Microsoft is set to add another agreement to its lineup of sports marketing deals: Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid.
In a brief release on its website, Real Madrid said it will announce an agreement with Microsoft at 6:30 p.m. Central European Time (9:30 a.m. Pacific for those of us not in Spain). The content of the deal isn’t much clearer after viewing the brief teaser Microsoft posted.
Real Madrid is the reigning club soccer champion of Europe and a force of nature in the sport. It’s also a global brand that routinely ranks among the most valuable sports franchises.
“We want to tie [fans’] sports passion to devices and services” that Microsoft sells, Jeff Tran, the company’s director of sports marketing and alliances, said in an interview before Real Madrid’s release.
“Productivity,” Tran said, using the term the company has been deploying in an effort to link its work across areas of its empire, “comes in many forms. It’s not just in the office. Productivity can be about fun, too.”
Partnerships with Real Madrid may stretch a bit further globally than Microsoft’s best-known sports marketing arrangement, its agreement to outfit the U.S.-focused NFL with customized Surface tablets. Microsoft also plasters the Xbox logo on the jerseys of its hometown Seattle Sounders, and the Seattle Storm’s jerseys used to tout the Bing search engine.
Speaking of the titanic — and reportedly $400 million — deal with the NFL, Tran said: “It’s not the first time we’ve forayed into sports. But it’s certainly the largest.”