Toronto Raptors ranked 18th overall on NBA Business Power Rankings
May 4, 2012
Out of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, the Toronto Raptors also find themselves ranked just outside of the league’s top-16 when it comes to overall franchise operations.
The National Basketball Association franchise is ranked 18th overall on the NBA Basketball Business Power Rankings compiled and produced by The Sport Market. The rankings combine on-court (basketball operations as measured by winning percentage during the regular season) and off-court (business operations as measured by major sport business indicators such as box office and franchise valuation) performance to rate NBA teams according to overall franchise management and results.
For the full list of 30 NBA teams on our NBA Basketball Business Power Rankings, go to:
The Raptors score their 18th-overall ranking based on a winning percentage of .348 that is 24th best among the 30 teams who played this year’s shortened 66-game schedule and a business operations ranking of 12th.
Not including luxury suites and club seats, the Raptors drive an average nightly box office of about $791,000 at the Air Canada Centre on the strength of an average attendance of 16,835 according to NBA.com and ESPN.go.com and an average ticket price of $46.98 according to the TEAM Marketing report. Forbes.com has valuated the franchise at $382 million, which is 12th best in the NBA.
“The Toronto Raptors, like their MLSE brothers, the Toronto Maple Leafs, are underperforming on the field of play compared to their bullish results on the business side of the equation,” said Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN Radio 1050 and TSN.ca/radio. “They’re not underperforming as much as the Leafs are (24th on-ice and 1st off-ice) but they’re still behind the curve, so to speak.”
Mayenknecht believes the Raptors have all of the essential ingredients required to be a top-10 NBA team, both on and off the court.
“The Raptors have all the elements of a team that should be among the top-10 in the NBA as far as overall franchise management is concerned,” noted Mayenknecht. “They are in the fifth-largest sports and entertainment market in North America and are strengthened by an ownership structure that also includes the Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, the Toronto Marlies, the Air Canada Centre and more. A playoff berth is the next requisite step in order for the Raptors to build on their current 12th- place in business operations. Movement on court is what’s needed to get the team into the top-10 in business and overall.”
Playoff contention, according to Mayenknecht, would easily propel the Raptors into the top-10 in NBA attendance and box office production.
“A winning team would translate into top-8 if not top-5 status in the NBA in terms of business operations performance,” suggested Mayenknecht, who served as the team’s communications and public relations executive in its pre-operational phase in 1994-’95 before accepting an offer to become Vice-President of Communications and Public Relations for the old Vancouver Grizzlies.
Mayenknecht noted that the relocation of the Vancouver Grizzlies continues to be the “worst trade in NBA history” given the business performance of the team in the Memphis market. The Memphis Grizzlies, who left Vancouver in 2001, are dead last in business indicators, averaging a box office baseline of only $360K per game (with attendance of 15,704). The team is also the lowest-valuated team in the NBA according to Forbes.com at $269 million.
“Despite a solid team on-court and an impressive playoff run last year, the Memphis franchise can’t seem to get on track with the kind of things that will make them a stronger business proposition, including attendance, TV ratings and sponsorships,” said Mayenknecht, who served the team in 1995 and 1996 in their first two years in Vancouver. “I would suggest they are right up there with Sacramento as an NBA franchise in a very vulnerable position.”
The top team for the second straight year on the NBA Basketball Business Power Rankings are the Chicago Bulls, whose playoff hopes are badly-diminished after MVP Derrick Rose suffered a season-ending injury in Chicago’s opening round series.
Chicago finished the shortened 2011-’12 NBA regular season with 50 wins in 66 starts for a league-best on-court ranking of 0.758 in winning percentage. The Bulls are also holders of the league’s third-best business results. The #1 on-court and #3 off-court combine to put the Bulls at the top of the NBA Business Power Rankings again this year.
“The loss of Derrick Rose is devastating news for the Bulls and their fans because getting to the NBA Finals is what matters most to both, but there’s no denying the Chicago franchise has become a well-oiled NBA basketball machine these past two seasons,” said sport business commentator Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TEAM 1040 and teamradio.ca. “When you combine equal weighting for their basketball operations as measured by regular season results and their business operations as gauged by box office and franchise valuation, they’re the number one franchise in the league overall.”
The LA Lakers and Miami Heat round out the top three on the NBA Basketball Business Power Rankings. The Lakers are #4 on-court and #2 off-court in business performance for an overall rating of #2 while the Heat are #4 both on-court and off-court.
The New York Knicks are #1 in business operations – jacked up by an estimated per game box office of $2.32 million and a franchise valuation of $780 million – but only fifth overall when equal weighting is accorded their on-court winning percentage this regular season. The San Antonio Spurs (#2 on-court and #7 off-court) are fourth overall and the Oklahoma City Thunder (#3 on-court and #11 on the major business indicators) are fifth.
The Sport Market airs Saturdays at 10-11 a.m. PT on TSN Radio 1050 and TSN.ca/radio. It is also heard on TEAM 1040 and teamradio.ca from 7-11 am PT Saturdays. For regular updates and perspectives on the business of sport, sign on to Facebook.com/thesportmarket or follow on Twitter @thesportmarket.