SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The momentum is going their way right now, but can the new regime regain the trust of fans and sponsors to make the Sacramento Kings a profitable team once again?
The craze and excitement of this resurgence is something not felt since the team’s glory days, and the hope is this energy and momentum will carry on for ticket sales and corporate advertising.
Sacramento is touted as having one of the best fan bases in the country with its unwavering support through the early years and then through the golden seasons.
But, soon bad plays on the floor and threats of relocation by former owners the Maloofs left fewer people willing to buy tickets.
“It was very difficult if you were a fan here in Sacramento. You had both a losing team and losers as owners,” said public relations specialist Doug Elmets.
When the Vegas bachelors struck a deal to move Sacramento’s team south to Anaheim, corporate advertisers pulled out too.
“I do think if they get a winning team along with the winning ownership group, you have prescription for success,” said Elmets.
Jiffy Lube signed back on as an advertiser after two years away.
“We didn’t see any stability. So when you put those dollars to invest them to drive the business, to drive the brand awareness, we didn’t think we’d get the bang for the buck,” said corporate sponsor Matt Graham.
It was something you didn’t see during the King’s first 25 seasons.
During the glory years, 17,317 fans packed then-Arco Arena each night for eight straight years for 354 consecutive sellouts. However, since 2008, the Kings have been among the worst in the league — averaging less than 14,000 per game.
Now, under new ownership and leadership, majority owner Vivek Ranadive promises a new arena, new energy, and more wins on the court, which could translate to a win for the entire region.
“It’s a commitment to the team and making sure they win on the floor and if they do well on the floor I think you’ll find they’ll do well in the community as well,” said Elmets.
The bench mark for most NBA teams is to get to that 10,000 season ticket mark. Kings owners will not say how many they have sold, but do admit they are working toward that figure.