Bolstered by the grand opening of the all-new Chase Center, a rediscovered sports spectacle and an ever more influential Warriors brand, Golden State has become the highest-grossing franchise in the entire NBA with $474 million pocketed from the franchise. calendar year 2021 according to the magazine Forbes. The other 29 teams are in retro, ball and money go hand in hand in San Francisco.
This is a record amount, and one that exceeds all of us. Never in the history of the Big League has a franchise raised so much money directly related to basketball in one year. The Knicks’ previous record – 472 million – is narrowly beaten, but broken nonetheless. That said, it’s no secret that Golden State needed it. In total, the Warriors will have spent nearly $184 million this season on salaries and Luxury Tax payments, again far ahead of other teams. Suffice to say that Joe Lacob’s checkbook must have been quite useful in this financial bazaar. So if you were wondering how the defending champion could afford to slam so many biffs, the answer is pretty clear: they had plenty of money. But it is still necessary to understand where all these cash inflows come from… Because the sources of income are diverse, and will undoubtedly only increase over the years.
Let’s be honest right away, it is currently not possible to know precisely the exact amount received by the Warriors in each of its areas of activity. We would like to be in the accounting office of Golden State, but we prefer to save our aspirins for the Jazz-Spurs next winter. The objective is not to know “how much?” but rather “where does it come from?” “. First, it’s important to remember that the franchise’s $474 million in revenue is only what Golden State has collected from basketball. Here, we are therefore primarily talking about the profits made by the ticket office. And what a ticket office… In this brand new Chase Center where the fans thrilled during the last Playoffs, the price of a place quickly becomes… exorbitant. As a reminder, the journalist of The Athletic Tim Kawakami had claimed that the Warriors were hoping for nearly $15 million in revenue from each game of the 2022 NBA Finals. According to CBS, it was therefore necessary to pay nearly $1,759 on average to attend. A delirium. Still, we must also account for jersey sales, where Stephen Curry is also first in France, as well as TV rights or even sponsors ($20 million annually with Rakuten until 2023) , sources of income guaranteed to be paid once the agreement is concluded.
With 3 home games in each West round, the Warriors have grossed approximately $72 million box office. ($7M per game in 1st two rounds, $10M per this round.)
They’re now guaranteed at least 2 Finals home games, when they’re expected to gross $15M+ per game.
Total gross of $102M.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 27, 2022
However, according to CNBC, the franchise’s true revenue is understated due to partial counting by Forbes overlooking the true impact of two revenue streams in particular. The first concerns non-NBA events taking place at the Chase Center. Because although a major part is integrated into these 474 million dollars, 25% is not accounted for. And in the case of Golden State, this is far from anecdotal. Indeed, the franchise itself owns its hall (which cost it $1.4 billion), thus recovering all the profits generated by concerts, shows, etc. which can accommodate up to 19,500 people. Basically: one time out of four, the income generated by such events ends up in the pockets of the Warriors without necessarily being counted as income related to basketball. It should not be forgotten either that the franchise monetizes the surrounding real estate where it welcomes a tenant who is also a partner: Uber. The transition is complete since the second underestimated source of income concerns the nascent partnerships made by the franchise.
If there is one non-sporting objective that Golden State is doing everything to achieve, it is to extend its influence to all possible fields of activity. Asked last April about it on CNBC, team president Brandon Schneider claimed that the but of the Warriors was to become ” leaders global in terms of projects and digreening“. To do this, the latter explained that he wanted innovate around technology because of their presence in the Bay Area, which he considers ” the epicenter world of technology“. This is why the franchise is trying to expand its partnerships with ticket exchange platforms such as Stub Hub or Ticketmaster, for example by launching SuiteXchange a few months ago, its own bifton exchange platform devoted to the luxury suites of the Chase Center and exploiting blockchain technology. And then leave to go in all directions, as well go free. That’s why Golden State has struck a new $10 million sponsorship deal with FTX, a crypto platform that sells, among other things, NFT having already brought in $2 million for the Warriors. Golden State Entertainment (GSE) – a subsidiary of the Warriors – is also expected to produce documentaries, release albums and look into music festivals with help from the company Mandalay Entertainment owned by… Peter Guber, second owner of the franchise. An activity that will allow it to benefit from the income of Apple or Netflix, which will be able to accommodate (and has already started this year), the content produced. A hell of a montage that Schneider justified during this same intervention for CNBC:
« Disney has started as a Park of attractions, them Warriors have started as anot crew of basket. look this that disney is becomeu, and look this that them Warriors become. […] When we were building the Chase Center, we were talking about we transform in anot society of sport AND of entertainment with anot bOnne crew of basket as corner stone. […] We have a plan, maintain ourselves at a high level and invest, and we have of the chance having owners loans at invest on and enot out from ground. This is crucial and we given a advantage competitive. »
Obviously, and what is not specified in the publication of these raw figures… is that there are taxes in force, applicable to the income affected by the franchise, that is the owner Joe Lacob (and Peter Guber). Because if a state like Texas hardly takes the amounts collected, this is not the case of California which recovers up to 13.3% of income of all kinds. But this income tax starting in the direction of the State is far from being the only one in force. Indeed, another part is recovered by Adam Silver (in particular the ticketing or the TV rights) while a last one goes to the federal State, in particular because of the entertainment tax which applies within the framework of the NBA. In 2021 and despite the huge amount they owed the League, the Warriors therefore accumulated nearly $ 200 million in operating profit. More than enough to pay the taxes imposed on them.
If these 474 million dollars represent an amount never seen before in the Great League, it could nevertheless be that the latter is quickly beaten. According to sources inside Golden State, the franchise hopes to reach nearly $700 million in revenue (!) this year, while continuing to piggyback on all kinds of projects or partnerships. So the next time you wonder if the Warriors’ finances will hold up, you can rest assured.
Text sources: Forbes / CNBC / CBS / Bleacher Report