Computer giant Microsoft has signed a multi-year deal with Spanish football club Real Madrid.
The companies have entered into a global four-year business, technology and marketing partnership.
A live stream event took place at 5.30pm GMT on November 18th at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, where Microsoft’s corporate VP and chairman of emerging markets Orlando Ayala announced the partnership, along with Florentino Pérez, chairman of Real Madrid C.F.
The partnership includes exclusive digital content and ‘virtual experiences’ delivered to fans through a new digital platform, and business solutions which will aim to increase efficiency and performance of the staff at the football club.
Microsoft will provide ‘digital services that are accessible anywhere, anytime and on a host of devices’ (such as PCs, tablets, smartphones and wearables).
Supporters of the club will now also be able to access the stadium virtually, before, during and after each game.
This agreement also provides for the use of services and devices, such as Surface Pro 3, by players and coaching staff as key work tools, with the aim of enhancing the performance and efficiency of the team.
Both organisations will collaborate by exchanging knowledge on the application of technology in the sports industry and assess potential joint research projects with Microsoft Research.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, participated with a video message. He said: "At Microsoft we are fully committed to ensuring that people from across the world can make the most of each moment of their lives. Amazing things can happen by providing people with the right tools, just when they need them in order to interact, create or share everything they can imagine.
"We are delighted to offer these tools to millions of Real Madrid fans worldwide and help make their passion for football much more exciting.”
The four-year deal is worth a reported $30 million – enough to pay Gareth Bale’s player wages for a year.
Microsoft is not the first computer vendor to sign a deal with a Spanish football giant – last year Intel penned a partnership with Real Madrid’s rivals Barcelona.