Sports

The NFL is keeping the spirit of the game alive

While the 2020-21 NFL season was about overcoming challenges, the upcoming year will be about finding new and exciting ways to thrive. Find out how players, teams, and broadcasters are adopting technology to connect, collaborate, and keep the best of what football has to offer alive.

Stadiums might have looked different during the 2020-21 NFL season, but the teams’ energy and commitment to the game remained as strong as ever.

Now, looking ahead to the upcoming season, the lessons from last year—and a growing technology partnership with Microsoft—are making it easier for teams and players to connect with each other, while helping fans to get closer to the game they love.

The 2021 NFL Draft and Microsoft Teams

Last year, the first-ever virtual NFL Draft was a significant cultural moment—with over 55 million fans tuning in—offering an opportunity to showcase how technology can help sports navigate a rapidly changing world. It was a complex problem of managing data, live communication, and high fan expectations—and the technology rose to the occasion.

This year, the NFL is utilizing Microsoft Teams again to execute the NFL Draft. Over the course of three days, NFL Clubs will submit the 259 draft picks using Teams. Select clubs will also use Surface devices to stay connected during the broadcast, across social channels, and throughout their organization.

Surface on the sidelines

With more than 2,000 Surface devices in the hands of coaches and players, Microsoft technology helps power 269 NFL games in a year.

Learn more about how Microsoft collaborated closely with the NFL, coaches, and players to develop its Surface Sideline Viewing System (SVS). Find out how teams are now tapping that technology to better analyze opponents game plans, review plays and formations from multiple angles, and add speed to strategizing that’s essential both on and off the field.

Learn more about how Microsoft collaborated closely with the NFL, coaches, and players to develop its Surface Sideline Viewing System (SVS). Find out how teams are now tapping that technology to better analyze opponents game plans, review plays and formations from multiple angles, and add speed to strategizing that’s essential both on and off the field.

A pair of hands hold a Microsoft Surface device with the Sideline Viewing System onscreen.

Creating virtual fan experiences

Microsoft and the NFL have a longstanding partnership, and both Microsoft Surface and Teams have become an integral part of keeping fan traditions alive. Crowd energy is a vital part of any game, electrifying players and offering that famed hometown advantage. With fans mostly watching from home, the NFL turned to Microsoft to help support rich virtual experiences that bring fans closer to the action when they can’t be there in person.

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