As an industry, sports has shifted to see the advantages that technology can bring. Cameras and sensors are used to track movements and find opportunities. New, more nuanced statistics can be observed and analyzed. Even something as simple as buying tickets has been entirely reinvented.
It’s logical, then, that a new technology like Chatbots has been picked up by the sporting world. From large teams to news to betting services, Chatbots are becoming more and more prominent in the sporting world. Here are a few of the places you may have seen Chatbots, or are likely to see in the future.
Information hubs for teams
In this day and age, the relationship between team and fan extends well beyond the match. Fans are looking for a deeper connection and a more participatory experience. They purchase team clothing. They listen to podcasts about their team. They stay up to date on individual and team statistics. And that’s just the start.
This creates a need for a central location where this can all be accessed. The immediate thought is to create a website, however there are a few reasons why this is not always the best approach. First, most websites are not well optimized for mobile use, which is increasingly becoming the standard. Second, there’s a lack of a standard for navigation. Each website is designed differently, meaning there’s not one structure the user can rely on. Finally, it’s more difficult to share content with other users. Often, you must navigate to an outside social network just to send what you want to send.
That’s why Chatbots provide such an excellent platform for storing and delivering content. They’re built primarily for mobile. They have a standardized design. Plus, being built into a social media platform, content is easily shared.
As a result of this strong fit, numerous major teams have rolled out their own Chatbots.
One of the most well known teams in perhaps the world’s most popular sport, FC Barcelona is a titan with global reach. To extend this reach and provide more accessibility to the team, they’ve introduced the FC Barcelona Live App Bot. This Chatbot provides a variety of useful items. Users can check upcoming games, get news about the team, and keep up to date with scores and results.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors, a recent powerhouse in the NBA, are based in Silicon Valley. Perhaps that can help explain why they’ve been such early adopters of new technologies like Chatbots.
The Golden State Warriors official Chatbot is a top-level build. From rosters to tickets to merchandise, you can find it in there. Plus, it’s all easy to navigate and find what it is you’re looking for. The model this Chatbot is built on would be an excellent base for anyone looking to create a Chatbot. It’s robust, fluid, and easy to use.
News and updates
Seeking to further connect fans with their favourite teams. theScore rolled out their Chatbot on Facebook Messenger and Kik. This Chatbot allows users to select the teams that matter to them and follow them for updates. Once you select a team, you’re all set up to receive scores, news and more about the team. In fact, after subscribing, I received a critical update about my favourite NBA within minutes.
By doing this, theScore offers a unique service: all the updates you need about a team in one central place. Some websites can provide this information, but struggle to provide timely updates as notifications. Twitter is great, but requires that you search for and follow a number of different accounts.
Also, with a social platform like Instagram or Twitter, algorithms must be factored in. What was posted most recently isn’t always what shows up first. Thus, timely and orderly updates are difficult to deliver to users. A Messenger Chatbot, on the other hand, puts everything in its proper order. This ensures users never have to spend time sorting through different sources of information.
As sports betting becomes increasingly prominent online, corresponding services have become popular in the Chatbot space. While there are very few Chatbots that actually allow betting, there are many that allow you to see odds, props and more.
As a user, this presents a few key benefits. First, it collects the information you need, and has none of the bloat that would normally come along with needing to download that service’s standalone app. This saves valuable time and storage space, while also ensuring discretion. Second, updates bring the latest information to you. In sports betting, getting the latest odds and updates is critical. Rather than waiting to learn about these updates or having to look for them yourself, you can trust a Chatbot to get you the details you need.
While the examples above are the most prominent current uses for Chatbots in the sports world, there are a number of other ways this technology can be put to work.
In other entertainment industries such as music, Chatbots that mimic the personality of an artist and allow one-on-one fan interaction are quite popular. These Chatbots create an interactive experience that is difficult to recreate elsewhere. They strengthen connections between the consumer and the artist, which ultimately benefits both parties. The artist receives more listens, while the fan finds a new way to enjoy something they already like.
This dynamic should be relatively simple to replicate. Star athletes have global appeal, as well as personalities and traits that make them unique. By incorporating these traits into a Chatbot, a unique experience can be created. These athletes are in a way a product, and a Chatbot can help them both build stronger relationships with existing fans and reach out to new ones.
Chatbots can also function as a great tool for learning about a sport. From rules to teams to history, there’s always a large amount of information a new fan needs to take in. Given their outstanding conversational capabilities, Chatbots can function as an excellent way to educate fans who want to learn about a sport.
Imagine a resource where any time you encountered a rule or occurrence you don’t understand, you could simply ask a question and receive an answer. Rather than digging up a rule book or consulting multiple sources, the answer is delivered promptly and succinctly. It would make learning simple, and sports more approachable. Watching sports should be fun, and the right Chatbot can make it easier than ever.
While Chatbots are already well-established in the sports industry, there are still many opportunities for growth. Whether it’s the marketing team for a major franchise or simply a hobbyist, almost anyone can build a Chatbot that adds value in this industry. Thankfully, this is an industry that has learned to embrace technology, both for self-improvement and marketing tactics. It’s certainly an area to keep an eye on, and is poised for terrific growth in the coming years.
Joe is a Copywriter with a wealth of experience in Chatbot strategies, builds and implementations. He has written for numerous online publications, and has crafted Chatbots for Adidas, Reebok, Pandora and many more.