Over the last seven years, the Golden State Warriors have taken the NBA by storm and changed the way basketball is played. The Warriors are no strangers to the entertainment and media aspects of the business. They’ve not only been at the forefront of success in the NBA but also have some of the league’s most marketable stars. In 2018 Stephen Curry created a production company called Unanimous Media that partnered with Sony Pictures Entertainment and most recently signed an eight-figure deal with Comcast NBCUniversal for a long-term partnership. Curry is an executive producer for the film Breakthrough, the television series Holey-Moley, and the animated revival of Good Times. Draymond Green signed a multi-year deal with TNT’s Inside the NBA studio show as a television analyst. Green has also appeared in Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Shop: Uninterrupted, and various other television shows. When Klay Thompson was rehabbing from a torn ACL and Achilles tendon, he was a huge social media hit with his dog, Rocco, acted in Space Jam: A New Legacy, and was a voice-over in the animated series STARBEAM.
Members of the Warriors are used to stating their opinion on the court as well. On several occasions, Draymond Green has gone after the media, stated dislike of some NBA rulings, and has encouraged and discouraged some teammates to the public. The most popular incident was with then-teammate Kevin Durant when they got into an argument while playing against the Los Angeles Clippers. Green took a wild last-second shot with the game tied that sent the game into overtime in which the Warriors ultimately lost. Also, head coach Steve Kerr has expressed his opinion on many issues happening in the country such as gun regulation and police brutality. When he had crippling back pain, he later became a small advocate for marijuana use for NBA players. Due to their success, the Warriors’ members are not afraid to state their opinion and to be in the spotlight. This makes them the perfect professional sports team to be in front of a camera and to create content.
Now the Golden State Warriors have announced the launch of Golden State Entertainment. The team’s top legal executive, David Kelly, will oversee the division as its chief business officer. The Warriors want to leverage the team’s brand outside of sports, “telling the stories of people that shape culture and move culture,” Kelly told CNBC in an interview. They already have documentaries lined up with two former guards, but they are not able to publicly announce their names yet. K Pop star BamBam is already partnered with the Warriors and will have a new single released by them. The Last Dance’s success gave the Warriors the idea to create entertainment like this to get their stories out. Similarly, they are also looking to partner with a streaming service like Netflix to stream their content.
The only downside is that Article XXVIII Section 1 of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) restricts the team from licensing additional content around active NBA players. A documentary about Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, or Draymond Green will have to wait until they retire from the NBA. Without the NBA media rights of active players in the CBA, there would be a lot of copyright issues on who exactly owns the rights. When it comes to entertainment copyright is one of the most important aspects of the business to have correct. Luckily, the Warriors have a history of NBA legends that they can highlight. Hopefully, more professional teams create this type of entertainment as well. Located near Silicon Valley it should be no surprise that the Warriors are going all-in on media and technology.
Chris D'Avanzo is a 2L at Hofstra Law and Hofstra Men's Basketball Manager. He can be followed on Twitter @_chrisdavanzo.