New esports partnership launched by Detroit Pistons is first of its kind among U.S. sports

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II
| Detroit Free Press

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If you’ve ever wanted to play a game of NBA 2K21 against Detroit Pistons guard Bruce Brown, you may get that opportunity soon. 

Last month, the Pistons partnered with a platform company called Rivals to bring esports to fans. The Pistons are launching a gaming community called Motor City Rivals, which will allow fans to compete and earn rewards points that they’ll be able to use to purchase team merchandise and other prizes. 

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Motor City Rivals will tip off with an NBA 2K21 Tournament on Wednesday. Fans will be able to earn various prizes, including separate $500 cash rewards to the Xbox tournament winner and PlayStation tournament winner. Fans could also play against Brown or a mystery NBA player. 

“We are excited to work with Rival in creating our ‘Motor City Rivals’ esports gaming community,” Pistons chief business officer Mike Zavodsky said in a news release. “Whether it is competing in NBA 2K or other sports-related gaming products, this unique platform will enhance our ability to engage fans, distribute content and provide rewards for users experiencing our brand away from the basketball floor.” 

The Pistons are the first professional sports team in the country to launch a gaming community for its fans. In addition to NBA 2K, the platform will also feature Madden, EA NHL and FIFA. 

Fans can sign up at

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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