Owners' Box: Joe Lacob Answers Fan Questions - 7/27/11
Fans are encouraged to send questions to OwnersBox@gs-warriors.com. All questions will be read and we will answer as many as we can, so check back for updates throughout the season.
Wednesday, July 27 (4:25 p.m.)
Joe Lacob Answers Fan Questions
The "War Room" on Draft night provided an exciting experience for Warriors owner Joe Lacob. (photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
Refreshing effort on this year’s Draft. I am a 40-year fan and it is nice to see your group being assertive and creative.
ANSWER: Thanks for the e-mail, Jeff.
We have said since Day One that we plan to be aggressive and assertive and I think that was apparent on the night of the Draft. I'd rather be a buyer than a seller and, personally, I think the NBA Draft is a great way to build a team and an effective way to add assets. We are going to take any steps necessary to help us achieve our goal (a championship caliber team) and, as they say, will leave no stone unturned.
On a secondary note, I will admit that our first draft with the Warriors was quite exciting. There is a lot of energy in the War Room and it's exciting to have an opportunity to improve your team and listen to the various opinions from the likes of Larry Riley, Bob Myers, Jerry West, Mark Jackson and the rest of our Basketball Operations staff. It was a productive night.
Dear Mr. Joe Lacob and Mr. Peter Guber,
First of all, thank you very much for your ownership of the Golden State Warriors. Already, you brought a good energy and effort in raising the level of excellence in all respects for this Bay Area franchise. Most of all, you have communicated well to this enthusiastic basketball fan base.
I commend your hard working sales staff and promotional efforts. With a family, we usually take advantage of the Club 200's meal deals or the group promotions such as the Asian-American Night and Fellowship Night. Because of the deals, we were not only able to take my entire family of four, but also take the grandparents and invite several family friends. My 12-year-old son loves watching the game, but he always makes sure I am informed of the merchandise deal of the night. Please keep up the promotions from the group nights to t-shirts nights to meal deals. This certainly gives good affordable incentives for the family. And perhaps, in the future, we may take advantage of the lower section deals as resources allow. But, hey! Please tell the t-shirt team squad to shoot or throw the t-shirts to the 200's sections every now and then and make sure the concession stands have a good portion of ice tea drinks available. Hopefully, in the future, we can see more photo opportunities for the young fans like my kids at the arena, too.
Glenn M. Pon
ANSWER: Thanks, Glenn, for the kind words.
One of our goals as an organization is to continue to make it possible for families to attend games. We realize how hard our fans work for their money and that there is an expenditure involved when you commit to take four, five or six people to Oracle Arena. Plus, I think it's a great way to spend some quality time with your family, including, in your case, your extended family. We'll continue to offer various promotions as we move forward and I know that Peter and his group are working hard on making sure all of the other elements that you mentioned – the t-shirts, concessions, etc. – are also a positive part of your experience. As you know, there is a lot more than just basketball that goes into our business and we try to make sure every element – from the results on the floor to the various entertainment aspects – are on-point and top-notch.
Thanks for your support.
You have mentioned on many occasions that the Warriors need to get better and improve. I'm curious as to how the team can compete with some of the teams in the larger media markets and bigger cities? How can you make the Warriors a more attractive place and realistic destination?
ANSWER: Thanks for the e-mail, Bill. And, a very good question, indeed.
We think – and I assume you would agree – that the Bay Area is one of the best places to live in the country, if not the World. We have everything that a family could want in terms of culture, diversity, beautiful surroundings, great weather, entertainment options, outstanding food/restaurants and a multitude of other intriguing pluses. Additionally, from a media standpoint, the Bay Area is the fifth-largest media market in the United States. With that said, we do consider ourselves a "big city" and an extremely desirable location. I also believe that establishing our team as a serious destination starts at top with myself and Peter. We need to prove that we are committed to building a first class organization and a championship caliber team. We can achieve that by continuing to do some of the things we've done during our first year of ownership and building a solid reputation around the league. I can assure you that reputations are pivotal in this business and if we can establish a reputation as an ownership group that is 100 percent committed in all facets of the organization, there is absolutely no reason we cannot be a desirable location and one that can rival the likes of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
The addition of Jerry West to the team's executive board is one of many moves that Lacob figures will improve the team from top to bottom. (photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
I am a life-long Lakers fan, who just recently built a vacation home in Northern California. Your move to place Jerry West in the Warriors organization has gained you another fan! I look forward to supporting the Warriors this year (at least against every team except the Lakers) and will definitely make plans to attend games when I am spending time in the Bay Area.
Congratulations on adding Mr. Clutch to your executive team, and also the very nice addition of Coach Mark Jackson. Well done!
ANSWER: Thanks, Gary, for the e-mail.
As you can imagine, we are extremely excited about the addition of Jerry West to our Executive Board and as a member of our organization. He is one of the greatest winners in the history of the sport, dating back to his days as a Hall of Fame player and, later down the road, as one of the top executives in the league. From my perspective, you can never have too many winners in your organization. He'll provide us with invaluable insight and his instincts, intuition, knowledge and relationships will prove beneficial to everyone in all scopes of our organization. He's a basketball lifer and he'll be a tremendous asset to our organization.
