We've written several pieces about how tumultuous of a relationship Microsoft and the NFL have had in promoting the practical use of the company's hybrid tablet in the league. From league commentators mistakenly referring it to as its tablet competitor to athletes and coaches publically trashing the devices (verbally and physically), the Surface tablets have had a tough go in the NFL.
However, that has not deterred Microsoft's ambitious outlook of its ability to integrate its aspirational 2-in-1 with the everyday needs of the National Football League. We recently reported on the use of Surface tablets expanding beyond the team boxes on the sideline to on the field use by referees to offer quicker access to replays.
With more details surfacing (pun intended) about the use of Surface tablets on the field, we now find out that Microsoft's managed to do a bit more proliferation than what's previously been reported on.
Thanks to a post on the Windows Blogs, we now know that Microsoft has sold the Surface as an end to end solution for the entirety of the league.
Microsoft is proud to have every NFL team using Microsoft Surface within their organization in some capacity. Ranging from Surface devices serving as playbooks, to film reviews being conducted on Surface Hubs, to in stadium usage to business operations teams using Surface devices in their front office. It is clear that NFL teams have embraced Microsoft as a true technology partner.
Furthermore, Surface devices are now making their way to trainers and medical staffs as on the spot solutions to help make real-time decisions on player health and safety. Outfitted with the NFL's Game Management System app that specializes in showcasing key moments with tons of data collected throughout the game and is shared across different games, the Surface tablet has become a mobile diagnostic tool for NFL medics.
While Microsoft's Surface deal with the NFL has been the butt of plenty of headlines, it seems the company's persistent and focus is far further reaching than first billed. With another year left on the $400 million deal between the NFL and Microsoft, it seems that if the company can get one of the world's richest sports league dependent on the other myriad of Surface functionalities that are beyond the field, enduring years of embarrassment would have been well worth it.