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James Harden has fans wearing Snapchat Spectacles to play beardsketball

James Harden's new interactive digital basketball experience "beardsketball" had fans using Snapchat Spectacles to shoot hoops with the Houston Rockets' star.

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James Harden and Trolli Candy provided fans with an interactive digital basketball experience and had help from Snapchat Spectacles.

Trolli and the Minneapolis-based creative ad agency Periscope debuted Beardsketball at the Houston Rockets home game against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 20. Young fans shot at the digital hoop located at a Toyota Center concourse. The backboard featured interactive 4K video of Harden’s face and a net modeled after the All-Star’s massive black beard. The digital Harden mocked or encouraged participants with playful taunts or praise based on makes or misses.

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Some of the Beardsketball players were given the chance to wear Spectacles, Snapchat’s hard-to-get video eyewear tech. The videos were posted to Trolli’s Snapchat story, which allowed fans to be part of the action at home. But it was not just fans that got in on the fun last week.

Harden wore a pair of Spectacles during the Rockets’ pregame shootaround, which let fans watch Snapchat videos of the NBA’s third-leading scorer from his perspective.

“I’m really excited about the launch of Trolli Beardsketball because it allows me to interact with my fans in a very unique way,” Harden told AdWeek. “Beardsketball is like a video game that people can actually walk right into and shoot some hoops with me. In the game, I encourage, challenge and celebrate every player in a unique and different way each time.”

Fans also sent different Harden Beardsketball quotes to friends via social media on a Trolli microsite.

The Beardsketball U.S. tour is now underway, with its next big stop in New Orleans for the NBA All-Star Game. “Each experience will feel unique because it’s loaded with content that comes up randomly,” Rob Peichel, Periscope’s group creative director, told AdWeek.