-- Blockchain Better Protects Fans from Fraud, Scams, and Knock-off Gear Sold on Secondary Markets --
-- Enables Fans to Bid for Select Player Jerseys and Apparel While They are Being Worn on Court During Each Game --
Today, the Sacramento Kings, in collaboration with ConsenSys, a blockchain software development firm, announced a new auction platform that facilitates live bidding on in-game sports gear using Treum, a ConsenSys-backed supply chain product. By using this platform, every auctioned item will be authenticated, and a transparent audit trail of product history will be established, so fans will be assured that each piece of gear is authentic.
During Kings home games, fans will be able to participate in a live auction of game-worn gear. The platform, available via Kings.com/Auction and the award-winning Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app and Kings.com, will launch today as the Kings take on the Dallas Mavericks in Sacramento. Kings guard Buddy Hield’s game-worn jersey will be auctioned off during the game with proceeds benefitting Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. Proceeds from future auctions will go toward the Sacramento Kings Foundation unless specified.
“We are excited to announce another blockchain first as we strive to continue to enhance the fan experience,” said Sacramento Kings Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya. “We have integrated blockchain technology into our business across multiple platforms, including our reward program, and now our fans will have the opportunity to securely purchase authentic game-worn merchandise in real-time using an innovative blockchain-based solution.”
“The digital era has drastically increased access and optionality for many consumers, but it has also decreased verifiable provenance. How can you be sure that the physical goods delivered to your door are legitimate and as real as advertised? How can you trust the authenticity and ownership history of something you bought online?” said Head of ConsenSys Business Development Bradley Feinstein. “As the Ethereum blockchain continues to gain traction as a new foundation for global collaboration by providing trust and transparency, we’re unlocking more profound ways to provide visibility into complex global supply chains and empower consumer behaviors.”
The total value of the U.S. sports memorabilia market has been valued at $5.4 billion annually, yet for jerseys that are not authenticated by the NBA & MeiGray Game-Worn Authentication Program, there are no industry standards for authenticating items and protecting fans from purchasing counterfeit merchandise. The NBA & MeiGray Program, created in 2006 to protect NBA Game-Worn Jersey Collectors across the globe, ensures that the jerseys offered are fully authenticated as Game Worn once the hit the court. Through this partnership, the Kings and ConsenSys are effectively increasing the resale potential for authenticated merchandise on secondary markets. The live auctions will enable the Kings to tell a unique story around each piece of memorabilia while providing fans with an exciting live auction experience.
From the fans watching the game in the arena to the fans watching from home, anyone can bid on any Kings live auction item. The auction periods run day-of-game, starting just before tip-off through 11:59 p.m. PT. The auction’s highest bidders will receive the authenticated gear, tagged and verified, along with a token, representing proof of ownership and also serves as a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA). The digital token creates an official historical record of the item and shows the real-world audit trail as it passes from owner to owner. The token will be owned by the auction’s winner and encoded with verified data on the game, season and player, and will be time-stamped so that fans can prove their gear is genuine.
The platform records the merchandise’s origin and authenticity using Treum, a ConsenSys product that enables businesses to build trust with their consumers through transparency, traceability and tradability. Initial transaction history will also be recorded, and with the owner’s consent, any future sale, loan, or exhibition of the gear in physical or virtual showrooms will become part of the transparent historical record documented on the Ethereum blockchain. Fans can pay via credit card, and game-worn auction items will be shipped directly to an address of their choosing.
“We chose to design this specific implementation with a Kings fan in mind,” said Treum Product Architect Constantin Kostenko. “The Ethereum blockchain technology provides transparency, authenticity, and fraud protection to the fan, but the technical details are hidden to offer a familiar user experience.”
This partnership follows the Kings recent launch of the first physical crypto-collectible in professional sports and the NBA’s first blockchain-powered reward program for in-app gaming. In 2014, the Kings became the first NBA team to accept Bitcoin as payment in the arena. In 2018, the Kings became the first professional sports team in the world to mine cryptocurrency and announced a charitable program, MiningForGood, that donates those funds to workforce development and training efforts in the community. Last year, the Kings also debuted the NBA’s first dedicated space for a free-to-play, in-arena predictive gaming experience.
The Kings were named the "Most Innovative Company in Sports" by Fast Company and the “Most Tech Savvy-Team of 2016” by SportTechie, and were also a recipient of Sports Business Journal’s “Facility of the Year.”
The auction will be accessible via Kings.com/Auction and the Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app, and a push notification will be sent to app users when the auction is live.
To download the app, click HERE.