Microsoft has been a long time partner of the NFL as anyone who has watched the games in recent years knows given the less-than-gentle treatment of Surface devices on the sidelines.
It should come as no surprise then that the NFL has turned to Microsoft Teams to bring fans to key games over the course of the season in something called the "Fan Mosaic" (via Engadget).
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The home team in each of the selected games will invite fans to enjoy a "virtual VIP experience" that will let them view the game live while watching a Gallery View of their fellow virtual fans in a dual display.
The players and those watching at home will see these fans on LED screens in the stadiums as well as at various times throughout the broadcast. The audio from these fans will even be integrated into the custom crowd noise for each stadium.
Using #MicrosoftTeams technology, key games this season will feature ✨ a feed of virtual fans called a Fan Mosaic 🍻 digitally reimagined touchdown celebrations on the @BudLight Showtime cam (cheers)September 10, 2020
The Fan Mosaic will also play a role in touchdown celebrations on the LED screens installed at the back of each end zone and the new Bud Light Showtime cam.
NBA fans will be familiar with the look already as the league also turned to Microsoft Teams for fan interaction. It will be interesting to see how it translates to the much larger stadium environments.
It's another high-profile win for Microsoft Teams, which has seen massive growth alongside market leader Zoom this year. The service will be put in front of a lot of eyes with the potential to give it the push into the consumer market that it has been going after.