It’s not every day that an NBA basketball game becomes the site of Guinness World Record testing, and as you might have heard Sacramento Kings fans are wasting no time putting their grassroots organizations to work by attempting to break the indoor sound record of 106.6 dBA previously set by the fans of the Bucks (plus a few Clippers fans) at the Bradley Center in 2008.
The idea started when one of the leaders of #HereWeStay effort (@HereWeStayED), Kevin Fippin, started using social media to drum up support to target Friday’s nationally televised ESPN game for an attempt to break the record.
ESPN ruffled some feathers in Sacramento before the season after using a Seattle-based company to compile data that would eventually rank the Kings the worst franchise of all of the four major sports.
This prompted the team to issue a rebuke of the rankings in an ad campaign with the copy: “Hey ESPN. Nice Airball. New Era. New Swagger. The Best Fans Await You. 11.15.13”
The rankings also caused former NBA Executive Vice President of Team Marketing and Business Operations and new President of the Kings to issue the following statement:
“We love ESPN, but think they could have given us the benefit of foresight in their rankings,” said Granger. “They know what we have going here. And, if they don’t, we’re going to show them when they visit us on November 15.”
So the gauntlet had already been thrown down when Fippin’s efforts on social media caught the attention of Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, with a sellout already likely and enough compelling crowd shots to make the Kings’ point to the four-letter network.
“Think the Kings should get behind this cause and help us get our record back? Tweet @vivek and @cgkings yourself & let them know. #HereWeRoar,” tweeted Fippin, to which the billionaire owner replied playfully “can u speak a little louder please.”
By then Vivek and Granger saw the lightning in a bottle and decided to bring it all together by notifying Guinness.
“I guess a call to Guinness is the first line of business tomorrow morning,” tweeted Granger, who arranged for the adjudicator of random records to officially test Friday’s game for crowd noise.
It’s a neat little story for a fanbase that is still in the honeymoon phase after years of torture at the hands of the Maloof brothers, and it took a turn toward competitive on Wednesday when promoters for the WBA & WBO Intercontinental Championship fight between Patrick Nielsen and Jose Pinto in Denmark decided to issue their own challenge.
They’re going to try to break the record that Sacramento is expected to blow away just 12 hours earlier.
“Boxing is all about timing and countering,” promoter Nisse Sauerland said. “Should needs be we will land the decisive counterpunch and knock out the Kings´ record. Make no mistake, we wish them the best of luck. They have done a brilliant job with their viral #HereWeRoar campaign. But we´ll take it one step further – #HereWeRoarKO.”
The MusikTeatret Albertslund arena in Denmark seats just around 2,000 people, but like Sleep Train Arena the promoter says the acoustics give them a fighting shot.
“We´ve got experts with a high-profile decibel device, 2000 ear plugs and the support of Patrick´s wild fans,” Sauerland added. “They might be outnumbered, but the great acoustics at the venue will give us the chance for a big upset. May the loudest fans win.”
ESPN appeared to poke the bear on Tuesday, too, sending out a tweet directed at followers of the Kings’ official Twitter account. “@SacramentoKings If Kings fans are #ForeverPurple, prove it.”
A source told me that Kings fans actually beat the sound record in Wednesday’s game during practice testing (which doesn’t count), but now with wild card Denmark in the mix it’s a whole new ballgame.
“Knowing we have somebody hot on our tail is going to keep the energy high,” said Mike Tavares, who heads up the fan and advocacy group Crown Downtown. “Though I don’t think our fans need much extra motivation to go nuts.”
It looks like ESPN is going to get all the proof they need and then some.