The popular video game NBA 2K21 was released on Friday to great fanfare and hopes to meet or exceed expectations from last year, when 2K20 became the best selling video game of the year in terms of software. It was the “best-selling sports game in its launch month in U.S. history,” beating out 2K19.
Not surprisingly, so many top brands want to be associated with a game that has tremendous reach, especially to a younger demographic. And like many other games these days, 2K has virtual items available for purchase through virtual currency that can be accumulated by playing online matches or progressing through various career modes. Virtual currency can also be accumulated faster in the game if real money is thrown in there as well.
NBA 2K fans can also purchase premium virtual apparel and clothing for their players from the likes of Champion, Just Don and A Bathing Ape, among others including SLAM, a longtime hoops content hub that is also gaining traction as a lifestyle brand.
Those same items you see in the video game can also be purchases on SLAM’s e-commerce site. SLAM is the only content publisher and media company featured in the game’s virtual goods section available for purchase, which includes uniforms, equipment, apparel and animation packages.
“Our mantra for SLAM is that content and community drive commerce,” said Peter Robert Casey, who serves as Chairman on SLAM’s Board of Directors. “As we’ve repositioned SLAM as not just a media company but a global lifestyle brand, it’s validating to have 2K recognize this and offer SLAM apparel to millions of gamers who not only love the game of basketball but also are versed in utilizing virtual currencies and goods; another long-term focus for us.”
SLAM is owned by JDS Sports, which has recently made and produced the Stephon Marbury documentary A Kid From Coney Island, which you can watch on Netflix
“From day one, JDS Sports has been focused on the full lifecycle of content from production and development to distribution and amplification,” JDS President Matt Aronson said. “It’s an attractive proposition for all stakeholders who want to have their stories told.”
Now more than ever during this coronavirus pandemic, stories are being told digitally and virtually. And for a basketball-centric publication like SLAM, having its apparel and brand appeal on NBA 2K21 is just another new way JDS is trying to reach its sports-centric audience.