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Microsoft and the NFL: Touchdown!
If there’s one thing that makes us smile, it’s a win-win partnership. The recent announcement of Microsoft and the NFL joining forces is one of these partnerships. This deal has the ability to change the game of football not only for the fans but also for the players for years to come.
The US$400 million over 5 year deal works out to about US$12 million per team and puts Microsoft at the same sponsorship level as Bud Light, Pepsi, and General Motors. The deal makes Microsoft the official on-field NFL instant replay station, the official game console, the official sideline tech sponsor, and the official tablet and PC operating system. These are all great brand exposure opportunities to be sure, but the true value of this deal lies with Microsoft’s ability to exponentially enhance the fan experience. With over 100 million viewers tuning in to watch Super Bowl in 2013 and fantasy football valued at a US$1 billion dollar business, this is where true possibilities lie.
By offering fans value add elements such as live chat via Skype, real-time highlights, stats and fantasy information, Microsoft is providing something that few other brands could ‘naturally’ do. Sure, other sponsors/brands could put their name on the assets, but tech giant Microsoft is naturally postured for the role. Not only will this be perceived valuable by the viewers (each who will need to purchase or own an Xbox – cha-ching) it will also position Microsoft nicely as a cutting edge company by revolutionizing the way we experience football.
This partnership will be an exciting one to watch, and it will also be interesting to see if Microsoft can leverage this exposure amongst other sports looking to jumpstart their traditional fan engagement and viewing experience. One step at a time.