Yesterday, April 23, marked the first day of the NFL Draft. The annual event is not only a big for future NFL players and their families, but also turned out to be a big one for Microsoft, too. With the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, parts of the NFL Draft was held through Microsoft Teams, and it put Microsoft’s products front and center.
Many viewers at home might have noticed some subtle Microsoft product placement as part of Microsoft’s deal with the NFL, but Microsoft execs were also quick to point out some things, too.Joe Belfiore, who recently moved into a new role at the company, tweeted about how his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were sporting two Surface Studio productivity desktops during the draft.
There's my hometown #TampaBayBuccaneers drafting via the world's best productivity desktops… and Jason Light has TWO of them! #NFLDraft #SurfaceStudio pic.twitter.com/1OSPFebCkc
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) April 24, 2020
Perhaps more importantly, Yusuf Mehdi, who is the Corporate Vice President, Modern Life, and Search/Devices group at Microsoft, tweeted about how Surface is being used by the NFL:
Great to see @Surface being used as part of the virtual @NFLDraft tonight. Can’t wait to be able to get back together in person to watch an @NFL game. pic.twitter.com/U1aiETVv06
— Yusuf Mehdi (@yusuf_i_mehdi) April 24, 2020
Other than these Microsoft executives, the company’s social media also got in with the action, too. The Microsoft Teams Twitter account promoted how Teams is helping make the NFL draft possible and that “no matter who’re you’re rooting for in the NFL draft, we’re all the home team.”
The Microsoft 365 Twitter account, also Retweeted tweets from various NFL teams showing how they were using Teams during the draft, including the Jaguars, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Another Retweet also included one from Roger Gooodell, showing how he uses his Surface Pro to get information during the draft itself.
It was a concern that going with Microsoft Teams would cause technical issues during the NFL Draft. This was the first time that it went all digital due to Coronavirus, but as some publications report, night one wasn’t the big miss everyone expected. Put this in a win for Microsoft as it continues to battle Slack, Zoom, and the ever so popular iPad.