The Seattle Supersonics is the progenitor of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The club was founded in 1967 and based in Seattle, Washington.
In 2008, the Seattle Supersonics club was sold to an investment company from Oklahoma. In the same year, the team moved to Oklahoma City. Team owner Clay Bennett has announced that the club will change its name and will be called the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Supersonics name, logo and team colors are available for any new NBA team from Seattle. The history of the club will be divided between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the new team from Seattle called Supersonics (if it appears).
The name Thunder is associated with the climatic features of the region. The fact is that Oklahoma City is in an unfavorable place, which is known as the Tornado Alley. Gales, thunders, tornadoes, and storms are frequent in this region. The same name Thunder is a tribute to the Indian tribes who lived in the state of Oklahoma and called themselves as Thunders.
The nickname Okla is short for Oklahoma. Rumble the Bison is the talisman of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Meaning and History
When the Thunder basketball club from Oklahoma City was called Supersonics and was based in Seattle, he managed to change six emblems. After moving to a new state, the team chose a different name and conducted a global redesign. True, fans criticized the new logo: in a recent poll in the winter of 2020, it was recognized as one of the worst in the NBA. The reason for such a low rating is the lack of a graphic link to the nickname Oklahoma City Thunder.
A team combines the orange-black and raspberry-cream colors of two universities in Oklahoma, or an organization that creates its breathtaking style. The Thunder could make absolutely any logo, even the simplest ones, and everyone would love it. The point is that the inhabitants of the Indian state were happy to have a club that performs in one of the leading leagues of the United States.
Moving is always a challenging process, but creating a team logo is a small but pleasant thing. Since then, the Oklahoma City Thunder logo has become a symbol not only of the basketball club but of the whole Oklahoma land. Fans from all over the state, regardless of their passions, united in their love for the Thunder.
Recently, a well-known basketball journalist Zack Lowe said that the team logo has already become outdated and needs to be upgraded. Even though this is only the opinion of one person, his words have caused heated debate among the residents of Oklahoma on the Internet in the past few days. Opponents of the update write that the logo doesn’t matter for the success of the Thunder. They consider that it must be “left alone,” as well as the fact that everyone has got accustomed to it. Everyone recognizes the popular franchise by this image. But proponents say that the emblem is too complicated, trivial, and overloaded with unnecessary details. Clay Bennett noted that the light blue color coincides with the state flag (which shows love for the team in all cities). Yellow means sunshine and the reddish-orange hue symbolizes the sunset of the heavenly body. The value of this logo for some people is even more appreciated than its appearance.
Another argument of supporters is that the creation of a new logo will improve merchandising. Therefore, the fans of the team will stand in numerous queues to acquire the club’s symbols with a new emblem. The old form will remain in the past. But if you wear the outdated logo, it will show that you’ve been a fan of the Thunder from the very beginning and has always been supporting the club. The updated logo can become the face of the NBA, as the Celtics or Bulls emblems nevertheless, while the emblem remains the same as it was invented for the team when it moved to Oklahoma.
1968 – 1970
In 1968, a new promising basketball team appeared in the city of Seattle, the western part of the United States. It was named after the shuttle – Supersonics. One of the club’s earliest emblems depicts Seattle’s main attraction, the Space Needle. The observation tower is located inside the ball, surrounded by an arcuate strip tapering at the end. This is a trace from the shuttle, which gained height and flew through the inscription “SEATTLE SUPERSONICS”.
The 1971 logo is not so conceptual. Designers left a green ball and placed the name of the team in the center, written in white letters.
1972 – 1975
A year later, the developers again returned to the space theme. But they depicted the shuttle not literally, but abstractly, giving the word “SONICS” the shape of a flying ship. He heads to the planet in the form of a basketball. Above the tail of the first letter, “S” is a reduced inscription “SEATTLE SUPER.”
1976 – 1995
Eight years after the creation of the first club’s logo, the designers decided to diversify the color palette. After the 1976 redesign, another color appeared on the emblem – yellow. Designers painted the inside of the ball, which is half-cut and looks like a semicircular window. Behind the improvised window, you can see the silhouettes of Seattle buildings and among them the recognizable tip of the Space Needle. The name of the club is written in two lines below.
1996 – 2001
The 1996 logo is more colorful: designers used several orange shades to represent the word “SONICS” in large letters. The name of the city is not so noticeable – it is written in small white print. As before, the basketball has a central place: together with the lower part of the Space Needle, it forms the letter “I.” The background is an inverted side oval of green color with a yellow-red contour.
2002 – 2008
These six years were the last in the existence of this basketball team based in the city of Seattle, as well as the name Seattle Sonics. In the last five years of the existence of Seattle Supersonics, basketball players have worn a multi-component logo, consisting of a circle with a ball, a large white letter “S,” and a green hexagonal plate with the inscription “Seattle Sonics.”
2009 – Present
In 2008, a number of global changes took place. Firstly, the team moved to another city. Secondly, it became known as Thunder. Thirdly, the world saw its debut logo, which, as the majority owner of Clay Bennett admitted, combined elements from logos of other clubs: Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls and Oklahoma Sooners. There is no official version for the word Thunder in the title. However, two assumptions were made too. So, Oklahoma City is in the area of frequent tornadoes and hurricanes, usually accompanied by Thunder. Another assumption was about local Indians who used to call themselves like this.
The first Oklahoma City Thunder brand name, introduced on September 3, 2008, contains a triangular shield with a fragment of a basketball and large white letters “OKS.” Behind the shield are two lines of light orange and blue. Above is a semicircular inscription “THUNDER.” This word appeared not by accident: it was chosen as a club nickname as a tribute to the Indian heritage.
Font and colors
THUNDER is written in elongated blue sans serif letters. For abbreviation, the club used its stylized font. “OKS” is gradually narrowing, making it seem like it is moving away. A similar trick can be seen in the 1996-2001 Seattle Supersonics logo. Thanks to the dark blue contours, the white inscription looks three-dimensional.
In addition to blue, there are other colors on the logo: reddish-orange, yellow, and light blue. According to Clay Bennett, the first symbolizes the sunset, the second denotes the sun, and the third coincides with the shade of the national flag. So the team owner tried to justify the choice of the palette when fans began to criticize the logo that was not bright enough, in their opinion.