Sacramento Kings Social Media Night At Golden 1 Center Powered By Panasonic USA

Sacramento Kings Social Media Night At Golden 1 Center Powered By Panasonic USA

From Social Media night content, to Kiss Cam, to the Noise Meter, to promotions about upcoming games and shows, this giant video display was both easy on the eyes and so lifelike, viewers tend to watch the video board more than the live action.

Being at Golden 1 Center during the Sacramento Kings social media night as an industry expert on behalf of Panasonic was an ultimate fan experience I will never forget, thank you. Downtown Commons (DOCO) features the NBA’s most technologically advanced and sustainable venue. The Panasonic Solutions Group and I were given a private tour of the arena by team executives. I then conducted interview sessions with team management and a Panasonic executive.  To end the evening, I hosted a Facebook Live from the Panasonic USA Facebook page during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers taking place on David J. Stern walk. The crown jewel of Golden 1 Center is the league’s first Ultra HD LED video board measuring 84-feet long. The massive 4K display was custom built for Golden1 by Panasonic and features social media fan generated content on the four large screens displaying at four times the resolution of home entertainment centers because of more than 37 million pixels.  I was honored to represent the Sports Techie community blog during my stay at the Sawyer Hotel Kimpton next door to the facility and during gameday at Golden 1 Center, a true sports tech mecca. I witnessed firsthand why the game is never out of sight because of Panasonic technologies.

Redefining the Fan Experience at Golden 1 Center: Where the Game is Never Out of Sight

Golden 1 Center Fan Experiences
Sports leagues and teams are faced with the reality that sport fans are comfortable viewing games in their house, at work or a sports bar rather than attend a live sporting event. Some of the reasons for this might include, tickets being too expensive, parking and traffic hassles, costly food and beverage, and pricey team merchandise, all adding up to more than the average fan can afford or is willing to spend.

To counter these objections, the atmosphere at Golden 1 Center is designed to be a super fun combination of excited Kings fans, killer advanced technologies and engaging marketing programs aimed to make the spectacle inside the cutting-edge facility a truly unique outing you simply cannot match watching from your couch.

This Kings social media night featured mini-pig Hank, custom emojis and interactive social cutouts.

The Kings social media-themed programming also included a first-of-its-kind hobby horse race, toddler fox trot, Kings Cruising Karaoke with Doug Christie and animoji lip sync challenge.

The digital fan experience outside the arena begins with two extra-large 42-feet wide by 25-feet high LED Panasonic video displays greeting visitors with clips, animations and graphics, social media and targeted marketing messaging.

extra-large 42-feet wide by 25-feet high LED Panasonic video displays

The first night of my stay, I took an iPhone photo of a fan reward contest displaying on one of the XL outdoor screens promoting the upcoming rivalry game against the Los Angeles Lakers. My tweet and this image was retweeted by the Kings and the Sawyer Hotel handle ‘liked’ it on Twitter as it was shot from their amazing swimming pool deck overlooking Golden1’s plaza. Thanks!

The next day, I jogged around the building to get a look at the scope of the grounds then ran along the Sacramento River trail and back through Old Town. The last time I was in Sacramento was 1994 with a political science class from Whittier College.

Being at Golden 1 Center during the Sacramento Kings social media night as an industry expert on behalf of Panasonic was an ultimate fan experience I will never forget.

Golden 1 Center Tour

The Panasonic team met in the Sawyer’s main foyer to meet and greet each other. There were two representatives from Japan, a host of Panasonic USA’s management team and super kind Kayla Holmes, a Text 100 Consultant.

The tour got started at the VIP entrance where we met with Scott Monaco, Producer and Director, Ian Wheat, Innovation and Technology Manager, and Tess Hyer, Partnership Marketing Coordinator, for the Kings.

The people representing the Kings and Golden 1 Center were completely transparent about their technologies during the entire tour. In this day and age of secrecy and rights, we were not required to sign NDA’s nor were there any restrictions on what we were able to see as a group that I was aware of.

VIP security check-in featured a custom built ticketing system that makes entering Golden 1 a non-obtrusive and fan-friendly breeze.

