. The jersey patches provide the travel stop business a way to market beyond the home arena.

“Expanding the Love’s partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder in this way helps elevate our brand to an even broader audience,” Tom Love said.

To gain this same level of national exposure through traditional TV advertising, Love’s Vice President of Communications Jenny Love Meyer estimates the company would have to spend “tens of millions of dollars.”

The Thunder is the last NBA team to add a corporate sponsor to its jerseys, according to Thunder Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian Byrnes. The organization was in discussions with nearly a half-dozen potential sponsors before Love’s emerged as the final choice.

“The Love family and organization represent all that is truly good in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma City Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett said. “The Thunder is honored to expand our long-standing relationship with them to now include representation on our jersey.”

Related Photos
<strong>Center Steven Adams models the advertising patch for Love’s Country Stores that will appear on Thunder jerseys after the team signed a deal with the Oklahoma City-based retailer. [Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images]</strong>

Center Steven Adams models the advertising patch for Love’s Country Stores that will appear on Thunder jerseys after the team signed a deal with the Oklahoma City-based retailer. [Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-207928a29b2a35ebdb7914f743b6fccc.jpg" alt="Photo - Center Steven Adams models the advertising patch for Love’s Country Stores that will appear on Thunder jerseys after the team signed a deal with the Oklahoma City-based retailer. [Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images] " title=" Center Steven Adams models the advertising patch for Love’s Country Stores that will appear on Thunder jerseys after the team signed a deal with the Oklahoma City-based retailer. [Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images] "><figcaption> Center Steven Adams models the advertising patch for Love’s Country Stores that will appear on Thunder jerseys after the team signed a deal with the Oklahoma City-based retailer. [Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-89c4edb9ff649fd72bb085e4fc546f9d.jpg" alt="Photo - The Love’s Country Stores logo will be displayed on Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys beginning Saturday. [Provided] " title=" The Love’s Country Stores logo will be displayed on Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys beginning Saturday. [Provided] "><figcaption> The Love’s Country Stores logo will be displayed on Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys beginning Saturday. [Provided] </figcaption></figure>
David Dishman

Business Writer David Dishman has worked as a journalist in Oklahoma since 2014 covering business, education, local government, healthcare and more. He worked as a reporter in southeast Oklahoma before joining the business team at The Oklahoman in... Read more ›

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