LaLiga, which operates the top two divisions of Spanish football, has entered into a wide-ranging global partnership with US software giant Microsoft.
The deal, the length of which was not disclosed, names Microsoft as the official technological partner of LaLiga.
Under the agreement, Microsoft’s software solutions will be leveraged to transform the digital experience for supporters.
Microsoft’s artificial intelligence tools will be used to allow LaLiga to foresee the demand for specific online content or predict attendance numbers on any given day. Chat bots will also be introduced to increase fan interaction.
Microsoft will work with LaLiga to develop data infographics, providing supporters with access to specific statistics on teams and players. The infographics will examine each player’s performance and rate their form, and will be enriched with real-time match data.
Gamification solutions will also be developed to create innovative digital experiences for fans, with supporters to face online challenges that will reward them with experience points and virtual currency, which can be used to unlock new content.
Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, will be the technology used to provide the digital solutions and services to supporters.
LaLiga will also work with Microsoft to extend and promote the digital transformation model for sports management to other organisations within football. Microsoft will drive the adoption of digital platforms by clubs to aid fan engagement, while the company will also promote MediaCoach, the team performance solution that enables customised analysis of matches for clubs.
“Today we’re announcing a digital strategy which is fundamental for us,” LaLiga president Javier Tebas said. “Taking into account the different competitions, teams and players, LaLiga 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.”