NBA Play: Daily Interactive Games in the NBA App | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

NBA Play: Daily Interactive Games in the NBA App


The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Use of Gamification



NBA Play is the league’s new home for daily interactive games inclusive of 6 original games outlined below.

  • NBA Blast: Connect 3 or more icons to advance to the next level.
  • NBA Hoop Connect: Identify a mutual teammate between 2 players to achieve a rarity score.
  • NBA Full Court Guess: Receive 5 attempts to guess the player behind three clues.
  • NBA Player Path: Guess the player journey starting with their rookie team.
  • NBA Rank: Rank players, teams or events in order in the least amount of tries.
  • NBA IQ: Fill out a leaderboard in order within the allotted time from highest to lowest.

The games are available each morning at 9am/et exclusively in the NBA App, catering to a fans’ daily appetite for interaction with the league with games that appeal to our entire global fanbase and every type of fan from core to casual.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

NBA Play brings our mobile app to greater heights by providing an entirely new way for fans to engage with the league, setting the tone for the sports industry to double down on gamification as a way to boost engagement. Our new home for daily interactive games not only drives basketball education, but also celebrates the storied history of the NBA through new gamification opportunities every single day. With the increasing convergence of sports, technology and gaming, NBA Play is at the forefront of the industry shift towards incorporating game mechanics into every digital experience.


NBA Play, a new platform on the NBA App featuring a variety of interactive daily games, trivia and challenges, launched in December as part of an effort to provide fans with unique ways to further engage with the league. Recognizing an opportunity to reach fans beyond the daily content they consume, NBA Play tipped off with six daily interactive games allowing users to put their knowledge of the league to the test and compete in fun basketball-themed activities.

Throughout the 2022-23 season the NBA took notice of the type of experiences that drove fan engagement and identified new ways to enhance the NBA App. With a steady drumbeat of content around league tentpole events, we brought interactivity to life which yielded 94% mobile engagement. NBA Play was strategically developed beginning at the start of the 2023-24 season with three key pillars in mind–engaging weekly active users, increasing retention and driving value for our NBA ID membership program. Personalization, automation and scalability became the core principles that inspired the development of NBA Play.

Each morning at 9 a.m. ET, fans can share their NBA Play results, demonstrating their dedicated fandom and expertise.


Strategy & Execution

With gamification taking on a more integral role throughout the sports digital products and media ecosystem, we looked at what was resonating with fans across the landscape to determine which games to lead with for NBA Play.

The league identified different underlying mechanisms that make mobile games popular such as ranking, matching, connecting, and trivia, among other areas. We also conducted a survey among both NBA App users and non-app users to understand the appetite for ‘brain puzzles,’ with the overwhelming majority of participants (73%) designating interest in NBA Play, driven largely by our younger demographic of fans 34 years old and younger.

Introduced for the first time on Christmas Day, NBA Play supported one of the marquee moments in time in the league’s calendar. The interactive games featured at launch focused on the history of the NBA on Christmas Day, allowing fans to showcase their hoops knowledge coinciding with the slate of matchups scheduled for that afternoon and evening. As a second screen that enhances the fan experience, NBA Play provides users the opportunity to deepen their connection to their favorite players and teams while earning digital badges for their participation.


  • NBA
  • Monterosa
  • Wave


  • Jahronmon


Bob Carney
Senior Vice President, Digital and Social Content

Sarah Crennan
Vice President, DTC Content

Sammy Solomon
Senior Manager, Digital & Social Content

Brett Michaud
Senior Manager, DTC Operations

Hope Tannenbaum
Head of Membership

Ashley Freeman
Membership Program Operations Lead

Jay Wallace
Digital Content Design

Michael Callahan
Lead Product Manager, Fantasy & Betting

Michael Martin
Product Manager, Fantasy & Betting

Andrew Merrigan
Senior Production Assistant

Chris Mellusi
Senior Production Assistant

Zach Brown
Digital and Social Content

Tim Frommer
Senior Product Manager, Membership

Maddie Bennett
Technical Project Manager, Membership

Ian McKiernan
Lead Product Manager, Stats Platform & Operations

Adam Purdy
Content Marketing Lead

Kevin Scheitrum
Associate Vice President, Content Personalization

Jason Gilfillan
Associate Vice President, Influencer content

Carly Nevis
Manager, DTC and Vertical Content Creation

Anthony Oliva
Content Technology Lead

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.