NBA unites with Dapper Labs to boost fan engagement

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has teamed up with Dapper Labs, blockchain company and creator of CryptoKitties, to develop NBA Top Shot.

Top Shot, which is a new digital platform and game, will allow fans to collect, trade, and own exclusive digital NBA collectibles, including some of the greatest moments in league history on blockchain.

Josh Goodstadt, Executive VP of licensing for THINK450, the commercial branch of the NBPA, commented on the potential for fan engagement: “NBA Top Shot is an entirely new way for fans to connect with their favorite athletes. We believe blockchain technology creates a truly unique product that fans can collect, manage and engage within a fun environment, and we are excited to partner with Dapper Labs to introduce these groundbreaking digital assets to the NBA community.”

The collectible aspect of the platform is set to launch in autumn, with the game set to follow shortly after in early 2020. 

A statement released on the NBPA website read: “NBA Top Shot will feature a social experience built around digital collectibles as well as a complementary head-to-head game designed to create a fun, authentic and accessible fan engagement on blockchain. Like other sports games or fantasy brackets, fans who play the game are tasked with creating their ideal squad, but in this game, their rosters are built by acquiring live in-game moments from the NBA season.”

The statement went on to describe how live in-game actions could be acquired as digital collectibles, with players then given the option of owning them permanently or using them to complete in online competitions. 

Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, concluded on the deal: “The NBA and its players are among the greatest heavyweights in global culture. Dapper Labs is proud to work with the NBA and NBPA to create an unparalleled digital experience for sports fans. Through NBA Top Shot basketball fans can engage with their favourite players, teams, and each other in entirely new ways.”

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