Detroit Pistons announce MeetKai partnership to construct first virtual environment

Using MeetKai's technology, Detroit Pistons World will function as an exact digital copy of the physical team store.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) unit, Detroit Pistons have announced a partnership with MeetKai, an immersive AI business, with ‘Detroit Pistons World’ expected to debut later this year.

Detroit Pistons World, which is the team’s first-ever virtual world, will offer exclusive content, themed games, products for sale, virtual fan marketplaces, and much more to Pistons supporters.

Adam Falkson, Vice President Business Intelligence at the Pistons, said, “We are proud to welcome MeetKai as our newest partner. This partnership is part of our continued commitment to make the Detroit Pistons one of the most innovative and fan-friendly sports and entertainment organisations in the industry. MeetKai is the perfect partner for us on this journey.”

Using MeetKai’s technology, the web-based virtual fan marketplace will function as an exact digital copy of the physical team store, which is at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

In addition to offering the same products as the physical store, the e-commerce site will allow customers to purchase collectibles and apparel that can be shipped home to be worn in person or used by their virtual avatar.

James Kaplan, CEO & Co-Founder of MeetKai, said, “Both MeetKai and the Detroit Pistons are thrilled about this partnership. We’re hitting the ground running on the development of the ‘Detroit Pistons World,’ and couldn’t be more excited to offer its fanbase a never-before-seen, virtual experience like no other. This world will not only expand and extend basketball fandom into new realms, but be a special opportunity for the Pistons to reach new audiences globally in new ways.”

The Detroit Pistons World will also utilise the AI company’s avatar customisation service, which requires users to register an account and upload a selfie in order for MeetKai to create an avatar for them.

After creating their avatar, users can alter elements, including body type, hairstyles, and accessories. They can also choose between conventional and Pistons-themed apparel items to wear, as well as any digital merchandise that they have previously acquired within the world.

Weili Dai, Executive Chairwoman & Co-Founder of MeetKai, commented, “We’re extremely proud of MeetKai’s cutting-edge AI technology and of how it’s been adopted so quickly by the sports industry. It’s a testament to the differentiators of our technology and their impact on the consumer experience, offering fans new ways to gain value and experience the teams and players they love. We look forward to expanding our products and continuing offering our leading solutions to this and more industries globally in 2024.”

Following the arrangement, Detroit Pistons became the second NBA team to collaborate with MeetKai, following Charlotte Hornets, who signed an agreement with the tech startup in 2023.

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