Despite a record-breaking 73-9 season, the Golden State Warriors had to make more history en route to the NBA Finals by becoming the fourth team ever to erase a 3-1 series deficit to win a conference title. But that did nothing to slow down one of the most rabid fan bases in sports.
Stephen Curry fever is taking over not just the Bay Area following his part in an epic comeback against the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the Western Conference Finals, but the entire nation. For the month of May, Curry was the top-selling jersey in the NBA and best-selling NBA player in 48 of the 50 U.S. states on Fanatics.com.
Klay Thompson: Much More than a Sidekick
Curry may dominate the league’s jersey sales, but it isn’t taking away from his fellow Splash Brother’s explosion in merchandise sales – not one bit, actually.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson is booming in popularity with a more than 350% increase in sales compared to the same time last year. Often forgotten in the wake of Curry’s greatness, Thompson has completely stepped out of the shadows in this postseason.
Without Thompson, it’s safe to say the Warriors wouldn’t even be here. Thompson canned 11 three-pointers for 41 points in a must-win Game 6 on the road in Oklahoma City, including 19 fourth-quarter points to complete the comeback and save the Warriors’ season.
Golden State and NBA fans certainly took notice.
Strength in Numbers
When winning consecutive conference titles, most fan bases sell more merchandise for the initial title than the second one. But the Warriors don’t have most fan bases.
Compared to last year’s West title, Warriors merchandise sales are up more than 180% on Fanatics.com. While repeat champions don’t typically see an increase in sales from the first title, Golden State is a rare exception as they continue to make NBA history while captivating the casual sports fan.
While Golden State’s reign on the NBA strengthens, so does the breadth of their fans. As shown by Fanatics research on Warriors fandom in the Bay Area and Warriors fandom outside the Bay Area, the team’s ascension into the NBA’s elite is reflected by their fan base growing virally across the nation.
After ending a 40-year NBA title drought with a championship in 2015, the Warriors’ thirst for rings has been far from quenched. And with a full-strength Cleveland Cavaliers side coming to town this time around, you can bet a Finals repeat would be even sweeter than the first for Golden State Warriors players and fans that can’t wait to stock up on more jerseys, shirts and hats to potentially celebrate a back-to-back championship.
We looked at Fanatics merchandise sales data across the United States throughout the month of May 2016, comparing when necessary to the same time period as the Warriors’ Western Conference Finals clinch over the Houston Rockets in 2015 to garner year-over-year sales increases.