The NBA announced Wednesday the launch of a reimagined global NBA App, with new personalization features, wall-to-wall content from every game and social-style vertical videos, among other novelties. But just as significant, the new product embraces sports betting, with an increased focus on this type of content.
The NBA App – a product of NBA Digital, the league’s joint venture with Turner Sports – is free to download. Concurrently, the brand has also launched NBA ID, the league’s new global membership program. It will link fan experiences across existing products, including NBA League pass and NBA Pick’Em.
The NBA App is powered by the NBA’s new integrated digital platform, which was built in partnership with Microsoft, the NBA’s official cloud and AI partner. It features a new design similar to that of social media platforms like TikTok, and aims to become the brand's online flagship hub for its fans.
Chris Benyarko, NBA Executive Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer, said: “Launching our new NBA App and digital platform is a major milestone as we continue to build and strengthen our direct-to-consumer offerings. We are thrilled to deliver a reimagined product that will enhance and personalize the way NBA fans engage with the league on a daily basis.”
Contents in the app will include live programming and social-style categories such as Gameday Experiences; Lifestyle content series; “CrunchTime” weekly show hosted by Jared Greenberg and produced by NBA TV; and Live NBA League Pass Programming.
External content will include behind-the-scenes storytelling from teams’ social and digital channels and partner content, including Turner Sports, and influencers such as Ben Taylor, Jesser, Kris London, among others. But it will also see partner content with a focus on sports betting from FanDuel, DraftKings, Action Network and more.
Sports betting has become one of the focal points of the new app, and while users will not be able to wager directly, they will still have access to NBABet stream, which is described as a weekly program focused on providing live game betting information.
While the league acknowledges in this update the growing role of sports betting, the app also comes with an option to toggle off gambling-related content, in an effort to not alienate its audience that is not keen on wagering.
The league’s direct-to-consumer subscription offerings – NBA League Pass and NBA TV – will also be integrated into the NBA App, giving fans the ability to watch live games and highlights and check scores, statistics and standings, all in one place.