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Aubrey McClendon intends to donate share of arena naming proceeds to schools

Chesapeake Energy Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon is planning to donate proceeds he collects as part-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder from an arena naming rights between the company and the team.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: April 28, 2012
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Chesapeake Energy Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon is planning to donate proceeds he collects as part-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder from an arena naming rights agreement between the company and the team.

The deal, detailed in a recently released corporate proxy statement, reports McClendon has a 19.2 percent ownership in the team, which stands to collect more than $34 million from Chesapeake for advertising, sponsorship and the arena naming rights.

Under the 12-year naming rights agreement, Chesapeake pays the Thunder $3 million the first year, with a 3 percent annual escalation clause for each year thereafter. The agreement includes Chesapeake branding throughout the building including on the basketball court, prominent premium placement on the high-definition scoreboard and new state-of-the-art interior and exterior digital signage.

The agreement, announced in July, also continues to guarantee an annual payment of $402,000 to Oklahoma City from the naming rights proceeds.

McClendon declined interview requests about the arrangement, but a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission reports he “has committed to make annual charitable contributions for the benefit of Oklahoma schools equal to his percentage ownership of the Thunder (19.2 percent) times the fees paid by the company under the naming rights agreement for at least each of the first two seasons covered by the agreement.”

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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