Fans weigh in as OKC Thunder becomes last team in NBA to add sponsor logo to jerseys

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The NBA decided almost three years ago to try something different - selling ad space on jerseys.

The three-year trial period began in the 2017-2018 season and on Friday, the Thunder became the last team to add them, announcing a new ad deal with Oklahoma-City based Love's.

This expands their partnership as Love's already sponsors Love's Loud City and Love's Kiss Cam.

You could call it a late game shot, but representatives for the Oklahoma City Thunder say finding this "love" was worth the wait.

"Everything we do with the Thunder is methodical, it's intentional and it's shown in this process here," said Thunder Vice President of corporate sponsorships Will Syring.

He says they wanted someone local, but their wish list didn't stop there.

"Candidly, we wanted to go with a partner that aligned with our vision, our culture which is hard work, community involvement and fueling through innovation and we found that in Love's," Syring said.

The logo colors match pretty well with the jerseys.

"We're lucky in that sense where you look across the league and there are logos on jerseys that may not look as appetizing to fans and I think our fans will be pleased," Syring said.

So, are they?

"I'm glad that they represent Oklahoma City and the new logos are awesome," said one fan who didn't want to be identified. "Everybody should go out and get a jersey."

But, others have their concerns.

"I think it's great Oklahoma held out as long as they could but when you see the logos on there you just can't help to think of corporate America and how they're infiltrating something that we love, but it's the NBA and they're already kind of deep into corporate America so I think it's kind of a wash," said Popese, a Thunder fan.

We had many chime in on our News 4 Facebook page, some sharing their concerns that the uniforms are turning into a billboard.

But Syring insists that though this is something different, it's not necessarily something new.

"Nike's been over the right chest for a while, right?" Syring said. "And you look at other sports, you think of NASCAR and there's logos everywhere, all over those cars."

"I think that's good that Love's is from Oklahoma and an Oklahoma team, so I think that is good that they're supporting each other," Popese said.

Syring says they aren't going to discuss how much this deal costs but Forbes has reported other teams' deals have ranged from about $2.5 million to $20 million annually.

Forbes reports a $20 million deal was between Ratuken and the Golden State Warriors, who - by the way - the Thunder will be playing when they debut their new logos on Saturday.

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