Right away, 700 Panasonic HD Pro monitors installed throughout the arena concourses and suites were in full display here and throughout the spectacular venue displaying digital signage, enticing social media night fan generated posts and targeted brand messaging by partners.

Our first stop was the Data Center and the fully integrated Control Room. From the Control Room, the staff can manage the entire networks of Panasonic displays and more.

Traffic data is distributed here to Waze and Google Maps platforms in real-time to ease traffic flow. The Kings have a cutting-edge mobile app or remote control series optimized for the fan experience that runs on the custom designed Lava platform hosted in the cloud and integrated with the Control Room for business touch points to measure attendance, ticketing, concessions POS, and social media metrics. The Kings social media team ties into Control Room data and functionalities as necessary.

The Control Room is also tapped into in-game feeds and live looks from the league which are posted across the massive network of Panasonic displays.

Golden 1 Center cameras and police department city video feeds also stream on the Panasonic monitors here.

Once inside in the floor area, 1,500 square feet of multi-level ribbon boards’ encircling the bowl pops out because of the dazzling Panasonic LED video displays. Social media content, team information and sponsorship-driven branding was on display for spectator enjoyment.

The NBA’s first center-hung Ultra HD video board features 9 video boards and 6,000 square feet of coverage.

The NBA’s first center-hung Ultra HD video board is a head-turner. It features 9 video boards and 6,000 square feet of coverage. The capper to this awesome piece of Panasonic technology is the dynamic centerhung ribbon board measuring 252-feet around with more than 1.6 million pixels.

Center-hung video displays captivate fans with mesmerizing clarity showcasing in-game video, fan engagement, partner branding, and more dazzling content.

From Social Media night content, to Snapchat geofilters, to Kiss Cam, to the Noise Meter, to promotions about upcoming games and venue shows, this giant video display was both easy on the eyes and so lifelike, viewers tend to watch the video board more than the live action.

All total, there is 13,191 total square feet of installed Panasonic LED video displays creating live looks and instant replay viewable from any angle.

Sacramento Kings Social Media Night At Golden 1 Center Powered By Panasonic USA – sportstechie blog

We ended the tour in a luxury suite stocked with good food and tasty beverages for folks on the tour and guests to enjoy while relaxing to watch the game and socialize. The center-hung video board was practically right in our face at suite level making it easier to see game details you can’t see with the human eye. The suite also featured beautiful Panasonic monitors synced to control room content.

From the suite I then conducted interviews with Monaco, Darrin Gross, Senior Director, Partnership Marketing & Business Development for the Kings, and Rob Zeller, Executive Director of Connected Solutions at Panasonic USA.

All total, there is 13,191 total square feet of installed Panasonic LED video displays creating live looks and instant replay viewable from any angle.

Sports Techie Q & A

Interview with Scott Monaco, Producer, Sacramento Kings

Question 1: I first asked Monaco about what makes the building special.

Answer 1: He said, “Our ownership group and Vivek Ranadivé wanted to do to something really different, really special. From the video board (Panasonic), to our audio, to our lighting, to technology, we wanted to do something truly unique in every one of those cases.”

Q2: Monaco emphasized the word ‘spectacle’ as a term that Vivek uses constantly so I queried him about what that meant in terms of Panasonic and other technologies.

A2: Monaco said, “Vivek is very involved in what we do, he loves to sit down with all of us, he loves to huddle and talk about exciting things, and he’ll looks at me and says a couple of things. He’ll say ‘make it a spectacle.’ We always laugh and we’ll say, ‘What does that exactly mean?’ And he’ll look at people like us to do that. He loves concerts, he loves music, he loves people having fun. Everything from the video board, to our 4K board, to 15 permanent mounted lasers in this arena, it’s almost like coming to a mini-rave, we have moving lights everywhere in the arena. It’s not coming to a basketball game its coming to something truly unique and truly something different.”

He added, “As many times as I’ve given tours in this building, when you walk somebody to the bottom and they see the 4K board for the first time, the experience on their faces is like, oh my goodness, and it’s fun to know you helped create that.”

Q3: How was is working with Panasonic?

