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La Liga, Microsoft team for digital experience

Spain’s premier football league La Liga and Microsoft are forming a global alliance that seeks to transform the experience of football fans through innovative digital solutions. The agreement, which plans the development of various lines of action, will enable the 1.6 billion worldwide followers of La Liga through social media channels to access innovative digital products and services that will be delivered in a customised way.

Fans will be able to specify their interests to access only the most relevant content for their profiles, videos that reflect their preferences or statistics on their favourite teams or players. Through the various digital channels enabled by La Liga, supporters will be able to share their passion with other fans; facilitating the creation of interconnected communities of fans worldwide.

“It’s a very important day for La Liga,” declared Javier Tebas, President of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional. “Our 360° strategy is key. 180° refers to live games, but that didn’t cut it for our supporters. Today we’re announcing a digital strategy which is fundamental for us. Taking into account the different competitions, teams and players, La Liga has the most followers in the whole world, but we won’t stop there. We have to give our fans experiences. We want to obtain information about their preferences in order to do so. If we manage that, fan loyalty will be boosted. The 90 minutes isn’t enough nowadays. If we don’t do that, we won’t grow. That’s why Microsoft is key to our development. Years ago, we were speaking about debts and tidying the game up, we’re over all of that now.”

The alliance, through which Microsoft becomes Official Technological Partner of La Liga, promotes the use of the most advanced technologies for the development of pioneering global sports management solutions. By deploying Microsoft’s artificial intelligence tools and applying its cognitive services, La Liga will be able to transform its operations, such as being able to foresee the demand for specific online content or predict attendance numbers at the stadium on any given day. The use of chat bots will enable a new model of interaction with fans through voice and natural language.

“Our partnership with La Liga is going to lead to a major new wave of innovation in the sports industry, revolutionising the way in which supporters relate to clubs and players, and radically transforming the management model of the sports organisations themselves,” suggested Pilar López, President of Microsoft Ibérica.

Microsoft’s business cloud (Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365) will play a key role in the digital transformation of La Liga. The alliance between the two organisations will boost the presence of LaLiga and its impact worldwide leveraging Microsoft online services that reach more than 1.2 billion users globally.

“The digital platform of La Liga and its clubs will enable them to offer new digital products, services and experiences for fans all over the planet, built on Microsoft’s business cloud. This solution will be strengthened by content from La Liga, amplified through the company’s digital consumer channels,” commented Sebastián Lancestremere, Sports Business, General Manager at Microsoft Corporation.

One of the key areas of action of the alliance will focus on the statistical use of historical data from La Liga. Through data view solutions with powerful infographics, supporters can access statistics on teams and players, having the option of creating their own ‘control panels’ to track specific parameters on their favourite players. This data analysis will examine each player’s performance and rate his form, and it will be enriched with real-time data generated on each match.

La Liga and Microsoft will develop gamification solutions to create an innovative experience in the use of various digital services; fans will face challenges and can earn experience points and virtual currency with which they can unlock new online content and services. In short, the aim is to transform the digital experience of La Liga supporters.

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, will be the technology used to provide the range of services and solutions to fans. The use of the Microsoft cloud guarantees the flexibility and scalability needed to deliver an optimal user experience to the 1.6 billion social media followers of La Liga, providing the highest security and privacy standards and complying with all Spanish and European regulations in this regard.

Apart from the focus on fans, La Liga and Microsoft will work together on extending and promoting the digital transformation model for sports management to other organisations in the football industry. On one hand, it will drive the adoption of digital platforms by clubs with the aim of extending these innovative solutions and enhancing interaction between fans and their favourite teams.  On the other, it will promote MediaCoach, the team performance solution that enables customised analysis of football matches for technical staff at the clubs, on a global level.

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