Microsoft Surface will be used in first NFL game tonight

The NFL began their pre-season celebrations yesterday by inducting seven new players into the Hall of Fame, including two players from teams that kickoff tonight: Andre Reed of the Buffalo Bills, and Michael Strahan of the New York Giants. What will be different for fans watching the game tonight is that Microsoft Surface tablets will be visible everywhere on the sidelines and in the coaching booth. This is the result of a $400 million dollar, five year deal between Microsoft and the NFL.

The NFL is starting to emerge from the 20th century and Microsoft is helping them out with this by providing 25 Surface tablets to each team. Thirteen of the tablets will be used on the sidelines, with another dozen held by coaches watching the game from upstairs. SFGate reports that this is the first time that players will be allowed to use this type of technology during a game; previously they used fax machines to send pictures of plays down to the sideline, and these documents were stored in 3-ring binders for players to look through during breaks. With the new Surface tablet agreement, players will be able to look at full color plays and can display up to four images at a time.

The NFL isn't ready to open the lid on all of the technology quite yet though. For example, the Surface will be locked down to prevent players and coaches from watching video. In addition, there will be no Internet access available through the devices; the only network connectivity is via a secure private network that hooks all of the Surface devices together. According to the NFL, "we want to make sure the players are deciding wins and losses, not technology."

There's some other new technology that, while not as visible, will hopefully lead to a better game. These include RFID chips implanted in the shoulder pads so that coaches can know exactly where and how fast players are moving; wireless communication between the referees; and instant communication between the head referee and the instant replay officials in New York.

Source: sfgate | Image courtesy of Gizmag.com, Polygon

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"The NFL is starting to emerge from the 20th century..."

Teams have been using iPads for playbooks for years.

Doli said,
"The NFL is starting to emerge from the 20th century..."

Teams have been using iPads for playbooks for years.

Well considering iPads are largely still catching up to 20th century technology in many respects, that statement is valid.

Be funny as hell if camera shows either team smashing it on the ground and reverting back to the 'ol proven clipboard method.

bithush said,
$400m deal, so is MS paying the NFL or NFL paying MS?

I believe that MS is paying the NFL so the NFL can advertise all Microsoft branding/products.

The only contradictory thing here is you see every player, coach, and reporter with iPhones/Samsungs and iPads after the game doing interviews. Futhermore, many players are using the Beats headphones. Microsoft is paying millions to get their brand recognized, while Apple is getting free publicity.

JHBrown said,
The only contradictory thing here is you see every player, coach, and reporter with iPhones/Samsungs and iPads after the game doing interviews. Futhermore, many players are using the Beats headphones. Microsoft is paying millions to get their brand recognized, while Apple is getting free publicity.

The key is that those are AFTER the game; Microsoft is now an integral part of the NFL during games.

So when you see a McBook with its prominently glowing Apple logo in movies going back to the 90s, that's not advertising?

JHBrown said,
The only contradictory thing here is you see every player, coach, and reporter with iPhones/Samsungs and iPads after the game doing interviews. Futhermore, many players are using the Beats headphones. Microsoft is paying millions to get their brand recognized, while Apple is getting free publicity.

How do you know it's free advertising?

Enron said,
So when you see a McBook with its prominently glowing Apple logo in movies going back to the 90s, that's not advertising?
I don't get your point. I'm talking about small electronics being used by athletes in their locker rooms and during interviews. I happen to also notice many reporters holding up their iPhones and Samsungs during post game interviews. I'm not sure how the MacBook in a movie is tied to this.

Guys, this is not an Apple vs Microsoft debate. I just noticed a contridiction in this new Microsoft deal with the NFL. Does this affect what the players, coaches and reporters can use and show on camera while they are at the stadium?

JHBrown said,
I don't get your point. I'm talking about small electronics being used by athletes in their locker rooms and during interviews. I happen to also notice many reporters holding up their iPhones and Samsungs during post game interviews. I'm not sure how the MacBook in a movie is tied to this.

You were referring to Microsoft paying money for brand recognition. I was referring to Apple also engaging in product placement in movies for the same purpose.

As for the athletes using iPhones and Samsungs... well, they are athletes and they don't know any better.

Enron said,

As for the athletes using iPhones and Samsungs... well, they are athletes and they don't know any better.

Really Enron? Refer to my last post above.

JHBrown said,
Guys, this is not an Apple vs Microsoft debate. I just noticed a contridiction in this new Microsoft deal with the NFL. Does this affect what the players, coaches and reporters can use and show on camera while they are at the stadium?

