Reimagining how NBA fans and teams experience the game of basketball with Together mode in Microsoft Teams
For NBA fans, basketball is about more than a sport—
This year, however, the 2019-2020 season was set to restart on July 30th in Orlando—
This isn’t a net-new relationship. The NBA has long been an industry pioneer in embracing technology to augment and enrich its offerings. In fact, this past April, the NBA, and Microsoft established a multi-year alliance with the goal of creating next-gen experiences for basketball fans—
And today, in partnership with the NBA, we are excited to announce a reimagined fan experience powered by a new feature in Microsoft Teams called Together mode. Together mode uses AI segmentation technology to bring people together into a shared background like a conference room, coffee shop, or arena. Using scientific principles of cognition and social perception, Together mode is more than a virtual background—
Starting July 30, the NBA will outfit each game court with 17-foot-tall LED screens that wrap three sides of the arena. These “stands” will be populated with more than 300 cheering fans who will join the game using Together mode in Teams. Alongside a view of their fellow fans, participants can watch a live feed of the game right within Teams.
“We are excited to partner with Microsoft to virtually incorporate NBA fans into our season restart,” said Sara Zuckert, Head of Next Gen Telecast, NBA. “This unique live game experience will allow fans to maintain a sense of community as they watch their favorite teams and players“
This new experience—
At Microsoft, we admire the shared passion that connects NBA fans to players, teams, coaches, and broadcasters. And we are honored that Teams and Together mode can help this community continue to come together even when they need to stay physically apart. We are also so inspired by the NBA’s innovative spirit as they lead the way to create a professional sports season unlike any the world has seen. We look forward to supporting them with this new fan experience and beyond.
In addition to the virtual fan boards powered by Microsoft Teams, the NBA also announced a slew of in-venue and broadcast and digital enhancements that will help create a more immersive and communal viewing experience for fans during the 2019-20 NBA Restart. Learn more.
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