Apple's multi-year deal with MLB takes iPad Pro out to the ballgame

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2016
Apple has signed a multi-year deal with Major League Baseball to supply coaches with 12.9-inch iPad Pro units running custom software for displaying player statistics, stat breakdowns, interactive data, game footage and more.


Source: The Wall Street Journal


According to The Wall Street Journal, the MLB's iPad deal was brokered to coincide with a loosening of in-game restrictions on using laptops, tablets and smartphones in dugouts. The MLB's iPad Pros will debut this season, outfitted with special ruggedized cases sporting the organization's logo.

"We're not just replacing binders with tablets, we're actually helping them do things that weren't possible before," said Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller.

When distributed, each iPad Pro will come with a custom iOS app developed by the MLB's Advanced Media division, in partnership with Apple. Called Dugout, the app will be loaded with proprietary team data before each game, ensuring fresh stats and data points pertinent to a given matchup. Future iterations might support real-time data. The software first entered testing during last year's postseason.

Other professional sports organizations, like the NBA, have for years relied on tablets for processing stats, storing plays and performing time-saving other tasks. The NFL, for example, struck a deal to use Microsoft's Surface as a digital playbook, to sometimes ignominious effect.

The report notes Apple's deal does not require teams to make iPad visible during TV broadcasts, a stipulation of the NFL's $400 million deal with Microsoft, but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred believes teams will make good use of the new technology. Manfred also said he hopes iPad will help speed up the pace of games, making baseball more attractive to a younger generation drawn to fast action sports.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Ah haw. NFL is going to be jealous. Speeding up the game, I'm a bit leery of. It's baseball after all. Though maybe Apple could help them speed up some of the replay delays.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    So Microsoft had to pay the NFL $400 million to get them to use their tablets.  Do you think that Apple is paying MLB or is MLB paying Apple for this setup?  It would be interesting to know...
    fotoformatargonautcalimoreck
  • Reply 3 of 21
    So Microsoft had to pay the NFL $400 million to get them to use their tablets.  Do you think that Apple is paying MLB or is MLB paying Apple for this setup?  It would be interesting to know...
    I'm guessing free placement for a great solution.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    They don't need to make iPad visible. That's a classy move by Apple and totally expected of them. No other major tech company like them.
    edited March 2016 radarthekatjbdragoncaliration almoreck
  • Reply 5 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Do you think that Apple is paying MLB or is MLB paying Apple for this setup?  It would be interesting to know...
    Absolutely not I'd say. Other way around. Apple will provide a solution and charge them for the privilege. No requirement to show iPad and cover hides Apple logo. In true Apple-fashion Apple is classy and gets paid and Microsoft is soulless and acts corporate and pays.
    edited March 2016 jbdragonration almoreck
  • Reply 6 of 21
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,328member
    ireland said:
    Do you think that Apple is paying MLB or is MLB paying Apple for this setup?  It would be interesting to know...
    Absolutely not I'd say. Other way around. Apple will provide a solution and charge them for the privilege. No requirement to show iPad and cover hides Apple logo. In true Apple-fashion Apple is classy and gets paid and Microsoft is soulless and acts corporate and pays.
    In other words you don't know and are assuming a scenario?
    cnocbui
  • Reply 7 of 21
    xbitxbit Posts: 303member
    Let's hope that fewer MLB players have anger management issues compared to their NFL counterparts.

    (Obligatory "Baseball is the dullest sport ever invented, it's even worse than cricket" comment)
  • Reply 8 of 21
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    First off - no real time data?  WTF?  Hopefully "Dugout" app users will load up other apps on their iPads to get access to real-time game data while MLBAM works on "Dugout II".

    Interesting points from the original article:

    'Tim Teufel, the New York Mets’ third base coach, said that he looks forward to seeing what competitive advantage the MLB Dugout app and iPads can offer. “Managers have plans and positions laid out before the game even starts,” he said. “This won’t change that much. But when a relief pitcher comes in, when a pinch hitter comes up, when the game changes in unexpected ways, that’s when it’ll be really useful.” '

    'Apple’s iPad, which has recently struggled with a sales slump, could see a promotional boost from the deal.  “One of the biggest reasons Beats headphones are so popular is that athletes wear them,” Mr. Powell noted.'

    'Apple and MLB declined to disclose details of the deal'


  • Reply 9 of 21
    ireland said:
    Absolutely not I'd say. Other way around. Apple will provide a solution and charge them for the privilege. No requirement to show iPad and cover hides Apple logo. In true Apple-fashion Apple is classy and gets paid and Microsoft is soulless and acts corporate and pays.
    In other words you don't know and are assuming a scenario?

