Today, on National Voter Registration Day, the Sacramento Kings announced “Rally the Vote,” a first of its kind, nonpartisan coalition of sports franchises teaming up to urge their fans to register to vote. Nine teams from the NBA, NFL and MLB have joined the effort and will feature a frictionless platform for fans to register to vote via team mobile apps, websites and social media.
Teams joining the Kings-led initiative include the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oakland Athletics, Sacramento Kings, San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants.
As of 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 87.9 million Americans eligible to vote who are not registered. For the first time ever, the Kings are bringing together sports franchises from different leagues to address the registration gap by directly reaching out to fans across the country to provide a seamless way to register to vote.
“If we can make buying a ticket to a sporting event accessible in a few clicks, there is no reason why registering to vote shouldn’t be the same,” said Vivek Ranadivé, Owner and Chairman of the Sacramento Kings. “Voting is one of the most important things we do as Americans and is central to our democracy, yet tens of millions of people are not registered to vote. Sports teams have a responsibility to enact positive change in their communities, and I’m proud to see so many of us coming together to help fans register to vote so that they can have a voice in elections.”
Thanks to a partnership with Democracy Works, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses technology to make voting easier, Rally the Vote teams will be able to encourage fans to register to vote this election season. Through team mobile apps, websites and social media platforms, fans can use a customized version of TurboVote, a Democracy Works tool that allows voters to register, file for an absentee ballot and receive election reminders.
“At Democracy Works, we ensure everyone has a chance to make their voice heard and to vote in every election for the rest of their lives,” said Mike Ward, Program Director of TurboVote. “While midterm participation usually hovers around 50 percent, our goal is to reach 80 percent voter participation in the United States. Strong partnerships like this one and enthusiastic partners like Rally the Vote are precisely why we think we can achieve that ambitious goal. We hope more members of the corporate community use their platforms to encourage everyone, regardless of political party, to get involved.”
As part of Rally the Vote, Kings forward Marvin Bagley III filmed a PSA calling on fans to register to vote. Ahead of the Oct. 22 deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election in California, the PSA will air in arena during both Kings preseason games against Maccabi Haifa on Oct. 8 and the Utah Jazz on Oct. 11, as well as during the home opener against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 17.
Following National Voter Registration Day, teams will continue outreach to their fans and communities through the election to encourage civic engagement. The custom voter registration tool will remain active and teams will continue to use their social media platforms to raise awareness about this issue and share reminders about registration deadlines and requirements, reaching millions of fans and followers across the country.
To learn more about the goals of Rally the Vote from Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé, read his op-ed.
# # #
A product of the national nonpartisan, nonprofit Democracy Works, TurboVote is an online service to help every American vote in every election – local, state and national. All users get text and email reminders with important election information, key dates and deadlines. Since 2012, more than 3 million voters have signed up for TurboVote through partnerships with institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations and corporations.