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NBA team Sacramento Kings to host 'Bollywood Night' on 7th January!

Sacramento is the only team in the NBA with an Indian-born majority owner in Vivek Ranadive.

Ben McLemore Sacramento Kings 2015
Sacramento Kings’ shooting guard Ben McLemore poses with Kings shirts in Hindi

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Sacramento Kings are the only team in the NBA with an Indian-born majority owner in Vivek Ranadivé. And fittingly, a Bollywood-themed night will be held during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on 7th January 2016 (8th January morning in India)!

This will be the third consecutive season that the Kings will be hosting a Bollywood themed night, after its previous two editions in front of sell-out crowds. The night will include India-inspired fabrics and decor, cuisine, Bollywood-themed fan giveaways for those in attendance, and performances from leading Indian-American entertainers and celebrities.

This year’s Bollywood night coincides with the final scheduled game in Sacramento for NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who is due to retire at the end of this season.

With the Sacramento Kings hosting the Los Angeles Lakers, the night will celebrate popular Indian culture and cinema. It is a night dedicated to the Indian-American community and is of special significance for the Kings. After all, in May 2013 a possible relocation to another city was prevented thanks to the acquisition of the team by a new group of owners led by Mumbai-born tech entrepreneur, Vivek Ranadivé.

“I’m proud to welcome fans from all over the world to participate and celebrate Indian culture and traditions,” said Kings Owner and Chairman Ranadivé. “The Kings continue to take steps to build basketball as the premier global sport of the 21st century by connecting with not only fans in India, but from all over the globe. Here at home, we encourage and challenge the loudest fans in the NBA to experience a new culture, and welcome them with open arms.”

Driven by Owner and Chairman Ranadivé, the first Indian-born owner in NBA history, the Kings have implemented a NBA 3.0 philosophy to make basketball the premier sport of the 21st century. They focus on cutting edge technology to enhance the fan experience, which acts as a positive agent of change in the community and helps expand the team’s global brand.

The Bollywood Night and the celebration of Indian culture are among many franchise outreach initiatives led by the Kings that embody this vision.

Tapping into the global appeal of Bollywood on the décor and merchandising front, the night will witness colourful fabric sheets hung from the catwalks over the bowl, rally towels on seats for all fans, the choicest Indian cuisine, Bollywood scarves and t-shirts in the team store and warm-up shirts for the Kings’ players.

On the entertainment side, the first Miss America of Indian-descent – Nina Davuluri – will join the Sacramento Kings Dancers for a special Bollywood-themed dance routine. The starting line-ups for the Kings and the Lakers will be introduced by a special guest announcer in Hindi. There will also be a special half-time performance from Indian-American artist Anjali World.

Other planned pre-game and in-game events include Punjabi sword fighting, dance performances by the California-based Ankhiley Gabroo dance group, and player introductions in Hindi and coordinated pyrotechnics. Sacramento native and artist Pam Shankar, of Indo-Fijian descent, will be singing the national anthem. 

The game itself holds much anticipation. It will be five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant’s final game in Sacramento, the legend having announced his decision to retire at the end of this season.

*Tip off time: Friday, January 8th at 9:00 am [Indian Standard Time]; Thursday, January 7th at 7:30pm [Pacific Standard Time]
*Live Broadcast in India on Sony Six and Sony Six HD.

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