A new multiyear partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Microsoft will result in the creation of a direct-to-consumer platform powered by Microsoft Azure, which aims to deliver new fan engagement and streaming capabilities.
Microsoft NBA forms an alliance
The newly announced partnership between the NBA and Microsoft will make the latter the Official Artificial Intelligence Partner.
As a result of this alliance with the NBA, Microsoft will also become an Official Cloud and Laptop Partner for the NBA. The partnership also covers Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, and USA Basketball beginning with the 2020-21 NBA season.
As the Official Technology Partner for the NBA, Microsoft will allow NBA Digital to leverage the power of its Azure platform to give birth to a new, direct-to-consumer platform, which claims to make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Thanks to the AI and ML, Microsoft hopes to deliver personalized game broadcasts and other content offerings. Microsoft is also looking to integrate various products and services that fall under the NBA’s business.
The NBA’s global fanbase includes the 1.8 billion social media followers across all league, player and accounts. Microsoft’s NBA streaming service is supposed to boost audience engagement to a significant extent.
Commenting on this association, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, had this to say:
“We are thrilled to serve as the official AI partner of the NBA. Together, we’ll bring fans closer to the game and players they love with new personalized experiences powered by Microsoft Azure.”
Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes this partnership with Microsoft will help them redefine the way their fans experience NBA basketball:
“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.”
Microsoft’s Azure-powered streaming service will provide users with both live and on-demand game broadcasts. However, the possibilities could be endless, especially Microsoft is talking about using AI and Machine Learning to create a “more personalized fan experience.”
Microsoft will also serve as the entitlement partner of the NBA Draft Combine beginning next season and an associate partner of future marquee events including NBA All-Star, MGM Resorts NBA Summer League and WNBA All-Star.