NFL Gets Zooming for 2020 Draft, COVID-19 Relief
Did you catch any of Zoom action during the 2020 NFL Draft last week? We sure did.
In lieu of a celebration in Las Vegas (the originally planned location for the 2020 draft), numerous teams were using Zoom to connect coaches, staff, agents, and players before and during the league’s first all-virtual draft April 23-25.
Coaches and GMs were video-enabling their home “war rooms” with Zoom. Players were downloading the app, learning the platform, and even dialing up their Zoom setups for their on-camera interviews.
Zoom was also front and center for the NFL Draft-A-Thon, a three-day virtual fundraiser raising money for organizations providing COVID-19 relief, including the American Red Cross, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, The Salvation Army, United Way, and the CDC Foundation. Zoom has pledged a $100,000 donation to support these organizations and their tremendous efforts…
Saul, what makes this doubly impressive is that Microsoft is the technology partner for the NFL. The NFL was suppose to be using Microsoft teams for their interaction with players. I guess Zoom ‘just works!’
There is probably conflicting information out there on what video conferencing product was used. However, this article that I pulled from CNBC indicates that MSFT Teams was the go-to primary line of communication:
“There were no discernible glitches or delays in the draft process. Subbing out face-to-face contact with the Microsoft Teams communication and collaboration platform, the NFL was able to prove it’s just like any other business. In the face of this crisis, it too can work from home.”
As well as this portion of the article:
"Microsoft Teams served as the primary line of communication between the NFL and its franchises, as well as how official picks were submitted to the league (some teams chose to also use the Microsoft technology for their “virtual war rooms”).
To the credit of IT employees around the league, “everything ran smoothly,” an NFL spokesman told CNBC. The first two days of the draft were all-time ratings highs, he said."