HomeMetaverseMeetKai And NBPA Set for the First Virtual Interaction During All-Star Weekend

MeetKai And NBPA Set for the First Virtual Interaction During All-Star Weekend

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Insider Brief

  • MeetKai and the National Basketball Players Association announced the debut of its highly anticipated metaverse experience, open to fans across the world.
  • The launch coincides with the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.
  • The virtual space promises an easily accessible, immersive experience for basketball enthusiasts, offering for the first time exclusive access to players, merchandise, contests and more.
  • Image: NBPA metaverse features the digital replica of “The Brotherhood Deli,” an in-person fan pop-up shop that gained popularity at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas during the summer of 2023. (Provided)

PRESS RELEASE — MeetKai, the leading metaverse and conversational AI company, along with THINK450, the partnership and innovation engine of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), officially announced the debut of its highly anticipated metaverse experience, open to fans across the world. Coinciding with All-Star Weekend, this groundbreaking virtual space promises an easily accessible, immersive experience for basketball enthusiasts unlike anything before, offering for the first time exclusive access to players, merchandise, contests, and more.

During the week of its launch, the NBPA metaverse will open its vault to limited-edition daily merchandise drops from brands founded by, invested in, respected, or endorsed by NBPA members, also known as “F.I.R.E brands.” The vault will also include merchandise from The Sanctuary capsule, a performance line previously reserved only for players. Additionally, fans can also join virtual meet-and-greets with NBPA members such as CJ McCollum, enabling them to take selfies with their avatars and ask questions in real-time.

“At MeetKai, we’ve had the tremendous honor of developing the inaugural metaverse venture for NBPA, enabling fans to connect with their beloved athletes in unprecedented ways,” said James Kaplan, MeetKai’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Teaming up with the forward-thinking team at THINK450, is a perfect partnership as we look forward to continuing to collaborate on interactive shopping journeys that deepens the bond between fans and the sport they cherish.”

A standout feature in the NBPA metaverse is the digital replica of “The Brotherhood Deli,” an in-person fan pop-up shop that gained popularity at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas during the summer of 2023. Virtually crafted with MeetKai’s cutting-edge metaverse platform and AI-enabled, digital twin technology, the bodega-inspired virtual store previewed at CES last month features a shoppable wall of player-endorsed brands and limited-edition merchandise, enabling basketball enthusiasts to personalize realistic 3D avatars, interact with NBPA members and fellow fans, browse merchandise, discover new products and virtually try on apparel before making a purchase, with direct shipping to their homes.

“We are very excited about this partnership with MeetKai to launch The Brotherhood Deli into the metaverse,” said Keisha Wright, SVP of Partnerships & Purpose at THINK450. “Since its inception last summer, The Brotherhood Deli has been designed as a platform to build community around our players’ passions as entrepreneurs and leaders of their own brands. By bringing The Brotherhood Deli into the metaverse, we are broadening our reach and supporting the connectivity between our players and basketball fans worldwide.”

In anticipation of All-Star weekend, basketball fans in the Indianapolis area will be treated to a unique opportunity to step into the physical realm of “The Brotherhood Deli,” located at Circle Centre Mall – 49 W. Maryland Street, 2nd Floor, Indianapolis, IN 46024 – creating a meta-on meta experience as they traverse the tangible space that inspired the virtual world of the NBPA metaverse. The same exclusive merchandise available in the metaverse will be sold in person at the pop-up shop experience. Guests can register for free access at nbpa.com/brotherhooddeli.

“I’m extremely proud of our team at MeetKai and what we’ve accomplished for NBPA. Collaborating with the NBPA is both: another beam of our leadership as the world-leading AI metaverse company, and a natural extension for us, after building metaverse worlds for NBA and NFL teams and millions of other sports fans around the world. We hope they enjoy this experience as much as we’ve enjoyed making it a reality and we look forward to “The Brotherhood Deli” as only the beginning of a very successful, long-term partnership” said Weili Dai, Co-Founder and Executive Chairwoman of MeetKai.

As the metaverse experience evolves throughout the season, users can anticipate virtual meet-and-greets with new players, a media lounge featuring exclusive previews of NBPA content, gamified contests with exclusive merchandise prizes, and the potential to win a trip to visit “The Brotherhood Deli” in person in Las Vegas this summer and more. To visit the virtual NBPA experience, please visit brotherhooddeli.world.

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