The Golden State Warriors: Capturing Opportunities with a New Ownership Group

By George Foster, Amanda Luther
2011 | Case No. SPM55 | Length 24 pgs.

In 2010, venture capitalist Joe Lacob pursued his lifelong dream to own and operate a professional sports team. Three months after he purchased the Golden State Warriors basketball franchise, Lacob reflected on the team’s history, and progress to date under his leadership.

Lacob had prepared for this challenge by becoming a member of the Boston Celtics ownership group, where he was witness to the Celtics’ NBA championship season in 2007-2008. Lacob used this experience to frame what he planned to do as owner of the Warriors, and how he hoped to improve the franchise. Key to his strategy was boosting the team’s on-the-court results, as well as renegotiating the Warriors’ local TV contract with Comcast, increasing sponsorship revenues, and improving the team’s arena.

Learning Objective

Students will gain an understanding of the forward side of acquiring and running a professional sports team, as well as the complicated back-of-house juggling to strengthen team management and secure sponsors. The case study also provides insights into the difficulties managing fan expectations—including the all-important question of securing the optimal arena deal.
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