LaLiga, Spain’s premier football association, and Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced an expansion of their partnership focused on digitally transforming the sports experience globally. The companies will also collaborate on developing technology solutions to the media and entertainment industry through LaLiga’s technology offering, LaLiga Tech. As LaLiga’s global Tech and Innovation Partner, Microsoft will help develop new and leverage existing solutions that will drive innovation across the sports industry including:
- For sports fans: Azure Event Hubs, Azure Data Lake, Azure Databricks and Azure Machine Learning will provide data-enhanced match coverage, personalized OTT streaming options such as camera angle selection in matches. LaLiga will offer new experiences such as augmented reality, virtual reality and 3-D replays.
- For rights holders, broadcasters and commercial partners: Azure, Dynamics 365, Power BI, SQL Database and Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Machine learning will enable an enhanced OTT streaming platform that features personalized recommendations and enhanced experiences with relevant content, games and services.
- For venue managers: Power BI and Azure will streamline stadium operations through innovations in security, and leverage 5G for unified in-stadium experiences.
As part of the collaboration, LaLiga will utilize Microsoft Azure, including AI and machine learning for its LaLigaSportsTV OTT platform and Mediacoach (match stats and visualization) platform, to reinvent interactive audiovisual experiences and formats. “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,” said Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga. “We are moving into a new era in which technology will become the center of the fan experience and data insights will power the next stage of global growth.”
“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with LaLiga 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,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft is proud to help accelerate LaLiga’s digital innovation and empower exciting new business opportunities in the sports and entertainment industries through LaLiga’s technology portfolio.”
The collaboration is key to the growth and development of LaLiga Tech, through which LaLiga 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. This will help LaLiga 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 LaLiga’s rich history of investing and focusing on the development of innovative technology aimed at enhancing the fan experience, including a robust app ecosystem on top of Microsoft Azure services. LaLiga’s family of official apps have had more than 113 million downloads globally. LaLigaSportsTV, which provides a free OTT video streaming platform for multiple sports beyond football, has had over 1.5 million registered users.
The solutions leverage a powerful data and AI to deliver personalized content based on fan preferences as well as games and video that engage casual and hardcore fans on match day and beyond. In addition, LaLiga utilizes Microsoft Power BI dashboards to provide data visualization for TV audience, fan360, social media, brand favorability and engagement, web and app performance per country, helping LaLiga and its clubs create more engaging and tailored experiences.
With the enhanced partnership announced today, LaLiga and Microsoft will focus on co-innovation and cloud acceleration using Microsoft Azure and its AI capabilities. The collaboration will continue providing LaLiga, through LaLiga Tech assets, with new growth and business opportunities by leveraging the best innovations emerging across the sports market, entertainment companies and other commercial companies around the globe.
LaLiga is a global, innovative and socially responsible organisation, a leader in the leisure and entertainment sector. It is a private sports association composed of the 20 teams in LaLiga Santander and 22 in LaLiga SmartBank, responsible for the organisation of these national professional football competitions. In the 2018/2019 season, LaLiga reached more than 2.7 billion people globally. With headquarters in Madrid (Spain), it is present in 55 countries through 9 offices and 46 delegates. The association carries out its social action through its Foundation and is the world’s first professional football league with a league for intellectually challenged footballers: LaLiga Genuine Santander.
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