Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NBA Enters Second Life

NBA Enters Second Life

How hip is the National Basketball Association? After signing a deal with Google to host its highlights on YouTube, the NBA enlisted the services of virtual-world content creator Electric Sheep to build an NBA headquarters in Second Life. It's cool looking and interactive.

Whereas Second Lifers might head over to the Reuters or CNET headquarters and then never return -- is there anything to actually do there? -- the NBA playground has games and features designed to bring people back. Electric Sheep, which has worked for several big brands in Second Life, created the HQ and its activities, which includes a 3-D simulation of NBA games in progress. Users sit in the stands and are able to change their viewpoint with ease, unlike real life. They can also to take to the courts to play a game of H.O.R.S.E.

The partnership could also be a boon to Second Life, too, as NBA fans will now be able to join from the Web site. The virtual playground, which is now open, is sponsored by T-Mobile, Toyota and Cisco Systems. Call it NBA Media, Inc.: "This is an area we find to be very exciting," league commissioner David Stern said. "It's causing us to rethink overall the concept of how our fans consume NBA content." The conference call was even broadcast in Second Life.

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