Today, Microsoft announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with the NFL, which has provided Surface hardware to the league since 2013. While there have been hiccups in the partnership over that time, such as with announcers calling them iPads or Patriots coach Bill Belichick ranting about them, it seems that those hiccups were exactly that.
Aside from that extension, the partnership will also include Microsoft Teams, the company's collaboration service. Teams will be able to use Teams (pun intended) for general collaboration, for drawing up plays with Whiteboard integration, and more. In fact, several teams are already using Teams.
"Since 2013, Microsoft has helped transform the NFL through technology around our game. Microsoft Surface has quickly become an authentic tool to the game of football and is vital during all NFL games for coaches, players, and NFL officials.," said Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships. "And now by working together to integrate Microsoft Teams across the League, together we aim to improve on communications and collaboration in a modern way."
The Miami Dolphins used Teams to plan Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium, the New York Jets use it for their football and business operations, including the draft, and the Kansas City Chiefs use it to coordinate scouts.
"In Microsoft Teams we can easily collaborate on files, manage shared calendars, host meetings, and utilize existing integrations," said Kim Rometo, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Miami Dolphins. "Teams made cooperation with the NFL possible throughout the regular season and with Super Bowl planning."
Microsoft says it will continue supporting the Surface Sideline Viewing System and the Surface Instant Replay, and it will continue to develop new solutions for teams and for the league.