Earlier this summer, Toronto-based media company theScore created the first sports chatbot for Facebook Messenger.
Back in August theScore saw chatbots being the future of news consumption for sports fans. While they still have faith in the AI technology, there are questions being asked about whether if the feature actually adds value to sports fans or not.
Although chatbots are yet to really take the sports industry by storm, theScore is still optimistic that chatbots and artificial intelligence communication can be integrated into the sports conversation.
The bots itself provide a channel with less friction and also lend us an opportunity to deliver sports information to the more casual sports fan – Riaz Lalani, Vice President of Product at theScore
According to Lalani, the chatbots allow fans to stay up-to-date on the latest news with their professional sports team, so he or she can be informed and have a topic of conversation with people when at work. Fans can access the chatbots predominately on Facebook Messenger through mobile and desktop.
— Jason Salas (@jasonsalas) June 24, 2016
While theScore has seen value in the chatbot technology, there are still other ways for fans to follow their favourite sports teams, including social media, team applications, and other traditional means.
How will teams, leagues and other media entities, like theScore, use chatbots to enhance the fan experience? Will there be a distinct differentiator or will it be just as easy to follow teams on social media? 2017 will be the determining year whether chatbots catch on and become an attractable communication feature.
Jack is a Content Editor at Future Sport who specialises in social media and emerging technologies.