The Sacramento Kings haven't had a winning season since 2006, but with a roster of young stars like Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox, it thinks there's a market for its authenticated memorabilia.
The Kings today announced a new auction platform for bidding on sports jerseys and apparel during games. The auctions are made possible by Treum, a ConsenSys product for blockchain-backed supply chains, and will take place during each Sacramento home game. (Disclosure: ConsenSys funds Decrypt.)
The first auction will be held tonight during Sacramento's game against the Dallas Mavericks, with Hield's game-worn jersey going to the winner.
This isn't a sign that the Kings are cash-strapped—look no further than Harrison Barnes' four-year, $85 million contract for proof. Everything raised during the auction is going to charity. The team says the proceeds from tonight's auction will go to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts and that future proceeds will go to its non-profit foundation.
It's not the first time the Kings have innovated using blockchain tech. In fact, it's been well ahead of the curve compared to other North American sports teams. It accepted Bitcoin for payment in 2014, started mining cryptocurrency in 2018, and began selling physical crypto-collectibles last year. The Kings even have their own ERC20 token to reward fans.
Its latest venture works like this: From tipoff until midnight, fans in the arena or at home can bid on the live auction item. The highest bidder gets the gear, complete with a certificate of authenticity and a time-stamped Ethereum token showing how the memorabilia has changed owners.
In a press release, the Kings said that despite the American sport memorabilia market being worth more than $5 billion annually, "there are no industry standards for authenticating items and protecting fans from purchasing counterfeit merchandise. Through this partnership, the Kings and ConsenSys are effectively increasing the resale potential for authenticated merchandise on secondary markets."
And who knows? The resale value for that Buddy Hield jersey could be pretty high when he leads Sacramento to its first NBA title next year, eh Kings fans?