Thunder's home renamed Chesapeake Energy Arena

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The home of the Oklahoma City Thunder will be known as Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder and Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake announced Friday that the company -- the second-largest producer of natural gas -- agreed to a 12-year naming rights deal that will cost $3 million next season and increase by 3 percent each year after that.

Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon is part of the Thunder's ownership group and the company already was one of the team's top sponsors.

Chesapeake senior vice president Martha A. Burger says the naming rights deal will "provide a powerful natural gas branding opportunity for our company, particularly when you consider the national, and even global, reach of the Thunder."