NBA basketball franchise the Sacramento Kings has furthered its claim of being one of the most innovative teams in sport by revealing plans for the league’s first blockchain-powered reward program.

Developed in association with blockchain-based live event ticketing and fan engagement company Blockparty, the Kings plan to add the new reward program as an enhancement to the NBA’s first predictive gaming application, Call the Shot, in time for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

Through the partnership, Blockparty plans to use blockchain technology to track Kings fans engagements, allowing them to accumulate points in a virtual wallet within their Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center app.

Kings fans using the Call the Shot gaming experience within the app can earn rewards based on these points. Enrolment in the rewards program is free and rewards are non-transferable and have no monetary value. The rewards can be redeemed for prizes and unique events including signed merchandise and courtside tickets. Developed with Xperiel, Call the Shot was the first mobile offering from an NBA team that offers high-frequency predictive gaming to fans when it launched in February.

The Kings said Blockparty’s first partnership in pro sports will enhance fan engagement, while paving the way for broader application of blockchain tech at its Golden 1 Center arena. “We have only just begun to see the benefits of blockchain technology as it transforms the way business is conducted worldwide, ensuring secure transactions across multiple sectors and customers,” said Sacramento Kings chairman, CEO and governor Vivek Ranadivé.

“We are committed to continuing to deliver the best fan experience and are excited to bring this transformative technology to life to award our loyal fans through experiences in a secure and transparent way.”

Blockparty CEO Shiv Madan added: “Our technology should give the Kings more flexibility in how they reward their most loyal fans. We expect others in the NBA will follow the Kings lead in the years to come.”

The partnership represents another first in the team’s efforts to pave the way for technology innovation in sport. In 2014, the Kings became the first NBA team to accept Bitcoin as payment in the arena.

Last year, the Kings became the first professional sports team in the world to mine cryptocurrency and announced a charitable program, MiningForGood, that donates these funds to workforce development and training efforts in the community.

The Kings are also industry leaders in predictive gaming. Earlier this year, the Kings debuted the NBA’s first dedicated space for a free-to-play, in-arena predictive gaming experience.

In another tech first, Golden 1 Center last month opened a checkout-free convenience store through a partnership with Zippin.

Image: Golden 1 Center