In a day and age where technology is essential to every day life, the Sacramento Kings are looking to utilize the importance society places on technology to make fans’ experiences the best they can be.
At the beginning of the month it was announced that the Kings would become the first NBA team to use chatbots. Then, they officially introduced the chatbot KAI, (Kings Artificial Intelligence) through their social media platform, which can be accessed through Facebook Messenger.
This is not surprising, as owner Vivek Ranadivé is incredibly tech savvy and the franchise has ventured into similar ideas like this before.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve tried something that is new and innovative to sports,” said Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya. “We’ve been among the first to use drones, Virtual Reality, Bitcoin and 3D printing.”
What exactly is a chatbot and what purpose do they serve?
“Bots enable fans to have conversational experiences surrounding their favorite teams, while using their favorite apps,” said JiffyBots founder, Tony Marks.
The Kings have teamed up with Marks and his start up company that has worked with Facebook Messenger, Amazon, and many more forward thinking companies.
According to Marks, the bot will first have basic knowledge regarding the team and over time develop a personality that will reflect the fans’ needs and wants. And the most interesting part about these bots is they continue to grow every day.
“Unlike apps, where there’s a product lifecycle, bots continue to grow over time from user generated interactions,” Marks said. “So it’s not inconceivable that the bot you’ll meet today, will be the same, much smarter, much more intuitive bot you’ll interact with years later.”
Marks is excited to team up with Sacramento and help give the best fans in the NBA a more interesting way of experiencing the game.
“It’s exciting for us to work with a team with such a rich history and a proud fan base, that is one of the most forward-thinking and tech-savvy franchises in all of professional sports,” Marks said.
While many people will simply go to basketball games to watch their favorite players and teams, the Kings’ attempts in making the overall experience better is very refreshing. After playing in an outdated Sleep Train Arena for almost 30 years, the innovations will add to the excitement of the Golden 1 Center.
Golden 1 Center will enable people to utilize many different platforms of technology. Chatbots are just one of the various ways in which people will be able to use technology to create a more personalized, enjoyable time.
“Golden 1 Center will be the fastest, most connected arena in the world and the connectivity at the arena will revolutionize the in-game experience. Our powerful network will ensure that you can post photos and share you experience with your friends and family seamlessly, as well as provide new interactive features to each fan in the arena.” Montoya said. “You’ll be able to direct your own view of the game with exclusive camera angles, check on advance player metrics and even order a farm-to-fan meal to your seat.”
// Even if chatbots aren’t appealing to everyone, it’s nice that the Kings are looking for ways to push themselves outside the court. It is great that the franchise recognizes the city’s love for this team and is trying to give them their money’s worth.
Now, let’s see if the Kings can advance themselves on the hardwood as well.