The Challenge:

After purchasing the Sacramento Kings in 2013, Vivek Ranadivé spearheaded the construction of a new, state-of-the-art stadium in Sacramento. The Kings’ new arena, Golden 1 Center, would become the most technologically advanced and sustainable sports arena in the world.

The Sacramento Kings tasked Precision Strategies with crafting a strategy to use the story of Golden 1 Center’s historic opening to position the team as one of the most tech-forward organizations in the NBA.

Our Work:

The Kings believe sports teams can drive social change. Whether they are transforming downtown Sacramento by building the most technologically advanced and sustainable arena in the world or bringing together the community after a tragedy, the Kings are leading by example. We took their values and diverse mix of projects and turned them into a compelling message that would resonate on its own, telling a deeper story about the organization.

Building on a comprehensive message frame, we developed a communications strategy that ensured the message broke through with critical audiences, including new ones like the tech industry, environmental audiences, and more.

Our plan used the stadium opening as the start of a year-long strategic calendar that plotted out how the Kings organization could make the most of key moments:

  1. Golden 1 Center’s construction timeline
  2. Executive positioning opportunities
  3. Influencer/Third-Party events
  4. News Creation

Our team built events around our strategic plan. With the goal of defining the transformative innovations happening at Golden 1 Center, Precision worked with the Kings to generate a “tech report” that detailed how the new arena would forever change the fan experience. The report received significant press coverage that lay the groundwork for media outlets across the country branding G1C and the Kings as driving tech innovations in the sports world. Wired Magazine, for example, called G1C “a Giant Tesla.”

Using the strategy as a guide while consistently and constantly identifying new opportunities, we did not let any moment in the arena’s development go unleveraged, allowing us to expand our audiences. We also tailored our approach to each specific audience to expand engagement beyond NBA fans, including sports, design, public art, sustainability, and business outlets. This helped to broaden the spectrum of people interested in the Golden 1 Center’s creation, Ranadivé’s vision for the Kings organization, and the team itself. For example, Huffington Post’s environmental section ran extensive coverage on the Kings’ plans to source food locally, lower the team’s carbon footprint, and help to combat harmful climate change. The video and online content produced by Huffington Post allowed the Kings to reach new, environmental, and business-focused audiences.

As we approached Golden 1 Center’s groundbreaking ceremony and season home opener, Precision planned and implemented a “Media Day” designed to showcase the arena and new chapter for the team to local and national reporters. We worked alongside the Kings’ communications team to generate over $81 million worth of media and over 10 billion impressions on social media.

Following the successful opening of Golden 1 Stadium, the Precision team continues to work closely with the Kings to advance the team’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, enhance their reputation as a leader in the sports world, and to support the team’s brand management.

In addition to our work building up to the launch of the Golden 1 Center, Precision continues to work on managing and elevating Ranadivé’s profile as an NBA team owner, finding outlets to showcase his leadership both as an NBA owner and as an entrepreneur and business leader.

The Precision team also works with the Kings team on managing communications around basketball operations. From hiring a new coach to acquiring high-profile talent for the Kings, Precision puts media, crisis, and rapid response plans in place to help steer the media narrative.

The Bottom Line:

The business aspects of an NBA team are inextricable from its performance and activities as a sports team. We’ve been proud to work with the Kings from opening Golden 1 Stadium to elevating the King’s brand as a whole.