It’s like they always say – if you can’t beat them on the court, go a completely different route by reinventing your professional basketball franchise as a business-first model. At least that’s what I think they say, because it’s what the Sacramento Kings are doing by becoming the first pro sports team to accept Bitcoin for tickets and merchandise. While the partnership with BitPay is certainly monumental for the Kings, NBA and sports in general, in that it’s taking advantage of a hot trend in techno-currency, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive clearly sees it as something so much greater.
“We are maniacally focused on creating the most seamless experience for our fans in all facets,” he said in a statement. “With BitPay, we are able to implement a technology that allows our fans to make Kings-related purchases without physically reaching into their wallets. A major tenet of the NBA 3.0 philosophy is about utilizing technology for the betterment of the fan experience, and this is yet another step in that process.” (Via TechCrunch)
According to TechCrunch, Ranadive is developing his “NBA 3.0” initiative that basically sounds like a really fancy way of saying that he’s trying to make his franchise profitable in any way possible, because just depending on ticket and merchandise sales alone won’t make his wallet fatter. And it’s a great idea, because as of right now, if some kid in Lichtenstein with a bunch of Bitcoin wants to buy a new NBA jersey, he’ll soon be looking fly in his Travis Outlaw No. 25.
The Kings also really did their homework for this new venture, because they waited a whole week before Ranadive drew a giant X on the dotted line.
“They approached our booth at CES and had this idea, and said, we as a team want to be tech focused, so what can we do? They had a lot of questions but once we answered them, they were ready to move quickly,” [BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi] says. “They kicked it into fast mode and took less than a week to close the deal after they realised they could be the first sports team in the U.S. to take Bitcoin.”
Jokes aside, there’s really no risk for the Kings, because even though they’re trumpeting this decision as a huge step into the next era of currency, the team will still be paid in cash by BitPay. But the timing is great because one Bitcoin is currently valued at approximately $842, which is the equivalent of one family night out at an NBA game.
(Original banner via Getty)