Real Madrid Fans And Staff To Gain From Microsoft Tech Deal

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Microsoft becomes the European Champions’ official tech partner, providing the club with devices and services

Real Madrid has signed up Microsoft as its ‘strategic technological partner’ in a wide ranging deal that will see fans and coaching staff benefit from the use of the company’s technology both behind the scenes and through the club’s official media channels.

Representatives from both parties attended an event at the European champions’ iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital, promising the partnership will accelerate the club’s digital transformation.

“We are delighted to offer these tools to millions of Real Madrid fans worldwide and help make their passion for football much more exciting,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Coaching improvements

Real Madrid MicrosoftCoaches and staff will be supplied with devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet, along with work applications and collaboration and communications tools.

Cloud and Big Data applications will be used to help the team’s fortunes and the two parties will share information to assist Microsoft’s understanding of how technology can be applied in sport.

Additionally, Real Madrid will have the opportunity to participate in future Microsoft Research projects.

A more obvious benefit will be the creation of a digital platform that will engage fans by providing exclusive content and digital services such as a virtual stadium that can be accessed on a myriad of devices. Microsoft will also use its cloud and analytics capabilities to visualise key statistics and allow fans to make more effective comparisons between players and historic matches.

Fan engagement

“Today is the start of a long journey that Real Madrid and Microsoft are embarking on together, heading toward the full digital revolution of the club,” added Orlando Ayala, corporate vice president and chairman, Emerging Markets at Microsoft. “This new era translates into an unprecedented personalized experience for supporters that will allow millions of fans from all over the planet to enjoy their passion for Real Madrid anywhere, anytime and on any device.”

Many teams use analytics to assess performance, determine long term trends and even predict injury and Microsoft itself has become more involved with sport in recent times.

It has worked with the Lotus F1 team and the British and Irish Lions, while it has also agreed a deal with the NFL for its Surface tablets to be used by NFL coaching staff on the sidelines in a bid to boost the device’s visibility.

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