The National Basketball Association’s Charlotte Hornets have debuted a Virtual Fan Shop that will allow fans to interact with each other virtually as well as browse and purchase fan gear that will then be shipped to their home in the real world. The Shop, powered by AI-powered digital twin technology from Meetkai, is inspired by the brick-and-mortar Hornets Fan Shop at its home arena, the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Merchandise includes jerseys, T-shirts, hats and other collectibles that can be delivered to shoppers’ homes by Hornets ecommerce partner Fanatics. To mark the store’s opening, shipping is free for shoppers using the code FREESHIPHORNETS and is available throughout the U.S.
As part of the virtual shopping experience, visitors can turn themselves into realistic 3D avatars to shop and interact with other fans in a space designed to replicate game-day energy. The avatars can browse through aisles, discover products on racks and virtually try on apparel and accessories before making a purchase.
“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 Fred Whitfield, President and Vice Chairman of Hornets Sports & Entertainment in a statement. “The Hornets Virtual Fan Shop allows fans to enjoy the game-day shopping experience from anywhere.”