Fan Engagement in the NBA Bubble

Written by Toos Team

Published on August 18, 2020


After a few months of attempting to move our whole lives online – business meetings,
presentations, trivia nights, coffee dates – we let out a collective sigh. Exhausted by the constant signing in and out, the awkward pauses, the “you’re on mute” motions, we resigned to a new normal. Articles and memes came to light referencing video call fatigue, a new phenom caused or stemming from the way we process information over video. Enter Microsoft Teams Together Mode, considering the fatigue workers were reporting after months of work from home mandates, Together Mode attempts to mimic in-person meetings. Instead of talking heads and black boxes on screen, Together Mode places participants in a shared virtual background such as a coffee shop where users can face each other and pick up on nonverbal cues. Ultimately attempting to alter the way in which our minds are processing information over video.

NBA fans have been counting down the days till the game is back. With teams returning to play in the bubble, fans are missing the camaraderie of attending games and players used to gathering energy from excited fans face empty stands. Recognizing the Together Mode feature as an opportunity to rethink how we mimic real life interactions; the NBA is reinventing how fans can participate in the isolated bubble. Microsoft’s technology will give fans the experience of sitting in the stands together and players will be able to hear their support in real time. Fans not sitting in these virtual stands will be able to livestream the game and see packed stands thanks to these innovative technological advances.
The global pandemic has forced us all to rethink how we can move forward, and technology companies have opportunities to change what this new world looks like. As the pandemic continues to shift our everyday norms, technology has been the saving grace allowing us to recreate connection in this socially deprived time.



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