Sports Business Journal/Daily has named the Golden State Warriors as the Franchise of the Decade across all professional sports teams, recognizing the NBA team’s innovation, impressive basketball-related achievements, business opportunities, the opening of the state-of-the-art Chase Center and their community efforts.
“We are truly humbled to be recognized with this prestigious honor by the Sports Business Journal, especially when you consider the number of outstanding organizations across all sports,” Rick Welts, Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement. “The past decade has provided our fans, business partners and all constituents with many incredible memories, and it’s the hard work and dedication of every single player and employee that enabled us to achieve our goals and ultimately share in this organization-wide, strength in numbers recognition.”
Led by head coach Steve Kerr since May 2014, the Warriors were able to pick up three NBA Championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and made history as the first NBA team to achieve five consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2015-2019) since the Boston Celtics in 1957 to 1966. The Bay Area-based group has sold out each home game of the last six seasons during both the regular seasons and playoffs, along with garnering more than 40,000 fans in their Season Ticket Holder Priority Wait List, known as the Dub Club.
Despite losing to the Toronto Raptors this 2019, the Warriors still have a reason to celebrate. The opening of their Chase Center in September marks the first and only privately-financed sports venue built on private property in modern sports, boasting the largest square footage of surface LED space on a scoreboard in the league plus the industry’s first-ever membership program that will be fully refunded once the 30-year membership term is over.
In 2016, the Warriors were awarded Best Analytics Organization at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference after the team invested in and implemented data-capturing devices, such as SportVU cameras that monitor a player’s movement throughout a game. The Warriors were also the first team in the league to share new tech elements like the interactive live stream of practice on Google+ Hangouts, the creation of a team app on Google Glass and numerous improvements in their previous home of the Oracle Arena, including the first-ever sound amplification testing in the NBA, the installation of an Instagram Wall and the installation of Apple Pay inside.
Outside the court, the Warriors lead the league in revenue three years running and has increased the NBA’s revenue by over 1,000% this past decade. In the 2014-2015 season, the team was the league’s Co-Retailer of the Year, thanks to their strong practices in team merchandise sales and operations. In addition, Warriors goods have been the top-selling merchandise in the NBA since 2014.
The decade’s success also greatly reflects on the franchise’s community efforts, with the Warriors Community Foundation granting over $12 million USD to local non-profits to directly support education and youth development in the Bay Area. Alongside the foundation, the Warriors Basketball Camp enlisted the highest amount of total camper participation and led the NBA in youth basketball camps held.
In case you missed it, TIME has named the USWNT as 2019’s Athletes of the Year.