Spain’s La Liga competition has expanded its partnership with US technology giant Microsoft, in a move which is set to transform the digital experience for fans.
Under the details of the deal, Microsoft, who have partnered with La Liga since 2016, will work in cahoots with the league to update existing solutions and create new ones, with a focus on driving innovation in the sports sector.
For example, La Liga will offer new experiences such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D replays.
Microsoft’s Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Bricks and Azure Machine Learning service will also provide supporters with data-enhanced match coverage and streaming options, including features such as giving the viewer the choice of which camera angle they want to watch the game from.
Rights holders, commercial partners and broadcasters are also set to benefit from the partnership, with Dynamics 365, Power BI, SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB and more to enable an OTT streaming platform which will feature personalised recommendations and enhanced experiences, alongside relevant content, services and games.
Microsoft and La Liga will also work together in regards to streamlining stadium operations through various innovations in security, as well as leveraging 5G for unified in-stadium experiences.
The Spanish top-tier competition will use cloud computing service Microsoft Azure’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning software for its Mediacoach and LaLigaSportsTV services “to reinvent interactive audio-visual experiences and formats”.
LaLigaSports TV, an OTT streaming platform which features multiple sports, has had over 1.5 million registered users, with La Liga’s collection of official apps reaching more than 113 million downloads globally.
La Liga claims the collaboration with Microsoft will be crucial to the overall development of La Liga Tech, its B2B offering, with the league to bundle its range of technologies for a commercial result.
“The collaboration is key to the growth and development of La Liga Tech, through which La Liga will package its full range of existing technologies into a commercial offering for the sports industry, from match-day stats and analytics to the next generation of OTT streaming services, to the most advanced content protection services and venue access management systems,” a statement read from the Microsoft website.
“This will help the competition to expand into a new era in sports and beyond and enhance the fan experience by creating new data-driven technology solutions, powered by Microsoft Azure, Power BI, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, and provide customized technology platform, services and solutions to third parties.
“The offerings build on La Liga’s rich history of investing and focusing on the development of innovative technology aimed at enhancing the fan experience.”
Javier Tebas, current president of La Liga said of the new extended partnership: “We value Microsoft as our technology and innovation partner and appreciate how they collaborate deeply to build innovative solutions aimed at solving business challenges specific to our industry.“We are moving into a new era in which technology will become the centre of the fan experience and data insights will power the next stage of global growth.”
Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of global sales, operations and marketing for Microsoft, added: “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with La Liga as it makes further bold moves to deepen engagement with its hundreds of millions of fans, while bringing new business models to market with Microsoft cloud and AI capabilities.
“Microsoft is proud to help accelerate La Liga’s digital innovation and empower exciting new business opportunities in the sports and entertainment industries through La Liga’s technology portfolio.”