How do you notice a contradiction with NFL games and this contract when the games haven't been played yet? Nice story but falls very short from truth and reality.

Goodness, it was a simple question on the deal struck with Microsoft. Similarly, if the NBA were to strike a deal with Microsoft, how does someone like Lebron James use his Samsung on the sideline if he's not playing or if he uses it in the locker room. It's a contradiction to the NBA's deal with Microsoft. This question and personal observation is as simple as 1 + 1= 2.

You can pretty much guarantee that most use of iPads and such are just for brand recognition. Most people don't know the difference between the various devices and just use the iPad "cause its an iPad".

If you slapped an Apple logo on the Surface and showed it to some average folks, saying it was a new Apple prototype, they'd probably rave about it.

There's a good chance Microsoft paid a bunch to get Surfaces on the sidelines, but at the same time I bet they probably had a good shot if you actually compared without looking at brands.

Look at all the schools and companies that are dropping iPads for other devices. They bought them for brand recognition before realizing they really aren't meant for the enterprise or education sectors.

Gergel7077 said,

How do you notice a contradiction with NFL games and this contract when the games haven't been played yet? Nice story but falls very short from truth and reality.
Because as a big time sports fan I notice what players are using as tech gadgets. They will all of a sudden stop using their Beats/iPads/iPhones? I don't need a game to be played to see the difference.

LightEco said,
You can pretty much guarantee that most use of iPads and such are just for brand recognition. Most people don't know the difference between the various devices and just use the iPad "cause its an iPad".

If you slapped an Apple logo on the Surface and showed it to some average folks, saying it was a new Apple prototype, they'd probably rave about it.

There's a good chance Microsoft paid a bunch to get Surfaces on the sidelines, but at the same time I bet they probably had a good shot if you actually compared without looking at brands.

Look at all the schools and companies that are dropping iPads for other devices. They bought them for brand recognition before realizing they really aren't meant for the enterprise or education sectors.

Finally, and thank you for your insightful comment. My only concern was if the players may be asked to stop using such devices if the NFL is partnering with Microsoft.

JHBrown said,
The only contradictory thing here is you see every player, coach, and reporter with iPhones/Samsungs and iPads after the game doing interviews. Futhermore, many players are using the Beats headphones. Microsoft is paying millions to get their brand recognized, while Apple is getting free publicity.

Anything used on the sidelines and in the sight of camera in the NFL must be licensed, if it's an official NFL product, apple and getting anything for free, And once they have an office league device players would not be allowed to be seen while working using anything else.

You wear, or use something that is not league approved, you will pay through the nose in fines by the league.

uxo22 said,

Anything used on the sidelines and in the sight of camera in the NFL must be licensed, if it's an official NFL product, apple and getting anything for free, And once they have an office league device players would not be allowed to be seen while working using anything else.

You wear, or use something that is not league approved, you will pay through the nose in fines by the league.

Thank you for joining the conversation in a civil manner. Now, do these rules apply in the locker room or tunnel? This is normally where you see players with their electronic of choice. Normally Beats, Samsung's, iPhones, or iPads.

JHBrown said,
Thank you for joining the conversation in a civil manner. Now, do these rules apply in the locker room or tunnel? This is normally where you see players with their electronic of choice. Normally Beats, Samsung's, iPhones, or iPads.

I like the new inclusion of Beats in your list of brands.

Enron said,

I like the new inclusion of Beats in your list of brands.

Read my original post. Furthermore, you have not added anything to this discussion. Leave it alone Enron. If you want to add something with substance, you are welcomed too.

JHBrown said,
Because as a big time sports fan I notice what players are using as tech gadgets. They will all of a sudden stop using their Beats/iPads/iPhones? I don't need a game to be played to see the difference.

Yeah ok. The only time I see a sports figures using devices are when they get paid to endorse those devices. Most players you see using Beats headphones because they get paid to endorse the product. Matter of fact, some soccer player was told not to use beats headphones during the World Cup because FIFA was being sponsored by Sony, even though he was paid to wear Beats. You want us to believe that all sports players use Apple products because you say they do? Hogwash.

