e person close to the ownership group is really what gives the report legs, but people are sometimes misled or don't have all the facts. The NBA and the ownership group could have been close to deciding on Thunder at one point, but that could have changed in recent days. The source might have provided once-accurate information that is now outdated.
Thunder doesn't end in the letter "s.” Team chairman Clay Bennett has said privately he's not wild about nicknames that don't end in "s.” Names that end in "s” are also more enduring to the community, according to Tom Fugleberg, executive creative director at Olson, a Minneapolis-based branding agency. "I think there's more of a sense of a community when you are a fan of the Blazers and not the Storm,” Fegleberg said. "There's a feeling that you are a part of that.”
The ownership group's silence could be working for them. Rather than deny the report if it is inaccurate, the excitement over the possible name could divert media types and fans from honing in on any other possibilities. This ownership group has used silence to its advantage in the past. Remember, the "Poisoned Well” plan the group's attorneys patiently sat on during the trial with the city of Seattle while the city leaked e-mail after e-mail they thought would incriminate the owners?
Thunder is taken. Forget about the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, and the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League, there's the Oklahoma Thunder of Tulsa and the World Football League. The law might not prohibit Bennett and Co. from using the name, but marketing experts say they shouldn't want to. "You don't want your team confused with anybody else's even if it's in another sport. That doesn't help your brand,” said Vince Orza, dean of the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.
Sit tight. We aren't likely to know the truth for another couple of weeks. Unless of course another few brave souls spill the beans.