AT&T Deepens Partnership with NBA and WNBA as the Official 5G Innovation Partner
What’s the news? AT&T* is broadening its collaborative partnership the NBA and WNBA as the Official 5G Innovation Partner of the NBA and WNBA. The partnership, which began in 2019, will continue to build fan-first experiences that enhance both the in-venue and at-home sports experience for fans.
First, AT&T is exploring a series of game-changing augmented reality concepts for fans within the WNBA app. A prototype being concepted would allow WNBA fans to track their favorite teams and players, participate in a fun bracket-style game, and send or share some of their favorite milestones directly to friends, family or on social media.
Looking to the future, AT&T will continue to develop future iterations and is excited to explore many more fan experiences within applications, online and other second-screen mediums to bring fans closer to their favorite games and athletes.
What are people saying? Now more than ever, 5G, AR and immersive technology are playing a bigger role in sports.
“Leveraging the speed, low latency, and compute power of 5G provides us the opportunity to be even more creative in how we enhance the fan experience,” said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager, partnerships and 5G ecosystem development. “By unlocking more viewing options, next generation game replay and data, real-time social-first 3D content, and immersive player interaction, fans have the ability to tailor and view their content in unique, curated ways they couldn’t do before.”
“The NBA remains focused on providing fans around the world with greater access to the game of basketball wherever they are,” said Steve Hellmuth, NBA Executive Vice President of Media Operations & Technology. “Our innovative partnership with AT&T around 5G technology has helped us strive towards that objective by delivering several ground-breaking opportunities for fans to experience the NBA.”
AT&T + NBA & WNBA: A partnership founded on:
Since AT&T’s partnerships with the NBA and WNBA began, AT&T has been bringing the power of 5G to fans at various events and activations across the country and together have accomplished many firsts:
- First to broadcast a professional sports event in 5G at the 2019 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.
- AT&T brought 5G to NBA All-Star for the first time in 2020, including the AT&T 5G Courtside Cam which shared unique, live camera angles directly from the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest.
- Most recently, AT&T 5G Holovision won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Digital Innovation for its segment that aired on TNT during the 2020 NBA Conference Finals. These first-of-their-kind “holo” interviews, powered by 5G technology, allowed viewers at home to see two guests appear as if they were in the same room, interacting seamlessly, when in reality they were in two different physical locations.
- Earlier this year, AT&T launched AT&T StatsZoneTM , within the Chicago Bulls app bringing team and player stats to life in AR for the first time.
- AT&T has brought its super-fast AT&T 5G+, 5G delivered over mmwave, to customers in parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues across the country, including several NBA venues such as: United Center in Chicago, Toyota Center in Houston, AT&T Center in San Antonio and more.
- We anticipate covering more than half of the NBA arenas with AT&T 5G+ coverage by the end of 2021 with several more arenas slated to come online with 5G+ in 2022.
- Our teams are continually working to bring AT&T 5G+ to customers at more stadiums, arenas, airports, entertainment districts and cities across the country every month.
- In fact, we expect to serve at least 40 venues with AT&T 5G+ by the end of 2021.
While AT&T has an expansive sponsorships portfolio across a variety of sports and leagues, the WNBA relationship serves as the foundation of our broader commitment to women’s sports.
The league’s strong brand, passionate fanbase, willingness to collaborate and our shared values have also led to many firsts together including:
- Multiple programs specially designed and built on a mission to raise the visibility, representation and empowerment of women, both on and off the court.
- AT&T 5G HoloVision also brought the leagues together for the 2020 NBA Draft presented by State Farm by powering a surprise meeting between then NBA prospect Patrick Williams and long-time idol and WNBA career scoring leader Diana Taurasi.
- Additionally, AT&T provides all the WNBA athletes the latest 5G device and service to keep them connected all year round.
AT&T is the Official 5G Innovation Partner of the NBA and the WNBA, Marquee Partner of the WNBA and inaugural member of WNBA Changemakers.
AT&T also has sponsorships with individual teams including Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and the Miami HEAT, as well as individual athletes LeBron James, Chiney Ogwumike and Sue Bird.