Gergel7077 said,

Yeah ok. The only time I see a sports figures using devices are when they get paid to endorse those devices. Most players you see using Beats headphones because they get paid to endorse the product. Matter of fact, some soccer player was told not to use beats headphones during the World Cup because FIFA was being sponsored by Sony, even though he was paid to wear Beats. You want us to believe that all sports players use Apple products because you say they do? Hogwash.
You all are so wrapped up in the Apple vs Microsoft that you have overlooked my question. I don't care who uses what and who gets paid by who. I simply asked a question about a deal with Microsoft vs the items the players use during a broadcast. Good God!

JHBrown said,
Thank you for joining the conversation in a civil manner. Now, do these rules apply in the locker room or tunnel? This is normally where you see players with their electronic of choice. Normally Beats, Samsung's, iPhones, or iPads.

They are allowed to own whatever product that they choose and when in the locker room they can use whatever they want. Not really sure how it works if they are in the locker room doing an official NFL interview or something.

uxo22 said,

They are allowed to own whatever product that they choose and when in the locker room they can use whatever they want. Not really sure how it works if they are in the locker room doing an official NFL interview or something.

Got it. Thanks.

LightEco said,
If you slapped an Apple logo on the Surface and showed it to some average folks, saying it was a new Apple prototype, they'd probably rave about it.

Reminds me of the Jimmy Kimmel skit where he took a $19 Casio watch, slapped an Apple logo on it and many people naively believed it was a prototype of the so called iwatch. People will believe anything once they become brainwashed. Apple has done a great job of that.

Gergel7077 said,

Reminds me of the Jimmy Kimmel skit where he took a $19 Casio watch, slapped an Apple logo on it and many people naively believed it was a prototype of the so called iwatch. People will believe anything once they become brainwashed. Apple has done a great job of that.

What are you babbling on about? We are talking about players who use a product other than Microsofts during the game. No one cares about a specific brand, or why people prefer a certain brand with a logo on it.

JHBrown said,
What are you babbling on about? We are talking about players who use a product other than Microsofts during the game. No one cares about a specific brand, or why people prefer a certain brand with a logo on it.

Its so funny how personal you take everything. I never saw someone be so sensitive over a comment that I made to someone else. And to make it even funnier, your comment about no one caring what specific brand device people use. Meanwhile you are the one that supposedly notices what device the players are using in the locker room is just laughable.

LightEco said,
You can pretty much guarantee that most use of iPads and such are just for brand recognition. Most people don't know the difference between the various devices and just use the iPad "cause its an iPad".

If you slapped an Apple logo on the Surface and showed it to some average folks, saying it was a new Apple prototype, they'd probably rave about it.

There's a good chance Microsoft paid a bunch to get Surfaces on the sidelines, but at the same time I bet they probably had a good shot if you actually compared without looking at brands.

Look at all the schools and companies that are dropping iPads for other devices. They bought them for brand recognition before realizing they really aren't meant for the enterprise or education sectors.

you are so off i couldn't almost even comment

JHBrown said,
Read my original post. Furthermore, you have not added anything to this discussion. Leave it alone Enron. If you want to add something with substance, you are welcomed too.

Well if you really want me to do that, I can. How about I point out the fact that this isn't even about advertising or product placement in the first place? Viewers aren't told that the NFL is using Surfaces. There was no advertising of Surface in the game. The Surfaces were barely recognizable because they are ruggedized, so no viewer at home is going to say "Hey, that's a Surface!"

So in conclusion, this is not about forcing style on anybody. This is not about celebrity endorsement. The NFL is simply using Surface for a particular utility, just as an airline would purchase a tablet for its pilots. No need to get so worked up and defensive about it.

Enron said,

Well if you really want me to do that, I can. How about I point out the fact that this isn't even about advertising or product placement in the first place? Viewers aren't told that the NFL is using Surfaces. There was no advertising of Surface in the game. The Surfaces were barely recognizable because they are ruggedized, so no viewer at home is going to say "Hey, that's a Surface!"

So in conclusion, this is not about forcing style on anybody. This is not about celebrity endorsement. The NFL is simply using Surface for a particular utility, just as an airline would purchase a tablet for its pilots. No need to get so worked up and defensive about it.

Agree. That is why I am confused that you, Dot, and Gergel went off topic. I was strictly asking about the terms of the marriage with Microsoft and NFL and how the usage of competitors devices by players conflict with any agreements.

JHBrown said,
The only contradictory thing here is you see every player, coach, and reporter with iPhones/Samsungs and iPads after the game doing interviews. Futhermore, many players are using the Beats headphones. Microsoft is paying millions to get their brand recognized, while Apple is getting free publicity.

Free? You're joking of course. Apple pay through the nose for this coverage and have done for decades.