The NBA and WNBA have expanded their partnership with Meta as the leagues’ official VR headset.

Aiming to ‘bring the excitement of professional basketball in VR to a new level’, the collaboration will provide 52 upcoming games in Xtadium – a VR sports hub app that offers shared watching experiences – and Meta Horizon Worlds on Meta Quest.

Jennifer Chun, NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Content Partnerships, commented: “Our extended partnership with Meta will provide more immersive and innovative ways to experience the NBA. 

“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.”

In detail, the partnership extension will see the launch of NBA-licensed apparel in the Meta Avatars Store for fans to purchase NBA or WNBA team apparel for their Meta avatar.

The deal also brings authenticated NBA League Pass access to Xtadium. Existing NBA League Pass subscribers will be able to access their subscription in YBVR’s Xtadium app within Meta Quest VR, meaning fans can sit in a ‘virtual’ courtside seat to watch live NBA League Pass games and host private watch parties.

“Meta’s immersive VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage and interact with their favourite NBA teams,” added Meta Director of Sports Media and League Partnerships Rob Shaw.  

“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.”

With the huge upsurge of the Metaverse and Web3, Max Proctor, Managing Director at Doppelgänger, spoke to Insider Sport last month about his experiences of implementing VR strategies to put fans quite literally ‘at the heart of the action’.

“I think this will certainly represent the future of fan engagement because it’s giving fans brand new ways to engage with the sport,” he stated.

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