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NBA Con Fan Experience to Debut Alongside Summer League

A three-day event in Las Vegas this July, dubbed NBA Con, will serve as a test run to expand the concept globally.

NBA talent, execs, media, and personalities both past and present will converge on Las Vegas from July 7-9 for NBA Con, to be held in conjunction with Summer League, the league announced Thursday.

NBA Con will take place at a 400,000-square-foot site at Vegas’s Mandalay Bay, which the league said is twice the size of the last NBA Crossover event, held in February at All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Trae Young, Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, Tyrese Haliburton, CJ McCollum, and Mike Conley are all slated to appear, with more names to be announced in the coming weeks.

The league is expecting more than 60,000 fans to attend the event, with a to-be-finalized price point of around $60 for adults and a lower cost for children. NBA Con is a culmination of a years-long process that will expand to other tentpole events around the world. A preseason tour stopping in Abu Dhabi this October is on the table, with the NBA scheduled to play two preseason games there.

The league partnered with Emerald, a leading company that puts together trade shows and conferences, on the project.

“NBA Con is built for every fan we know, combining our players’ and fans’ authentic off-the-court interests and identities into an environment where you could also focus on the dynamic basketball talent of our players,” Joey Graziano, the NBA’s head of event strategy and development, told Boardroom.

Different events and activations at NBA Con will include:

  • Exclusive drops of limited-edition apparel, accessories, and collectibles
  • Live musical performances from headlining artists who have a love for basketball
  • Meet-and-greets with NBA players and personalities, as well as live podcasts, panels, conversations, and creator studios discussing topics related to NBA culture
  • Interactive brand activations merging the NBA and technology, including in augmented and virtual reality
  • Fans shoot-arounds, open practices, and open hoop runs at The Park
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Graziano expects 75-100 different companies to participate in NBA Con, including the league’s traditional marketing partners. And the energy, buzz, and excitement each year around Summer League makes it the ideal testing ground for this new venture before the NBA takes it around the world.

“There’s a crazy appetite for the NBA in and around Las Vegas,” Graziano said. “Our fans are craving more, so NBA Con gives them more.”

NBA Con will also give players an opportunity to network and expand their brands, giving them a larger platform while fans witness the spectacle. The WNBA will have a presence at NBA Con as well, leading into the W’s own All-Star weekend in Vegas July 14-15. More upcoming announcements for NBA Con will drop on the league’s various social channels as it attempts to supersize its live event experiences.

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