The stage is set. The Oklahoma City Thunder will be playing in the NBA Finals, after knocking off the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night and becoming Western Conference Champions.
Now, Thunder Fever is sweeping across Tulsa, and there are plenty of businesses looking to capitalize on the Thunder's roll through the playoffs.
Small tents and stands selling Thunder merchandise are popping up all over Tulsa. One such stand at the corner of E. 91st St. and S. Sheridan Ave. even takes credit cards, and has been selling between $500 and $1,000 worth of Thunder gear everyday.
Rod Gatte runs the stand. He lives in Louisiana, but has been in Oklahoma for two weeks running his stand. He said there was too much competition in OKC.
"Every corner has somebody there," Gatte said.
So he took a gamble that there would be Thunder fans in Tulsa.
"There's been a lot of fans," he said. "My sales have been matching the booths in Oklahoma City."
But Gatte worries people won't buy from him out of fear he's running an illegitimate business.
"We had to buy this license from the City of Tulsa
. And then at the end we have to report our sales and pay sales tax and stuff on it."
Much of the merchandise he sells is officially licensed NBA Thunder gear. But his t-shirts are not.
"It's not that they're knockoffs, but there's certain rules we can follow," he said. "We can't put certain things on the shirt."
Official Western Conference Champion shirts were hard to find in Tulsa on Thursday. Big box stores like Academy Sports and Outdoors and Dick's Sporting goods were selling them. But streetside stands and small stores like Bedlam Sports were not.
Bedlam Sports does sell licensed NBA Thunder shirts, but chose to skip the conference champs shirts and focus on the NBA Finals.
"It's a very small window," Bedlam owner Steve McCormick said. "I mean, the Thunder won last night. Tuesday they start the Finals. It takes a couple of days to get those kinds of shirts in."
He said big stores like Academy and Dick's can afford to order Conference Champion shirts for both teams, so they're prepared no matter which team wins. But for small stores like McCormick's have no interest in Spurs shirts, and were unwilling to gamble on ordering Thunder conference champs shirts ahead of time.
"If for some reason they didn't win it, then you're stuck with those shirts."
But he is more prepared to pull the trigger on NBA Finals shirts.
"If Oklahoma City wins it, we've got orders set up to where if they do that, we will get product shipped to us."
But there are plenty of fans who don't care what the shirt says, as long as it shows Thunder pride.
"My husband has recently joined the bandwagon and has jumped on, and now a big fan," Erin Brown said. "So, he wanted some Thunder gear, and he didn't have any. So, I'm trying to load him up."
"Everybody needs Thunder-wear," Janet Guest said.
The easiest way to tell official NBA gear from knockoffs, is to look for the official NBA hologram sticker on the product. All legitimate products should have the sticker.
Non-licensed Thunder shirts, like those Gatte sells, get around the Trademark laws by never using words like Thunder, NBA Finals, or any NBA logos that are trademarked.