From the NBA finals to the Giro D’Italia and Tour de France bike races, globe-trotting tennis opens and The World Cup, every sporting event worth its salt has a chatbot to help engage fans and provide information.
Taking place in Russia, this summer’s World Cup finals will be the biggest sporting event of the year. It will also highlight a new landmark in chatbot development as millions of fans interact with bots from sporting brands, teams, betting companies, sponsors and many more.
The World Cup Bots Line Up
First out of the gates is Budweiser with the Bud Bot, part of the massive brand’s interactive campaign promising to “Light Up the FIFA World Cup.” In the UK, the Bud Bot will provide a relatable FIFA World Cup guide for fans, driving meaningful relationships between consumers and the beer brand in the run up to the tournament and the heartbreak of England’s inevitable early exit!
Bud Bot offers a voting platform to help find the official Man of the Match for each game, along with competitions, links to Budweiser-stocking bars and stores, plus home deliveries of beer supplies
China might be out of the tournament, having lost in the qualifiers but interest will be high as the country continues to show great interest in soccer generally. China’s businesses are rapidly adopting AI to help with massive volumes of customer queries, and the We-Chat obsessed nation is most likely to get information from bots rather than traditional websites.
Claiming to be the world’s first AI-driven football chatbot, AIBALL was launched by Cubee back in Spring, inviting all football fans to watch the FIFA World Cup with them. AIBALL is a football chatbot based on knowledge graph, and powered by state-of-art natural language processing capabilities with deep learning, helping new fans learn the rules and dig into player and team statistics.
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Chatbots on their Bikes
As the Giro D’italia gears up to an epic climax, cycling fans will be looking to pack the roads and mountain passes of the legendary Tour de France. While the event is yet to spin up its 2018 social media campaign, expect a fully-functional, multi-lingual bot, as demonstrated last year as the riders pummel their way to the Champs De Elysee.
Anyone for Chatbot Tennis
Also setting the streets of Paris alight, the French Open at Roland Garros marks the start of the major championship season for the world’s best tennis players. At Wimbledon, last year, regular tech sponsor IBM created Fred, an IA Chatbot while the company’s Watson was used for statistical analysis and other tasks.
The NBA Does Chatbots Big
With the NBA finals in full swing, most teams already have their own bots, like the champion Golden State Warriors whose Viber-based bot offers multilingual support for its huge army of fans. As the massive global interest around the finals near,
Showing how bots will change in the future, check out Sky’s Jeff Bot based on host Stelling, designed in San Francisco, Sports Illustrated plan similar bots for NBA and NFL events to come.
Building your own business or sport bots
Chatbots for big tournaments from golf to tennis and smaller national or regional events are popular for short-term bursts of information and interaction. But sports fans like to spend all year chatting about their team or favourite players, so there are plenty of room for fan or business chatbots that tie into teams or sports.
Solutions are available for any level of project, from local firms to Fortune 500s, and sports minnows or big names. When it comes to building a chatbot, anyone can create a working published version with analytics, natural language processing and other features.
Services like SnatchBot provide templates to build a typical conversation, which can be easily expanded or adopted to fit a particular sport or focus the chat on players, teams, events and other key areas of interest.
It can publish the bot to a team website, Facebook Messenger feed, mobile app, Viber, Skype or other feed, helping get the widest possible audience. But as fans look for an app that reflects their club or provides that little extra, teams will have to get creative.
The Summer of Sport Is Brought To You With Chatbot Assistance was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.