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Thunder wear sets new record in opening sales period

By Mike Baldwin Published: September 5, 2008
Thunder merchandise is a hot item.

So hot, the Thunder set sales records the first 24 hours after the Oklahoma City NBA team announced the nickname.

XP Events, the Thunder's merchandising partner, works with six pro franchises. According to XP Events president Alan Fey, non-game day sales records were established for the company at both the team store in downtown Oklahoma City and online.

Lines were so long Thursday morning at the Thundershop, the team store opened at 8 a.m., two hours early.

Based in Denver, XP Events is a three-year-old company that has contracts with the Charlotte Bobcats and Phoenix Suns in the NBA, the Florida Panthers in the NHL, the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL and baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I've been in this business a long time and it's been a pretty amazing experience,” said Fey, who flew to Oklahoma City for the team store's grand opening. "For a store this size, to have this much volume on site, and online, there's been a lot of excitement and energy.”

Sales also were brisk Thursday at Academy Sports and Outdoors' three Oklahoma City locations.

"There's been a mad rush,” said David Good, Academy's regional marketing director. "Our pricing is really good which is why people are buying like crazy. The buzz around town has created quite a demand.”

Desmond Mason, a veteran NBA forward who played at Oklahoma State, signed autographs for two hours Thursday night at Academy's northwest Oklahoma City location.

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Oklahoma City Thunder's Desmond Mason signs an autograph at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Oklahoma City on Thursday. BY MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN

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