Thank you for announcing, when you took over the Warriors, that you plan a lot of changes!!
I hope that one of them will be in the radio station that broadcasts your games. KNBR is a powerful station, if you are listening to 680, but very weak if you are trying to get the games on 1050. As a loyal fan, and Season Ticket Holder for most of the time, since 1975, it is very irritating when we have to try to listen to games on 1050.
As a major sport, I feel you are entitled to a station’s best. If they want to air so many of your games on their “weak sister” station, you are entitled to demand 680, or make a change in stations. And – your fans are entitled to be able to hear the games clearly. Hope you can get KNBR to see the light, or that you change stations if they don’t.
ANSWER: Thanks for the e-mail, Terry.
The Warriors have had a long and strong relationship with KNBR dating back several decades. As you know, their primary station (680) is 50,000 watts and from what I'm told can be heard from Canada to Mexico at certain points of the day. That is certainly a positive and few stations around the country have that reach and ability. I understand your concerns on the selected number of games that are aired on their sister station (1050) and I will look into this with our broadcasting department.
Dear Joe and Peter,
I’m excited to see what you have planned for the team going forward, and pleased to have just renewed for my fourth season now. I have a few suggestions for the upcoming season:
1. Model your promotions schedule after the Giants. They create a ton of demand for games just around the promotions (bobbleheads especially). Use the promos to boost ticket sales for some of the less popular games. As far as I can remember, there were not any compelling giveaways at the gate that pulled any attendance like this.
2. Step up the game on the food service. It's not just the food quality though, on packed games, the service throughput is horrendous. It can take up to a full quarter to get through the line and back to your seat. Totally unacceptable, not to mention that lost revenue from people who actually want to buy concessions but are turned off by the long slow lines. For best in class in terms of vendor partnering, look at what the Mets did at Citi field in partnering with local restaurants. There are so many great options around the Bay area, that the Warriors should be able to get better food at the games.
3. In the upper level, replace the metal guard rail with glass. This of course probably only affects a small number of seats, but it would greatly improve the viewing experience, as the bar is an obstruction that forces you to lean forward or backward in your seat to follow the game.
It sounds like you have a great vision for the organization, and I wish you the best of luck.
ANSWER: Thanks, Andy, for the e-mail. We truly appreciate your support as a Season Ticket Holder.
I value all input and feedback from fans in regards to their experiences and recommendations at Oracle Arena, including both positive and negative. We certainly want to know about the areas that our fans feel need an upgrade and I can assure you that we will evaluate every situation. We are committed to a great fan experience for everyone and it's a priority for us to achieve that result.
I know we did several promotional giveaways last season and, from what I understand, that is par for the course and will continue. I don't know the exact figure, but I would say we had, roughly, 15 giveaway nights last season. The organization has incorporated bobbleheads in the past and we are evaluating the possibility of having them as a promotional item again at some point in the future.
In regards to your food service input, this is something we will certainly evaluate, especially the time it takes for you to be served when there is a big crowd. As you noted, it would not be acceptable for our fans to have to wait an entire quarter to be served. In regards to the variety of food served, several new options have been introduced at the arena in the last two years and it is an area that we are constantly reviewing and improving. We'll continue to do so.
Hi Mr. Lacob,
I have been a STH for several years and I am thrilled to finally have new ownership to compliment the great fans that turn out year after year. I am hoping that you will not only turn things around on the court but in the food venues as well. I am not talking about the price, I understand it is what it is. Cold burgers, stale pretzels, fried, greasy chicken make it really hard to have dinner at the game without consulting a cardiologist. Many people who skip the food would give you an additional revenue source if it was possible to choose healthier alternatives. Looking forward to next season.
Thanks for listening!
ANSWER: Thanks for the e-mail, Howard. We appreciate the nice words.
I understand your concerns and want to reiterate that we are completely committed to making the overall fan experience at Oracle Arena a great one. We're not only concerned with improving our product on the floor and our won/loss record, but we aim to take the exact same approach in regards to other areas, including food service. I know the precise topic that you have addressed – healthier food – is an area that we are looking to improve next season. We know that having those options available is important for our fans. America is more health-conscious today than at any time in our history and we plan to adapt with the changes in our society.
Thanks for the input,
Retaining Larry Riley and adding Bob Myers in the front office is part of Joe Lacob's plan to make the Warriors a world class organization. (warriors.com photo)
Don’t know why I’m doing this, but just wanted to send along good wishes. Read a couple of the e-mails from some fans that tweaked me so just wanted to say great job this year in building the organization. Changing the culture and building a sustainable infrastructure is right on the money!! The recent moves with Riley and Myers are awesome and spot on.
I am a pastor of a fairly large church in Oroville, Calif., and a lifetime Warriors fan so getting to the games is always a challenge. I try to make a couple of games a year and watch the Dubs on League Pass every game. (DVR is awesome btw!). So keep up the good organizational work and setting the stage for the good things that I sense are coming. Just as in our personal lives, the corporate/business world is an inside-out challenge.
