The Boston Celtics have a history that dates back to 1946; ownership has changed hands 14 times, and today they rank among the top basketball teams in the NBA. Since 2001-02 season until the 2017-18 season, the revenue for the Celtics has almost tripled from $96 million to $287 million, consistently rising except for few declines in the 2008-09 season and between 2009 to 2012. For the last three years, the Celtics have retained their fifth position among the most valuable franchises in the NBA. As of February 2019, their value was estimated to be around $2.8 billion, increasing from $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The team has not always been making billions. Matter of fact is they were worth $274 million in 2003, but they have climbed their way to the top thanks to the many revenue sources among which are:
As the Sports Business Journal reported in July 2011, the Boston Celtics were in the process of extending their media rights with Comcast SportsNet New England by 20 years through to 2038. By then the team had a deal with Comcast that saw them receive $15 to $20 million per year, an amount that was not at par with the franchise’s value. However since the contract was to expire in 2017, the extension led to a better financial arrangement for the team.
According to Forbes, currently, the Boston Celtics get $36 million in rights fee which is double the amount they were getting before the extension. Further, the Celtics took up 20% stake in the sports network, and although the specific details of the deal remain undisclosed, the Celtics received a hefty signing bonus, and the rights fee will increase steeply in the first several years.
Adage detailed the information surrounding the General Electric and the Celtics sponsorship deal that entails the Celtics receiving more than $7 million per year for three years. Both sides did not reveal the specifics although the Jersey sponsorship discussions had begun earlier in 2016 and Steve Pagliuca settled on General Electric as the ideal partner. The Celtics became the third team to enter into a jersey sponsorship deal after the NBA approved the move through a three-year trial period starting from the 2017-18 season to help teams make additional money. By September 2017, 14 NBA teams had signed up for the jersey sponsorship deals with the Warriors having the most lucrative contract that earns them $20 million per year.
General Electric moved its headquarters to Boston in 2016 and took advantage of the opportunity that the NBA presented by moving in to have the 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches logo on the Celtics jerseys. Additionally, the Celtics according to the Boston Herald also get a joint community service initiative as well as data and analytics to improve performance and prevent player injuries.
Naming rights revenue
According to Boston.com Business, TD Banknorth entered one of the most expensive deals in the country in March 2005 when it bought the naming rights for the FleetCenter, for $6 million per year. In June 2005, TD Banknorth Garden replaced the FleetCenter name. According to ESPN, the change in naming rights came after Charlotte acquired FleetBoston Financial Group for $48 billion in 2005 and preferred not to have a new naming rights deal, leaving the door open for bids which TD Banknorth won. The naming rights deal with the Celtics will run through 2025 by which time TD Banknorth will have paid a total of $119 million to the Celtics.
According to Statista, the gate receipts for the Celtics have increased over the last eight years from $59 million to $88 million in 2018. However, the significant boost came in 2017 when the revenues hiked to $77 million since before then they were averaging between $56 million and $59 million except for 2013 when they were $62 million. The price of tickets is not consistent and depend not only with the game but also the seat location since of course the better the view, the higher the cost. One game can have tickets ranging from $41 to $1,270 while yet another will be between $76 to $6,805. In 2016, the gate revenues were $56 million with each fan raking in $29 for the team.