From the press release:
“Bringing the NBA to the virtual world provides us with a new and innovative platform to reach our fans and the millions of residents in Second Life,” said Stern. “The NBA Headquarters creates an interactive worldwide community where fans can come together, engage with our game, and most importantly, share in their passion for the NBA.”
“The NBA is a sports innovator, being the first professional sports league to unveil a comprehensive headquarters in a virtual world,” said Sibley Verbeck, CEO, The Electric Sheep Company. “The NBA is engaging its fan community at a whole new level, and bringing fans together from around the world.”
The NBA Headquarters will feature branding by existing NBA partners T-Mobile, Toyota and Cisco, along with commercials highlighted in the broadband content from television partners ABC, ESPN and TNT.”
“The NBA has launched an elaborate series of interactive milieus in the popular online virtual world Second Life, including a 3D NBA store, a mock NBA arena and even a press center where Web users can roam and play using video-game-like avatars.
In addition, fans can visit the T-Mobile Arena, where they can watch highlights of classic NBA playoff games and receive up to the minute stats on this year’s contests. They can also visit a secondary virtual court to play games like horse and the Toyota Crash the Boards challenge – a dunking contest.
NBA Commissioner David Stern acknowledged that the NBA’s Second Life presence was but a early attempt to tap into a medium is still new for mainstream brands. “We’d like to really have a place that people can have a little fun,” he said. “We plan to look to our users and fans to tell us what they would like this to be. We’ll be listening very carefully.”