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SportsWatch: Ex-NBA star Metta World Peace has a tricky new promotion that has a shot at going viral

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March Madness is giving TV viewers a full-court press of basketball binge-watching this weekend.

While the NCAA pares the field of 68 teams to an national champion on April 5 in Indianapolis, another field of hoops contestants is vying for title of best trick shot. XvsX Sports, the basketball app founded by ex-NBA star Metta World Peace, has teamed with Boost Media to create what they hope is must-see viewing online.

“It’s got a little bit of the game show concept and the potential to create YouTube stars,” World Peace told MarketWatch. “The idea is to engage urban markets with a bunch of spectacular shots, and coming up with a winner.”

Thousands of shots have been submitted via TikTok and Facebook Inc.’s
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Instagram in the #boostballer competition. The best ones will be selected by corporate partner Boost Mobile, a division of DISH Network Corp.
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and a panel of celebrity basketball judges that includes World Peace, Bone Collector, and Jaden Newman will pick the winner on March 31.

“We see a real chance of this going viral among the younger demographic. It is a huge, untapped audience,” says Stephen Stokols, chief executive of Boost Mobile, which has more than 9 million subscribers and $4 billion in annual revenue. “This is a first-of-its-kind competition with a wow factor.” Boost is providing users with special deals, discounts on phones, contests and more specifically targeted to the XvsX audience and kicking off with a BoostBaller campaign to coincide with March Madness.

Read more: Ex-NBA star Metta World Peace has an app to find open basketball courts

There is a genuine appetite for such contests. Consider the appeal of Dude Perfect, a sports and comedy web site that features trick shots. It is one of YouTube’s most-popular channels, with 55.6 million subscribers and 225 million views.

In other words, it’s the sort of content that dovetails with the XvsX app, an Airbnb-like
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service for pick-up basketball games. The app, which lets hoopsters find and book top-tier indoor courts across the country, was founded in 2019 by World Peace, a long-time basketball veteran who was a member of the 2010 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

There are around 23 million basketball players in the U.S., but they have access to only about 5% of indoor courts — and those that do, pay on average of $160 per recreational league.

Investors and other participants include ex-NBAers Al Harrington, Nick Young, Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson. The tech roster consists of angel investor Brad O’Neill, whose company TechValidate was sold to SVMK Inc. 
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and Charles Jolley, who sold two companies to Facebook.

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