Apple and Major League Baseball have signed a multi-year deal that will provide MLB coaches and their staff with access to iPad Pros.
The tablets will be used to help with data and visualizations to make in-game tweaks in real-time, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The deal follows a five-year, $400 million agreement Microsoft made with the NFL to put its Surface tablets on the sidelines for players and coaches.
The Microsoft deal hasn’t been without its issues, including broadcasters calling the devices “iPads” and glitches causing issues for coaches and players.
“We’re not just replacing binders with tablets, we’re actually helping them do things that weren’t possible before,” Apple marketing head Phil Schiller told The Journal.”
MLB teams have the option to use the devices or ignore them all together.
The custom MLB Dugout app will be updated with team-specific data before each game. Coaches will be able to evaluate how a hitter will fare against a given pitcher, which can be valuable when making lineup decisions.
The deal doesn’t only support coaches and managers, players who choose to use the devices will be able to watch video clips from previous games to scout their opponents.
The 12.9-inch iPads will be equipped with rugged, MLB-branded cases.