Last week it was announced that David Price will be paid $217 million to pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Kevin Durant is working on an all-in $129 million package. And Lebron James is banking $110 million. The current leader in the world of sports is Floyd "Money" Mayweather at an astounding $600 million, with a large chunk coming from his last PPV fight. Soccer star Lionel Messi’s talented toes bring him $148 million. And tennis icon Roger Federer is serving up $134 in combined earnings.
None of these mega-millionaires even come close to the future financial upside of the Golden State Warriors Golden Child, Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry II. The Man with the Golden Arm is the hub of more revenue generating spokes than any other athlete on the current scene. Steph will be coming to the end of his four-year contract paying, which pays him a paltry (in the scheme of things) $44 million. As early as 2017, Curry could receive up to $172 million for a new five-year deal.
The Face of the NBA is clearly the focus on "where amazing happens” -- at Oracle and arenas all over the country. The amount and variety of Curry commerce is an IPO that almost everyone would want to jump on. There is no doubt that he has historic hoop touch on the court, but his moves on the business side are starting to move at hyperspeed, too.
The investment group led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber purchased the franchise from Chris Cohan in July of 2010 for the then-eye-popping sum of $450 million dollars. Forbes Magazine currently values the team at $1.3 billion. Steve Ballmer's purchase of the LA Clippers for $2 billion proves that a team’s value only matters when a billionaire writes the check. These days, and in the near future, the undefeated Warriors would easily sell for double their current value -- or more. Are you listening, Larry Ellison?
Remember when there was speculation that Curry’s fragile ankles were going to cut short his career? Now every signed endorsement deal will be based on his rock solid appeal. Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank can pick stocks for me anytime. His all-in selection of Steph and golfer Jordan Spieth represents one of the most successful exactas in sports endorsement history. Plank and UA have recently extended Curry’s deal through 2024. Beyond the licensing and rights deal he now owns an equity stake in Under Armour. Under Armour is well on it’s way to building it’s basketball business to a billion dollars with Curry as their face and foot. UA’s hoop shoe biz grew at a stratospheric 754 % during the second quarter of 2015. Plank believes that by 2017 22% of his company’s $7.5 billion dollar revenues will come from Curry influenced footwear.
NEW ARENA IN MISSION BAY:
We have already seen an example when one person embodies the influence on helping to build a multi billion dollar stadium when Jim Harbaugh led the 49ers from the depths of despair to a few inches from a Super Bowl victory. That momentum helped the 49ers sell over $600 million worth of seat licenses and hundreds of millions of dollars in presenting sponsorships. The Warriors will be building their own hoops and entertainment palace at Mission Bay, which will cost over a billion dollars. The timing of the Warriors becoming a dominant team with a supernova superstar will overcome any legal speed bumps put in their way. The revenue cash register that the Giants and 49ers have created will be replicated by the Curry Dome. When the Warriors announce a naming rights partner for the arena it will break all Bay Area records and be north of the 49ers-Levi’s deal of $220 million.
CURRENT AND FUTURE ENDORSEMENTS:
Madison Avenue couldn’t have created a better spokesperson than Steph Curry. We have seen his value with UA. And now State Farm, Degree, Muscle Milk, Express and JBL headphones are lined up for a sprinkling of Steph’s stardust. His brand is well on the way to becoming a multinational megacorporation.
FACE OF THE NBA:
In the words of Lee Jenkins in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated making a case for Curry as the magazine’s Sportsman of the Year. "He is a showman and winner, a joy to watch and a terror to guard, the best reason in sports to buy a ticket."
One of these days the Warriors will actually lose a game or two, but it will have no effect on the rising tide that lifts all ships (and teammates of Steph). Taking nothing away from their importance, but would Draymond Green ($82 million through 2020) or Klay Thompson ($69 million through 2019) be the recipients of massive contracts without Steph, an NBA title, and the magical way the Steve Kerr led the team? Harrison Barnes should drop a commission check to Curry when he inks his next contract.
THE YOUNG DEMOGRAPHIC:
This is the sweet spot for marketers and there is no better representative than Steph.
FEEL GOOD VALUE:
It would be impossible to put a monetary value on smiles and the euphoric feeling that Curry creates every time he orchestrates another jaw-dropping play. There is no other player in sports today that is any more golden in making fans feel great. Trying to put a dollar value on that is impossible.
When you add it all up, every sports marketer and fan wants to be in a position to curry favor with Steph. He is well on the the way to becoming a billionaire baller while simultaneously emerging as the poster child for all that is right in the world of sports.