The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame has struck a three-year deal with Microsoft, making the tech giant one of the museum’s top-tier partners and exclusive tech provider for connecting with fans and giving visitors interactive exhibit experiences. The agreement includes an additional two-year option, and the Atlanta-based Hall is hopeful Microsoft extends for the full five years.
While the Hall declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, it did say it was a significant long-term investment for Microsoft, on par with the commitments from its highest-level “founding” sponsors, which include Chick-Fil-A (and, separately, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl), Coca-Cola and Kia. Corporate partners are an important financial support system for the Hall of Fame, which relocated to Atlanta in 2014.
“[Microsoft] is a little bit of the magic behind the scenes at the Hall,” Kimberly Beaudin, president and CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame, said in a phone interview. “Being able to put them on the forefront to let the guests and customers understand what’s powering this incredible experience they have made a lot of sense.”
Beaudin added that Microsoft’s recent investments in Atlanta, where it is establishing a significant East Coast hub, also played a role in discussions. Microsoft, which is headquartered outside of Seattle, recently completed a new office space in midtown Atlanta, announced plans for an Atlanta data center and purchased land for an even larger future campus. “They felt like our platform was one that shows support of the community in which they’re moving into,” she said.
The Hall of Fame’s signature interactive exhibits have long been powered by Microsoft in an unofficial capacity, running on the company’s software. Now Microsoft will provide additional consulting services as the Hall of Fame evolves its experiences and develops new interactive exhibits. The partners will also develop a tech-centered curriculum for students and educators that includes funds for an annual tech internship at the Hall.
“Microsoft is committed to building enduring foundations in Atlanta,” Michael Ford, VP of global workplace services at Microsoft, said in a statement. “Our connection to a culturally iconic non-profit like College Football Hall of Fame supports our community-driven approach to growth in the region.”