Bringing basketball fans into the game

Basketball fans are turning to digital platforms to connect with the game they love. Find out how new technology and metrics from both the NBA and WNBA are revolutionizing the fan experience.
A fan uses his iPhone to take a photo of player introductions prior to Game Four of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at ORACLE Arena on June 07, 2019 in Oakland, California.

Now more than ever, fans are eager to know more about the game they love. They’re turning to digital content and metrics to get an inside look at the game that brings the action on the court to life in an entirely new way.

That’s why the NBA has partnered with Microsoft to give fans access to a completely overhauled NBA app, exciting new metrics, personalized content, and in-depth stories that help them better understand what makes their favorite athletes and teams thrive, both on and off the court.

Personalizing the fan experience

The official NBA App uses Microsoft Azure to power a deeply personalized and well-rounded fan experience. With curated feeds full of constantly updated news and highlights, the NBA App is the most seamless way to follow every team.

The Ultimate NBA Hub

Microsoft Azure empowers fans to watch live games in the NBA App so they never miss a dunk or a 35-footer while they’re on the go. With Azure’s speed and the non-stop action in the NBA, the best of the league is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Nba live app screenshot.

Insights through data

Throughout the NBA and WNBA season, there are millions of data points per game, resulting in exciting new metrics that go beyond the traditional box score. Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, platforms like NBA CourtOptix and WNBA Crunch Time are changing the way sports are played, coached, watched, and ultimately experienced.

The atlanta hawks player is holding a basketball.

NBA CourtOptix gives fans the inside story

In the 2022-2023 season, Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray was elite at pull-up jumpers, knocking down 291 in the season, the 3rd most in the NBA. The proof is in the metrics … NBA CourtOptix metrics. Whether it’s highlighting how a key player rose to prominence by elevating their game or showcasing up-and-coming players who are making strides towards greatness, NBA CourtOptix provides the insights to tell a richer, deeper story.

A’ja Wilson drives to the basket for a layup against the Mercury.

WNBA fans get access to Crunch Time performances

When the clock is counting down, grace under pressure can be one of the defining differences between teams that win or lose. Crunch Time illustrates what happens beyond the scoreboard in the final minutes of any close game, using metrics to show how instrumental every player and play are in the clutch.

Making an impact

But the impact of the leagues’ top players can be seen well beyond the court. Microsoft is partnering with these athletes to continue their mission of fostering and creating opportunities in the community.

WNBA basketball player, Jewell Loyd is mid-jump with a basketball in her hands. She is portrayed in front of a white background.

Jewell Loyd

Jewell Loyd is a dynamic guard for the Seattle Storm who has already left her mark on the WNBA. As the league’s first overall draft pick in 2015, she has gone on to become a five-time WNBA All-Star, broke the WNBA Single-Season Scoring Record and has won two championships with the Storm. She’s also an accomplished 3×3 player, ranked as the #1 FIBA player in the world. Off the court, she’s carrying on the legacy of her mentor Kobe Bryant by founding Mamba Army, a grassroots organization that provides mentorship and elite-level basketball training to kids of all backgrounds. Additionally, Jewell is an ambassador for Eye to Eye, a national mentoring organization that focuses on helping people with learning disabilities.

WNBA basketball player, A’ja Wilson is mid-jump with a basketball in her hands. She is portrayed in front of a white background.

A’ja Wilson

A’ja Wilson is a star forward for the Las Vegas Aces, known for her impressive skills on the court and her commitment to making a difference off it. She’s already achieved plenty of accolades in her young career, including being selected as the #1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, earning two WNBA MVP awards, and winning a WNBA championship with the Aces in 2022. A’ja is also a 2020 Olympic gold medalist with USAB, a FIBA gold medalist, and a four-time WNBA All-Star. Off the court, she’s making waves as a champion for dyslexia awareness through the A’ja Wilson Foundation, which aims to support children and families struggling with this learning disability. She’s also been honored for her exceptional leadership and commitment to social justice, with a statue erected in her likeness at the University of South Carolina in recognition of her on- and off-court achievements.  


Taking a shot with STEM

The WNBA teams and players are inspiring the next generation, particularly in efforts aimed at bridging the gender gap in STEM through camps and clinics that encourage girls to grow their passions and skills in both basketball and tech.


Fostering creators across communities

NBA Creators is a design-focused program that uses their respective platforms to elevate and increase exposure of Canadian illustrators and graphic designers who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, or Latinx.

Digital transformation

A basketball on an empty court. NBA and Microsoft partnership logo lockup.

Choosing the right platform

The NBA wanted to tap into technology that could power experiences for its growing fan base around the world. Learn more about their strategic partnership with Microsoft and how they chose Microsoft Azure as the new home for its latest innovation.

A basketball swishes through a net at an NBA game.

Powering new content that elevates fan engagement

Using state-of-the-art machine learning and artificial intelligence, Microsoft and the NBA are partnering to personalize the fan experience and tailor content to the preferences of the fan.