With Super Bowl XLVIII and the 2013 NFL season behind us, the attention of fans and the teams across the league turn to preparing for next season. For many of us, it can’t come soon enough. I wanted to take a quick moment to reflect on the last season, but also update you on some cool new developments when it comes to Surface and the NFL. As many of you know, Surface is the Official Tablet of the NFL. The Surface logo and visuals have been a visible addition to all the games this past season, showing up on the sidelines on the communication carts and instant replay hoods. But it goes well beyond that, Surface has also been used in trials with many teams across the NFL, as a tool to help assist medical personnel in the area of player health and in front office operations as a powerful tablet that can go from the desktop to the field. Team use and integration into the operations of managing a NFL franchise will only increase in future seasons.
Beyond NFL teams using Surface, more and more fans are choosing Surface as the one device to help them manage their busy workweeks, and downtime leading to football Sunday (and Thursday and Monday nights). This season, fans were able to download NFL Mobile, NFL.com Fantasy Football, Game Rewind and other great apps to make their football couch time as fun and productive as possible.
People around the world are using Surface in amazing ways. Earl Thomas, standout defensive back of the Seattle Seahawks used a Surface 2 to help capture the excitement of media day and the realization of his dreams at Super Bowl XVIII. Steve Gleason, past player for the New Orleans Saints, is using Surface to help him communicate with his family and friends despite his diagnosis and battle against ALS.
Finally, in an announcement made January 30th, Surface owners will be able to take advantage of NFL Now, a personalized video service providing fans with the NFL news, analysis and highlights which will launch in summer 2014. The unique capabilities of Surface will allow the most complete way to enjoy the NFL and put the fan in control of their viewing experience.
Running, jumping and passing with Surface
All that is great stuff, but that was last season, now we are charging hard into the off season and the 2014 regular season, and first stop is the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. For those not familiar, the NFL Scouting Combine is an opportunity for more than 300 of the top college players to participate in the biggest job interview of their life. They will be tested physically and mentally, then evaluated by NFL team executives, coaches, player personnel departments and medical staff to determine where they might fall when it comes to the 2014 NFL Draft in May.
This year at the Combine, we will help all 32 teams get player information, results and event details in near real time with the combination of Surface tablets and a specialized app called the NFL Combine Dashboard. Surface devices will be used to capture data from each field event, which allows team personnel to track each player as they make their way through the Combine and make comparisons across participating players at each position.
The NFL Scouting Combine Dashboard home screen provides quick access to key information like current point of Combine event progression, recently viewed players and an overview of what event the individual groups are participating in now, and the results captured in each activity per station.
In the schedule view, the app displays a calendar with player groups listed to the left and color coded. Events are also colorized so it’s easy to see which group is participating in each event. Team staff can swipe left or right to view events happening earlier or later in the week. Tapping an event shows more information like description and location.
Other screens in the app are dedicated to individual players and their results at each phase of the Combine. Again, this gives team personnel an easy way to not only navigate the logistical information of the Combine event itself, but also provides a powerful tool they can use to help evaluate each player and how they might fit into each team’s draft plans. While this app is exclusive to NFL team staff, it’s a great way to showcase how Surface is helping the NFL evolve the game on and off the field.
There is lots more to come as we make our way through the offseason and eventually the 2014 regular season, and we be sure to keep you posted here on new developments. Until then, tune into NFL Network to see all the action from the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
Senior Manager, Surface