Detroit Pistons has announced a partnership with immersive AI company MeetKai, with ‘Detroit Pistons World’ set to launch later this year.

The NBA team’s own ‘Detroit Pistons World’ will feature a virtual fan marketplace, themed games, merchandise available for purchase, gated content and more that will all be available to Pistons fans. 

Adam Falkson, Vice President Business Intelligence at the Pistons, said: “We are proud to welcome MeetKai as our newest partner.

“This partnership is part of our continued commitment to make the Detroit Pistons one of the most innovative and fan-friendly sports and entertainment organisations in the industry. MeetKai is the perfect partner for us on this journey.”

Through utilising MeetKai’s technology, the browser-based virtual fan marketplace will be an exact digital replica of its physical team store, located at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

The online marketplace will feature the same merchandise as the store, plus access to collectibles and clothing items available for purchase that can be used by the customers virtual avatar or shipped home to be worn in person, with new content and merchandise set to be available throughout the season.

“Both MeetKai and the Detroit Pistons are thrilled about this partnership. We’re hitting the ground running on the development of the ‘Detroit Pistons World,’ and couldn’t be more excited to offer its fanbase a never-before-seen, virtual experience like no other,” James Kaplan, CEO & Co-Founder of MeetKai, said.

“This world will not only expand and extend basketball fandom into new realms, but be a special opportunity for the Pistons to reach new audiences globally in new ways.”

Additionally, the AI firm’s avatar customisation solution will also be deployed in the ‘Detroit Pistons World’, which works by users creating an account and uploading a selfie in order for MeetKai to generate an avatar face for the user.

Following the creation of the avatar, users can edit features such as body type, hair styles, and accessories, plus select regular and Pistons-themed clothing items to wear, along with any digital merchandise purchased in the world, as mentioned earlier.  

Weili Dai, Executive Chairwoman & Co-Founder of MeetKa, stated: “We’re extremely proud of MeetKai’s cutting-edge AI technology and of how it’s been adopted so quickly by the sports industry.”

Following the agreement, the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA team to partner with MeetKai after the Charlotte Hornets, who agreed a deal with the tech company in 2023.

More recently, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced the launch of a metaverse experience in partnership with MeetKai, which debuted on 15 February at the All-Star Weekend.

Dai concluded: “It’s a testament to the differentiators of our technology and their impact on the consumer experience, offering fans new ways to gain value and experience the teams and players they love. We look forward to expanding our products and continuing offering our leading solutions to this and more industries globally in 2024”.

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