Leading AI Company MeetKai Partners With Charlotte Hornets To Launch The NBA’s First-Ever Virtual Fan Store

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 9, 2023 – Today MeetKai, the leading conversational AI company, and the Charlotte Hornets announced the launch of the Hornets Virtual Fan Shop, the first virtual team store in the NBA. Ushering in the next era of experiential e-commerce, this newfound partnership modernizes the ways basketball fans interact with their favorite NBA team and enhances the shopping experience at the convenience of their own home.

Using MeetKai’s AI-powered digital twin technology, the Hornets Virtual Fan Shop is inspired by the brick-and-mortar Hornets Fan Shop at Spectrum Center located in Charlotte, North Carolina, enabling individuals across the country and internationally to fully immerse themselves in Hornets fandom like never before. Easily accessible through a user’s mobile device or web browser, fans can enter the virtual store to view and purchase a wide variety of Hornets merchandise, including jerseys, T-shirts, hats and other collectibles. Purchases through the virtual fan shop will be conveniently delivered to users’ homes by the Hornets’ e-commerce partner, Fanatics, making it even easier for fans to showcase their Hornets pride.

“At MeetKai, we are honored to power the NBA’s first immersive shopping experience, allowing fans to engage with their favorite team and shop for gear in a space designed to make them feel like they’re there in person on game day,” said James Kaplan, Co-Founder and CEO of MeetKai. “We are proud to partner with the Charlotte Hornets to provide their fans with interactive experiences that connect them closer to their team.”

As part of the virtual shopping experience, Hornets fans can turn themselves into realistic 3D avatars to roam, shop and interact with other fans in a space designed to replicate in-person game-day energy. Avatars can shop as if browsing through aisles and discover products on the racks as well as virtually try on apparel and accessories before making a purchase.

“I’m thrilled about this partnership as a former basketball player myself, I’ve always been passionate about the power of sports to bring people together and innovate, in this case, into the wonders of AI and everything it has to offer for fans worldwide. The Charlotte Hornets are industry leaders transforming the future of the NBA’s retail experience, so we’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with the team and build their presence virtually,” said MeetKai Co-Founder and Executive Chairwoman, Weili Dai. “MeetKai’s disruptive and cutting edge AI technology is enabling The Charlotte Hornets to offer fans convenience and immersive shopping like they’ve never seen before, furthering our mission of expanding access to our world leading AI technology products.”

With the introduction of this groundbreaking virtual fan store, the Charlotte Hornets continue to demonstrate their commitment to innovation and provide their loyal fanbase with unique and engaging experiences. With the help of MeetKai, fans can now experience a more personalized, new way to shop online, immersing themselves in the world of the Hornets and virtually bringing their passion for the team to life.

“As technology continues to evolve, it’s important that we meet our fans where they are, and this is a great opportunity to enhance that connection,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “The Hornets Virtual Fan Shop allows fans to enjoy the gameday shopping experience from anywhere, and we’re excited to offer this innovative new opportunity.”

Fans can access the Hornets Virtual Fan Shop through the link below, and are encouraged to visit the team’s official website, app and social media channels for more information on how to take advantage of these exciting offers. Shipping is free for those that use the code FREESHIPHORNETS and available throughout the U.S.

To experience the Hornets Virtual Fan Shop, visit https://hornets.world or at www.nba.com/hornets/hornets-virtual-fan-shop.

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