Amazon Web Services has signed a partnership with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the parent company of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC.

The partnership will focus on enhancing fan engagement across the three teams. The deal also includes the Toronto Argonauts, which compete in the Canadian Football League.

AWS will serve as MLSE’s official cloud provider and official provider of artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning cloud services. MLSE will use AWS’s cloud capabilities to support its teams and lines of business.

As well as fan engagement, the partnership will cover player health and internal franchise operations. Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Kinesis technology will be used by MLSE to process and analyse video footage from cameras installed at training facilities and game venues.

MLSE will develop new technology for fans using AWS’s broad portfolio of cloud services to create experiences in the arena, at home and in the metaverse. MLSE will also use augmented reality and virtual reality applications, as well as Amazon Kinesis, to power its planned ‘Game within the Game’ digital experience, which allows fans to track individual players.

In the future, MLSE will work with AWS to build an at-home and in-stadium mixed-reality experience by combining visual data from cameras around the arena with sensors in players’ jerseys and the puck or ball.

Platforms such as Digital Arena (known as Game Time in the MLSE teams’ mobile apps) will offer a second-screen experience where fans can share and chat with other supporters, alumni and team mascots.

“We are always searching for innovative organisations to partner with that will disrupt the norm and create the very best experience for our fans,” said Jordan Vader, senior vice-president of global partnerships at MLSE.

“Our partnership and what we plan to achieve with AWS will help transform Toronto’s sports and entertainment industry. Tapping into the technology developed by AWS will also enhance how we engage with fans, giving them exciting, personalised experiences in and out of our venues from before the puck drops in the rink to after the final buzzer on the court.”

Matt Garman, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at AWS, added: “We help organisations like Formula 1 to redesign their cars, the National Football League to train their players, and the National Hockey League to pull fans deeper into the game with a growing roster of real-time stats.

“We’re thrilled to grow our global sports community with MLSE and help them build a winning suite of analytics and machine learning capabilities. Together with AWS, MLSE will continue to strengthen iconic Canadian sports franchises like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, and Toronto Argonauts, and help them connect with fans on a more personal level than ever before.”

In other news, Toronto FC has entered into a partnership with Mill Street Brewery ahead of the new MLS season. Mill Street Brewery will be the official beer of Toronto FC, as well as the lead beer brand at BMO Field.

The deal includes watch parties, an in-stadium beer garden and a visual presence for Mill Street Brewery via in-stadium signage.

Image: Christian Mendoza on Unsplash