Voting for the 65th annual NBA All-Star game is already open, and for the first time ever, fans will be able to cast their votes directly through Google search without having to log-on to the NBA website. The 2016 All-Star game is scheduled to take place at the Air Canada Centre - the home of the Toronto Raptors. As for the new arrangement between Google and the National Basketball Association, the new feature will reportedly be available on both desktops as well as on mobile devices, thereby making voting for your favorite players easier than ever before. According to the announcement by the NBA, all one has to do is simply type "NBA Vote All-Star" or "NBA Vote" to get the requisite interactive menu options. From there, you can choose your team and then your favorite player(s) from within that team.
Fans will be required to log-in to their Google accounts to be able to take advantage of this voting method, which gives NBA reasons to believe that it will reduce the the ability of pranksters and trolls to influence the end-result. Fans will be able to vote for one player per day, with a maximum of 10 total votes daily. The NBA is reportedly the first major sports league worldwide to partner with either Google or any other search engine for such an initiative.
More tried and tested voting methods like logging-on to the NBA website or via the NBA app will also continue to remain available. There are a number of other methods that will be accessible as well, including voting through social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, whereby fans will need to include the "#NBAVote" hashtag alongside a player's first and last names on the first two aforementioned social media sites. As for those wanting to vote through Instagram, the requirements are pretty much the same, but you'll need to share an original photo along with the name and the hashtag. Fans will or course, also be able to vote via text messaging. Voting closes on January 18th, with the final results to be announced on the 21st.
NBA of course, is one of the most digitally-aware sports leagues in the country. The league had, just last month, signed a $400 million mega deal with Verizon Wireless that will let the carrier stream live out-of-market games via the NBA League Pass on the carrier's media streaming app, go90. It is worth mentioning that up until this year, NBA had a deal with Sprint, and the league has also previously had a tie-up with T-Mobile.