NBA’s New High-Tech Team Owner

NBA’s New High-Tech Team Owner

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TIBCO Founder/CEO Vivek Ranadivé is the first Indian American NBA team owner.

Ranadivé is part of GSW Sports LLC, a group of six board members and multiple investors, headed by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, who purchased the Golden State Warriors.

He is one of the three largest stakeholders in the team.

Lacob, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is the majority stakeholder and primary decision-maker as Co-Executive Chairman/CEO/Governor of the Warriors.

Gruber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, is the Co-Executive Chairman/Alternate Governor of the team.

And Ranadivé, who runs enterprise software firm, TIBCO, holds the title of Vice Chairman.

Ranadivé isn’t new to basketball.

Yes, he’s never played.

But, he has been a Warriors fan and season ticket holder for many years.

Plus, he coached his daughter, Anjali’s, girls basketball team to a National Championship several years ago.

It was a group of 12-year-old girls who didn’t have much experience playing basketball, and didn’t have the height.

He had to develop his own strategy to give the girls some sort of advantage.

Ranadivé, who’s from Mumbai, India, never understood American basketball’s concept of having Team A shoot a basket, then retreat back to its own side of the court, while Team B attempts to shoot.

So, he decided to have the girls do a full-court press the entire game, and it worked.

Ranadive believes there’s always more than one way to win.

And he hopes to apply his same out-of-the-box thinking with the Warriors to get them back to winning a World Championship title — something the team hasn’t done since 1975, with star Rick Barry.

“I will do everything to  support Joe in every way,’ explainsRanadivé. “The areas that I hope to bring to the table in making the Warriors a  21st century team: I will help with with everything from fanbase, managing customer loyalty programs, structure, community outreach and game play.  I would also like to help make it a global brand, especially helping to popularize it in the Indian community.”

Forbes: This is the same team that Oracle’s Chief Larry Ellison wanted to buy. How did you get involved, Vivek?

Vivek Ranadivé: Yes.  We were fortunate that our group, led by Joe Lacob, won the bid.  Joe and I are both very big basketball enthusiasts.  Our kids went to school together, and played on the basketball team there.  And we think the Bay Area deserves local people who have a passion for the sport, who cater to the fans and deliver a good product.  And that’s what we intend to do.

How much will you be involved in the team?

Ranadivé: Well, I have some software that they will be using. It’s called Spotfire. it’s visual analytics.  So, it will allow you to look at where different players should be shooting from, what the sweet spot is.  And I think it’ll give us a little competitive advantage.  You can apply a lot of information technology and 21st-century analytics to sports.  And you’re seeing more and more of that done now, in terms of the types of players you get, what kinds of shots they should be taking, where they should shoot from, what combination of players seems to deliver the best results.  So, there’s a lot of room for analysis.  And I believe being in the center of Silicon Valley, the Warriors will be the first basketball team of the 21st century, in terms of the types of players they have, the coach, the strategy, the tools that they use, the arena, the facilities that the fans have.  So, Joe and I and Peter hope to make this the first 21st-century team.

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