To stream games, NBA execs turn to virtual reality

Sports leagues have long been supporters of giving consumers a superior watching experience. To increase engagement with fans, here’s pro basketball’s latest strategy.

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The National Basketball Association is the latest brand to throw its weight behind virtual reality.

Each week, the league will broadcast one game using the burgeoning technology. The first matchup will be a free preview of the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 27. The service is an added bonus to anyone who subscribes to the NBA League Pass.

NBA Digital is teaming up with NextVR to bring what the NBA calls, “The first regular schedule of live games delivered in VR by a professional sports league.”

The broadcast will have dedicated announcers, multiple camera angles and VR-optimized graphics.

Marketers should pay close attention here. Most brand managers wouldn’t dream of putting out a video these days that wasn’t shot in high-definition. Sports leagues were some of the earliest adopters of HDTV.

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