Apple gets iPad Pros into MLB

Apple secured a multi-year agreement with Major League Baseball that will see its teams utilize iPad Pros. Terms regarding this deal were not disclosed, although it is more likely comparable with the four-year deal the National Football League made with Microsoft for the use of its Surface tablets by all of its 32 teams.

In a move that came alongside the MLB’s lifting of a dugout ban on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, these iPad Pros will be used by the league’s coaching staffs in better understanding of data.

League commissioner Rob Manfred says, “I started in this game 25 years ago and the single biggest change has been the emergence and predominance of analytics. It affects the way we judge players, make decisions on the field and the way fans consume the game.”

He adds that “Giving coaches iPads loaded with player data is natural next step for the game, and something teams have called for.”

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller notes that “We’re not just replacing binders with tablets; we’re actually helping them do things that weren’t possible before.”

The tablets will contain a customized app called MLB Dugout, which was devised by MLB Advanced Media. This app enables coaches to have readily available real-time analytics, which would aid them with decision-making. For example, teams would be able to look into performance splits from the current season or past season/s, which can be handy for those pitcher-hitter matchups. Another instance is readily available videos of plays from previous games that had been only been accessible before at the locker room.

It is up to the 30 different Major League clubs individually to determine if they will adopt the use of the iPad Pros, which will fitted with rugged cases customized with the league’s logo. On its deal with Microsoft, the NFL mandated all of its teams to make the Surface tablets visible on the sidelines.

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