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NBA Expands Meta Partnership to Bring Fans into the Game

The Association and Meta are extending their collaboration to bring hoops to the metaverse and outfit avatars in official NBA and WNBA apparel.

The NBA announced a multi-year partnership extension with Meta on Monday that includes a new VR experience for fans and a chance to rock your favorite team’s gear and apparel in the metaverse on the Meta Quest, the NBA and WNBA‘s official VR headset.

The league launched the NBA Arena in Meta Horizon Worlds, which will feature 52 live League Pass games in VR throughout the season beginning Monday. First up, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will battle the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 23 at 7:00 PM EST. League Pass access will also be available in Xtadium, a VR sports hub that offers shared high-definition viewing experiences.

“Our extended partnership with Meta will provide more immersive and innovative ways to experience the NBA,” Jennifer Chun, the NBA’s executive vice president and head of content partnerships, said. “Meta’s digital world opens up exciting possibilities for NBA fans to virtually attend our games and to interact with other fans around the world.”

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The partnership extension also includes the introduction of NBA-licensed apparel in the Meta Avatars Store. The virtual merch offerings allow fans to outfit their profile pictures and avatars with their favorite NBA or WNBA teams across Meta’s suite of social media platforms.

“Meta’s immersive VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage and interact with their favorite NBA teams,” Rob Shaw, Meta’s director of sports media and league partnerships, said. “The NBA is always pushing us to innovate and leverage the latest technology to open the door to new fan experiences, and this chapter of our partnership achieves exactly that.”

Among the 52 League Pass games made available at the NBA Arena through the partnership, five will be available in an immersive 180-degree monoscopic live format with 2880 resolution. The technology provides fans with virtual courtside access, bringing them into the game like never before. Other upcoming League Pass VR games include:

The NBA Arena will also feature content from around the league that fans can watch with their friends, mini-games, and the option to watch your favorite teams play together in VR within Meta Horizon Worlds.