Google Nest branding was all over during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in Oakland, Calif. Wednesday evening. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)
REPORTING FROM OAKLAND: It was a regular break in the action during the first quarter of Tuesday’s NBA playoff game at Oracle Arena when a familiar voice — at least here in Silicon Valley — echoed through the building.
“Hey Google, turn down the lights.”
Google’s popular voice assistant helped set the mood as the dance team took the floor for a quick performance before the postseason battle resumed.
Such was the scene during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals as Google, with its massive headquarters located just south of here, spent big dollars on a unique sponsorship with the hometown Golden State Warriors.
The deal is part of a growing convergence of tech and pro sports in the Bay Area — and offered a potential glimpse of what’s to come in Seattle.
Tuesday’s game featured several “Hey Google” demos during in-game breaks, showing fans different ways the virtual assistant can be used: Hey Google, play Gonna Make You Sweat … Hey Google, how many 3-pointers did Steph Curry make this season?
But the most impactful moment came after the game, when all 19,596 fans in attendance walked away with a free Google Home Mini device. At $1 million, it was hailed as “the largest and most valuable giveaway of a Google product at a live sporting event in history.” Fans were able to enter a sweepstakes for free tickets by activating their device at home after the game.
Google has dabbled in sports but this was the first Nest-related sports deal (Nest recently rebranded to Google Nest, the company’s new smart home arm). It was also the first tech giveaway for both Google and the Warriors.
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