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.

Hey Bay …read more

Source:: GeekWire


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