You can, too.
Spectators of the early NBA seeding games at the Walt Disney World Resort have assuredly noticed the virtual fans on the large video boards along the court. While they can't replicate the same atmosphere of actual fans at the game—which is not allowed inside the league's campus-like environment—they have provided some semblance of normalcy with cheering throughout the game.
Jared Spataro, the corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, explained on his company's website on July 24 that the league partnered with Microsoft Teams to make this happen.
"Starting July 30, the NBA will outfit each game court with 17-foot-tall LED screens that wrap three sides of the arena. These 'stands' will be populated with more than 300 cheering fans who will join the game using Together mode in Teams. Alongside a view of their fellow fans, participants can watch a live feed of the game right within Teams."
The NBA also created a virtual cheering option on cheer.nba.com, although that does not involve being on camera.
The league provided step-by-step instructions for becoming a virtual fan, which does not cost anything but requires a free Microsoft Teams account.
- Step 1: Download Microsoft Teams
- Step 2: Log in to Microsoft Teams with your specific account
- Step 3: Find the meeting invitation by toggling to the calendar icon in the left-hand navigation panel and double-clicking on the game within 60 minutes of tipoff.
- Step 4: Optimize the settings by toggling the camera and microphone on and off and centering your face in the middle of a display that does not feature a customized background.
- Step 5: Join the meeting by clicking on the "join now" button
- Step 6: Optimize the viewing experience with options such as "game feed" and "together mode" to show your fan section.
From there, it's time to enjoy the games.