A3: “Panasonic came in with their Solutions Team for audio and stepped up to the plate and helped us get this arena going, which was an amazing thing. When the NBA voted to keep the team in Sacramento, our time table was very short. When the clock started, we were on time limits, and fortunately, we also wanted to do unique stuff, so that made it very, very hard to do it.”

Monaco added, “I called Richard Bower of Panasonic, 24/7. I’ve called Bower at 3 am and said I need this and one hour later I have an e-mail and the next morning there is a team from Panasonic at the front door of the arena waiting to meet me in the morning. They are definitely engaged, definitely listen to what we want and that’s what makes them special.

Q4: I finished up asking how all the Panasonic technologies work together and independently.

A4: “I started with the original Arco arena. I helped with Astro Vison board in 1985/86. It was a very small video board. Like anything with entertainment these days, the video board is in your face. Everything we do from concerts to entertainment, we shoot things different, we shoot at height, we mix our lighting into it, it really brings the fan right to your face, and especially with all social, I see fans constantly shooting the video board. That’s a great thing, you are not getting a little picture, you are getting almost a full screen picture with fans shooting on cell phones these days. It just makes it more exciting, when you walk in you get that that Ah. That’s what Panasonic brought us; they brought us the ‘Ah.’

Right away, the 700 Panasonic HD Pro monitors installed throughout the arena concourses and suites were in full display here and throughout the amazing venue displaying digital signage, enticing social media night fan generated posts and targeted brand messaging by partners.

Interview with Darrin Gross, Sr. Dir., Partnership Marketing & Business Development at Sacramento Kings

Q1: I began by asking Darrin what the Panasonic partnership means to the Kings.

A1: Gross said, “Moving into Golden 1 Center and being able to utilize the technology that Panasonic has brought to the table for us has been an absolutely Godsend. After being in Sleep Train Arena, look, it was an older arena; we didn’t have the technology there, a lot of static boards. To be able to go to these beautiful ribbon boards that we have, The most incredible, as I like to call it, the biggest TV in the NBA, eight different monitors or eight different giant screens, the way we are able to portray our partners and the messaging they are trying to get across, the entertainment value for our fans is second to none.”

Q2: What does ‘Spectacle’ mean coming from Vivek, one of the team owners?

Q2: He said, “As soon as Vivek and the other owners took over, the goal was to create a venue that merged entertainment and technology, Vivek had always said, you will not check into the arena, the arena will check into you. Your phone will become the remote control of the building. The things we have been able to do and accomplish for our fans from an entertainment standpoint with the boards that we have, both the ribbon boards and the center-hung scoreboard has been amazing. Particularly in the areas of enhanced statistics, the opportunity to see replays on a 4K board which is the cleanest, clearest picture we’ve ever seen. And really for everybody in the entire arena to enjoy the spectacle of what we have on our center-hung is really been an opportunity for us to increase the entertainment value ten-fold.”

Q3: I asked Gross about Panasonic’s installment of the various technologies at Golden 1 Center.

Q3: Gross responded, “The Installment part of video board, from a partnership standpoint, we ran point on the deal with Panasonic. From a technical aspect, my team had very little to do with it. But we were in touch with Scott Monaco and Ryan Montoya (CTO) so they understood what we were looking for from a partner standpoint. The fact that we have animation available on everything now is amazing. The fact that that it is easy for us to switch out messaging when you have static boards you can’t do that. We let them know what we were looking for to make sure we could effectuate the packages we sold to our partners.

He added, “What our tech team brought back to Panasonic and what you all came up with has been wonderful from a sponsorship standpoint and from a fan standpoint.”

Q4: What have the Kings learned about Panasonic technology and the ROI moving from year one to year two of the amazing facility?

A4: Gross said, “Second building I’ve opening, I always tell people it take a full year to get to know your building. If you look at when our boards where installed, we had about a month to start testing things. What I am looking forward to this year. Last year was let’s get it up, let’s make sure it works, let’s make sure we know where to plug it all in. And this year it is about what can we do with the technology. We’re are looking to create greater animations, we’re looking to create greater features on the center-hung scoreboard which allows us to get our partner messaging out in different ways, really more effective ways. For this year for us, it’s seeing what we can do.”