Blessings on you and yours,
ANSWER: Thanks, Dennis, for the nice words. I really appreciate it. It's gratifying to hear many of the positive responses that we've elicited since the ownership change and it's our job to make sure we provide you a reason for those to continue. We'll try out best, I can assure you.
Peter and I have been extremely busy since we assumed ownership last November and we're starting to get things in order. Our plans are to make this a World Class organization from top to bottom. We also want to make you proud that you are a Warriors' fan and reward you for your loyalty by putting a championship caliber team on the floor.
Thanks for all of the support and, yes, I would agree that League Pass and DVRs are two of the greatest inventions of our time.
Hi Mr. Lacob,
I just want to thank you, Peter Guber, and the Warriors Season Ticket Staff for working hard to put together the Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Party. This is my second season as a Season Ticket Holder after doing mini-plans with my cousin for a number of years. How many sports Season Ticket Holders can say that they actually shook hands with the team owner?
The only thing I would like to ask about having this event again next year, is that maybe we could expand on the three-hour event timeframe? Although I feel like many fans were able to get a lot of things done in three hours, I think even a fourth hour would have been great. I didn’t get to do the locker room tour, which I wanted, so I’ll ask my ticket rep if we could do that next season.
Thanks again and I’ll be paying attention to offseason news to see how our team improves for next season,
Engaging with fans is one of Joe Lacob's favorite parts of the job. (photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
Thanks for the e-mail, Paul. We really appreciate your support as a Season Ticket Holder.
I'm encouraged to know that you enjoyed the Season Ticket Holder event that we had at Oracle Arena in April. I'll be honest with you, it was one of my favorite events of the season and I think it's important for us to reward our Season Ticket Holders with exclusive events throughout the course of the season. Personally, I really enjoy having the opportunity to mingle with our fans, say a few words or simply shake their hand. That's important to me. I hope we can do a similar event next season.
I will pass along your suggestion to our staff about the possibility of extending the time of such an event in the future. As a fan, I would have relished the opportunity to tour the locker room. I'm sorry you did not get a chance to squeeze that into your schedule, but most importantly, I'm glad that you enjoyed the event.
Thanks, again, for your support,
Dear Joe Lacob and Peter Guber:
The first thing I would like to say is congratulations on the new ownership and you have no idea how happy I am that you guys took over. I feel like the team has new life, and that the Warriors are headed into a very positive direction. You two are clearly men of high intelligence and I know that you two will help the Warriors win and succeed. As a huge die-hard Warriors fan, I usually watch every game on TV, unless I am at the game myself. What I want to ask you is: Is there any way that I can meet and get autographs and/or pictures with the players? I have gone to Sports Gallery in Downtown Walnut Creek and met Warriors players when they have signings. They don't seem to do that anymore, at least not as much as before. If I attend games early, can I meet them during their warm-ups? Have you ever considered hosting a special signing or a chance for fans to meet with players?
Thank you for your time as you two must be very busy, but I appreciate and look forward to hearing from you two.
Brian, Walnut Creek
ANSWER: Thanks, Brian, for the e-mail.
We have a multitude of events throughout the season (and off-season) where you may have an opportunity to get an autograph or meet members of our staff. The best way to find out about the dates and times of those events is by following us on Facebook, Twitter or visiting our Web site (www.warriors.com). We have various events throughout the summer and during the season at different locations around the Bay Area and those social media outlets will highlight those appearances and keep you apprised of the schedule. As an example, our Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Larry Riley, was at one of our Summer Basketball Camps in Saratoga last week. Larry addressed the kids at the camp and signed autographs.
Can you please tell me what have been the most fun and challenging parts of owning the Warriors so far?
I do appreciate having this open communication with the fans!
ANSWER: Thanks for the e-mail.
First, I enjoy the open communication with our fans. I think you deserve, as a fan of our team, to hear the thoughts of the ownership group on occasion. We will not be readily available every single day, but I want to have the opportunity to communicate with our fans frequently, whether it is via the Owner's Box, KNBR, the Contra Costa Times or in person at Oracle Arena. We need to have a voice and you deserve a voice.
The most exciting or fun part of my experience thus far has been, as you might expect, the games. I was a very passionate fan prior to becoming the owner and now, with a personal investment in the team, that passion has expanded ten-fold. I would venture to say that our initial game as owner, when Peter and I had an opportunity to address the crowd, was probably the most exciting. As I recall, we beat the Detroit Pistons after nearly losing a 32-point lead. It was an incredible game.
The most challenging aspect of owning the Warriors has been the patience that I've had to exercise. From the beginning, I understood that everything can't be changed overnight. It's a process. Like most fans, I'd love for us to immediately be a 50-win team and a championship contender. The reality is that it's not that simple. We will do our best to make this a very good team in as short amount of time as possible, but we will be smart in our decision-making, which will enable us to sustain our growth and be competitive each and every season.
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