By Jake Courtepatte
Less than one week after the Sacramento Kings became the first professional sports franchise to accept the digital currency Bitcoin, the team announced they will wear Google Glass in their home game this Friday.
Although the technology will not be worn on the court – league rules prevent this – it will be worn courtside by players, dancers, and announcers.
By teaming up with electronics company CrowdOptic, the team is bringing fans a dynamic new first-person perspective viewable from the Jumbotron as well as the internet and smartphones.
Vivek Ranadive, majority owner of the Kings, has recently taken a more technological approach to marketing the struggling franchise, which was surrounded in relocation rumours prior to Ranadive’s purchase in May 2013.
Kristine Borges, a professor at UOIT and social technology expert, said technology and marketing go “hand-in-hand”.
“You don’t even have to buy tickets to a game to get the full-on experience anymore,” said Borges. “You can get it from the comfort of your home. Interactivity is so key in keeping the attention of fans these days….the more in-game experience a sports event has to offer, the more it will draw in fans.”
Borges said she can see certain sports fans not accepting this new view of the game action, despite the unique perspective Glass offers.
“Sports are one of the few events that people like to see raw. I certainly don’t see this ‘Go-Pro’-style filming becoming the norm.”
However, CrowdOptic’s head of business development Jim Kovach told ABC he sees a successful future in the close-up shot.
“The investment is for the long-term, and it’s the very first footage anyone has so close to the game,” said Kovach. “There really is a strong interest in building this out.”
You can see Google Glass in action at 7 p.m. Friday, as the Kings host the Indiana Pacers.
Check out the King’s official teaser video below.