Why We Like the Microsoft-NFL Partnership
This past May, we provided some brief commentary on Microsoft’s landmark $400 million partnership with the NFL. The deal – which makes Microsoft the official technology sponsor of the NFL (both on-field and at home), will allow Microsoft to create unique NFL content and interactive experiences through their XBOX ONE game console.
The deal will give XBOX users the ability to stream NFL games on their console, receive live fantasy league scoring updates in real-time, and leverage Microsoft technologies such as Skype into the viewing experience. While watching Peyton Manning throw a touchdown pass, a fan can watch the impact of the TD pass on his fantasy matchup that week, and then Skype his opponent to taunt him all in one integrated experience. The deal helps to positions the XBOX ONE as more of an all-in-one entertainment experience than a traditional gaming console.
It's only been a few weeks into the season and the XBOX ONE integration has yet to launch but we like what we've seen so far. Here's why:
1) The deal gives Microsoft exclusive and hyper-desirable content.
2) The sponsorship integrates multiple Microsoft platforms into NFL Sunday. This includes sideline integration of the Surface Tablet which could use more support against its competition.
3) Microsoft will have in-game exposure (albeit incidental) which is very rare in the NFL landscape which will drive contextual brand awareness.
With the Playstation 4 set to launch in just 2 months, the NFL-Microsoft deal creates excitement for the XBOX ONE platform that could very well be the decision maker for fans deciding on their next gen console purchase.