National Basketball Players Association Launches First Metaverse Experience at CES 2024

The world, created in collaboration with metaverse developer MeetKai, is designed to offer basketball fans a more immersive experience

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

January 9, 2024

2 Min Read
The metaverse world features a replica of the Brotherhood Deli

MeetKai, a company creating metaverse and conversational AI tools, is collaborating with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to create a new metaverse experience

The project is being unveiled at CES 2024, taking place Jan 9-12 in Las Vegas. 

MeetKai is working with THINK450, the partnership and innovation engine of the NBPA to create the metaverse world, which features a replica of the Brotherhood Deli, an in-person fan pop-up shop that debuted on the concourse of the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in the summer of 2023. 

MeetKai provides its AI-enabled digital twin technology to create the bodega-inspired store, which also includes a shoppable wall of player-endorsed brands and player-inspired merchandise.

Fans can enter the virtual world using their smartphones or web browsers, where they can try on and shop for merchandise and products from brands connected to the NBPA.

“At MeetKai, we’re honored to power the NBPA’s first-ever metaverse experience, allowing fans to engage with their favorite athletes like never before,” said James Kaplan, MeetKai’s CEO. “THINK450 has always been at the forefront of creating innovative and engaging partnerships and experiences, so we’re proud to join forces to create an interactive shopping experience that connects them closer with the sport they love.” 

Related:Samsung Unveils Smart Home Tech at CES 2024

Users can also personalize their 3D avatars and can walk around and interact with avatars of NBPA members, as well as other fans.

The metaverse experience is slated for commercial launch at the end of this year. Additional features will then be added throughout the season to “immerse users in basketball fandom like never before,” including meet and greets with players and contests to win merchandise.

"We are excited to partner with MeetKai to expand the Brotherhood Deli into a metaverse experience,” said Que Gaskins, THINK450’s president. “By expanding the Brotherhood Deli into a metaverse experience, we provide proximity and access to a larger audience while building a community where fans and players can engage on a deeper level.”

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CES 2024

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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