For roughly 15 years, Golden State Warriors owner Chris Cohan presided over a franchise that did everything in its power to hold things close to the vest and not reach out to fans. When Joe Lacob and Peter Guber took over the team this fall, they were welcomed warmly just by virtue of not being part of the old regime. They still had to prove themselves, but their Bay Area fans were ready to listen to their owners in a way they hadn't been for more than a decade.
For the most part, Lacob and Guber have been solid, although not without some stumbles along the way. To get some sense of the good work they're doing to foster better relationships with their fanbase, check out this contract they've sent out to all their season-ticket holders (via TrueHoop and TBJ). Or, if you hate links to photos, read the stipulations below.
1. THE CLUB will reach the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
2. THE CLUB will have a player participate in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.
3. THE CLUB will win 25 or more home games at Oracle Arena.
4. THE CLUB will honor a Risk-Free Renewal, with a 5% Interest Guarantee Option for the 2011-12 NBA season.
If the team fails to fulfill these promises, they will give their fans goodies ranging from the valuable (e.g. no ticket price increases for the 2012-13 season for No.1) to the marginal (an autographed All-Star-related gift for No. 2). In all honesty, several of these awards will probably happen even if the team meets all four goals. But it's still a notable gesture, because it shows that Lacob and Guber actually appreciate their fans, or at least know that they are important members of the franchise beyond the dollars they spend on tickets, concessions and merchandise.
That might seem like a minor development, but it's pretty major given the context of the Cohan regime. Being treated like adults, or even just people whose fandom is valued, is a giant step forward. Lacob and Guber may flame out terribly as owners -- they haven't even been on the job for a year yet. For now, though, they're a welcome presence in Oakland.