Microsoft today highlighted one of their successful customer stories in the sports business. The British & Irish Lions rugby team uses Microsoft as their secret weapon Microsoft for their success. Microsoft’s devices and services helped them win a 41-16 triumph over the Qantas Wallabies in the tournament final (a Test Series decider) in front of 84,000 people at Sydney Olympic Park in July 2013.
If Microsoft was a rugby player on the Lions all-star 2013 team, it would’ve been the head coach – the one ultimately responsible for bringing every element together, says Charlie McEwen, head of sales and marketing for the Lions. He says it was responsible for communicating, adapting, directing and evolving the best components to succeed.
This team is using Microsoft technologies right from hosting their apps and websites in the cloud to Xbox for entertainment for their players during free time.
- Fans around the world followed the Lions’ every move on the tour through a cross-platform app that brought them right to the matches, as well as up-to-the-minute stats and news, behind-the-scenes videos and interactive features, from any Windows, iOS or Android device.
- While they were on the tour, these elite players kept in touch with their families back home using Skype on Surface tablets, took pictures and videos on Lumia smartphones and played Xbox games in their much-needed downtime. (Team member Geoff Parling even witnessed the birth of his daughter through Skype.) They also kept team doctors and coaches informed about their health and readiness to play through an internal app using Microsoft Surface.
- And whenever fans tuned in for the latest plays and stats, the app kept up, thanks to Microsoft Azure – which also hosted the internal app. Azure Media Services helped take video content – such as behind-the-scenes action, training and interviews – and encoded it so it could be played on multiple devices and streamed. The servers on the back end had to deal with thousands of requests to consume content at any given time through the app. Microsoft Azure Websites supported the app’s scalability, allowing it to handle the big usage peaks during matches and level down for less busy times.
Read the whole story here.