The author’s cat and 76ers hat.

When the Sixers announced in 2014 that they’d be building a new practice facility in Camden, N.J.—just across the Delaware from Philadelphia—team president Scott O’Neill was asked if the team was committed to hiring Camden residents for jobs at the building. After all, Camden County NAACP president Kelly Francis asked, the state of New Jersey was contributing $82 million in tax breaks for the Sixers to move to Camden.

“We need a shooting guard,” O’Neil said in response.

It is now 2017, and the Sixers still do not have a long-term solution at shooting guard. (They signed J.J. Redick to a one-year deal this offseason as a stopgap.) They’re finally committed to attracting businesses to Camden, though. The team owned by hedge funders has opened an “Innovation Lab” in its practice facility.

The managing director of this lab is none other than Seth Berger, who co-founded AND1 when he was a student at Wharton. And what a lineup to start the innovation lab:

  • U GIT GUD, a soon-to-launch esports training platform.
  • Live Life Nice, a media company started by a former Sixers in-arena host, whose mission is to inspire people to “be nice, do nice.”
  • Monster Roster, a company that will optimize your daily fantasy lineups.
  • Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co., which sells “the bowl-free, natural
    way to feed your cat.”

Yes, the Sixers are now in the business of supporting a new way to feed your cat. It looks kinda cute! Still working on that shooting guard, though.

[Philly Mag]