In 2017, the Golden State Warriors made $91.9 million, and this was after they contributed $42 million to the revenue-sharing of the NBA league. The team has been on an upward trajectory; in 2010 when Jacob and Peter bought the franchise it was worth $450 million but the figure has increased by more than eight times.
In 2017 Forbes valued the franchise at $2.6 billion, and in 2018 the amount had gone up to $3.1 billion while in this year it has hiked to reach $3.5 billion. It is currently ranked third overall in the NBA but the second overall in income with $401 million in 2017-18. Despite the increasing expenses as portrayed by the player increases salaries and luxury tax, they managed to have an operating income of $103 million, before tax.
If you are wondering how they make their money here are some of the sources of income.
Contractually obligated income
In 2018, the Chase Center was expected to bring in $2 billion in contractually obligated income upon its opening in 2019. The amount was even more than what the team had projected for the facility that has a capacity of 18,000 seats. At that time the team’s executives did not disclose the specific amount of the contractually obligated income that comprises short and long-term financial commitments from selling sponsorships, suites and membership fee for season-ticket purchasers. However, they claimed the new arena would set a new benchmark for the industry.
Come March 2019, the expectations of a new industry benchmark were attained even before the doors opened. They made $2 billion which was more than twice the projected contractually obligated income, and we can only expect the money to go up further when the arena officially opens on September 6. Each seat costs around $35,000 depending on location meaning if they are all occupied, the income goes up to nearly $600 million.
As per ESPN, the Golden State Warriors make more money every night compared to all other teams in the league. Truth is the team rakes in $3.4 million through gate revenues for each game, and although the ticket sales have continued to decline through the years, once the team moves to the Chase Center, the revenues will rise despite the tickets costing more.
Television deals have for years been a significant source of income for sports teams, and although the Warriors cannot come close to the over $100 million that the Lakers have, their future is getting brighter with each new deal they sign. In 2010, the team agreed to long-term extension rights with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with which the Warriors have had a media partnership since 2002. They still are on the media contract with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area from which they get $30 million. However, the deal is up for renewal in the next few years, and the TV revenues could double to reach $65 million.
In 2014, there was an impending deal between the NBA and ESPN that was expected to rake in $24 billion over nine years. The contract was an improvement from the then-deal which was $930 million per season but was due to expire in 2016. It comprised $485 million per season by ESPN and $445 million by Turner. However, the new arrangement resulted in ESPN paying $1.4 billion per year while Turner pays $1.2 billion. In 2017, the Warriors may have earned the second most money in the NBA, but that was no thanks to the TV money. While the Lakers made $141.1 million from a local contract and the Knicks netted in $104.1 million, the Warriors only made $29.8 million.
In September 2017, The Warriors signed an agreement with Rakuten, a Japanese tech company in which the team will sell the space on their jerseys for the next three years. According to sources then the agreement was worth $20 million per year which became the second-highest from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors have Rakuten’s genuine logo with black and red on their white jerseys, the gold version on the slate jerseys and white version on the blue jersey. The team’s winning streak in the three years preceding the signing of the contract had attracted different sponsors, but the Warriors decided to go with a worldwide brand despite being offered even larger deals. In 2017 season a sponsorship evaluation team estimated the team’s exposure to generate $32 to $37 million from Rakuten’s logo in the following season.