Stephen Curry’s new contract costs an average of more than $50 million a year — and the Golden State Warriors can afford it

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Stephen Curry is one of the few megastars in the National Basketball Association. Now he will go down in history as the first to win multiple contracts over $200 million.

The Golden State Warriors agreed to another extension with Curry — this time a $215 million four-year deal that expires in 2026. Curry’s new pact averages him about $53 million a year, including nearly $60 million in the last year. of the agreement. Under NBA rules, the Warriors can’t announce the deal until August 6, but a person close to the matter confirmed the deal to CNBC.

Curry, 33, is coming from a 2020-21 NBA season in which he led the league in scoring (32 points per game), 42% shot from three-point distance and was named to his seventh All-Star team. His current five-year deal of $201 million expires in 2022, so the Warriors had to tackle the matter. The Warriors were unlikely to let Curry leave, and while his contract numbers made headlines, the team business allows this contract to take care of itself.

By securing Curry beyond next season, the Warriors protected their competitive team’s revenue streams, including $20 million a year jersey sponsorship. The Warriors bring in nearly $500 million per season, according to Forbes, with expectations coming closer to $700 million annually. Before the pandemic, the $1.4 billion Chase Center in San Francisco drew more than $3 million in gate revenue per Warriors game.

That real estate helped owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber boost the team’s value to an NBA-high $4.7 billion. They paid $450 million for the Warriors in 2010.

At the time, Curry was making just $2 million a year coming out of his rookie season. Plagued by injuries, he competed with former Warriors guard Monta Ellis for franchise prestige. Nevertheless, the team made the playoffs under Curry’s reign in 2013 after averaging 28 wins per season over its first few years. And the value grew as the wins piled up.

Curry led the Warriors to the first of five consecutive NBA Finals in 2015, winning three championships and two MVPs. The Warriors’ company then exploded. The Chase Center had commitments of $2 billion in tickets and other contracts tied to the building before it opened, and the Warriors’ international appeal grew, especially throughout China, the NBA’s main overseas market.

Within the Warriors organization, someone owes basketball manager Larry Riley, the man who drafted Curry, a thank you card.

“We went from a team that, when they were ready to play, expected to lose, to a team that believed they had a chance to win first and then expected to win,” former team president Rick Welts told 2019 CNBC. a gigantic shift in the culture of the Warriors.”

Curry also dominates off the field

If he gets to the end of this contact, Spotrac estimates Curry will be close to $500 million in basketball revenue — minus taxes, of course. And by then, he’ll only be 37, which means Curry can get more out of basketball if he stays active.

Throughout his time in the league, Curry has helped the entire NBA, including the recent regular season.

The NBA play-in game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Warriors averaged 5.6 million viewers, with Curry and fellow megastar LeBron James. The NBA wants to add the concept to its annual schedule to justify a higher media rights fee. Having Curry and James tested as the competition helped the viewership stats around the format.

“If your best player is not just the athlete and the talent that he is,” Welts said of Curry’s appeal, “but also the person that he is, you have a tremendous edge when you’re trying to create something special.”

Curry’s success also helped build his brand off the field. He brings in about $40 million in aid and has an equity stake in companies such as beverage company Oxigen. In addition, Curry started his investment company SC30 and has a stake in San Francisco-based technology company Mos and Guild Education, based in Denver.

“You have to be strategic about it,” Curry told CNBC in August 2020 of seeking equity partnerships. “You have to have the right team to manage the future and those relationships.”

Curry carries the Warriors brand on its crossover opportunities, which include events such as the famous Turner Sports golf games. He has over 50 million followers on social media (Twitter and Instagram), and his popularity among new-age sports fans is top notch for male athletes. Curry finished fourth in the top five most favorable women’s sports supporters’ athletes in The Sports Innovation Lab’s “Fan Project” report. The research firm notes that “Fluid Fans” — those who show no alliance with teams — support Curry’s advocacy of women’s sports and appreciate his personality.

Curry’s brand away from basketball has solidified. And with this extension, the Warriors positioned themselves to take advantage of his time remaining atop the NBA megastar landscape.

Correction: This story was updated to correct that Steph Curry’s contract, which expires in 2022, is $201 million over five years.

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