Charlotte Hornets fan shop becomes video game

CHARLOTTE — You’ll probably get some weird looks if you jump up and down and run circles all around the Charlotte Hornets fan shop inside Spectrum Center, but you can do that in the team’s newest store.

The Hornets became the first National Basketball Association team to launch a virtual fan store on Monday, and it’s inspired by the shop inside the Charlotte arena.

Head to Hornets.World (that’s the link), and you’ll be turned into a virtual avatar popped into the middle of the virtual store. You control the avatar like it’s a video game, then you can explore the jerseys and memorabilia.

If you see something that catches your virtual eye, you can order it to be shipped to you in real life. The store is supplied by Fanatics.

It also looks like the store is multiplayer - Channel 9 checked out the shop and found other virtual avatars running around and sharing emojis. There was also an “Admin” avatar walking around the store.

Hornets leaders say they want to engage with more fans who don’t attend games in person.

“As technology continues to evolve, it’s important that we meet our fans where they are, and this is a great opportunity to enhance that connection,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “The Hornets Virtual Fan Shop allows fans to enjoy the gameday shopping experience from anywhere, and we’re excited to offer this innovative new opportunity.”

The virtual store was made by MeetKai’s AI-powered technology, according to a news release on Monday.

The Hornets take on the Miami Heat on Tuesday to start the preseason. The team’s first regular season game is on Oct. 25 against the Atlanta Hawks.

(WATCH: Hundreds of Hornets fans attend draft party at Spectrum Center)

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