Today, the Sacramento Kings announced the first-ever official professional sports team Discord server enabling fans to gather online to share in community, interact, and expand access to exclusive experiences that have traditionally taken place in-person at Golden 1 Center, among other new ways to engage with the team.
“We are excited to launch this digital arena as an innovative solution to bring the best fans in the world closer to the team and connect virtually during these unprecedented times,” said Sacramento Kings Chairman and Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “At the Kings we are always working to take advantage of new ways to engage and interact with our fans and we are pleased to partner with Discord, the industry leader in blending offline and online worlds on a frictionless and cohesive platform.”
Discord gives people an easy, free, no-ad experience to talk and hang out online. With over 100 million active monthly users, Discord got its start in gaming in 2012 and has been gaining traction among much broader audiences and cultural verticals ranging from music to sports, sneakerheads, and more.
“Everything we do at Discord is grounded in creating community, connection, and belonging. When it comes to those things, nothing levels the playing field like sport,” said Discord CMO Tesa Aragones. “We are excited to welcome the first official NBA team to Discord in the Sacramento Kings as they bring their passionate fans to a place to connect with the players – and one another – beyond the physical arena.”
As part of the launch, the Kings will host a series of live Q&As directly with fans on the server, featuring special access to Kings front office executives, players, and broadcast personalities. On November 18, General Manager Monte McNair will host one of the first Q&As as part of the Kings 2020 NBA Virtual Draft Party presented by Michelob ULTRA. In addition, the server will offer new merchandise updates, real-time game and topic discussions, and more. Fans are encouraged to visit the free official Kings Discord server by downloading the Discord desktop or mobile app in the App Store or Google Play or visit Discord.gg/sacramentokings.
Under Ranadivé’s leadership, the Kings built and opened Golden 1 Center, the world’s most connected arena, and have pioneered the use of industry-leading technology to remove friction from the fan experience. Last season, the Kings became the world’s first sports team to open a checkout-free, contactless convenience store through a partnership with Zippin, allowing visitors to walk in, grab an item, and walk out in under 30 seconds. Earlier this year, the Kings and NINA announced Golden 1 Center would become the first arena in the world to let suite and loft guests pour their own drinks through an Internet of Things (IoT) powered device and mobile app. Additionally, the team partnered with Intel to launch the league’s first research and development (R&D) site at Golden 1 Center to test the next generation of immersive video technology and put fans in control of what they want to see and how they see it in the team’s app this season. During the pandemic, the team has continued to innovate while putting safety and convenience first by launching the NBA’s first curbside pickup menu program featuring contactless payment powered by Rooam. For these efforts and more, the Kings have been recognized as the “Most Innovative Company in Sports” by Fast Company and the “Most Tech Savvy Team of 2016” by Sport Techie, in addition to being named Sports Business Journal’s 2017 “Facility of the Year.”