It’s a well-documented disparity that women’s sports only receive 4% of media coverage and 1% of partnership spend. Ahead of the 2022 WNBA season, Xbox vowed to be a changemaker by investing equally in the New York Liberty and Brooklyn Nets — producing one of the most innovative and impactful sports partnerships in women’s sports history.
The partnership was headlined by a Roblox-inspired secondary basketball court that existed both at Barclays Center and within the Roblox universe; a first-of-its-kind activation. By bringing together two industry leaders, the Liberty and Xbox furthered conversations around women’s equality and expanded Gen-Z fan engagement. The Liberty and Xbox co-designed and unveiled the first secondary court among active WNBA teams, and the first gaming-inspired court in league history. While it’s considered commonplace for NBA franchises to have multiple home courts, prior to the Xbox-Liberty partnership, no team in the WNBA had a secondary court.
The Barclays Center court inspired by “Roblox,” one of Xbox’s most popular video games, was announced on August 2 ahead of the Liberty’s two-game homestand against the Los Angeles Sparks. Concurrently, Roblox launched a replica court on its metaverse platform, allowing fans to experience the activation worldwide.
With rising decentralization of sports fandoms, this partnership met both WNBA fans and Roblox gamers where they were, whether watching the Liberty in-person, on broadcast or playing basketball in Roblox, all while driving awareness and curiosity towards the other mediums.
The activation’s global reach through Roblox was specifically focused on girls gaming, a group with far less representation than boys. It was also strategically designed to engage with Gen-Z and saw historic engagement rates. This partnership led to significant crossover and growth between unique audiences.
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