NBA launches Meta Quest VR environment to engage fans during playoffs

  • VR metaverse activations designed to engage young fans
  • Meta Quest 2 is official headset of the NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched a new virtual reality (VR) environment on Meta’s Quest platform to engage fans in North America during the end-of-season playoffs.

‘NBA Lane’ is now accessible to anyone aged above 18 or older in the US and Canada and is pitched as an ‘NBA-themed Wonderland’, accessible via the Horizon Worlds application.

The experience offers games, content and other interactive features that will strengthen the league’s metaverse credentials. For example, a free throw shootout game lets fans compete against each other to score the most points, while a ‘low gravity dunk contest’ sees players attempt to defy physics and impress the judges.

A big screen will show NBA content, such as highlights, interviews, and archive footage, in front of a digital arena, while a virtual trophy room lets users take ‘virtual selfies’ with their avatar that can be shared in the real world.

The NBA hopes the experience, which is available until the end of June, will strengthen its metaverse credentials and attract tech-savvy fans – even if their team has not made the post-season.

The Meta Quest 2 is the official headset of the NBA, with the league signing an agreement back in 2020. The partnership has also seen selected live games from the regular season broadcast live in VR via another Meta service, Horizon Venues, helping users feel as though they were at the arena with thousands of other spectators, rather than watching the game at home.

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