On Thursday, Bitcoin got a little bit more mainstream. The Sacramento Kings basketball team announced it is joining the ranks of businesses now accepting Bitcoin, making it the first professional sports team to do so.
Starting now, fans can use Bitcoin in the Kings Team Store, and by March 1, they’ll be able to buy tickets and pay for team merchandise online using the cryptocurrency. The goal is to allow fans to buy things faster and more securely. The transactions are processed through BitPay.
“We are maniacally focused on creating the most seamless experience for our fans in all facets,” Vivek Ranadivé, the team’s owner, said in a press release. “With BitPay, we are able to implement a technology that allows our fans to make Kings-related purchases without physically reaching into their wallets.”
Ranadivé believes in investing in tech to improve the fan experience, part of a business philosophy he calls “NBA 3.0.” “This is yet another step in that process,” he said. Fast Company named the NBA one of its Most Innovative Companies of 2013 for its efforts in making NBA content more accessible to more people, particularly on TV.