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Nets trademarking ‘Netaverse,’ latest move in push for virtual technologies

First, there was the debut on YES Network. Now, the “Netaverse” is being trademarked by the Nets, the latest indication that the organization is diving head first into a variety of virtual technologies in hopes of improving fan engagement.

The trademark applications, first disclosed by trademark attorney Josh Gerben and available on the government’s Patent and Trademark Office website, are for the Nets virtual reality programming. The Nets are also capitalizing on promotional opportunities offered by the similarity of the name with “metaverse,” the new buzzword for shared, immersive digital environments.

Specifically. the Nets filed applications for two trademarks, per the USPTO...

  • Entertainment services in the nature of broadcast of three dimensional multi-camera virtual reality game services in the nature of broadcasts of live game action and replays of game action in the field of basketball and promoting a professional basketball team.”
  • Clothing, namely hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, t-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, tank tops, jerseys, shorts, pajamas, sport shirts, rugby shirts, sweaters, belts…”

YES revealed the “Netaverse” technology, developed by Canon, on its January 15 telecast under the rubric of Michael Grady’s “I Did Not Know That” segment.

Grady described the technology this way...

“An innovative video system made possible by over 100 high resolution cameras surrounding the court which then feed into Canon’s 3-D video system which quickly generates incredible, life-like 3-D renderings in a matter of seconds. The Netaverse will bring viewers to places on the court never seen before, a video game come to life...”

YES is the initial beneficiary of the arena set-up but expect other applications in the future. The technology is the result of cooperation between Canon and Barclays Center. As Grady noted...

“Barclays Center is the first arena where the cameras are installed, the Nets are the first pro sports team with this technology and we are honored to broadcast its debut on the YES Network.”

The Nets will also become the first professional team to avail itself of a metaverse address, Gerben wrote.

Beyond virtual reality, the Nets have expressed interest in pushing a variety of other technologies aimed at enhancing fan experience, particularly at the Brooklyn arena.

In an interview with NetsDaily in October, Joe Tsai said he believes the technologies will accelerate a shift in fan experience. It will go, he said, from a passive, media model of fan engagement to an interactive one that would include virtual and augmented reality, fan tokens, NFTs and of course, sports betting from the seats.