Rally the Vote Student Edition Brings Civic Engagement to Golden 1 Center

The Sacramento Kings, California Secretary of State’s Office and When We All Vote Team Up to Encourage Next Generation of Voters to Make their Voices Heard

On November 8, 2022, as the NBA paused all games on Election Day for the first time to promote voting, the Kings partnered with the California Secretary of State’s office and When We All Vote to host “Rally the Vote Student Edition” at Golden 1 Center. The goal of the event was to educate local students about the importance of civic engagement.

“It’s a fundamental right that people have,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé during the event. “We must never take for granted of the ability to vote, but it’s a privilege so with that comes great responsibility to be engaged and to learn.”

The event included a panel conversation featuring California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé and Kings Analyst, NBA Legend and Entrepreneur Matt Barnes. Kings TV Play-by-Play Announcer and Host of Kings Pregame and Postgame Live Kyle Draper moderated the discussion. The speakers challenged the more than 50 high school and college-age student in attendance to be the voice and change for the next generation and to encourage peers to asks questions and seek answers around issues and initiatives affecting their communities.

Matt Barnes discussed the shift he’s experienced firsthand regarding civic engagement and voter education. “Being a minority growing up it wasn’t something we discussed and it wasn’t something I was educated on,” said Barnes. “I’m glad that it’s now a normal conversation to be had and it’s really moving across the NBA.”

The event also featured performances by Kings Dancers, a Kings DJ, Stockton Kings Emcee Tony Gladney and Slamson as well as food and a photo booth for guests to enjoy.

During the NBC Sports pregame segment on November 9, Draper and Barnes spoke further about the importance of voting and the league’s decision to halt games on Election Day.

In addition, Kings forward Harrison Barnes encouraged voter registration on Election Day by participating in a virtual roundtable hosted by the NBA.

This event was the latest in the Kings efforts to strengthen democracy through voter registration and mobilization. In August 2022, the Kings and When We All Vote announced an expansive partnership to relaunch Rally the Vote, a nonpartisan coalition founded by the Kings to increase civic engagement by leveraging professional sports team platforms across the NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NHL and NWSL. Rally the Vote formally became a When We All Vote campaign, combining the nonprofit’s educational resources and voter registration technology with the Kings robust professional sports network and coalition-building experience. In addition to the Sacramento Kings, coalition members include the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, Connecticut Sun, Denver Nuggets, Houston Dash, Houston Dynamo FC, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New England Revolution, Oakland Athletics, Portland Trail Blazers and San Francisco Giants.

When asked about their ongoing commitment to encouraging voter participation, Dr. Shirley Weber said, “Every agency should be a voice for democracy such as the Kings have.”

The Kings originally launched Rally the Vote in 2018 with 9 teams and expanded the coalition to over 50 professional sports franchises in 2020. This effort reached millions of fans and registered thousands of voters across the U.S. ahead of the mid-term election in 2018 and general election in 2020. In 2020, Golden 1 Center served as a Vote Center for 11 days leading up to the Presidential Election in partnership with the Sacramento County Department of Voter Registration and Elections. As a result, Golden 1 Center was the largest-ever Vote Center in Sacramento County, allowing voters to register to vote and cast their ballots safely while practicing social distancing.

To learn more about the Kings efforts to encourage civic engagement, visit Kings.com.