Intangible Business Objectives: Getting Seattle an NBA Team

“We put Seattle’s best foot forward.” -Chris Hansen

Why is money not important in business objectives? Objectives of some enterprises are not always profit-driven.  Bidding on the Sacramento Kings to become the new Seattle Supersonics is a good case to look back on. Chris Hansen is a billionaire hedge fund manager who knows about strategy, finance, and also intangible objectives.  Overall, the resources put towards trying to buy the Kings was not solely for profitability, but a civic-minded objective.  The goal is to get the NBA back to Seattle, regardless of cost, time, or effort.

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Here’s a rundown of what this project has taken:

2 1/2 years of planning

$70M in real estate purchased

$625M final bidding offer (raised from bid of $550M)

$200M arena (primarily private backing)

With all of this the Seattle offer was lost, and many would say that the efforts made in the bidding process were a loss as well.  Chris Hansen still says he will continue.  The NBA chose against the lucrative offer and kept the Kings in Sacramento for $535M and Hansen losing $30M for a myriad of political and business reasons.

Chris Hansen reflects still:

 “I think first and foremost we have a great city.”

More aptly the project of Hansen trying to get Seattle into the NBA is a social enterprise.  We often attribute non-profits into this category. Yet, the social enterprise is different in that they provide a qualitative and quantitative value as a return.  Profit can be made, but the objective is not that alone.  Unlike many business owners Chris Hansen is pursuing an intangible objective of making his hometown of Seattle greater.  (as a multi-millionaire he can afford to pursue this massive pet project) Although idealistic, organizations do exist to promote just that: ideals.

::by dcabanilla


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