NBA Headquarters Unveils 3D Virtual Destination Developed with The Electric Sheep Company
NEW YORK - The NBA has launched the NBA Headquarters, a new virtual destination featuring a variety of innovative and interactive NBA elements in Second Life, the popular 3D online world with nearly six million residents. The announcement was made by NBA Commissioner David Stern during a recent media event conducted in the NBA Headquarters.
The NBA’s 3D virtual destination, developed with The Electric Sheep Company, a leading creator of 3D virtual world content and solutions, will provide basketball fans and Second Life residents with access to comprehensive features including the T-Mobile Arena, broadband video of classic NBA games and highlights, and an opportunity to have their picture taken with the NBA’s championship trophy in the Toyota Larry O’Brien Trophy Room.
Additionally, in Second Life fans will be able to purchase NBA and WNBA jerseys and merchandise for their identity or avatars at the NBA Store, walk along a special path highlighting the 50 Greatest NBA Players and participate in a variety of basketball activities at the NBA Jam Session.
“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.
Overall, the NBA Headquarters in Second Life will include:
T-Mobile Arena – Fans can gather in the T-Mobile Arena, complete with all the features of a real NBA arena, to watch broadband video of classic NBA Playoff and Finals match-ups on the arena JumboTron. During the games fans will have the opportunity to answer trivia questions and at halftime can participate in the T-Mobile Half Court Shot Contest with a chance to win various prizes. Live stat feeds and 3D shot charts of NBA games throughout the postseason will be available to view in the arena.
NBA Store – Designed to look like the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue, the NBA Store in Second Life will give fans the ability to style their avatar with the jersey of their favorite NBA or WNBA team. Other NBA merchandise, including headbands, wristbands and the eventual debut of 2007 NBA Draft caps for every team will be available for fans to purchase by using Linden dollars, the form of currency utilized in Second Life.
NBA Jam Session – A unique basketball experience, fans can play a game of HORSE or Toyota Crash the Boards, an animated dunk contest, on one of the many half-courts. Four video lounges will be available for fans to watch broadband video of NBA highlights and classic moments from The Finals.
Toyota Larry O’Brien Trophy Room – Located in the T-Mobile arena, fans can celebrate the NBA Playoffs by having a photo of their avatar taken next to the League’s championship trophy. The Larry O’Brien Trophy will be highlighted by a rotating lighting system and secured at all times.
Cisco Wireless Press Center – The NBA will utilize the Cisco Wireless Press Center located in the T-Mobile arena to conduct various media events in Second Life. A video highlight demonstrating how Cisco Wireless was utilized during NBA All-Star will also be featured.
Path of the 50 Greatest NBA Players – Celebrate the history of the NBA’s greatest players. NBA fans will be able to walk down the Path of the 50 Greatest NBA Players featuring Hall-of-Famers from Bill Russell and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar to Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.
David Stern Avatar – The Commissioner joins Second Life. An exclusive avatar of NBA Commissioner of David Stern was developed by The Electric Sheep Company. Stern will use his avatar in Second Life for media events and to interact with fans in NBA Headquarters.
NBA Orientation Island – Fans can visit the NBA’s Orientation Island to receive a map of NBA Headquarters and an overview of basic Second Life skills to control and navigate their avatar. The avatars will be able to acquire and wear an NBA toolbar that will provide information on NBA events, games, trivia questions and additional help.
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