Golden State Warriors Celebrate Their Past, Future With 75th-Anniversary–Themed Intro Video
The video is only one part of the game-day entertainment
After playing nearly six decades in San Francisco and Oakland, the Golden State Warriors are a permanent fixture in California’s Bay Area. In the National Basketball Association’s 75th season, the franchise is honoring its illustrious history — which dates to 1946 in Philadelphia — as well as its promising present and future with a pregame hype video.
“This was a labor of love, and we’re really happy with the results that we’ve seen so far,” says Amanda Chin, VP, brand marketing, Golden State Warriors. “It was a full team effort, and now 18,000 fans in the stands are able to experience the video together.”
Offseason Work: Warriors’ Creative Process Begins in July
While the players worked toward getting into shape for the upcoming season, staffers at the Warriors were busy developing a brand-new idea for home games at Chase Center. This is an annual task, but, because the 2021-22 regular season has special significance, members of the creative crew brainstormed potential concepts and storylines that would dictate the message of their annual intro video.
One fact driving their thinking is that the Warriors are one of the oldest teams in the league (only the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, and Sacramento Kings are older). With that in mind, the crew wanted to keep the team’s passionate fans at the center of the video — especially since the team played before empty stands for almost the entire 2020-21 NBA season.
To bring all of these points together, multiple departments —brand marketing, public relations, basketball operations — worked together. Two people would play pivotal roles: Creative Director Rudy Crew, who was brought in to the organization for his expertise working on the NBA All-Star Game, and Warriors Co-Executive Chairman Peter Guber, who worked on Hollywood productions of movies like Batman and The Color Purple.
“We had the benefit of having Peter, who’s a real expert in production space, to weigh in on the video,” says Chin. “He was aligned with our vision but also provided some input to augment the creative and help it pop in certain areas.”
The goal was to have the video finished by the home opener vs. the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Oct. 21. As in previous years, most of the players seen in the video were captured during preseason Media Day.
Meaningful Details: Footage Spotlights Community Connection, Famous Players
The 1:10 video is packed with noteworthy elements. To make it Bay Area-centric, the video begins with a satellite map of the city and splices in fans wearing Warriors gear on the streets of San Francisco and Oakland. One pertinent nod to the city is the participation of the Illuminaries, a group of local muralists who paint the town with their imagination. Over the years, these artists have been commissioned by other local pro teams: the San Francisco 49ers in San Jose prior to Super Bowl LIV last year, the Oakland Athletics in the city’s downtown in 2017, and the San Francisco Giants to acknowledge their 2012 World Series victory.
Two Warriors-themed murals in Oakland (one of Klay Thompson made in 2019, one of Steph Curry from 2016) appear in this year’s video. More important, the muralists were recruited to create two editions of a Dub Nation flag, one of which would be included in the video and used at all Warriors home games this season.
“Every nation has a flag,” notes Chin. “We didn’t want to dictate what that flag looked like or what it should be. We posted the two flags on social media and had our fans vote on which one they wanted to be brought into the game experience. We wanted to bring [additional] authenticity by having something for the community designed by the community.”
This version of the Dub Nation flag won the contest and now has its own mural in the city.
The flag and murals are key elements, but faces from the past and present show up in the video as well. A few of them highlight the team’s early days, such as Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain from the team’s residency in Philadelphia; Hall of Famer Rick Barry of the Warriors’ first championship in California, in 1975; and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin and five-time All-Star Tim Hardaway from the ’80s and ’90s. Footage from the early 2000s shows a young Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, and Jason Richardson of the 2006-07 “We Believe” Warriors, who defeated the No. 1 Dallas Mavericks as a No. 8 seed in the NBA Playoffs. From the present era, fans can see the three Larry O’Brien trophies won in the 2015, 2017, and 2018 seasons — a jumping-off point for the team’s now grizzled veterans Curry and Draymond Green.
The video also shows the current players in different ways: some clapping and flexing as the video builds to its crescendo, others making hustle plays beneath sayings like “Hard Work” and “Commitment,” and Klay Thompson, who has the only speaking role in the video. Thompson’s cameo in particular receives a lot of positive feedback from fans since he’s slowly making his way back to the court after missing the 2019-20 season with a torn ACL and the 2020-21 season with a torn Achilles. Whether new or old players, all are tied to a team characterized by one simple phrase: Established 1946.
“We wanted to thread the franchise’s long-standing history with our current era,” Chin explains. “A lot of our fans are either new or young, so we were looking to tie everything back to this larger narrative.”
Part of the Whole: Intro Video Kicks Off Dynamic In-Venue Experience
The hype video is vital to getting the crowd into the tempo and energy of the game, but there are a lot more activations in the game-day production: a new soundtrack played during starting lineups (the Warriors have used versions of 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love”), lighting effects, and pyrotechnics. These have become staples of home games, but, under the guidance of Guber, owner Joe Lacob, and other dignitaries of the ownership group, the mission is to innovate and offer a different show every time the team takes the floor at Chase Center.
One new feature evolving this year is to honor team alumni. The home opener included Al Attles, who played 11 years with the team from 1960 to ’71, coached them for 15 consecutive seasons 1968-83, and returned for the 1994-95 season as an assistant coach. As the season progresses, the crew will also highlight special occasions for current players, such as Thompson’s return and Curry’s eventual surpassing Ray Allen for most three-pointers in a career.
“We’re always in a state of beta,” says Chin. “Nothing in this experience is static. I think, the minute the fans come to expect something, we’ve lost that moment of anticipation.”
Celebratory Time: First Full Season With Fans at Chase Center
Last season, fans were able to make their presence felt only from home through the Dub Hub. Now the crowd is back in full strength to a cheer on a squad that is off to a blazing-hot start. From a production perspective, Chin and her colleagues couldn’t have asked for a better environment to work in after operating in an empty building.
“We have a renewed appreciation for this building at full capacity,” she says. “So everyone is striving to create the best possible experience for the fans. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I’m looking forward to improving our show.”
The Golden State Warriors return to Chase Center for their next home game, facing the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET.