Just weeks after IBM chose its chief rival, Slack, to become its global internal communications tool, Microsoft Teams has come back swinging. The platform this week announced that it has renewed and expanded its partnership with the National Football League (NFL) to become the official communication platform for all 32 teams.
As part of the agreement, Microsoft’s Surface products will also remain the official tablet of the NFL.
Commenting on the deal, Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships, said: “Since 2013, Microsoft has helped transform the NFL through technology around our game. Microsoft Surface has quickly become an authentic tool to the game of football and is vital during all NFL games for coaches, players, and NFL officials. And now by working together to integrate Microsoft Teams across the League, together we aim to improve on communications and collaboration in a modern way.”
Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Yusuf Mehdi, added: “We’re excited about bringing Teams to the NFL. This will help give teams the ability to run game day operations in one hub instead having to use more than one app for chats, phone calls and document collaboration.”
According to Mehdi, several franchises already use Teams, including the New York Jets – which plan to use Teams to communicate during the NFL Draft in April – and Super Bowl champion, the Kansas City Chiefs – which already utilise the tool to coordinate plans and schedules for the club’s player scouts while they’re on the road.
Landing the NFL as a Teams customer is the latest sign that Microsoft is building momentum in the collaboration software market, although Slack has had some customer wins of its own lately, reportedly winning a big contract with Uber.
Microsoft reported last November that it had about 20 million daily active users for Teams, compared to about 12 million for Slack.