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Volume 21 No. 34
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NBA’s Kings plan ASSIST Summit to connect teams, properties with technology vendors that can boost sales

The Sacramento Kings have created an industry conference that combines sales and technology and showcases the team’s best business practices to other franchises and properties.


The Kings will hold their inaugural Academy of Sports Sales, Innovation, Science and Technology (ASSIST) Summit on March 13-14 at Golden 1 Center. In addition to team executives, the conference will connect attendees with many of the technology vendors the Kings use to drive ticket sales and other revenue streams.


“We feel that we have come a long way in pushing these technologies and we want to add more to the conversation,” said Phil Horn, senior vice president of sales and service for the Kings. “Nobody has really done this event. It is very industry specific in how the ecosystem works in sports and entertainment.”


The team is charging $495 for the two-day event and limiting attendance to about 75 people. Horn said the event is nearing a sellout with executives from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Madison Square Garden Sports, Tampa Bay Lightning, IMG Learfield and AEG signed up to attend. Kings officials said the attendees range from vice president and above along with some director-level executives.


“We want to keep it hands on versus a large trade show so people can build relationships with vendors,” Horn said.


The team will take attendees through each aspect of premium and non-premium ticket selling with the participating technology vendors, ranging from artificial intelligence to predictive analytics to video platforms.


For example, the Kings use the artificial intelligence company Conversica as a virtual sales assistant to identify and contact thousands of potential ticket buyers, providing a more efficient way for ticket account executives to identify prospects, Horn said.


“We handpicked 10 top vendors that are part of our revenue technology ecosystem and have proven their worth in generating revenue,” he said.


The vendors include Clearside, Conversica, DialSource, Front Line Selling, LinkedIn Sales, Navigator, Marketo/ToutApp, OneMob, Xactly and Zipwhip. The Kings do not have any financial stakes in the vendors.


“The big part of the event is a guided tour with the different technologies,” Horn said. “We have arranged them in a progressive flow with how a lead will go from inception to the deal close.”


Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé will speak at the event along with Jill Rowley, chief growth advisor of marketing technology company Marketo. Attendees will spend one-on-one time with Kings sales executives and also will attend a Kings game.