NBA 2023

The annual report on the most valuable and strongest NBA brands

Brand Finance NBA 2023

Warriors' Gold Rush: Team’s Brand Value Hits $1.5 Billion

  • The Golden State Warriors are in a league of their own with a brand value of USD1.5 billion
  • The LA Lakers are the NBA’s strongest brand
  • The Boston Celtics climb up the brand value ranking to 3rd
  • The LA Clippers enter the top 5
  • The Denver Nuggets' historic championship win leads to a brand value and brand strength increase

The Golden State Warriors are in a league of their own with a brand value of USD1.5 billion

With a brand value of USD1.5 billion, the Golden State Warriors maintain their position as the world's most valuable NBA brand, significantly outpacing the second-ranked Los Angeles Lakers, whose brand value stands at USD842 million.

Entering the 2022-23 season as reigning champions, the Warriors were defeated by the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. Consequently, the Warriors suffered a negative impact on their Brand Strength Index (BSI) score which dropped 2.4 points to 83.7 out of 100.

Despite the San Francisco-based team's on-court performance falling short of the expectations fans have grown accustomed to, their brand value remains remarkably high, driven by record-breaking revenue from the previous season. The team's business strategy has rapidly evolved beyond traditional basketball, driven by strategic partnerships in Silicon Valley, an enriched fan experience for its social media followers, and the innovative use of the Chase Center.

With a winning culture as their foundation, and under the helm and clear strategy of Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, the Golden State Warriors have propelled themselves to six NBA Finals appearances in the last eight seasons – a truly remarkable feat for the once struggling team. This has developed the brand’s strength which, when paired with a constantly evolving and growing business strategy, makes them a force to be reckoned with.

Hugo Hensley, Head of Sports Services, Brand Finance

The LA Lakers are the NBA’s strongest brand

The LA Lakers boast the league's highest BSI score with an 86.8 out of 100, earning a notable 1.4-point increase from last year. This uptick can be attributed to their improved league performance and securing a place in the playoffs for the first time since 2021, even though they were ultimately defeated by the 2023 champions, the Denver Nuggets (brand value USD155 million).

Having superstar LeBron James in their ranks, who broke the NBA's all-time leading scorer record earlier this year, and certainly one of the greatest players ever, has significantly impacted the LA Lakers’ valuation. It has not only provided them with a competitive advantage and drawn other top-tier players to the team, but also heightened fan engagement and created new business opportunities off the court.

Alfred DuPuy, Valuation & Strategy Director, Brand Finance North America

The Boston Celtics climb up the ranking to 3rd

Climbing two spots in the ranking, the Boston Celtics are now the third most valuable NBA team, with a brand value of USD589 million. Tied with the Lakers for the most NBA titles at 17, the Celtics once again performed well in the Eastern Conference league last season but were ultimately defeated by the Miami Heat (brand value USD333 million) in the conference finals.

The LA Clippers enter the top 5

The Los Angeles Clippers have jumped five spots to 4th with a brand value of USD455 million. In October last year, the team introduced ClipperVision marking the NBA's first direct-to-consumer streaming platform and a significant shift in the fan viewing experience. ClipperVision could hold substantial growth potential, particularly in an evolving media landscape. However, with the increasing competitiveness of the TV industry and market oversaturation, as well as viewers experiencing subscription fatigue, we have yet to see whether this will translate into a shift in viewership or an uptick in revenue. As of now, there haven't been any indications of other teams venturing down a similar path but will nonetheless be interesting to monitor.

The Denver Nuggets' historic championship win leads to a brand value and brand strength increase

Winning their first championship in franchise history in the 2022-23 season, the Denver Nuggets have climbed three spots in the ranking to secure 20th position. The team’s BSI has also jumped an impressive 6 points, to rank 14th for brand strength.

The team's success can be largely credited to Nikola Jokic, the unanimous Finals MVP, who, alongside Jamal Murray, guided the youthful squad to victory over the Miami Heat. With a roster boasting young talent and the Nuggets securing Jokic with a historic contract extension in June, the team is poised for ongoing success, both on and off the court. The Nuggets are a team to watch in terms of brand value growth over the next few years.