He went on to say, “Fans want to be able to see the small verts out here that have the enhanced stats on there, they also want to see the small ancillary boards and see their stats there. I also love the verts outside because again, I am in the revenue business. Being able to sell those verts and do some really cool stuff is amazing.”

Gross added, “We could have never done that at Sleep Train Arena, then again it is no knock on Sleep Train, Sleep Train is just an older building, to be able to do those sorts of things. If you were able to talk to our marketing team, they would say the same thing. The ability to promote our messaging the way we are able to promote our messaging here, second to none, it’s great.

Gross emphasized, “Until the next one opens which I think is Milwaukee, we still get to lay claim to the most technologically advance venue, basketball venue on the world.”

“I hope you are bringing people through here to show them this, this giant TV. It’s nice, it’s fun. It’s just such a difference from being seven miles north to here and our fans appreciate it,“ said Gross.

Gross finished up stating, “I don’t know if you had a chance to go to the upper bowl.  You don’t watch the floor, you watch the center-hung, It’s too clear, how do you not. We found ourselves, I sit 12-15 rows up, I found myself staring at the center-hung more than I stare at the floor. And the replays are amazing. We like it. We are big fans, we are big, big fans.”

Interview with Rob Zeller, Senior Director of Sales, Panasonic USA

Q1: I asked Zeller if the Golden 1 Center video board was maxed out in terms of size.

A1: Zeller answered, “While you are getting bigger, you can’t get much bigger than the actual basketball court.  Go to 4K resolution, of course the resolution will keep growing, 8K I think is going to get bypassed; I think they are going to go right to 12K more than likely someday.  I don’t think technology will ever be maxed out. Someone is always going to do something a little bit bigger.”

Q2: How did the sales cycle with the Kings compare to other Panasonic installs such as SunTrust Park in Atlanta, home of the Braves.

A3: Zeller commented, “The sales cycle with the Sacramento Kings was derived off working with the architects, the vision of the architect along with the vision of the team. They definitely wanted something unique in the arena. Working back and forth with their designers really allowed them to fit the technology to their vision. Working early on before the designs are complete was definitely unique because typically those designs come out with set construction document, there is no flexibility, so working very early with ownership gave us a lot of flexibility.”

Q3: How did Panasonic Solutions help with the audio at Golden 1 Center?

A3: He responded right at the beginning of a loud PA announcement by stating, “Our (Panasonic) audio team bid on the project, and as most projects get bid out, the less expensive bidder sometimes win, they are not always capable. This is a situation where we were able to evaluate, we stayed close to the team, and as they were having challenges with the vendor they selected, they kept bringing us in to try and address some of the things, and they was came back and said, Look, this is how we can fix it. That’s the kind of working relationship we get with having the type of relationship we had with them, that’s the type of give and take you get through the project with the technology partner. That was an exciting part because it was crunch time, it was the weekend before opening day, (Panasonic) was able to patch things to make it work right, then come back and fix it.”

Q4: What type of unique challenges did Golden 1 Center present?

A4: Zeller said, “The 4K is still new for live sports, having the 4K video board, setting up a 4K control room. Again, ownership having the vision that it would install something that wasn’t going to be antiquated in the first year that they are open. They made the investment to make sure the fans had the best experience right out of the gate. And again, that is another unique thing we saw with the ownership here, and the team itself, they are all very, very oriented on the fan experience here, so that was the unique offer for this project.”

Q5 How does Panasonic USA brings the connected experience all together?

A5: With the stadium having all the different digital assets within the stadium, from the displays to social media, to the control room, getting feedback from fans social media wise, we had to work with the team in understanding what they wanted to deliver for a show, that is where we sat back and our team did a great job with the solution and control system that would allow them to take in all that data and then be able to disperse it individually to the different areas in the facility, The connected experience is what really immerses the fan and raises their value when they come to a game.

Q6 Describe the ROI Panasonic tech provides in terms of incremental revenue versus sponsorship sales revenue.

