After the NFL and Microsoft struck a 5-year, $US400 million to make the Surface Pro 3 the official tablet of the NFL, the league ran into a bit of a problem when a few network announcers couldn’t correctly identify the technology and called them iPads or “iPad-like tools.”
Since then, Microsoft has “coached” some announcers on being better able to identify the devices.
“It’s true, we have coached up a select few,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Business Insider. “That coaching will continue to ensure our partners are well equipped to discuss Surface when the camera pans to players using the device during games.”
The coaching appears to be working as there have not been any further reports of the blue tablets being mistaken for iPads. The coaching may have even worked a little too well in at least one incident.
During Fox’s coverage of the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants, cameras zoomed in on Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice who was reviewing photos of the game using a standard 3-ring binder. The announcers were quick to point out that Tice was going “old school” and didn’t need a Surface tablet.
Reviewing photos on the sidelines has become the main use of the Surface tablets.
According to the spokesperson, Microsoft is encouraging teams to use the Surface tablets is working directly with teams “to make sure all players and coaches are comfortable using the device.” The key selling point is time, as the tablets can have the photos in the hands of players and coaches 30-40 seconds fast than the old school method.
Converting an old schooler like Tice might prove to be a bigger challenge than coaching the announcers.
The occasional glitch aside, the partnership appears to finally be working and the message is getting out.
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