    It's probably in the  middle.  Microsoft and Samsung were probably approached.  The price of admission may have been the iPad Pros gratis... (you're talking maybe 3-4 a team, heck, 8 loaded systems/team would be 256 units, and $300,000.   Or the cost of one 30 second on TV at prime time).   But to put a half dozen Apple Logo in every stadium, with the hours of HD camera time on dugouts, and getting the opportunity to work with baseball with the pro platform, and getting the tool pushed out to 1000's of college, Minor league, and HS (and little league) teams will be the halo...  And finally, if the data that the in dugout application is somehow exposed to the MLB.com iPad app (and TVos App), it may make the game more available to the semi-casual in home (on bus/subway) viewer.

    I think the exclusivity is more valuable... The MasterCard 'Priceless' campaign started with Baseball.   Now  Can you see Apple being 'The Official iPad supplier of MLB' giving you a underline to a tagline to an Apple Commercial... I can.

    I'm waiting for something to replace this (and it may be soon;-O)




    edited March 2016 singularity
  • Reply 10 of 21
    In other words, what MS can do for the NFL, Apple can do for Baseball.

    The key question is, will the commentators say 'using their Surface' or...?????
    :)

    I suppose it will make the game a bit more interesting. I'm saying that as someone who went to a game at Fenway Park and fell asleep. I've never fallen asleep at a Cricket Test Match.
    icoco3moreck
  • Reply 11 of 21
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Waiting for the commentators to call them Surfaces.

    edit: Someone beat me to it.


    I think the Apple logo on the case would have been a great idea. Maybe not a flashy one but a black Apple logo on black case would have been nice.


    edited March 2016
  • Reply 12 of 21
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    I always thought the notion of forcing the NFL to pimp your gear was one of the things that separated Microsoft from Apple. Apple's products are chosen because they are the best, not pay to play. While this deal is different, there is a whiff of competition with Microsoft here. Not bad or good, just observing. 
    pscooter63cnocbuiration almoreck
  • Reply 13 of 21
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,016member
    xbit said:
    (Obligatory "Baseball is the dullest sport ever invented, it's even worse than cricket" comment)
    They've got to do something to enhance the game. Baseball is essentially a two man show, the pitcher vs. the batter, with maybe one pitch out of ten causing some minor action that almost always results in an out. And that out often is fairly easy. For the rest of the inaction you get to see a few millionaires standing there doing nothing. It's amazing that the players don't fall asleep too.
    moreck
  • Reply 14 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    ireland said:
    Do you think that Apple is paying MLB or is MLB paying Apple for this setup?  It would be interesting to know...
    Absolutely not I'd say. Other way around. Apple will provide a solution and charge them for the privilege. No requirement to show iPad and cover hides Apple logo. In true Apple-fashion Apple is classy and gets paid and Microsoft is soulless and acts corporate and pays.
    In other words you don't know and are assuming a scenario?
    Well Apple never pays for Product placement of their products in TV shows for example. Apple will give them the hardware for free from what I know, but not pay for them to use it unlike MS as their Surface Tablet use in shows like NCIS:LA that's seen all the time. For some reason the keyboard cover is never used as a cover as they're always making some huge show out of snapping the cover onto the Surface and popping out the stand and sticking it on a table to use. LAME!!! You have Airlines using iPads instead of Paper maps now. Apple is not paying these company's to use their products. I see zero reason for Apple to pay MLB to use iPads!!! In fact Apple is saying you don't even have to show them off. There's no Apple Logo's. That's really pretty sad advertising to be paying for. You know what you get with a Windows Surface? The same garbage you get on your Desktop as it's the SAME THING! That means everything that goes along with it. Yes it's a FULL OS that can be used for everything, but you get everything that comes along with it. Things I even deal with on my Windows 10 Desktop NOW as I did with Windows 95 all them years ago. it's dealing with Anti-Virus software, Firewalls, Spyware, 50 updates a month for patches and security updates. Plus Windows Issues in general. A couple weeks ago I had to figure out and fix a couple issues on my Windows 10 Desktop. I had a Disappearing Start Menu, which was a pain in the butt to figure out and fix, most others would have wiped the computer and re-Installed Windows!!! The other was ghosted settings for some settings in the control panel. So I couldn't change any settings. I had to fix that. I spend hours fixing the issues. That's nothing new with Windows. I've always had to fix Windows issues over the years with them all. How many people just wipe their systems every year and re-Install Windows just to clean things up, fix issues, and speed up the computer once again. These days, I just want things to work!!!! The iPad in general just works! All the crap you have to deal with, with Windows, you don't with the iPad. You also really don't need a so called FULL Computer as a tablet. it's overkill. In fact a Full OS for many people is really just overkill. Sometimes I'd say, maybe ChromeOS would be a better option for you. Everything is in the cloud. You can easily and quickly wipe the computer. If it's taken, they're cheap to replace and you haven't lost any data. It all depends on your needs. I have a 7" Windows 10 tablet to play around with, I still like my old iPad 3 better for a number of reasons. If the NFL wasn't getting paid by MS millions to use those Surface Tablets, they're drop them fast and go right back to iPads!!!
    moreck
  • Reply 15 of 21
    So Microsoft had to pay the NFL $400 million to get them to use their tablets.  Do you think that Apple is paying MLB or is MLB paying Apple for this setup?  It would be interesting to know...
    Yes it was $400 million to convince the coaches to stop using iPads AND $100 million to the broadcasters to stop calling the MS Surface an iPad... To have the whole thing blow up in Microsoft's face during a tight game last year... PRICELESS!
    baconstangmoreck
  • Reply 16 of 21
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,468member
    In other words, what MS can do for the NFL, Apple can do for Baseball.

