The San Francisco Giants will not have panda hats to sell you this year. Put your money away, it's true. All they will have to sell you are jerseys and hats and shirts and sweaters and mugs and pennants and blankets and Monopoly sets and mugs and glasses and sweatshirts and pants and socks and baby clothes and tickets and ...
Wait, hold off on that last one. They don't have a lot of tickets to sell you, at least not season tickets. They're going to sell out every game again.
So it's no surprise that the Giants have one of the most valuable franchises in baseball, and according to Forbes's annual valuation, the Giants are the fourth-most valuable franchise, trailing only the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox. The franchise is worth $2 billion according to Forbes, with estimated revenue of $387 million and operating income of $68.4 million.
Whoops! How did that picture get in there? Boy, that would seem to be a passive-aggressive swipe from a spoiled fan about the dull offseason, but that's just not the case. Total accident.
While the relative wealth of the Giants isn't a huge surprise, the difference between last year is stunning. From Forbes:
The San Francisco Giants had the biggest year-over-year gain, doubling in value, to $2 billion. The Giants' three World Series titles over the past five seasons has helped the team nearly double revenue, to $387 million-with much of the increase coming from sponsors like Adobe, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Lexus, MillerCoors, Oracle, Safeway, StubHub, State Farm and Yahoo.
I, for one, am planning to buy two or three diageos this year, just to support my team. The lede here, though, is double in value. Either last year's was a tick off, or the postseason run was incredibly, ridiculously valuable. It was something of a tipping point, even, putting them with the old-timey big boys now that they have a dynasty.
The Giants are a top-payroll team, a highly visible, highly popular franchise that draws well on the road and features the reigning Sportsman of the Year, the Face of MLB, and the Crazy, Unsettling Eyes of MLB. They have done well for themselves.
Let's just take a quick stroll down memory lane, with a newspaper article titled "Giants Sold; Return To East, Toronto":
Or from a couple decades later, "Baseball Dying Natural Death in San Francisco."
Here they are, a couple billion dollars later, give or take. No one would have ever believed it.