Night after night in the 2012 NBA Finals, fans across the country and possibly the world are going to hear the words “Chesapeake Energy Arena” when referring to the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder as they face the Miami Heat. They will undoubtedly equate the brand with the winning image of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden at some level — and that’s just the sort of positive PR the company needs right now.
Team co-owner Aubrey McClendon has been stripped of his role as chairman of the board, although he remains CEO, for shareholder frustrations that he used company assets for personal gain. The NBA Finals, therefore, are giving him and his company the chance to rebuild their image a bit.
Kirsten Salyer of Bloomberg Business Week writes, “This opportunity is especially potent with the Thunder holding home-court advantage in the finals, said Dany Berghoff, vice president of business development at 21 Sports and Entertainment Marketing Group. ‘Unless it’s proven that the scandal went beyond the CEO and is endemic to the company, the exposure Chesapeake Energy will get from the NBA finals is the most beneficial it could have gotten for the money they spent,’ he says.”
Of course, this is a small side note most NBA fans could care less about, but within the larger framework of sports business, this could be an invaluable PR asset for the company at just the right time.
For more on the 2012 NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heatcheck out Welcome To Loud City and Peninsula Is Mightier. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.