Sports

Schneider will be Warriors’ next president, COO

SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors announced Tuesday that Brandon Schneider will become the team’s president and chief operating officer at the end of the season. Schneider, 41, will replace Hall of Famer Rick Welts, who is transitioning to an advisory role within the organization.

“It is a dream job for me,” Schneider, a Bay Area native and lifelong Warriors fan, said during a videoconference with reporters. “I said this to [Warriors owners] Joe [Lacob and Peter [Guber] the other day — you’re in the grind day to day. I started off selling tickets. My job evolved over the years, but this is something I’ve aspired to for a long time. And it is a dream job for me, especially growing up a Warriors fan.”

Schneider, who said he attended his first Warriors game at age seven, has been working for the organization for 19 years, initially serving as a season-ticket account executive while working his way up the organization’s ladder — and most recently serving as chief revenue officer over the past three seasons. He credited Lacob and Guber, who bought the team in 2010, for creating the culture change that led to the Warriors’ run of success over the better part of the past decade.

“I’ll steal one line from Rick,” Schneider said. “I’ve heard him say this so many times, but it’s just well-said. There’s three things that you need to be a successful sports organization: Ownership, ownership and ownership. And he usually follows that by saying, “And we hit the Powerball.” But it’s really true — if you look back, the culture that Joe and Peter brought, hiring the best people, letting them do their job, it sounds so easy, but it just isn’t. … The other thing I would say that’s changed, I think, from where things were in my early days, and certainly different from how other organizations run, is business and basketball work together.”

Schneider noted that unlike many other pro sports organizations, there isn’t as much of a divide between the business side and the basketball side, creating more communication throughout each facet of the organization. To that point, Lacob pointed out that the Warriors are more committed than ever to continuing to spend what it takes to compete at the highest level, despite the revenue streams that stalled in and around Chase Center over the past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The truth is that we are committed to winning,” Lacob said. “We have great resources. It’s been challenging, but we are going to continue to do everything that we need to do to stay on top and be the best we can possibly be as a business and on the basketball court.”

Tuesday also marked the day the Warriors officially rolled out their plan to allow fans back into Chase Center starting April 23 against the Denver Nuggets. The Warriors will fill up to 35% capacity and require every person to test for COVID-19 prior to entering the building. The tests, which will be paid for by the organization, will be sent out to fans as take-home tests if tickets are purchased at least a week in advance. On-site testing will remain available as well.

“It’s been a very challenging year,” Lacob said. “We’ve spent a year, literally over a year now working on this, and our goal is to make this the safest venue in the world to go to a sporting event. Go beyond what the state and the city requires — I think we’re the only sports organization in the world that is doing the extent of testing every single person that comes into the building. … That is our commitment to our fans.”

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