The NFL and Microsoft have agreed to a one-year extension of the tech giant’s technology sponsorship. It means that you’ll continue to see Microsoft Surface tablets on the NFL pregame shows and the sidelines through the 2018 season, and they’ll also continue be used on video replay reviews.

In addition to replay reviews, the tablets, like the drawing tablet with screen, are provided to coaches and players so they can watch footage of plays during games. One coach who isn’t a fan of the Surfaces is Bill Belichick, who infamously threw his tablet during a game with Buffalo last season:

Aaron Rodgers also threw a Surface after an interception:

This partnership between Microsoft and the NFL dates back to 2013, when they agreed to a sponsorship deal worth $400 million for five years.

At first, there was confusion among announcers calling them “iPads” instead of “tablets” or “Surfaces,” but that has changed over the years.

NBC’s Football Night in America has incorporated Microsoft Surfaces into various sponsored segments on its pregame show and online segments.

Of course, Microsoft was thrilled to renew its sponsorship agreement. Company corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi made the following statement:

We’re excited to help the NFL change the game with Surface devices being used by players and coaches on the sidelines to make more informed decisions, referees using Surface for instant replay to enhance the speed of the game, and teams using Microsoft products in their business and football operations. We look forward to continuing the partnership next season.

The Surfaces will be back for another season for referees to review, coaches and players to abuse and networks to use as props. Just another year for an NFL sponsor.

[SportsPro Media]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.