The Golden State Warriors are a premier franchise in professional sports. When Stephen Curry was drafted in 2009, the Warriors were worth $450 million. They are now worth $4.3 billion, the third most valuable team in the NBA and the fifth most valuable team in pro sports.
With unprecedented on-court success, sound ownership, exceptional management, and camaraderie throughout, the Warriors organization is a shining example for how a sports team should be run, with passion, intensity, hard work, and dedication.
Culture of Joy
The Warriors basketball achievements are a product of its internal structure. There is a culture of joy, of teamwork, of cooperation that is deeply embedded within the organization, and those cultural aspects have been instrumental in delivering three NBA championships and making it to five straight Finals appearances in the middle of the last decade.
Golden State plays as a team on the court and its executives, such as owner Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers, display exceptional synergy off the court – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in the Bay Area.
In Lacob, Myers, and head coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors have authentic, methodical leadership, which is so important in sustaining a winning team. The seamless marketability of the team’s championship nucleus, Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, has made the Warriors the leading team in corporate partnerships.
Relentless Marketing Approach
The Warriors led the league in revenue from 2016-2019, currently lead the league in marketing engagements, and led the league in online and retail merchandising sales from 2014-2018.
The team’s swanky, state-of-the-art basketball palace in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, the Chase Center, opened in September 2019. It is the first privately-financed sports venue built on private property, and it has received high-marks from attending fans and is one of the most technologically-sophisticated venues in the NBA.
No organization is perfect. Every team, no matter their prosperity, has some flaws. Ticket prices for Warriors games have skyrocketed since the opening of the Chase Center. The Warriors had the second-most expensive average price for a ticket for the 2021-22 season at $589, a nearly 30 percent increase from last season. Finals tickets at Chase Center have ranged from $590 to $6,900.
Although the Warriors have one of the most loyal fan bases in the NBA, they are a business, and as the team keeps winning, the price of a ticket will correspond with their success. Until the organization finds a way to provide more cost-friendly ways to get fans to games that may not have the means to do so, the over-pricing of tickets will continue to be a glaring weakness.
The move from Oracle Arena in Oakland to the Chase Center in San Francisco alienated homegrown fans, and raises a question of identity for the organization: Are the Warriors a team for the town in Oakland, or the city in San Francisco?
The Warriors have limitless engagement opportunities. Golden State is an active participant in the Bay Area community and committed to the interests of their fans. The Warriors Community Foundation has raised more than $12 million for educational and youth development non-profits since 2012. The Warriors Basketball Camp leads the league in youth basketball camps held and youth attendance.
The analytics movement in the NBA has been spearheaded by the Warriors, in which they make calculated basketball and business decisions that are governed by reliable data. Sportvu cameras follow the ball and players on the court, and every shot in practice and in games is tracked by Google Cloud tools.
Tonight, Golden State is on the cusp of winning its fourth title in eight seasons, one step away from reinforcing its spot in basketball immortality.