In an attempt to cash in on the “check in” craze created by Foursquare and its ilk, the NBA has announced Turnstile, a new app which will allow fans to alert their friends when they’re attending a game in person or watching on television. Those who consistently check in may be eligible to receive discounts or loyalty rewards at local venues.

“We see location based services as just the tip of the iceberg,” says Bryan Perez, senior vice president and general manager of NBA Digital. “The more we can integrate people’s location information at games, the more opportunities there are for things like sponsorships,” he says, adding there are no sponsorships for Turnstile in place currently.

The move places the NBA in line with MLB, the NHL and some NFL teams who are all using some sort of social media check in platform to increase fan engagement and interaction. While most of these other leagues are utilizing Foursquare for their social media, Turnstile is being built from the ground-up exclusively for the NBA.

The app is planned to launch in concert with the start of the NBA regular season later this month and will be available for free on the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. Just keep in mind that if your Cleveland friends see you checking into a Miami Heat game you may well find your house vandalized or on fire when you return home.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

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