Grab your FREE copy of the 60 Low & No Cost PR & Marketing Strategies eBook*



*By submitting your email, you will receive the eBook & also sign-up for Carol’s newsletter
Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Strategy: The Oklahoma City Thunder Marketing Debacle

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on Strategy: The Oklahoma City Thunder Marketing Debacle

We live in a time of business tactics.  Companies and individuals get so caught up in a project, idea or tool, that they forget about strategy.

Strategy tests purpose and goals and also thinks through opportunities and pitfalls.  When you put into place tactics without strategy, you open yourself up to a debacle.

Take the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team, for example.  For their home playoff game this past Saturday (which they won at the last second in a very exciting fashion), they gave every attendee a team shirt.  They beautifully displayed the shirts on each attendee’s chair:


Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

This seemed like a fabulous marketing gesture to create a stadium filled with OKC supporters.  However, the shirts, given out at the Thunder’s home stadium, weren’t the color of the Thunder’s home uniforms (which were primarily white).  However, they were pretty much the exact color of the Dallas Mavericks’ away uniforms, which they were wearing to play that day.  The result, it looked like the entire crowd was rooting for the opposing team (the Mavericks instead of the Thunder).

Here’s a picture of the Maverick’s Dirk Nowitzki,with the OKC crowd behind him.  Notice how they match!


Photo from

While it was a great idea to give everyone a shirt, the ball was dropped (pun intended) when they picked a color that matched the opposing team’s uniform.  Even if these were printed weeks in advance, the team could have gone through the likely teams that could have been Thunder opponents to make sure that on television and in person it didn’t look like the entire stadium was supporting the rivals.

Bottom line, strategy always should precede tactics and be used along the route as a litmus test for all decisions.  Otherwise you create a stadium full of supporters for your rival team during a playoff game.

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth