IT services giant Globant and Spanish soccer’s LaLiga are partnering with Microsoft to create a range of artificial intelligence (AI) services for the sports industry.
LaLiga has worked with Microsoft for many years, and launched a joint venture with Globant last year to accelerate development and commercialise innovations from its in-house LaLiga Tech division.
Through this latest partnership, LaLiga will create a suite of tools targeting coaching, fan engagement, and broadcasting, with an initial focus on soccer before expanding to other sports, including basketball, rugby union and tennis.
To help deliver and build these products, Microsoft will provide LaLiga Tech with access to Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI Service, which includes advanced models such as OpenAI GPT-4, Azure’s range of business services, and AI-optimised cloud infrastructure.
Initial projects include near-real time multilanguage subtitles to improve accessibility to live events for fans with hearing impairments, and automatic sports content translations which will allow sports organisations of all sizes to reach a more global audience.
LaLiga will also add new real-time statistics to its existing Mediacoach application, while it will use GPT to create new types of content for fans and the clubs in a bid to drive fan engagement.
“At Microsoft, we are pleased to work with LaLiga Tech and Globant on this initiative to help transform sports through artificial intelligence and the power of Azure,” said Ignacio León, enterprise commercial lead of Microsoft Spain.
“Our relationship with LaLiga represents a significant milestone in our longstanding collaboration, where we have successfully developed digital products and solutions that have redefined the landscape of sports and entertainment. We are excited about the possibilities that AI brings to this area, and we remain committed to using our technology to drive positive change and enhance the sports industry for everyone involved.”
“For a decade, AI and data have been an integral part of Globant’s vision and been applied across the company to deploy solutions that increase productivity and efficiency,” added Agustin Huerta, senior of Technology of Globant.
“Through LaLiga Tech, our joint venture with LaLiga, and partnership with Microsoft, we are working to extend these solutions to the sport industry. The first tests have proven to be disruptive and successful; this is a very exciting moment in sport technology and the transformation of the wider sports industry.”
LaLiga Tech was created in 2021 as a means to further monetise the league’s in-house innovations by licensing them to other leagues, federations and broadcasters. Existing partners include Liga Portugal, MotoGP, and Sky Mexico.
The joint venture with Globant aimed to combine knowledge of the sports industry with that of the IT sector, taking advantage of new technologies – including AI and blockchain. Buenos Aires-based Globant also works with Fifa and the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Clippers.
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