Thunder ups sales

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff games give a boost to local restaurants, retail shops and other businesses.
by Brianna Bailey Published: April 28, 2014


photo - 
Cristen and Chad DeJager and Alisha Jannelli, back, have dinner April 21 at Deep Deuce Grill before Game 2 of the Thunder’s playoff series with Memphis. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
  DOUG HOKE -
Cristen and Chad DeJager and Alisha Jannelli, back, have dinner April 21 at Deep Deuce Grill before Game 2 of the Thunder’s playoff series with Memphis. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman DOUG HOKE -

Weekend crowds for Thunder games during the regular season boost Brown’s business, but during the NBA Playoffs, more people will go out to the bar to have a few beers and watch the game, Brown said.

“Even if it’s a weeknight — the playoffs are the playoffs,” he said.

Spreading the wealth

Beyond hotels and restaurants, local retailers and food wholesalers also get a boost from playoff games.

Oklahoma City food distributor Urban Agrarian provides locally grown produce, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef and other food to the team’s private chef to feed the Thunder players before and after home games. The business also supplies food for the team at its practice facility. Urban Agrarian began supplying locally grown produce and other Oklahoma products to Center Court Grill at Chesapeake Energy Arena last fall, which has provided a big boost in profits to the food distributor, said Shiloh Kile, sales manager for Urban Agrarian.

While she always has been a Thunder fan, Kile said she now has even more reason to cheer for the team.

“It’s pretty awesome now — the further they go, the more profitable it is for us,” Kile said, “With a few more home games this season and now the playoffs, our sales have almost doubled.”

More playoffs games mean more T-shirt sales for Plaza District retailer Tree and Leaf Clothing. Each year, Tree and Leaf partners with a local sports blog to design a limited-edition Thunder T-shirt for the NBA Playoffs for sale at its shop at 1705B NW 16.

The first few years the Thunder went into the playoffs, Tree and Leaf’s playoffs shirts sold well because of the novelty of Oklahoma City having its own NBA team, Tree and Leaf co-owner Dusty Gilpin said.

This season, Tree and Leaf expects every playoff game to help T-shirt sales a little more.

“Now our fans are a little more used to it, and the further the team goes in the playoffs, the more we sell,” Gilpin said.

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the Univerisity of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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From top: Thunder flags hang from a building in Automobile Alley. * Cristen and Chad DeJager and Alisha Jannelli, back, have dinner at Deep Deuce Grill before Game 2 of the Thunder-Grizzlies playoff series. * A car enters a parking lot in Bricktown. * Traffic moves along E.K. Gaylord Boulevard. * The Iguana Mexican Grill bus carries fans.

Photos by Doug Hoke and Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman/ Design by Todd Pendleton, the Oklahoman graphics

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