The US company has reportedly spent $400 million on a five year partnership with the NFL

Microsoft is “coaching” American football commentators to correctly identify the company’s Surface Pro 3 after several incidents in which the tablet has been described as an iPad or “iPad-like tool” – despite the company’s $400m sponsorship deal with the NFL.

Microsoft announced a five-year exclusive partnership with the NFL back in May last year, hoping that by placing its tablets in the hands of coaches and players during game time it can boost recognition of the device.

However, when cameras have cut to the sidelines to show the technology being used to pore over photos from the match, football announcers have frequently been left struggling to describe the technology – as seen below.

Not to worry though, Microsoft has said it’s on the case, backing up its multi-million deal with some good old fashioned verbal training for the announcers.

"It’s true, we have coached up a select few," a Microsoft spokesperson told Business Insider. "That coaching will continue to ensure our partners are well equipped to discuss Surface when the camera pans to players using the device during games."

Still, it might take quite a bit of coaching to overcome some player's apparent prejudices - with Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler recently describing the devices as "knockoff iPads". That's gotta sting.