Akin to parasitic wasp larvae that will eventually turn their host spiders into undead zombies, once infected, people have no control over it, they are driven by it, it defines who there are as people, and it makes them gather together every weekend to scream at the top of their lungs in perfect harmony. “It” of course is not a parasitic wasp larvae. “It” is football.
Known as soccer to those in North America - a sport in which clubs have diehard fans from every corner of the world - is very community-based. Co-fans of one’s supporting club are considered extended family, and it is truly inspiring how great football clubs can unite people, regardless of gender, age, race, or beliefs. Today, Real Madrid FC is looking to reduce the gap even more between the club and its fans, and between the fans themselves with the help of Microsoft.
As part of a four-year collaboration deal between Real Madrid FC and Microsoft, the software giant will help accelerate the digital transformation of the club through technology. This will introduce hardware devices like the Surface Pro 3 to be used by the players and coaches, in addition to software solutions to serve as a baseline for enhanced collaboration and consumption of real-time information.
“…the digital platform we’re designing with Real Madrid is maniacally focused on putting fans at the center, and opening access and control of rich content and experiences that bring them closer to their passion for the game and the team” – Orlando Ayala, Corporate VP and Chairman of Emerging Markets at Microsoft.
(Last year Microsoft was rumored to be acquiring the naming rights of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium)
The underlying cloud-based solutions that Microsoft will build for Los Blancos will allow fans to enjoy exclusive, personalized and customized content and digital services before, during and after matches, whether those fans are at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, or anywhere else as long as they are connected to the internet.
The software giant will also focus on evolving the visualization of data from the static way it is presented today, to a more dynamic and personal way, similar to what Microsoft has done with CNN recently. The company is emphasizing how important it is to provide a “dynamic platform” especially to the fans who always demand the latest information on the happenings within the club.
“These days, we are all used to seeing in newspapers, magazines and the Web, infographics that do a great job of telling a compelling story. But from the moment it is published, the data is out of date, and maybe you wanted to know more or go deeper, but can’t with that image” – Ayala
Microsoft will be utilizing the power of its Big Data analytics tools, as well as using some of their Power BI and Office 365 to both gather and distribute data within the club, and directly to the fans. This may all end up being presented through an official Real Madrid app for Windows and Windows Phone, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
“Through this partnership, Real Madrid fans around the world will be able to get closer to the game, the club and players, and the fan community in ways we never imagined possible. This is a world that can be imagined when centered on the fan, fueled by passion, and powered by today’s technologies and the cloud” – Ayala