Typically, I pay little attention to the regular season of basketball or hockey and tune in when it gets interesting in the playoffs. Baseball I just ignore until the playoffs—I do follow football (Cal and the NFL) week-to-week.
But, how to do you ignore 22 in a row (27 over two years) as a winning streak. I have been around long enough to remember the Los Angeles Lakers tying together 33 games in a row. The Warriors’ stunning success last year concluding with the NBA Championship—who could believe that Steve Kerr and his coaching staff could make that much of a difference over the staff led by Mark Jackson?—grabbed my attention along with much of the Bay Area.
The unusual moniker, Golden State, is a hangover from former Warriors’ owner, the iconic Franklin Mueli, who moved the team from the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco to the Oakland Coliseum. The coliseum was then renovated with luxury suites, club seats and the amenities expected in a modern sports facility, but it clearly does not meet the expectations of the current ownership that has been moving ahead with its plans to build a new arena in San Francisco.
In terms of corporate support, it is simply night and day when it comes to potential corporate dollars. San Francisco abounds with both a tech-based corporate community and the traditional businesses, while Oakland (Uber-to-be the exception) is missing in action when it comes to corporate headquarters (there’s Clorox and Kaiser Permanente to name the two). There was a reason the 49ers were happy to decamp from Candlestick to the wealthier turf of Silicon Valley—the same goes for the Warriors in San Francisco vs. Oakland.
It’s also the huge challenge faced by the Raiders—there are many successful small to mid-size businesses in the East Bay that could buy suites, etc., but there’s a dearth of significant corporate headquarters willing to invest six or seven figures in cash to sponsor the club. The Black Hole does not help.
Compare that visual with Steff Curry and his daughter or Klay Thompson. Where would you put your marketing dollars?