In a late development, the Bee reports that the Sacramento group led by Vivek Ranadivé has added two more investors to their group: venture capitalist Naren Gupta and tech entrepeneur Andy Miller. Gupta has offices in both India and Menlo Park, and according to Forbes serves on the Board of Directors for TIBCO Software, Ranadivé's company. Miller is the COO of Leap Motion and gives the Sacramento group yet another member with a background in innovation and technology, which according to the Bee, is all part of Vivek Ranadivé's plan to make the Sacramento Kings a "global brand".
The Bee lays out some of how Vivek and his team seek to make the Kings "the most innovative franchise in the NBA". A focus on data will allow the team to market to people by preference, and this innovation will extend to the basketball floor as well with a focus on finding hidden talent through statistics, similar to the vein the Houston Rockets Daryl Morey operates.
"This is a playbook that we have used before," he said, referring to the turnaround enjoyed by the Warriors since 2010. "It's not going to be overnight, it's going to take a couple of years. ... I feel very comfortable that we can make (the Kings) a winning franchise."
In earlier interviews, Ranadivé has spoken about surrounding himself with smart people and that seems to be just what he's doing with this investment group. Ranadivé seeks to make basketball the sport of the 21st century, and in particular focus on the largely untapped Asian markets. The Bee reports that these latest additions will likely be the last investors brought into the fold, although they are still receiving calls.
None of the members of the investment group would comment to the Bee about their bid or whether they'd match Seattle's newest offer, but that has been par for the course for the group. Sources have told the Bee that the group indicated to the NBA that they would match the Seattle's offer during the April 3rd meeting at the Board of Governors. In my opinion, given that the increase is only $16.25 million in real money, the Sacramento group would likely match that as well if the NBA asked them to.
In other news, Sacramento hotels are paying $10,000 for a pro-Sacramento advertisement in Times Square starting tomorrow. The ad will be shown every five minutes for 72 hours.
The NBA super-committee vetting both bids will have a closed-doors meeting Wednesday before convening for the Thursday and Friday Board of Governors meetings. As of now, neither the Seattle group or the Sacramento group have been asked to show up for any of the meetings.