Microsoft and the NFL have renewed and expanded their partnership, making Microsoft Teams the league’s official communication platform and keeping Surface products as the official tablet. The expanded partnership is a huge win for the tech giant weeks after IBM chose Slack over Microsoft Teams as the internal communication tool for its employees.
Microsoft Teams will now be used by all 32 NFL teams, according to Microsoft. The service allows organizations to connect to one communication hub to host calls, chats, meetings, as well as manage internal calendars and documents across Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows devices. Throughout the years, Microsoft has invested a ton of money into the deal, including creating modified Surface tablets used primarily as a sideline tool to replace black-and-white photographs.
The pair’s partnership hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Back in 2016, Microsoft had to defend its Surface tablets after the New England Patriots stopped using them. A couple of years prior to that, the tech giant also had to “coach” the league’s announcers to not call its tablets iPads.
The tension between Microsoft and Slack has been on the rise when it comes to which company can provide a better communication platform. Microsoft topped Slack in active daily users last July, announcing 13 million daily users. In the last few months, Microsoft upped the ante by launching a TV ad campaign and announcing a new walkie-talkie feature.