The NBA’s Sacramento Kings has announced that they will roll out their new ‘Kings Token’ for fan rewards. That makes them the first NBA team to create a reward program based on blockchain.
Announced on October 7, Kings Token was created in partnership with Blockparty. Blockparty is a blockchain platform that manages live event ticketing, tokenized gamification and fan engagement. Blockparty’s chief development officer, Vladislav Ginzburg, explained:
“In our opinion, the blockchain has a role in the entire event experience. Whether it’s a sports game, music festivals or Broadway shows.”
The CEO of Blockparty, Shiv Madan, said that his company is putting together a case study on this project. They hope that their findings will get shared with other NBA teams if this project becomes successful.
The Kings CTO Ryan Montoya commented:
“Fans can get those points and put them in their wallets and experience it all on the blockchain platform.”
Montoya said that the token will pair with a predictive gaming platform that the team has developed. The platform was set up with the expectation of the legalization of sports betting in California. In that context, the United States Supreme Court reversed the federal restriction on sports betting in May 2018.
The Kings are also planning to put in the new reward program to the NBA’s first predictive gaming app known as “Call the Shot,” in time for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Fans can then accumulate points for engagement and add them to their blockchain wallets.
Enrolment in this rewards program is free and the rewards are non-transferable. Also, these rewards have no monetary value. ‘Call the Shot’ was developed with Xperiel and became the first mobile offering from an NBA team that gives high-frequency predictive gaming to the fans.
Fast Company named the Bitcoin-friendly Kings in 2017 the “most innovative company in sports.” They became the first NBA team to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment in 2014. In 2018, they ranked as the first professional sports team worldwide to mine cryptocurrency. It set up a program called MiningForGood that donates the funds to charity.
Kings Tokens will be leveraged within a token wallet included in the team’s Golden 1 Center app. It tracks the engagements and accumulated points of fans. Moreover, the fans will have the ability to earn rewards via the predictive gaming platform and then redeem these points for access to signed merchandise, unique events, courtside tickets, and much more.
Kings Token is an ERC-20 token that will run on Ethereum. However, it will only at first be usable within the team’s Golden 1 Center arena. Although the fans cannot trade the token for any other currency nor have a private key, they can show a QR code to redeem points and see confirmations of their transactions via a block explorer.
Currently in testnet, the Kings plan is to launch the token by the opening night of the new season on October 25. In the future, token users might have the ability to transfer their tokens to their peers and also earn rewards by eating at nearby restaurants. They can also earn rewards by making it to the game before tip-off.
Ginzburg believes that it is a case of a mass adoption story if it becomes successful. He added:
“Forty-one games of 20,000 people – I’m going to go ahead and say that many of those people don’t own any crypto whatsoever. Suddenly by downloading the Golden 1 Center app, they are going to have an ERC-20 wallet with an ERC-20 token.”