Clarkston grad top of innovation with Golden State Warriors

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
— Alison Wright was honored with the NBA’s 2024 Pete Winemiller Guest Services Innovation Award last month.
Wright, a Clarkston native and 2007 graduate of Clarkston High School, currently senior director of guest experiences for the Golden State Warriors, had hoped she would receive the award one day but visualized it would be years from now.
“Others have been doing this for a really long time,” she said. “I had set my expectations as maybe in ten years I may win this award. When I found out the second year I was nominated for it I won, I was extremely shocked but extremely grateful and honored to win this award.”
Wright added it means a lot.
“To me it really helps me understand even some days when I am not necessarily doing enough or helping enough people, I am not leading the way, that is definitely not true,” she said. “The work that I am doing, the people I am working with and the exercises I am doing with those groups is really helping drive innovation not just for my team or the Golden State Warriors but throughout the NBA.”
She added across the league they have monthly meetings sharing best practices, challenges they are having and creative solutions to those challenges.
“It’s really affirming what we are doing at the Golden State Warriors and on my team is really leading the way on those initiatives,” Wright said.
“Alison’s relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to enhancing the fan experience truly embodies the spirit of the Pete Winemiller Award,” said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Brandon Schneider. “The Warriors are obsessed with creating world-class experiences, and Alison’s unwavering dedication to innovation, collaboration, and service has transformed the guest experience at Chase Center.”
As senior director of guest experiences, Wright leads a group of 450 people which includes all the team members who interact with guests at the Chase Center.
“It’s a big part of my job to lead that group, train that group, and making sure they understand the vision of the company and to be able to live it out for our fans,” Wright said. “Another big part of my role is really experience – creating experiences in the broad sense. Really looking at our operation and the customer journey as a whole. When you are looking at buying tickets what does that ticket purchase experience look like. When you are getting your email it’s giving you information prior coming to one of our events – here’s where you should park, here is the food we are having, where you can get merchandise. We work with a lot of different teams in our organization to get fans the right information and really make sure their experience when they are with us matches our expectations from a world class experience perspective.”
She added another big part is identifying where they are missing the mark for fans which includes looking at survey data from fans, see what are they are scoring the lowest on in those surveys and how do they can make those experiences better.
“Either it is the transportation experience to get to the arena or the food and beverage experience – what they weren’t pleased with and how can we change the operation to enhancing people’s experiences across the board,” Wright said.
Wright shared she feels lucky she grew up in Clarkston, where sports was a focal point and a gathering place for a lot of the people in the community.
“As sports and communities change, I am really grateful that was such a focal point of my life growing up,” she said, adding a lot of it came from her parents, Larry and Renee. “They encouraged me to be a part of that and for bringing me to those environments. I think you get such a sense of community and sense of responsibility and pride through those experiences. I am really grateful to be part of a community that did that the right way. It helps there’s been a lot of success with the Clarkston teams as well.”
The Pete Winemiller Guest Services Innovation Award pays tribute to the late Pete Winemiller, the former Senior Vice President of Guest Relations for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The award recognizes an individual from one NBA team annually who demonstrates innovation and enhances the live game experience for fans and guests throughout the year. Wright was chosen for her innovation, customer service, knowledge sharing, and commitment to treating fans as esteemed guests.

Alison Wright

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