    The key question is, will the commentators say 'using their Surface' or...?????
    :)

    I suppose it will make the game a bit more interesting. I'm saying that as someone who went to a game at Fenway Park and fell asleep. I've never fallen asleep at a Cricket Test Match.
    +1 for Cricket.  Enjoyed county games (Essex) in England when I was there and the test matches on the telly.
    runbuh
  • Reply 17 of 21
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 268member
    MLB has always been an Apple partner. Most major league ballparks have Apple iBeacon technology installed throughout to provide data to users of the MLB At the Ballpark app with information about locations of restrooms, food stands and retail stands as well as other ball park amenities. 

    Tablet use use in the dugout has only been approved starting in the 2016 season. You need to remember that baseball team is a sport steeped in tradition that has resisted technology on the field because of that. Wrigley Field didn't install lights until 1988! 

    The iPad Pro app was actually co-developed by Apple with a division of MLB called MLB Dugout. In 2014 MLB decided to replace the old dugout phones (old fashioned phones that go from the dugout to the bullpen) with Samsung Galaxy 3's with service provided by TMobile. They kept the old phones in place for backup. The cellular implementation was so unpopular that the managers didn't use them and eventually were removed. If they were iPhones would it have been different? Who knows. It is known that most of the managers, coaches and players use Apple iPhones and iPads. 

    Looking at a lot of the posts here it seems that a lot of you aren't big baseball fans. It's one of the last major league sports that a family can enjoy together at a live game and is affordable. Kids still have baseball heroes and many still collect baseball cards. I know. I work at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins, during the season and at a Twins Pro Shop during the off season. When a kid gets their first baseball jersey the smile on their face is an amazing thing. A player autograph is like gold. 
    icoco3baconstangration almoreck
  • Reply 18 of 21
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,633member
    mnbob1 said:

    Looking at a lot of the posts here it seems that a lot of you aren't big baseball fans. It's one of the last major league sports that a family can enjoy together at a live game and is affordable. Kids still have baseball heroes and many still collect baseball cards. I know. I work at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins, during the season and at a Twins Pro Shop during the off season. When a kid gets their first baseball jersey the smile on their face is an amazing thing. A player autograph is like gold. 
    Affordable? How much for a family of 4 to go to a game at Target Field? In my hometown of Seattle, I see the uber cheap seats are $19 each. Parking is likely another $20. We're up to about $100, and haven't had a cup of dome foam or anything to eat. 

    I have no doubt that there are kids interested, and that many do like it, and follow it as you describe. But there is a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar. Take a look and see what is at most school yards these days. It isn't baseball diamonds - it' soccer fields. And the soccer team here in Seattle? Its the Seattle Xboxes. I always find that ironic.
    moreck
  • Reply 19 of 21
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    ...
    The NFL, for example, struck a deal to use Microsoft's Surface as a digital playbook, to sometimes ignominious effect.
    ...
    NFL Surface deal: $400 million.
    Aaron Rodgers slamming a Surface to the ground in frustration: priceless.



    https://v.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/AF300981711275256927710015488_3f64a5a6fcc.1.5.2790493710740939001.mp4?versionId=fowHsWbjlxdZH3CurDYnG4SueJt4mo22
  • Reply 20 of 21
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    eightzero said:
    mnbob1 said:

    Looking at a lot of the posts here it seems that a lot of you aren't big baseball fans. It's one of the last major league sports that a family can enjoy together at a live game and is affordable. Kids still have baseball heroes and many still collect baseball cards. I know. I work at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins, during the season and at a Twins Pro Shop during the off season. When a kid gets their first baseball jersey the smile on their face is an amazing thing. A player autograph is like gold. 
    Affordable? How much for a family of 4 to go to a game at Target Field? In my hometown of Seattle, I see the uber cheap seats are $19 each. Parking is likely another $20. We're up to about $100, and haven't had a cup of dome foam or anything to eat. 

    I have no doubt that there are kids interested, and that many do like it, and follow it as you describe. But there is a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar. Take a look and see what is at most school yards these days. It isn't baseball diamonds - it' soccer fields. And the soccer team here in Seattle? Its the Seattle Xboxes. I always find that ironic.
    Think of it as costing about the same as taking your fam to a 3D IMAX movie.
    Except for maybe the parking.
    edited March 2016
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