Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the NBA confirmed a Microsoft NBA deal which will focus on redefining and personalizing fan experiences. Microsoft will become the official 'Artificial Intelligence Partner and an Official Cloud and Laptop Partner' for the NBA. The company will also team up with WNBA, NBA G League, USA Basketball and the NBA gaming experience starting from the NBA 2020-21 season.
The Microsoft NBA deal is focused on delivering next-generation and personalized NBA gaming and broadcasts. The deal will work on how fans engage with the league via their devices by customizing experiences for their global fanbase. Including all league, team and player accounts, the league has 1.8 billion social media followers. They will also work on integrating all other NBA services and products. Throughout the years of their deal, both brands will work on enhancing NBA's 'business and game operations'.
The deal will also make Microsoft the NBA's Draft Combine from the next season and other events like the NBA All-Star games, MGM Resorts NBA Summer-League and WNBA All-Star games. In his statement, Nadella said that he is thrilled to work as NBA's AI partner. He promised to bring fans closer to the game they love along with the new experiences powered by Microsoft Azure.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated that along with Microsoft, they can change the way fans experience NBA basketball. They plan to offer fans a way to enjoy all aspects of the game and players.
NBA's deal with Microsoft will help enhance their new direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform. The platform will reportedly include real-time stat overlays, alternative audio-video feeds and other gaming elements. The NBA fans will also have an opportunity to earn 'loyalty points' after they watch games or perform any other activity. These points could later be used for discounts on merchandise, league passes and tickets. With Mircosoft's AI technology, the NBA DTC platform will learn what every fans like and present them with optimised content.