The Sacramento Kings are known as one of the more forward-thinking NBA franchises, having been the first team in all of professional sports to offer bitcoin payment in early 2014. They also became the first organization to stream a game via Google Glass.
Now, they are stretching the technology envelope even further as the team announced Monday a new dual-mode application which combines both the Kings and Golden 1 Center apps in one experience. The app is the first of its kind in professional sports, and it arrives in time for the scheduled opening of the arena next week on Oct. 1.
“No other arena will provide fans and guests with real-time information and extreme customer service like Golden 1 Center,” said Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé in a statement. “This new app will be the fans’ remote control for the world’s most advanced arena, allowing them to customize and take control of their experience, and engage with the team like never before.”
According to Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya, Ranadivé challenged Montoya and his team to “create a world-class fan experience across the board” when thinking about building the new piece of technology. The Kings partnered with technology firm Built.io and digital creative agency M&C Saatchi LA to bring that to life.
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“It’s a great industry example of how best-of-breed technologies and services can be integrated to deliver an unprecedented user experience,” Built.io Co-Founder and CEO Neha Sampat said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with a team that prioritizes advanced technology and delivers unique solutions directly to their fans.”
The new app is geared toward providing fans with real-time information pertaining to parking, arena lines, player statistics, menu items and more. Additionally, the app combines 30-plus integrations—such as seat upgrades, fan experiences, mobile food ordering and payment—which make for a 360-degree experience for fans.
Montoya cited additional integrations in the app that would enhance the fan experience, including asking team and venue-specific questions to KIA, Kings Artificial Intelligence and the team’s Facebook Messenger bot. The Kings also have a gaming element embedded in the app where fans can place in-arena wagers against other fans and at the end of the night, those fans atop the leaderboard will win game experiences and prizes.
With the new all-in-one app, fans can create their hyper-personalized experiences and have everything they need in order to enjoy the game, all with the simple tap of a button.
“Everyone has this microcomputer in their pocket, so we wanted to go beyond other apps that just provided content,” Montoya said. “…We had to set a new bar for how we wanted our fans to interact with the app.”