As Spurs cash in on Wembanyama a bigger payoff awaits
Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, was interviewed by the San Antonio Business Journal on the San Antonio Spurs securing the right to the first pick in the June NBA draft and the opportunity to select Victor Wembanyama, "who some have called the best prospect since LeBron James." According to the article, since securing the right, the Spurs have received deposits for roughly 3,500 new season tickets.
In discussing the potential long-term payoff of securing Wembanyama, Irwin noted "I've been around for a little bit... There are No. 1 picks and then there are generational No. 1 picks."
The article reports that NBA teams have key revenue streams beyond league media deals including merchandise and concession sales, which naturally increase when ticket sales increase.
Irwin stated that "[t]his doesn't mean that San Antonio has to wind up world champions next year," noting that "'meaningful improvement' next season could also potentially drive more valuable media deals here at home." In addition, if the Spurs are more successful with Wembenyama, that could drive up investor interest and ultimately the franchise's worth.
"What's going to have a significant impact on value is continued success and building of the brand over a sustained period of time," said Irwin. He also noted that not every No. 1 pick pans out, and for Wembanyama, time will tell. Irwin concluded, "It's nice to see a team like San Antonio, especially after their glorious past, reinvigorate the fan base."
Read the full article in the San Antonio Business Journal here. Access may require a subscription.