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TMCNet:  Sacramento Kings Partner with Zipwhip to Become First Professional Sports Team to Offer RCS Messaging

[September 11, 2018]

Sacramento Kings Partner with Zipwhip to Become First Professional Sports Team to Offer RCS Messaging

Zipwhip, the original cloud software platform for two-way business texting, today announced a partnership with the Sacramento Kings to roll out an RCS-enabled communication channel on its toll-free business phone number. The Kings, one of the first businesses globally to begin sending RCS messages on an existing business phone number, will use the technology to strengthen fan-to-franchise engagement, providing a human-to-human fan experience, incorporating rich media, location sharing and more into team communications.

Beginning today, the Kings will use RCS to improve their day-to-day fan communications around ticketing, game schedules and other general information. Consumers can engage via RCS with the Kings by texting their toll-free phone line at 833-91KINGS. The service will leverage Zipwhip's participation in Google's Early Access Program for RCS business messaging and will initially be available for Android users on the Sprint (News - Alert) network.

An evolution of SMS and MMS, RCS marks the progression of text-based communication, delivering an elevated experience which highlights the best features of today's smartphones. As the original creators of the business texting industry, Zipwhip pioneered two-way communication and continues to lead the charge around the future of business-to-consumer engagement. With RCS capabilities expanded to existing phone numbers, today's businesses can now seamlessly innovate alongside consumer demand via the phone number they have invested immeasurable equity into.

By using an existing toll-free number to initiate RCS conversations, the Sacramento Kings will provide a seamless transition to RCS and will deliver RCS messages via SMS or MMS as a fall-back where data connectivity is unavailable, or if the handset is not RCS-capable. Unlike most companies which rely solely on chatbots and artificial inelligence, Zipwhip's RCS solution is driven primarily by human-to-human interaction, providing users with a personal and dynamic conversation while also incorporating modern functionality into the conversation.

"There are over 200 million business phone numbers in North America which, thanks to Zipwhip, are now poised to take advantage of RCS capabilities via the existing phone number their customers know and love," said John Lauer, CEO and co-founder, Zipwhip. "As the first franchise in the nation to RCS-enable its landline, the Sacramento Kings continue to be at the forefront of leveraging technology and innovation to strengthen the fan experience. Further, by text-enabling existing landlines, Zipwhip can seamlessly onboard new partners, like the Sacramento Kings, with zero friction. Zipwhip is proud to power the next generation of two-way communication and I'm confident RCS will continue to be embraced across the country by businesses and wireless carriers alike."

RCS is an enhanced messaging technology that provides deeper interactions than current SMS and MMS capabilities. RCS users are able to share their location, view typing indicators, receive read receipts, make payments and reply to inline suggested buttons within their native texting app, along with many additional functionalities. While the GSMA (News - Alert) predicts 86 percent of smartphones will be RCS-enabled by 2020, much of the technology's growth and adoption to-date has occurred in Europe. The potential for RCS globally, however, is huge with 430 million monthly active users expected to engage in RCS this year before leaping to 2.76 billion in 2019. The Zipwhip and Sacramento Kings partnership marks a significant milestone in the North American market, where the potential for RCS is only now being realized.

"RCS stands to upgrade today's business messaging experience by powering communications that are more interactive and engaging than ever before," said Todd Parker, Head of Business Development, Carrier Messaging, Google (News - Alert). "We are pleased to have Zipwhip working in conjunction with the Sacramento Kings to provide new ways for fans to get timely, useful information about games via RCS."

"We are always looking for ways to ensure the Golden 1 Center experience seamlessly extends off the court and into the hands of our fans and guests through their devices," said Ryan Montoya, Sacramento Kings Chief Technology Officer. "Thanks to Zipwhip, we can provide our fans with the latest technology to stay connected, communicate with the franchise and get the information they need."

Representatives from Zipwhip will be onsite at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) Americas in Los Angeles Sept. 12-14 to demonstrate the power of RCS-enabled communication. To learn more about RCS or receive a personalized demo, please visit the Zipwhip booth in the West Hall, Stand 1610. Zipwhip will also be showcasing live demos with Google and the GSMA in the Innovation City: Hall South Stand S.1346.

About Zipwhip

A Seattle-based SaaS (News - Alert) company, Zipwhip is modernizing the business texting medium by enabling text messaging to existing landline, VoIP and toll-free phone numbers. Zipwhip pairs direct network connectivity with easy, cloud-based software, so businesses of any size can give customers the choice to "text or call" and handle two-way text conversations at scale. Learn more about Zipwhip at www.zipwhip.com.


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