Closed-captioning error turns into an online sales opportunity for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings

April 1, 2015 12:27 PM

A closed-captioning goof during the second quarter of the broadcast of the Sacramento Kings’ game versus the Philadelphia 76ers on March 24 quickly turned into an online sales opportunity for the Kings.

Shooting guard Nik Stauskas hit a three-point field goal. The closed captioning of the broadcasters’ call of his shot referred to Stauskas as “Sauce Castillo,” obviously not Stauskas’ name, not even a nickname. A fan took a screen grab of the error, which quickly went viral.

“In the past week, the team has seen a 60% increase in new Facebook page likes, 110% increase in post reach and 135% increase in engagement,” chief marketing officer Benjamin Gumpert says.

Fans created memes with Stauskas even joining in the fun. At one point, the closed captioning error was trending nationally on Twitter. Sensing an opportunity, the team moved quickly to cash in.

By the end of last week, the Kings were selling T-shirts in their online store emblazoned with the “Sauce Castillo hit the three” closed-captioning error, with adult sizes selling for $24.95 and kids’ shirts selling for $19.95.

Gumpert says having a digital team that is quick on its toes helped the team strike while the e-commerce iron was white-hot.

“It quickly became clear that this closed-captioning snafu was going viral and gaining traction with our fans,” he says. “Our digital team saw almost immediate fan reaction across all platforms, and we decided it was a great opportunity to have some fun with our passionate fan base.”

The return on investment was almost immediate.

Gumpert tells Internet Retailer the team’s online store on Friday experienced quadruple the amount of traffic of a typical day, thanks in part to the excitement surrounding Stauskas’s new nickname.

“The shirts are selling really well, so we’re exploring other merchandise products to keep the momentum going,” he says.

Gumpert tells Internet Retailer the team has designated its home game on Sunday, April 5 against the Utah Jazz as “Sauce Castillo Night.” 




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