The Sacramento Kings will begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for team merchandise and game tickets purchased online by March 1, making it the first professional sports franchise to accept the rapidly mainstreaming digital currency.
Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive, who is also the CEO of business software developer Tibco, said the decision to offer Bitcoin as a payment option reflects the team's commitment to a more fan-friendly and technologically inclusive philosophy which he has dubbed "NBA 3.0." Purchases will be processed through BitPay, the world's largest payment processor for virtual currencies.
"We are maniacally focused on creating the most seamless experience for our fans in all facets," he said in a statement. "With BitPay, we will be able to implement a technology that allows our fans to make Kings-related purchases without physically reaching into their wallets."
Last week, Overstock.com announced it would become the first online retailer to accept Bitcoin and Verotel, an online payment service processor for adult entertainment services and products, also followed suit.
"A major tenet of the NBA 3.0 philosophy is about utilizing technology for the betterment of the fan experience, and this is yet another step in that process."
The team has is already accepting the bitcoins for purchases at the Kings Team Store.