Sports

The NBA is revolutionizing the fan experience

The NBA is followed by millions of fans from across the globe. Now, they’re partnering with Microsoft to bring these fans beyond the game with personalized, custom content about the teams and players they love.

With over 1.8 billion likes and social media followers spread across all their leagues, players, and team platforms, the National Basketball Association (NBA) attracts fans from all walks of life and all parts of the world. As more and more people gravitate to digital platforms for sports, the NBA sees an opportunity to create an experience that enhances their live broadcasts and provides new ways for fans to discover content relating to their favorite players and teams.

Now more than ever, the way people are connecting and consuming the sports they love is changing. Partnering with Microsoft, the NBA set out to reimagine game telecasts and how they could bring more content into the hands of fans across devices. The results of this partnership will come to life in a new digital experience from the NBA. Using Microsoft Azure to watch live games, the NBA will customize the way fans view and enjoy each game, providing new tools to better follow the action on the court.

A basketball on an empty court. NBA and Microsoft partnership logo lockup.

“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.”

- Adam Silver, Commissioner, NBA

Beyond live game broadcasting, the NBA will also unlock new ways to enjoy their vast array of data and extensive archive of historic footage. Using state-of-the-art machine learning and artificial intelligence, the platform will actually personalize the fan experience that tailors the content to the preferences of the fan, rewards participation, and provides more insights and analysis than ever before.

Fans will be able to create an account and set their preferences—whether it is favorite team, players, interest in stats, history, and more—in order to provide content direction to the platform, while it also learns from your viewing habits.

“We are thrilled to act as the official AI partner of the NBA and its leagues,” says Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, we’ll bring fans closer to the game and players they love with new personalized experiences powered by Microsoft Azure.”

The new partnership will help uncover unique insights for fans, coaches, and even broadcasters. The goal, over the course of a few years, is to explore and expand the ways technology can enhance the NBA’s operations—and ultimately, add new dimensions to the sport for fans who are eager to reconnect with their teams.