On the Hardwood: Sacramento Kings Improve In-Venue, At-Home Experience With Intel True View at Golden 1 Center
Fans can watch 360-degree replays on team’s mobile app
The doldrums of 2020 may be in the past, but 2021 is still presenting challenges to in-venue production teams. Now out of the Orlando bubble, NBA organizations are hosting games in their home arenas and navigating the continuing difficulties of the pandemic. Like SVG’s At the Ballpark and On the Gridiron series, On the Hardwood will take a look at the hardships, creative ideas, and teamwork of NBA franchises.
Fans may not be in attendance, but the Sacramento Kings are continuing to innovate. The franchise has installed Intel True View at Golden 1 Center, one of the more forward-thinking venues in professional sports, for 360-degree video highlights and replays that can be viewed on the mobile app and played on the videoboard.
“We teamed up with Intel about a year ago, and initially, we have over 300 HD cameras in the building that are mostly located in the lower bowl around the court,” says Maurice Brazelton, senior director of entertainment, Sacramento Kings. “Every game, we have high-definition recordings where fans can get really tight on a play and be immersed from a player’s perspective.”
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360-Degree Coverage: Intel True View Transform Video Consumption
Before the postponement of last year’s NBA regular season, the organization announced a partnership with Intel in February 2020 that would launch the league’s first research and development site in the arena. The organization has been wholeheartedly committed to technological innovation, and after tinkering with this project over the course of the offseason and the first games of the current schedule, the activation is ready to be rolled out at full capacity. Since fans are not permitted inside the venue, they’ll be able to access these immersive replays through the Kings and Golden 1 mobile app.
You wanted another angle of @swipathefox‘s dunk?
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) January 12, 2021
The mobile app is filled with tons of gameday features, but this new concept is one that is keeping fans busy while at home. When patrons eventually return to the Golden 1 Center, they will be able to digest this content on their phone as well as on the videoboard throughout the course of the game.
“When we get fans back into the building, we’re going to be able to take it a step further by showing these replays on our videoboard,” says Brazelton. “We lead the league, and for that matter professional teams, in pushing the envelope on technology and I think this is a partnership that’s going to be with us for a while.”
Along with this digital benefit, the organization is diving deep into an esports application that connects fans while they’re at home watching the broadcast.
“We’re one of the first professional teams to launch a Discord server,” he adds. “It allows our fanbase to engage with each other and have a platform for us to give them specialized content that they would normally see in Golden 1 Center. A couple of our players as well as our GM have also dropped in to hang out with some fans.”
Productions in Sactown: Legends of the Game, Drip Cam Populate In-Venue Videoboard
In Sacramento, the franchise has a history filled with notable names that have worn the purple and grey. Ranging from sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic and sublime passer Jason Williams to clutch point guard Mike Bibby and college-turn-pro postman Chris Webber, the Kings have a deep arsenal of legendary players. To shed some light on these icons, the department is leveraging their video archive to create pre-produced packages.
“We’re doing a series of video segments that tie into our basketball history,” says Brazelton. “A couple of examples include This Date in King’s History and Legends of the Game, where we talk about a player on the visiting team, like Bill Russell when we played the Boston Celtics.”
In addition to honoring their distinguished alumni, the production team is leveraging both the style and on-court skills of their current roster. Whether players are entering the building before a game or putting a spotlight on tremendous plays, the in-venue videoboard is the home for this content.
“We’ve been having some fun working with our social team by sharing some of the content that they would normally run during a pregame,” he adds. “For example, we’re running something that we call the Drip Cam, where we capture our players coming into to the building in their swag. We have very few eyes in the building, so we’re doing a lot of video playback like Top 10 plays since the players like to see themselves in highlight reels.”
Inside the NBA Bubble: Experience in Orlando Shapes Safety Protocols, Gameday Content
With the Kings fighting for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, Brazelton was among the individuals inside of the NBA bubble in Orlando. At the helm of their eight seeding games, he was able to pick up a few tips and tricks from this extraordinary experience. He became used to the stringent COVID-19 safety regulations, and even though he works near the courtside scorers’ table, he has become a steadfast example of following the league-wide protocols that are in place in all NBA arenas.
“Along with us working with our state and local health experts, the NBA worked extensively with all 30 teams to have comprehensive and detailed guidelines,” says Brazelton. “Whatever zone you’re in, we’re really making sure that people are properly wearing their masks.
Other than the safety aspect, Brazelton is taking another page from the production playbook of the bubble. In Orlando, family and friends were not permitted inside of the arena during any of the games until the latter stages of the playoffs. In an added twist, pregame lineups were presented by the players’ loved ones. This new tradition is continuing while the Golden 1 Center remains empty.
“We ran one last month and we didn’t tell the players, so it was a complete surprise,” he continues. “We also had our family game where brothers, nieces, and nephews of the players introduced them, so we look forward to bringing family into the building that way.”
The Ones Who Get It Done: Notable Names of Kings’ Production Team
Despite a handful of furloughs and other unfortunate situations involving his staff, Brazelton and company have continued to churn out content and create a familiar atmosphere for the team on the court. Led by colleagues like Vice President of A/V & Production Brian Plumb, Director of A/V & Broadcast Brian Hilton, and Audio Engineer/Music Director Dan Spackman, the Kings have shown true resolve and grit in the face of adversity.
“Through Zoom meetings and tens and thousands of emails, we’ve put together an awesome plan to pick up the slack and have each other’s back,” concludes Brazelton. “We’re looking forward to getting folks back into our building in a safe way because we’re known for having one of the loudest and most loyal fanbases in all of basketball.”
Coming off of a four-game winning streak, the Kings will host the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at Golden 1 Center at 10 p.m. ET.