Although the National Basketball Association has a relatively small market when looked at as a global business, the Sacramento Kings have found a way to raise money with the use of blockchain. They are at it again and will initiate a live auction for gear with an app that is based on blockchain.
On January 15, the Kings announced that they will have a new auction platform with the blockchain development business ConsenSys. Beginning that night, fans are able to bid live on in-game sports gear. The platform authenticates the auction items. This fixes a lot of the problems that have exasperated fans in the past with sports gear auctions.
A fan in any location can bid on gear worn in the game. The app is called Kings + Golden 1 Center. The first garments to be on the auction include guard Buddy Hield's jersey. The proceeds from the sales will go to a range of charities. Specifically, the proceeds of January 15's sales will go to relief efforts related to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
Kings CTO Ryan Montoya said that the integration of blockchain into their business platforms allows fans to securely purchase authentic gear worn in games. They can buy it in real time. He added that the platform took a while to develop. The franchise has been involved in cryptocurrency for a while, probably longer than any other American sports team.
In 2014, the team began to accept Bitcoin as payment for merchandise. In 2018, it partnered with a mining firm in order to fund scholarships. In 2019, it made virtual toys based on Ethereum. These are cryptocurrency collectibles. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2016, Fast Company named the Kings the most innovative in team sports.
Sports collectibles and memorabilia is a $5.4 billion industry in the United States. However, the industry lacks clear standards for authentication. This means fans often get stuck with fake merchandise. The partnership gives fans much security knowing that their gear is for real. When a fan makes a purchase, they get peace of mind that it is authentic.