We’re used to seeing things like Bud Light as the official beer of the NFL, or Pepsi as the official soft drink of the NFL, but there’s something new joining the mix this season. The Microsoft Surface tablet is the official tablet of the NFL and Super Bowl XLIX .
Microsoft seems to be on some sort of mission to bring professional sports into the world of modern technology one sport at a time. A few months ago I wrote about Microsoft’s partnership with NASCAR and how NASCAR is using Surface Pro tablets with a custom app to streamline the pre-race inspection process. Then the NFL season kicked off and Microsoft was there once again.
I wrote about the collaboration between Microsoft and the NFL, and how it has transformed the game of football in this blog post:
When Idina Menzel finishes singing the national anthem and the big game kicks off on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will face off for Super Bowl XLIX. As the teams take the field, though, there will be one thing about this Super Bowl that is unique from all Super Bowls that have come before it—the teams will have Surface Pro tablets on the sidelines.
NFL teams do a lot of homework to prepare for a game—especially a game as important as the Super Bowl. They review video of their opponents’ past games to look for patterns and weakness that can be exploited. The studying doesn’t end when the game starts, though. Coaches and players review formations and develop new strategies between almost every play in an effort to find some competitive advantage.
Prior to the 2014 season those formations were reviewed using photographs of the most recent plays printed out as quickly as possible. Those photos were typically grainy, black & white images—like crappy surveillance video still shots. Now, NFL teams have custom Surface Pro 2 tablets to review plays instead.
Why Microsoft and why Surface?
Microsoft and the NFL saw an opportunity to change the way the game of football is played through the use of Windows and the Surface Pro line of tablets. It wasn’t as simple as just handing NFL teams a Surface Pro tablet, though. There were some obstacles to address first.
It’s important for teams to play by the same rules, and to ensure that one team isn’t using technology to gain an unfair advantage during a game. The NFL rules had to be changed to allow technology like the Surface Pro tablet to be used for real-time strategy on the sidelines.
Check out the rest of the story on Forbes: Super Bowl XLIX And The Surface Pro: How Microsoft Is Changing The Game Of Football.
PS: I’m a Texans and Lions fan above all others, but GO SEAHAWKS!