NBA and Google Build 'Pixel Arena' for Deeper Dive Into the Playoffs

Powered by real-time data from the games

As if the NBA playoffs weren't immersive enough already, the league, Google and agency Jam3 are launching a "Pixel Arena" packed with content tied to real-time feeds from the games.

Via the NBA app, fans can "enter" an ongoing or recently completed contest and explore the 3-D space with their phone's gyroscope. Recaps and updates flow, while a trivia contest—based on that specific game—unlocks levels and swag for customizable avatars.

"The experience brings a whole new meaning to courtside," says Daryl Butler, VP of U.S. devices and services marketing at Google, in a blog post.

Dude's on point. Now, even when you glance away from the playoffs on one screen ... there they are, in an interactive, gamified form, on another. Seems fitting, given the NBA's cultural ubiquity—to say nothing of Google's scope and reach. The immediacy of the trivia feels novel, too. No more casting back to recall Michael Jordan's greatest plays. Which team won yesterday? Did Steph Curry hit a buzzer-beater 20 minutes ago? The right answers will run up your score. 

Of course, the push backs Google's Pixel, the "official fan phone of the NBA." But the Pixel Arena will work across all iOS and Android devices during halftimes and between playoff games starting Saturday.

The league depicted a different fantastical arena—located on NBA Lane, of course!—in an epic playoff spot launched three weeks ago. In February, timed to the inaugural HBCU Classic, Google showed off its Pixel 6 Real Tone camera's ability to accurately render diverse skin tones through a photo shoot with players from Howard University and Morgan State.

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