If you ever wanted to receive sports updates via text but don’t know anyone who follows the same teams and loves texting, you are in luck. The Toronto-based sports media company theScore has created the first-ever sports chatbot on Facebook Messenger to keep fans in the loop. As it is, the chatbot is not exactly conversational; instead, it is designed to figure out which sports teams you would like to follow and then dispense news and updates about them to you via Messenger in a timely manner. The chatbot currently covers all teams in major U.S. sports leagues such as MLB or NFL, as well as most major European soccer leagues.
Why Sports Brands Should Care
As more and more smartphone users turn to messaging apps, sports brands would be smart to follow the fans and engage them on the messaging platforms they are already on, and chatbots should come in handy as a tool for promoting fan engagement and communications. This is not only true for sports media companies, but also for sports franchises as well. In fact, The Sacramento Kings, an NBA team, is working with startup JiffyBots to create a team chatbot on Facebook to serve fans with game stats and digital content upon request. They also plan to add more commerce features to the chatbot, such as guiding fans to purchase tickets or upgrade their seats, something that most teams should consider to boost ticket and merchandise sales.
For more information on how sports brands can make use of chatbots to connect with fans, please check out our Fast Forward analysis on Facebook’s F8 Event.