With fans unable to attend live events, ONE Championship is teaming up with Microsoft to engage with them digitally

With fans unable to attend live events, ONE Championship is teaming up with Microsoft to engage with them digitally, and remotely. Source: Microsoft Asia

Singapore’s ONE Championship kicks fan experiences up a notch with Microsoft

  • Sports media firm ONE Championship appoints Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider, to deliver digital fan experiences globally
  • Partnership will leverage Microsoft’s Azure, AI, and Microsoft 365 collaboration to also deliver specialized data analysis and internal productivity tools

Singapore-based mixed martial arts and sports media company ONE Championship is the latest media firm looking to engage with its fan base on a deeper level with innovative new digital experiences. They’ve now partnered with Microsoft to deliver these experiences using the power of Microsoft cloud, including Azure and Microsoft 365.

As ONE Championship looks to build on the reach of its martial arts and sports programming content over more than 150 markets, the company has appointed global tech leader Microsoft as its preferred cloud and data services provider, to power the company’s digital transformation strategies.

With worldwide restrictions on the hosting of public sporting events hampering live event attendance numbers, affecting other revenue streams like on-site merchandise sales, ONE’s collaboration with Microsoft will focus on optimizing flexible, scalable fan remote viewing experiences. It also hopes to improve its video streaming services using Microsoft Azure.

Azure will also be leveraged to boost delivery of personalized content offers to ONE fans across the globe. ONE is also looking for the cloud app to utilize various recommendation engines powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and the data analytics on fan consumer behavior, including content viewing habits. Microsoft’s blog post on the collaboration says that AI-based recommendations and data “will allow ONE to better engage fans across all touchpoints and provide them with reimagined, tailor-made experiences.”

Azure AI, machine learning and data analytics will provide ONE with the capacity to expand its core data efficiencies and transform its direct-to-consumer digital experiences. Further investing in its fan base that is keen on being up-to-date with every sporting statistic, ONE’s new data capabilities will provide “unique sets of data and statistics [to fans] to better understand the strength of a kick or a punch.”

ONE Championship hopes the partnership with Microsoft will help to address its growing need to provide high performance, high quality viewing and personalized content experiences remotely. ONE is one of the first Asian sporting and entertainment entities to tap Microsoft’s cloud and data stack to such an extent, with more innovations planned for the future.

The two companies are looking into the use of holographic computing to prevent injuries to ONE’s athletes, as well as exploring how AI and machine learning can help to improve athletic performance moving forward.

“I am thrilled to announce that ONE Championship has officially partnered with Microsoft to deliver fans the absolute best in data-driven digital experiences,” said Chatri Sityodtong, ONE Championship’s chairman and CEO. “ONE Championship is a global leader in live sports, and through the Microsoft cloud, we can accelerate our capabilities and digital presence.”

For Microsoft, Singapore’s ONE is the latest in a string of high profile digital transformation pushes the tech giant has led in the Asia Pacific region, with Malaysia’s telecommunications heavyweight Celcom making waves via cloud computing with Azure themselves.

Fan fulfillment is not the only aspect of Microsoft’s collaboration with ONE Championship: the sports media firm is set to introduce the Microsoft 365 suite, including Microsoft Teams, to be the primary internal productivity and communications platform for all ONE employees, to help ensure seamless collaboration no matter where staff are situated globally.

Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and president of Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, noted that, “Demand for digital experiences has never been higher and our partnership with ONE Championship — a leader in sports entertainment with the largest and most rapidly growing millennial fan base — will enable them to deliver on this opportunity in innovative new ways and enhance the services they provide for supporters, athletes and employees.”