The Kings are giving their fans the first chance to “Call the Shot.”
The NBA team – in partnership with MGM Resorts International and Xperiel, inventor of the Real World Web platform – is introducing the league’s first free-to-play gaming experience. It’s only available through the Sacramento Kings + Golden 1 Center mobile app.
“Call the Shot” allows fans to predict the outcomes of game quarters, player performance as well as interact with their favorite team – all while offering in-app prize opportunities at no cost to players. Featuring MGM Resorts as its sponsor, the game is the first mobile offering from an NBA team that offers high-frequency predictive gaming to fans.
“We are committed to exploring new ways that technology can be used to engage with fans as they consume and interact with the game,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé said in a statement. “The future is experiential and we are proud to lead the way in continuing to redefine the fan experience with this innovative and interactive platform.”
While the technology is new to the NBA, at least one other team in the four major American sports leagues entered a similar deal last year.
The New York Jets also partnered with MGM, ESPN reported. As part of the deal, fans can play “I Called It,” a game about the team’s future only accessible through the NFL team’s app. Like the Kings’ game, it is also powered by Xperiel.
MGM Resorts, which signed a multiyear partnership with the NBA in July, is happy to join forces with the Kings.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with the Kings to become their exclusive presenting partner for the ‘Call the Shot’ game,” said Scott Butera, MGM Resorts international president of interactive gaming. “MGM Resorts looks forward to this unique opportunity to innovate free-to-play gaming and provide fans with a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.”
Alex Hertel, Xperiel CEO and co-founder, praised Ranadive’s work toward making the game happen.
“When we first started working with the Kings a few years ago, Vivek Ranadivé had the vision that any predictive gaming experience we create together should have a Vegas-like gaming feel without the actual wagering,” Hertel said. “It is thrilling to see what we’ve built under Vivek’s guidance and look forward to continuing to work with the Kings and other NBA teams to create immersive digital fan experiences and drive sports technology innovation with our Real World Web platform.”
“Call the Shot” players can make a number of predictions, including a team’s shooting percentage, which teams or players will score the most and more. Guesses can be made before the game and during each quarter, with correct answers awarded virtual credits for shots at in-app prizes.
The game is not for actual money. Instead, virtual credits can be redeemed in the app and are non-transferable. During a Kings game, all players will have their names appear on the leaderboard within the app and then projected onto the videoboard above the Golden 1 Center floor. After the game, the credits can be used for in-app prizes, which may include autographed Kings gear and game tickets. Season-length grand prizes will be fulfilled through a partnership between Xperiel and Amazon.