During the big Microsoft Xbox One reveal, a moment came that focused on the National Football League, which launched into a multiyear landmark partnership to enhance the game for fans, players and coaches.
Microsoft is promising to deliver a “truly unique interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One.” The two companies will work together to “leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve the in-game, sideline experience for coaches, players and other personnel”. This mean more in-depth coverage, more stats, more interaction across the board with your favorite players and teams.
“We love the passion that players, coaches and fans bring to the NFL game; it’s what makes the NFL game-day experience so unique,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “We’re excited to apply our passion for technology to the NFL experience, both on the sidelines through the innovative use of Microsoft Surface devices, and for fans through an enhanced NFL viewing experience on Xbox One.”
The agreement provides Microsoft “with the rights to create exclusive interactive experiences through products such as Xbox One and Surface,” and will transform “the way fans will experience the NFL in the years to come” according to an official statement from Microsoft.
The NFL itself will provide fans with “an all-new viewing experience through innovations around Skype and Xbox SmartGlass; an all-new, innovative fantasy football solution allowing fans to view players and live competition side by side on a single TV screen; and a personalized NFL destination featuring information about the players, teams and games fans care about most”. Xbox also retains the exclusive rights to extend these interactive experiences to tablets, enabling fans to use Xbox SmartGlass technology to enhance game day.
“When we started working with Roger Goodell and the team at the NFL we knew that we could create great new experiences that fans would love,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and interactive content that you will find only on Xbox. For fans, the NFL on Xbox will provide the most complete way to enjoy live football by bringing the first fully-integrated fantasy football experience to the TV, exclusively through Xbox.”
This partnership also changes the game for NFL teams because coaches and players will soon have access to a variety of cutting-edge Microsoft solutions, including Surface tablets to enhance on-field communications, photo viewing and play calling. Microsoft and the NFL envision a sideline of the future with players reviewing 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. With Microsoft technology, NFL coaches, players and other personnel will have the technology they need to improve decision-making and on-field performance.
“From the use of instant replay to the yellow first-down line that has become an important element of the at-home television viewing experience, the NFL is committed to leveraging technology to improve our game for coaches, players and fans,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We’re thrilled to be teaming with a true innovator like Microsoft to shape the future of the NFL game experience, both on-field and in the living room.”
As part of the partnership, Surface by Microsoft branding will appear on NFL sidelines in unique ways, including on the hoods of the official on-field NFL instant replay stations. As part of the relationship, Microsoft will be granted the following designations:
- The finer details
You can expect more information, screens and details as we get closer to pre-season with the NFL. Until then you can start thinking about how this will help your fantasy team with the league championship once and for all.