- On National Voter Registration Day, Sacramento Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadivé is teaming up with other NBA, NFL and MLB owners to try and make voting registration as easy as buying tickets.
As an immigrant to this country, I always had a profound respect for the values and ideals of America’s great democracy. Like cities, fire, electricity and the internet, democracy is one of humankind’s greatest inventions. When we vote, America gives David the same influence as Goliath.
Big disruptive ideas are quintessentially American. Just a few years ago, I joined a White House delegation of fellow CEOs to return to India and meet with President Modi and Indian business leaders. It was a reminder that the world looks to Americans to dream big.
It is time we bring that innovative spirit back to voting. Democrats, Republicans and everyone in between have made it clear that they want their voices heard. And there is no better way to make your voice heard than voting. Yet, registering to vote is difficult for many with confusing paperwork, processes and long waits. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 88 million eligible Americans remain unregistered—that is about 4,400 basketball arenas full of fans. And, a recent poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics shows that nearly two-thirds of young Americans are more fearful than hopeful about the future of democracy in America. This is not the America I remember when I came here as a college student years ago.
Since the ancient Greeks created the Olympics, sports have always served as a platform to bring together people from diverse, and often conflicting, communities to feel part of something bigger.
Owning a sports team is an honor and a privilege. Every franchise is really a huge social network that can be leveraged to accomplish big things.
This is something we strive to do in Sacramento—where we aim to enhance the lives of those we touch. It is why we led a groundbreaking public-private partnership with the city that is spurring economic impact throughout the region. It is also why we embraced peaceful and meaningful civil discourse in the wake of tragedy earlier this year and continue to invest in partnerships within the community to encourage conversation and promote educational opportunities.
And now it is why we are encouraging our fans to take advantage of humankind’s greatest invention and register to vote.
My life’s work has been focused on eliminating friction and I have lived by the belief that if you have the right information at the right place at the right time, you can make the world a better place. We live in an “Uberized” world. You can whip out your phone and have access to just about any product, service or information on the planet. Why not voting? Let’s Uberize democracy.
On National Voter Registration Day, we are standing alongside teams from the MLB, NFL and the NBA to provide a nonpartisan and seamless way for our fans to make their voices heard.
Today, the Sacramento Kings are joining the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers to ensure our fans have access to a custom voter registration website available through team mobile apps and social channels.
From now until Election Day, fans who engage with us online will be encouraged to participate in this election. If we can make it easier than ever to buy tickets to a game, we can make the process of participating in democracy as frictionless as possible. Starting today, our fans can register to vote with just a few clicks.
When I called on fellow owners in the NBA and other sports to join this effort, they did not hesitate to help. I feel honored to be part of a community that understands the role sports teams play as conveners. And that role has never been more important. It does not matter where you were born or what political party you belong to—we all have a responsibility to participate in our democracy.
It is time more teams and companies get off the sidelines and get in the game. Join us, let’s rally the vote.