Golden Rush: How the Warriors’ Value Surged Over the Last Five years

There’s money in winning, after all.

Back in 2011, Forbes valued the Golden State Warriors at $363 million, the 12th most in the league. A couple of championships later—along with the league’s huge television deals and sponsorships—the Dubs are now the third most valuable franchise in all of NBA with a net worth of $3.1 billion.

That’s not a bad investment at all for majority owner Joe Lacob, who bought the team in 2010 for a then league record $450 million.

The Warriors have undoubtedly grown rapidly with the NBA, and today we’ll look at how they managed to become such a valuable franchise over the past five years.

2014 (Team Value: $750 million)

In 2013, former minority owner (and now Sacramento Kings owner) Vivek Ranadive sold his share of Golden State for a price that valued the franchise at $800 million, the highest-ever value placed on an NBA team back then.

That certainly helped the team’s stock to rise. However, a large part of it can also be attributed to their improved performance behind players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and David Lee. In fact, the Warriors have seen a tremendous increase in their attendance record (794, 230) in the 2012-13 season.

2015 (Team Value: $1.3 billion)

The value of NBA teams rose significantly in 2015, thanks in large part to the nine-year, $24 billion TV deals with ESPN and Turner. The league’s media deals with Walt Disney and Time Warner also helped in boosting the worth of its franchises.

For the Warriors though, the growth of their local television audience played a huge role in their over $1 billion valuation.

Oh, and who could forget the impact of the LA Clippers’ sale to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion?

2016 (Team Value: $1.9 billion)

Sure enough, a brilliant 2014-15 season capped with the Larry O’Brien trophy benefited the Warriors greatly.

Not only did they double their merchandise sales during their title-winning run, but they also sold out every game for the second season in a row!

Of course, with revenues on the rise in the NBA, the increase was expected. Nonetheless, it can’t be denied the Warriors’ on-court success made them a money-making machine.

2017 (Team Value: $2.6 billion)

The arrival of Kevin Durant and the team’s record-setting 73-win season paved the way for the team’s brand to skyrocket.

They did lose in the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but having an All-Star lineup of Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green gave them more eyeballs on TV, more butts in arena seats and a bevy of new sponsors.

The construction of Chase Center—the Warriors’ soon to be home—also began.

2018 (Team Value: 3.1 billion)

Three straight trips to the finals and two championships had the Warriors surpassing the $3 billion threshold.

An obvious incentive to winning, as proven by Golden State, is that they continue to fill seats despite higher ticket prices. The franchise increased admission prices by 25 percent this season, but fans continue to flock to the Oracle Arena—with thousands more on their waiting list!

The team also signed a three-year, $60 million patch deal with Japanese tech company Rakuten, which includes other sponsorship elements.

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