Microsoft announced today that it will provide virtual game day experiences to NFL fans using Teams as part of efforts to observe health standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL will display spectators on LED screens in stadiums and on broadcast during key games.
Fans will be featured via a virtual feed called Fan Mosaic, where the home team can invite them to watch games together through a VIP Teams meeting. They will also see the live game alongside a gallery view of other spectators in a dual screen display. Audio from the Teams meetings will be mixed with augmented crowd noise tailored for each stadium.
The NFL will also install LED screens at each end zone in key games to let the players celebrate moments with fans when they score a touchdown. For each touchdown celebration, players can see the Fan Mosaic on the LED screens and connect with fans through the Bud Light Showtime cam.
Teams will also be used by the league to manage operations throughout the season every week as the number of representatives onsite will be reduced. The NFL staff will use the videoconferencing tool for communication, document collaboration, and reporting, among others.
Microsoft and NFL have been working since 2013 on many initiatives to provide support to coaching staff and referees as well as improve the fan experience. That partnership was extended earlier this year.