Marketing Failure: Microsoft Pays NFL To Use Its Surface Tablets -- And People Still Call Them 'iPad-Like Tools'

from the didn't-get-the-memo dept

Over at The Verge, Vlad Savov has an amusing post about how NFL announcers this weekend referred to the sideline tablets that players are using as "iPad-like tools." Microsoft Surface tablets are being allowed on the sidelines as part of a $400 million deal between Microsoft and the NFL. And Microsoft is promoting the Surface as "the official tablet of the NFL." And, in the end, all anyone remembers is that it's an "iPad-like tool." I wonder if the guy who signed that deal for Microsoft has lined up a new job yet...

Filed Under: football, ipad, marketing, surface, tablets
Companies: microsoft, nfl


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 3:56pm

    Or as those outside of North America would call it, "an iPad-like tool for a football-like sport."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Angel (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      Is it really like football though, I think they should call it hand ball...lol.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Re:

        I always liked the term 'hand-egg', seems to describe the sport fairly well. You've got an egg shaped 'ball', and most of the time it's carried in someone's hand, hence 'hand-egg'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:35pm

        Re: Re:

        It's like Rugby with padding and commercial breaks.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 5:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I only watch for the commercials, if I wanted to see a bunch of tough guys pound on each other, toss around balls and pile up I get on the internet and watch gay porn.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Andrew Norton (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 9:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I've called it pu...-errr *baby* Rugby for years, even in front of players. Funny thing is, the players admit it, the fans are the ones that get upset by it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Look up the history of "football". It meant a game played on foot with a ball, as opposed to something played on horseback. The use of hands or not doesn't matter.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:20pm

      Re:

      A football-like (but less boring and where scoring is legal) sport.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 3:22am

      Re:

      This is almost too easy!

      The gadget is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike an iPad!

      The sport is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike football!

      I tell you, Adams was a genius!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:06pm

    I bet he gets a 2 game suspension.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bshock, 8 Sep 2014 @ 6:12pm

    Today's lesson in marketing

    When you bribe someone to show off your product to the public, always make sure you bribe everyone facing the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 6:58pm

    Isn't Apple gGoing to Sue to Protect its Trademark?

    What we have here is someone using "iPad" as a generic term for any tablet-like device. Apple's trademark is being diluted. They should sue Microsoft, the NFL, and the offending TV network to protect their trademark.

    Thus following the most famous makers of facial tissues, hardboard and expanded polystyrene foam in making a big fuss about their trademark, ensuring sure that consumers know that there are other options when trying to purchase said products.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:39am

      Re: Isn't Apple gGoing to Sue to Protect its Trademark?

      What we have here is someone using "iPad" as a generic term for any tablet-like device.

      No, they're comparing another product to an iPad. If they said "they're using ipads" or "they have Microsoft ipads" while knowing that the devices are not Apple iPads, that would be using it as a generic term. What they said is "iPad-like tools".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:30pm

    The announcer is John Lynch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lynch_(American_football)

    Microsoft paid the NFL a lot of money, but the Verge claims that the networks themselves aren't being paid by Microsoft. That isn't true. Microsoft has been buying heavy advertising on NFL games for the last few years. Looks like Fox didn't bother to clue their announcers in on what the sponsors were paying for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:41am

      Re:

      Microsoft paid the NFL a lot of money, but the Verge claims that the networks themselves aren't being paid by Microsoft. That isn't true. Microsoft has been buying heavy advertising on NFL games for the last few years.

      They're not being paid to have their announcers promote the Surface. Buying ads doesn't automatically buy you the announcers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andyroo, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:40am

    Oh Oh!!!

    Is ipad becoming a generic term for a tablet pc, if so I am sure apple is not going to be very happy about that as the ipad name is something they cherish very much, even now my kids call their cheap table an ipad when they are mentioning it to anyone, not becasue they want people to think they have an ipad they are way too young for that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    michaelb958 (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:43am

    This is my life with a Surface!

    I'm stuck with a Surface RT (don't laugh: needed a tablet, wanted something with intelligence, Surface 1 Pro wasn't out yet...). This is basically what continually happens to me. Every Single Time someone sees it for the first time, they call it an iPad. *sigh* (Disclaimer: I'm not an Apple fan.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 3:24am

      Re: This is my life with a Surface!

      I think the iPad is overrated nowadays. I've seen computers that turn into tablets running windows and they are far more useful than the iPad. The RT thing was an idiocy, they should have gone Windows 8 from the start.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Simon, 9 Sep 2014 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re: This is my life with a Surface!

        The iPad market matured amazingly quickly. I still see people happily using iPad 2's with no urge to upgrade. Personally when I gave my iPad back to my employer after quitting my job, I saw no reason to buy another.

        The phone upgrade cycle is faster, but that is slowing down too now as there are less and less benefits to upgrading to the latest and greatest.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:37am

    ITS like 10 years ago some adults would call every console, nintendo,
    eg do you play on the nintendo,
    even it was a sega or a dreamcast console,
    as nintendo was the most famous console maker.


    everyone knows what a ipad is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    victorvscn (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:41am

    Who, in the entire universe, would prefer to say "iPad-like tool" rather than "tablet"? I call BS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 6:17am

    iPad loses its Trademark status

    I see this as Apple losing any trademark for iPad (yeah!), much like Kleenex and Xerox are now common words in our vernacular which no longer refer to their specific companies but to the generic idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 6:43am

      Re: iPad loses its Trademark status

      Don't count on it. It can even go in the opposite direction.

      For example I picked up a US Robotics Pilot when they first came out. This was my *third* hand-held computer. The class of computers were already known as "palm-tops" by this point.

      Put the Pilot had a stylus, and that was enough for the makers of Pilot pens to sue them. So the Pilot was renamed the "Palm Pilot", and then the "Palm." And the company started suing anyone who called their palm-tops "palm-tops." And they took ownership of the word "palm."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:06am

    Wonder if MS contracted with ESPN/ABC/other broadcasters?

    Probably what happened is MS contracted with the NFL but didn't get the broadcasters on board. So as long as the NFL refers to it properly, no breach of contract but maybe they can't do anything to the announcers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.