Inside Amazon's strategy of envisioning the future and working backwards
The National Hockey League has teamed up with Amazon.com Inc., as part of a plan to use tech to fuel the league’s success off the ice.
Amazon’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), will become the NHL’s official cloud, artificial intelligence, and machine learning infrastructure provider.
“AWS’s state-of-the-art technology and services will provide us with capabilities to deliver analytics and insights that highlight the speed and skill of our game to drive deeper fan engagement,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
The partnership could help the league keep some fans engaged while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit their ability to attend games in person.
AWS will, for example, work with the NHL on co-developing new viewing experiences for fans who are watching games at home, along with providing more in-depth stats and analytics.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“AWS is working with the world’s most renowned sports leagues to better understand their data and innovate upon it using our deep portfolio of machine learning services,” said Andy Jassy, chief executive officer of AWS.
AWS and future CEO of Amazon, in a statement.
Amazon already has several partners from the sports world, including the National Football League. AWS power the NFL’s Next Gen Stats platform, which tracks player and team performance.
Jassy also happens to be a lifelong hockey fan. He grew up cheering for the New York Rangers and is currently a part-owner of the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken.
While Amazon’s e-commerce operations often get the bulk of the world’s attention, Amazon Web Services is the company’s not-so-secret weapon and a key profit driver.
The business generated more than US$45 billion in revenue last year, as more companies shift their operations to the cloud. That compares to less than US$2 billion a decade ago.
AWS, which competes with the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is the cloud computing platform of choice for big tech names such as Netflix Inc., Airbnb Inc. and Twitter Inc.
In Canada, it works with a long list of companies, such as TC Energy Corp. It also recently teamed up with BlackBerry Ltd. to develop an cloud-connected software platform for automakers.