How The Adidas Deal Makes The Sacramento Kings Look Good

By Karim Akbar
Vivek Ranadive
Ed Szczepanski – USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings announced a deal today with apparel and footwear behemoth Adidas. The retail partnership is independent of the NBA‘s ongoing exclusive apparel deal with Adidas. The Kings announced Adidas will operate and manage the Kings team store at Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento’s Downtown Plaza and the Fountains at Roseville.

The press release also stated the new deal would include any future retail operations the Kings open. “We’re thrilled to bring one of the world’s top lifestyle and sports brands to Sacramento,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “Adidas’ unmatched expertise in sports merchandise and unparalleled customer service make them an ideal partner for the Kings,” Granger added.

The new partnership comes at a great time for the Kings as they continue to overhaul and strengthen the team’s brand. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has constantly preached his desire for Sacramento to be at the forefront of technology, something he dubbed ‘NBA 3.0’, this latest move proves that leading companies are now starting to take notice.

“Consistent with our NBA 3.0 philosophy, we are always working to enhance the fan experience and build our global brand through innovation and integration,” said Chris Granger. “In adidas we’ve found a forward-thinking partner who shares our vision, and we look forward to the future opportunities as we work to become the premier sports franchise of the 21st century.”

The Kings have quickly become pioneers in technology, in fact the tech usage would likely make even the most hardcore tech geek blush. Sacramento became the first team to ‘crowd-source’ the NBA Draft for information and scouting, and also became the first team to accept bitcoin virtual currency. In another first, Sacramento also equipped players and coaches with Google Glass to give fans an unprecedented look at the team.

With all of the technological marvels the Kings are utilizing it’s easy to write them off as carnival barkers, but winning changes everything and after drafting Nik Stauskas, the Kings have a better chance of that heading into what’s sure to be a busy offseason. The team has also begun work on a new arena that remains on track to open its doors in Fall 2016.

When that new arena is built I’m sure it’ll have so many bells and whistles in it Mark Cuban may for once be at a loss for words. I’m also sure Fortune 500 companies will be lining up for naming rights, something that wasn’t looking too promising for Sacramento just a few seasons ago.

This team has successfully gone from toxic to media and tech darling in just over a year. No offense to Sleep Train — or their fine line of mattresses — but this team should have better when it comes to partnerships. Adidas is the start and things will likely steamroll from there.

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings columnist for Rant Sports  For More Sacramento Kings News “Like” his page on Facebook Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem  Or add him to your network on Google+.


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