Microsoft is not only launching a the new Xbox One, but they are also expanding their strategic partnerships. Their biggest deal, which I am a big fan of, will provide pretty much every extension that the NFL uses in the realm of technology to have a Microsoft logo stamped on it. The deal is estimated to be worth $400 million over five years.
In a nutshell, the deal will see Microsoft deliver interactive NFL television experiences through the Xbox One and now coaches, players, and team employees will have free range to use a variety of Microsoft devices in order to be more efficient.
According to Cynopsis:
The NFL on Xbox will provide fans with an all-new viewing experience through innovations around Skype and Xbox SmartGlass; an all-new fantasy football solution that allows fans to view players and live competition side by side on a single TV screen. Xbox also gets the exclusive rights to extend these interactive experiences to tablets.
Meanwhile, the deal also provides coaches and players with access to a variety of Microsoft solutions, including Surface tablets to enhance on-field communications, photo viewing and play calling. The league and Microsoft will work toward a future that allows players to review in-game photos from different camera angles directly from the sideline and head coaches calling plays off connected Surface tablets instead of today’s static paper products.
We love the deal for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost is that with the emergence of new technology in replay and other aspects of the professional sports Microsoft allows itself to be the answer to human error. When refs inevitably make mistakes, Microsoft will have the opportunity to be the solution. That is not a bad look.