April 16, 2020, Microsoft Corporation, with the National Basketball Association (NBA), announced its latest partnership deal. It will be a new multiyear alliance that will enhance the way fans experience the game. This collaboration will enable Microsoft to become the Official Artificial Intelligence Partner and an official cloud provider and laptop partner of NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, and USA Basketball. The ball of the deal will jump with the 2020-21 NBA season. Both parties announced this on Thursday, but the duration and term were disclosed yet.
The Deal is all about:
Microsoft and NBA Digital (co-managed by the NBA and Turner Sport) are planning to build a modern, innovative, direct-to-consumer platform on Microsoft Azure. It will make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide the next generation, personalized game broadcasts, and other content as well as integrate the NBA’s various products and services across its business. The platform will redefine how the fans engage with the NBA through their devices by customizing and localizing experiences for the global fanbase of NBA, which includes 1.8 billion social media followers across all over the league, team, and player accounts.
Besides delivering live and on-demand game broadcasts via Microsoft Azure, the vast array of NBA’s data sources and the extensive historical video archives will surface around for fans via state-of-the-art machine learning, cognitive search, and advanced data analytics solutions. It will provide a much more tailor-made experience to the fans that personalized the content-based on their preferences, rewards participation, and offers more insights and analysis than ever. Moreover, the platform will allow the NBA to discover unique insights and adds a new dimension to the sport for fans, coaches, and broadcasters. Through this partnership both the companies are trying to uncover additional ways in which technology can be used to magnify the NBA’s business and game operations.
This partnership will help Microsoft to become the prerogative partner of the NBA Draft Combine starting from next season. Additionally, an associate partner for all the future marquee events such as NBA All-Star, MGM Resorts NBA Summer League, and WNBA All-Star.
Microsft’s CEO, Mr. Satya Nadella said, “We are thrilled to serve as the official AI partner of the NBA.” He added, “Together, we’ll bring fans closer to the game and players they love with new personalized experiences powered by Microsoft Azure.”
In the meantime, Adam Silver (NBA commissioner) also shared his thoughts and said, “Together, we’ll bring fans closer to the game and players they love with new personalized experiences powered by Microsoft Azure.” He summarised, “Our goal, working with Microsoft, is to create customized content that allows fans — whether they are in an NBA arena or watching from anywhere around the world — to immerse themselves in all aspects of the game and engage directly with our teams and players.”
It is not the first time when Microsoft partnered any Sports league; before that, they partnered with LaLiga to transform the experience of Spanish football.
The partnership deal comes as the NBA current season is on hiatus. The league has suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11 to limit the exposure of world pandemic Coronavirus. Other sports leagues also made similar moves.