Apr 30, 2021, Innovations

10 examples of voice AI solutions in sports

Aneta Skoczewska Business Consultant

You listen to audiobooks while doing dishes, put on a podcast when you go for a run, tell Alexa to play your favorite music while taking a long, relaxing bath, or ask Siri to show you the weather forecast before going for a trip? Voice is becoming a vital part of our lives – it’s an every-day helper, lively entertainer, and a smarty-pants informer. It communicates with us through refrigerators, TVs, smartwatches – actually many different daily devices. And we can’t forget that it’s a crucial assistant in professional sports, too. Using voice-powered technologies by renowned clubs all over the world creates many excellent examples of applying them into a complex business. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting ones!

1. La Liga using voice and text

La Liga, a professional soccer division of the Spanish league system, decided to launch a virtual assistant that’ll provide its fans with a number of vital news passed through both voice and text. Using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and Microsoft cognitive services allowed easy broadcast of information about competitions, clubs, schedules, players, results, classification, statistics, as well as videos with the games’ essentials. La Liga made use of Samsung’s Bixby, Google Assistant and Skype to provide its fans with a great experience across numerous devices and more personalised interactions. In the future, the division’s thinking about expanding the service with features such as listening to the news and integration with games. 

2. Chatty Pittsburgh Steelers

Along with StatMuse, a natural language processing company focusing on sports, the American Football team launched an app that uses real players’ voices to communicate with fans. People can ask random questions about a game or a player and get a response from an actual Pittsburgh Steelers star. The application uses AI to identify some of the crucial words and answer the question properly with a specific player’s voice. If a fan asks about Le’Veon Bell, the famous running back speaks up (automatically of course). 

3. From Russia with love

All the Russians are now able to ask a clever Alice for probable odds before making a sports bet through an online gambling platform – Fonbet. And Alice is not a regular girl. She’s a voice assistant created by the Russian tech giant Yandex. Using Fonbets database, predictions made by the smart female bot are said to be up to 90% accurate! Apart from telling the possible forecasts, Alice informs the users about current special deals and teaches them betting terminology. She can even disagree with a user and bet against him. Although the bot can’t place a bet for a gambler registered in Fonbet, it can forward an adequate link to his mobile device. 

4. The Big Game secret talk

Last year’s Super Bowl has been a perfect excuse for Amazon and Google to prepare their respective voice assistants. Both of the bots have been thoroughly updated with facts and predictions to discuss the Super Bowl, referring to it as “The Big Game”. Why change the name? The companies took these measures to avoid any copyright or trademark violation with the NFL, because the venture hasn’t been done with its knowledge and permission. Therefore, if you asked a question using the word “super bowl”, the bots wouldn’t be able to answer it right. All the effort was to help the fans plan their at-home game day experience and make it most exceptional and convenient. Google Assistant answered the questions regarding the Super Bowl and Alexa played the Big Game playlist or a soccer burn, depending on a fan’s wishes.

5. Voice Assistant Referee 

Alexa has already played many roles in the world of sports and actually in the world of new technologies generally. This time, it has been taught to be the Premier League soccer referee – as a reference to a video assistant used to validate the calls during a game. But Alexa’s job was slightly different. It mastered the rules from the International Football Association (IFAB) Laws of the Game and could answer questions related to the topic. After more than 2 thousand fans stated that they want the voice assistant to explain the rules and details of the game, too, Alexa has been provided with additional knowledge. Now, the bot can answer nearly any game-related question – about free kicks, penalty retakes, offside rules, and what counts as a handball. No aspect of the game is confusing anymore!

6. Baseball chitchat

As many fans have missed the sports experience during the pandemic, Google Assistant happily supported them in discussing all of the Major League Baseball teams. They can choose their favorite club and start a conversation, asking a bot for current scores, statistics, schedules, or history. The feature can be used on any smart speaker or TV, as well as Android smartphones. Such a personal voice solution was able to create a better connection with at-home fans and quickly became a part of Google’s global, flexible ecosystem.

7. Real Madrid – Spanish Alexa Skill’s pioneer

Real Madrid is the first Spanish soccer club to have created its own Alexa Skill – a relatively self-sufficient voice app which is a solid news provider. It offers current information about the team along with some interesting links, videos and access to the Real Madrid TV, communicating in both Spanish and English.

8. Alexa as a waiter in the baseball World Series

Amazon wanted its Alexa to be a part of the biggest baseball event in the world and thus updated its features to fit in. First of all, the solution allowed the fans who used smart speakers or display to hear or watch highlights after a finished game. Some of them could review the match on their Fire TV, play the games live in audio, or ask real-time questions about the players at-bat or innings. 

Apart from the World Series, baseball fans can also use Alexa to discuss statistics – its database is filled with a huge amount of information on current and previous Major League seasons. People can ask for detailed stats, a chosen player’s progress, and even the predicted World Series results. Alexa can guess them, too!

9. Fantasy soccer coach

Fantasy soccer players using Alexa are now able to get valid information and useful tips from ESPN’s Senior Fantasy Analyst – Matthew Berry. He can make suggestions for draft picks and compare different players according to the database. Statistics are based on both real-world as well as fantasy league moments and are updated throughout the soccer season. In the future, the skill will be expanded with customized advice regarding specific teams.

10. New Zealand’s All Black team

The club cooperated with Australian digital design agency Versa to create a new Alexa skill for its fans. Rugby enthusiasts can ask the voicebot for latest news, get game previews, recaps, unique behind-the-scenes, hear or watch the famous Haka war dance learning about its history, and participate in the team-related quiz.

Final thoughts

As smart speakers and other voice-enabled devices are used by so many people and the number’s still growing, sports leagues and teams use this channel to connect with their fans. Such a direct interaction strengthens the brand, makes it more likeable and worth becoming attached to, especially in the times when people aren’t able to participate in live events. 

If you wish to expand your brand with the use of voice, we’re fully prepared to make this transformation for you. Just contact our team and let us know what you need.