Today, the Sacramento Kings and Ankr, a leader in the digital-asset space as a software platform and decentralized infrastructure provider, announced an official multi-year partnership established from their mutual vision of the future of sports and blockchain as a technology.
“Sports can be a powerful platform to educate and embrace innovation,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “We are proud to partner with Ankr to further align our synergies around forward-thinking initiatives and provide fans educational opportunities about the crypto economy.”
“We have visited the Kings data center for crypto mining inside their facilities many times and I admire the openness of the owner, Vivek, to embrace new technologies,” said Ankr Founder Chandler Song. “We are aligned in this mission to promote applications of Web 3 technologies. Ankr’s partnership with the Sacramento Kings, one of the most innovative companies in sports and in the NBA, will open a lot of new doors for both sports fans and the crypto community.”
Through this partnership, the Kings and Ankr will produce educational content, host events and create innovative projects that showcase ways to support the growth of the blockchain industry. Utilizing the Kings existing charitable cryptocurrency mining program, MiningForGood, the first of its kind in a professional sports venue, both teams will partner to allocate mining proceeds to help train and steward a new workforce for the blockchain industry. As part of the partnership, the Kings home court will now carry Ankr’s branding on each baseline, prominently visible at every game in Golden 1 Center.
Launched in 2018, Ankr provides much-needed infrastructure and tooling that can streamline the development of blockchain-based solutions. As of 2021, Ankr’s protocol supports more than 50 Proof-Of-Stake chains through their network. Ankr aims to democratize access to the new internet economies for students, developers, fans and players alike. Ankr’s team is already delivering on their mission by providing accessible liquid staking solutions which eliminate barriers to entry for participants in top blockchain communities like Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, Polygon and Avalanche. Developers can use their infrastructure, APIs and tooling and to build and scale decentralized applications or marketplaces for Decentralized Finance (DeFi), NFTs and any other Web3 implementations.
In 2019, the Kings announced the NBA’s first blockchain-powered reward program in collaboration with Blockparty – an enhancement to the NBA’s first predictive gaming application, “Call the Shot.” Also in 2019, the Kings announced a collaboration with CryptoKaiju, creator of the world’s first vinyl toys powered by Ethereum and fully traceable on a public blockchain, to launch the first physical crypto-collectible in professional sports.
The Kings then launched the NBA’s first Live blockchain-powered auction platform for authentic memorabilia with Consensys and Treum in 2020. The next year, the team launched a digital collection of 85 NFTs depicting the 1985 commemorative pin given out in the Kings inaugural season in Sacramento and featuring exclusive experiences including 2021-22 Opening Night tickets. In addition, the Kings piloted the first-ever Smart Ticket NFT Experience Pass for 100 lucky fans during California Classic, NBA Summer League Games.
The Kings were named the "most innovative company in sports" by Fast Company and “Most Tech Savvy Team of 2016” by Sport Techie and were a recipient of Sports Business Journal’s “Facility of the Year.”
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Ankr is a leader in the digital-asset space as a software platform and decentralized infrastructure provider. Built to support the growth of Web3, Ankr provides scalable plug-and-play multichain solutions, and supports more than 50 proof-of-stake chains with an all-in-one portal for public RPC, APIs, and developer tools. The protocol’s utility token, ANKR, is tradeable on Coinbase and Gemini. Learn more at www.ankr.com and follow Ankr on Twitter.