Another breakthrough comes for Microsoft as the tech company has signed a deal with the National Basketball Association to become the official AI, Cloud and laptop provider for the league. This means that the NBA will use Microsoft’s Azure platform to broadcast live and on-demand basketball games for personalized content.
Source: The Verge
Even though the purpose hasn't been revealed yet, Microsoft’s Surface products will also be utilized by the NBA. In 2013, the company made a similar deal with the National Football League (NFL) to supply Surface tablets but with the NBA, the clauses only mention “Official Cloud and Laptop Partner”. Microsoft also extended its NFL deal recently so that all 32 teams will use Microsoft Teams for communications.
As a part of this new deal, Microsoft will also assist the NBA with its historical video archive and data sources to introduce new ways of using machine learning and data analytics. “This will create a more personalized fan experience that tailors the content to the preferences of the fan, rewards participation, and provides more insights and analysis than ever,” explains Microsoft.
Right now, the NBA is on hold due to coronavirus and so the deal has been made for the 2020-2021 session which upon resume will make Microsoft “an associate partner of future marquee events, including NBA All-Star, MGM Resorts NBA Summer League and WNBA All-Star.”