Stephen Curry # 30 from the Golden State Warriors heads to the basket during a match against the Washington Wizards on March 14, 2022 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California.
Noah Graham | National Basketball Association | Getty Images
The Golden State Warriors are back in business.
After two years of pandemic challenges, the NBA franchise has resumed plans to become the world’s most valuable sports franchise. The Warriors are worth over $ 5 billion. Up from $ 3.5 billion According to people familiar with the team’s finances, it’s a pre-pandemic value and revenues are expected to exceed $ 700 million this year.
The club has plans to drive growth, including recent new cash streams Launched Golden State Entertainment Split. The venture will follow similar efforts to exchange internal tickets, develop partnerships with crypto companies, and leverage the blockchain sector to monetize NFTs or non-fungible tokens.
Brandon Schneider, president and chief operating officer of the team, said the project is the key to helping him leave the basketball court as it is today.
“”Disney Schneider told CNBC “it started as a theme park.” “The Warriors started out as a basketball team. See what’s happening at Disney and what’s going on with the Warriors.”
Schneider spoke with CNBC on April 14th. The day removed from his first anniversary The Warriors president has been announced. He took over that position from longtime executive Rick Welz, who retired last year.
He said the Warriors’ goal is to transform into a “world leader in experience and entertainment.” He added that the organization will “take advantage of the brand’s strengths” and innovate around technology “because it is in the Bay Area, the world’s technology center.”
If the Warriors strategy is successful, the team can surpass the New York Knicks as the most valuable NBA franchise.
Knicks is rated at $ 5.8 billion Ranked 3rd in Forbes The most valuable sports team The list behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, Equivalent to $ 6.5 billionAnd MLB’s New York Yankees, Equivalent to $ 6 billion.. The Warriors are in 6th place.
Bryce Ericsson, a sports evaluation expert and senior vice president of Mercer Capital at Advisory Farm, said: “I think it’s possible.”
Sports ratings are often inflated and mostly fictitious, excluding formal and public sales. Experts use multiples of revenue, add operating profit, adjust for revenue sharing, and reach the number of other club-related assets that may include real estate.
But aside from the high valuations, the Warriors have already beaten the competition. According to Forbes, the Warriors led the NBA in basketball-related revenue in 2021, at $ 474 million in 2021. Meanwhile, Knicks revenue fell from $ 472 million to $ 421 million. This can be the result of pandemic-related losses.
Adding revenue from other events in Chase Center and other early revenue streams in the warrior will make the team much more profitable.
Stephen Curry # 30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after making a three-point basket to break Ray Allen’s record with the appearance of New York Knicks Alec Burks # 18 during a match at Madison Square Garden on December 14. .. 2021 in New York City.
Al Bello | Getty Images
Andrew Lustgarten, President and Chief Executive Officer Madison Square Garden Sports – Knicks Holding Company – The company said it is focusing on sports gambling as an opportunity to make money.
“MSG Sports has many growth opportunities for its business and the brand as a whole,” Lustgarten said in a statement to CNBC. “The Knicks portfolio offers significant benefits in many key areas, including ticketing, premium hospitality, jersey patch sponsorship, expanding sponsorship in the international market, and new mobile sports betting and crypto partnerships.”
Ericsson said “the benefits of location and the benefits of market size” could help the Warriors make money for Knicks. He referred to the HBO series “Winning Time,” which recorded the Los Angeles Lakers’ attention in the 1980s against the backdrop of innovation.
“Things will change,” Ericsson said. “What was the Lakers before (Jerry Buss) bought the team? They were a struggling franchise in a struggling league, and their timing was perfect. That is, 40. After more than a year, are the Warriors the same effect? There’s nothing they couldn’t do, especially from an economic point of view. “
Asked if the Warriors are aiming for the highest rated spot in the sport, humble Schneider downplayed the mission.
“I think we’re much bigger than that,” he said. “I understand why people focus on it and why it’s interesting, but (owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber) – they never sell Warriors, so third parties make our organization Not so in terms of wanting to evaluate. Our focus. “
The Warriors’ new GSE division is expected to create in-house content in partnership with Mandalay Entertainment, a company founded by Guber. GSE will produce a documentary, release a new single featuring K-pop star BamBam, and explore the music festival.
But most importantly, GSE aligns the Warriors with future licensing revenue from streaming giants such as: Apple,This year Welcome sports content On that platform, and NetflixThis needs to be creative Resolve subscriber issues..
“We have been in the content business for many years,” Schneider said. The Warriors are already helping the NBA break the TV viewing record. “We are thinking a lot about consumers directly.”
Brandon Schneider of the Golden State Warriors will speak next to the arena model at the Warriors office next to the Future Chase Center in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
Lee Suzuki | San Francisco Chronicle | Hearst Newspaper by Getty Images
In February 2022, the Warriors released Suite Xchange, A luxury suite ticket exchange platform in the Chase Center. Leverage blockchain technology to enable teams to retrieve data and transaction fees.
“We believe the Suite Exchange can be a stubhub or ticketmaster for the suite,” Schneider said. “This just scratched the surface.”
Schneider said the Warriors were discussing with other clubs to use the service, but did not reveal the team due to privacy concerns.
“This is just the beginning,” Schneider said, referring to the motto used by the team owners. “That became our mantra.”
The team also deepened its partnership with crypto platform FTX, which signed a $ 10 million global sponsorship agreement with the club earlier this month, with NFT sales exceeding $ 2 million.
FTX has announced a collection with 3,000 NFTs. One of them contains two tickets for all home playoff games. NFTs are priced at $ 499 each.
Schneider said the Warriors are creative and “if you have the right experience, you can make money.”
Warriors during Welz’s 11-year tenure Beyond the Los Angeles Lakers As the second most valuable team in the NBA.
According to Welz, at least part of its success is due to franchise star Stephen Curry. Stephen Curry has been the face of the NBA, leading the Warriors to three championships since 2015.
“When your best player is not only his athlete and talent, but also him, you can get a good start by trying to create something special,” Welz said. Told CNBC in 2019.
Schneider has vowed that the organization will continue to protect and strengthen its main attraction, the basketball team.
The Warriors have the highest salaries in the NBA, aiming for the fourth NBA title in the last eight years, spending more than $ 180 million on the 2021-22 roster. The club welcomed co-franchise star Klay Thompson this season. Draymond Green is still causing havoc. And the Warriors seem to have a nova in Jordan Poole.
In 2021, the Warriors agreed to an extension of four years with Curry. The deal begins next season and pays a 34-year-old person an average annual value (AAV) of $ 53 million per season. SpotracA website that tracks sports contracts.
“We have a plan, we want to be consistently in good shape, we want to invest,” Schneider said. “And we’re fortunate to have a ownership group that makes a lot of investment in what we do in and out of court. It’s important and gives us a competitive advantage. increase.”
And with Curry locked in, the team’s jersey patch media assets could be on the verge of breaking another NBA sponsorship record.
The Warriors contract with e-commerce company Rakuten expired in 2023 and reportedly pays the team about $ 20 million annually.It’s unclear that the Warriors are asking for a renewal price, but for comparison, Brooklyn Nets Win the league’s best $ 30 million annual contract A 2021 patch using the online trading platform WeBull.
Asked where the Warriors want to be in 2030, Schneider said, “We will continue to win the championship, do great things in the community and expand our fan base around the world.”
“When we were building the Chase Center, we talked about transforming into a sports and entertainment company, and it happened to have a pretty good basketball team as a highlight,” he said. I did.