Microsoft To Be AI Partner For NBA

Microsoft will become the official technology partner for the National Basketball Association or NBA under a new multi-year partnership between the two parties.

As part of their collaboration, Microsoft will become the Official Artificial Intelligence Partner and an Official Cloud and Laptop Partner for the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association or WNBA, NBA G League, and USA Basketball beginning with the 2020-21 NBA season.

NBA Digital, co-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports, will adopt Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to create a more personalized online experience for NBA fans.

The two parties will create a new direct-to-consumer platform on Microsoft Azure that will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver personalized game broadcasts and other content offerings to NBA’s global fan-base. The platform will also integrate the NBA’s various products and services from across its business.

In addition to delivering live NBA matches and on-demand game broadcasts through Microsoft Azure, NBA’s historical video archive will be curated and presented to fans through machine learning, cognitive search and advanced data analytics solutions. There will also be a reward system for fans who participate online.

NBA fans will be able to set up an account and enter their preferences – such as their favorite team or players, interest in statistics, history, and gaming – in order to provide some direction to the content provided by the platform. Meanwhile, the platform will also learn from the fan’s viewing habits.

For fans unable to follow the games in real time, the platform will help them catch up on their favorite teams without having to search through all the latest scores, highlights and games.

Microsoft and NBA will also explore more ways the technology can be used to enhance the NBA’s business and game operations.

As part of the partnership, Microsoft will become the entitlement partner of the NBA Draft Combine beginning next season. The company will also become an associate partner of future marquee events, including NBA All-Star, MGM Resorts NBA Summer League and WNBA All-Star.

In December 2019, Amazon.com said that Amazon Web Services and the National Football League will use data and analytics to jointly develop the ‘Digital Athlete,’ a platform that intends to improve player safety and treatment in the near term, and ultimately predict and prevent injury.

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