A6: “With a facility like this and a team like this, there are different stakeholders. All the way from the production of the event, to people that maintain the building and operate the building, to the folks that are tasked with raising revenue for the team and the facility. So working with those different stakeholders what were able to do is make sure that we listen to each one of their needs because there are individual needs. And provide a system that’s flexible enough. We definitely recognized from a production stand point, listened to their needs and make sure that was in the control room. From a marketing stand point, we listened not only for ourselves being a technology partner, but what the needs and how the team wanted to raise their value for their sponsors, advertisers, and providing that incremental revenue and working with the team so they can provide something unique to their sponsors was really, really special here.”

Q7: Are bigger video boards trending?

A7: “I think so, it’s been the trend. Everybody always has to outdo one another; I think the boards will continue to get bigger. I think they will become more and resolutioned. Bigger, brighter and better, I think it will just continue to grow,” said Zeller.

Q8: Finally, I wanted to know what type of business development was on Zeller’s plate looking into the future with sports and entertainment as well as commercial field work.

A8: Zeller said, “We are all recognizing that they need to compete with online shopping, so how do commercial retailers, stores raise the experience for people coming in the store to shop. Now it’s all about how to take technology into retail.

He further added, “It’s where we (Panasonic) started work, we did it with the Houston Rockets, did some unique things with their team store, at the Toyota Center. We did the Staples Center, then we did the Toyota Center with the Rockets. When we did the Toyota Center, we thought that was big at the time, it was the biggest at the time. Then I think Colorado (Pepsi Center) did one after that. This one (Golden1) I think tops them all. It’s going to be hard to beat this one for a while, I think it will hold on.”

To end the evening, I hosted a Facebook Live from the Panasonic USA Facebook page during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers taking place on David J. Stern walk.

Facebook Live

To finish up this epic social media night, I hosted a Facebook Live on the Panasonic USA page. I was not really nervous but after traveling across the country and taking the extended tour, I needed to ramp up and be on point for this first time fan experience for me across Facebook.

With the help of Kevin Leonard, Video Production Manager, Marketing Communications at Panasonic USA, and Kayla, I was told this Facebook Live was a success.

Our Facebook Live session lasted 5 minutes and was seen by I believe more than one thousand fans located around the world.

I started off outside Golden 1 Center to show viewers the two large displays by the plaza in full operation. Our video crew quickly entered the security gate and immediately came upon the ribbon board displays and stunning center-hung display as we overlooked the basketball court and seats.

I asked a fan walking by what he thought about the video board and was given a positive review.  I also fielded a fan question/comment asked over the Facebook Live platform.

Filming finished up with a look at all relevant Panasonic technologies near me. It was clear the Panasonic video board gives the game another dimension, bringing new life to replays, highlights and stats, fan engagement and partner activations, like never before.

The Golden 1 Data Center and the fully integrated Control.

Sports Techie, I was under embargo to not talk about sports tech plans by the Kings to turn the Golden 1 Center into an eSports venue. The team finally released the information to the public, details can be read about here:
Kings Unveil World’s First Dedicated Esports Training Facility and Content Studio Inside Pro Sports Venue.

A special shout out goes to Kayde Spilde, Marketing Director at Panasonic USA, the Panasonic USA social media team, Text 100, and the AGAIN Interactive team, for all the hard work they put into making sure this sports tech-driven fan experience for me and the Sports Techie online community was done right. I also wanted to thank everyone I met throughout gameday and my stay for their friendliness and support.

I wear my new Nike sponsored Kings swag with honor.

Next stop for me was CES 2018 in Las Vegas as a social media influencer and industry expert on behalf of Panasonic along with four other respective subject matter experts.

Watch the Panasonic video below featuring me to find out more about Smart Sports Venues.

Smart Sports Venues: See, Hear, & Feel the Action

Cutting edge technology certainly helps to get NBA fans out of the home and into the arena.

Seeing your picture or social media post on the video board at Golden 1 Center is priceless.

Panasonic technologies are engineered to surround fans with an unforgettable immersive fan experience, one they’ll want to come back for again and again.

Btw, the Kings defeated the Blazers. Winning has no substitute for drawing fans to home game.

My gratitude goes to Panasonic for the opportunity to learn about their best-in-class technologies at the Golden 1 Center.

If you want to learn more about how Panasonic is creating immersive experiences, check out PanasonicMovesUs.com.

See ya later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!

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