Reviews | Why conversational AI is the future of fan activations

Over the past two years, our world has become more digital, and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) has driven the development of “live” interactions between smart devices and humans. People have become fully connected and this new connection, established using AI, is now the new normal.

Even the fan experience has become more digital. Sports brands are fully alive and active in metaverses and building relationships with communities through conversational marketing.

Conversational AI for more effective and personalized communication

Conversational AI is a term that describes the technologies behind automated messaging and voice applications that facilitate human-like interactions between bots and people. Conversational AI can replace human communication by recognizing speech and text, understanding intent, differentiating between languages, and responding in a way that mimics human conversation. Therefore, it builds connections between brands and their customers and fans.

Over the past two years, chatbots have grown in popularity through the use of so-called conversational commerce and conversational marketing. Powered by deep learning, conversational solutions are now integrated into various chat tools (e.g. Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and Web Chat) that allow users to instantly access relevant information via a simple messaging.

Conversational commerce has opened up new channels for customers to interact with brands at all stages of their journey. With the number of customer interactions from different messaging apps ever-increasing, innovative companies are looking for ways to efficiently manage high volumes of messaging conversations while delivering an exceptional customer experience. As such, many are using advanced conversational AI platforms, such as Liveperson’s partner 2Mobile, to offer end-to-end orchestration of brand-to-consumer conversations and deliver the best experience.

Conversational commerce and conversational AI can strengthen your relationships with customers and fans, create stronger bonds and therefore have a positive impact on your brand.

Conversational AI in sports marketing

Conversational marketing is now completely reshaping our sporting experiences – whether it’s watching a game from the comfort of our own homes and finding out facts about our team or keeping records of the latest game results, buying tickets to the next live event and to buy club products online. stores. At live events, the fan experience becomes fully digital, with technology enabling contactless purchases and on-site food and drink delivery, chats with team members and live notifications for fans. club news.

The best conversational AI delivers a result indistinguishable from what could be delivered by humans. Moreover, it offers fast and personalized communication with the addition of integrated payment services through chat tools with the use of a chatbot.

Think about the last time you were at a game and stood in line during halftime, waiting for your beer to be served. Now imagine that you ordered a beer from the comfort of your seat at the arena, having paid for it with two clicks in a messaging app and a simple scan of a QR code.

All of this can be delivered with less effort than if done by a human. This is conversational AI at its best and something we achieved at 2Mobile in cooperation with Mastercard.

The global payments company was the first brand to recognize the potential and utility of conversational AI and sports chatbots, so they used them to activate their brand in sports marketing using messaging apps . To develop a unique communications platform, a partnership was formed between Mastercard and 2Mobile, the developer of the conversational platform powered by LivePerson technology.

In 2021, when restrictions and measures in the physical world due to Covid-19 encouraged the emergence of the low-contact economy and cashless payments, Mastercard decided to launch an innovative service to allow customers to order food and drink from the comfort of their seat. at sporting events.

Mastercard Slovenia, in cooperation with 2Mobile, developed innovative sports chatbots for football clubs Bravo and Maribor, and handball club Celje, and initiated the development of a new business model in sports marketing.

Purchasing tickets, ordering food and beverages and sponsorship activations

The innovative sports bot solution, powered by LivePerson’s conversational AI, allows customers to order and pay for services on a single platform. It is currently used in two Slovenian football stadiums and a sports arena. Chatbots are available to users on three different chat platforms: Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and Viber.

Sports clubs are using chat to encourage fans to buy tickets online and order food and drink from their seats while promoting contactless payments to reduce queues during games. Personalized communication with fans presents chatbots as a friend that helps them realize their purchase intent.

Chatbots also allow fans to keep up to date with in-game news, chat with other fans, follow events, discover team rosters, and purchase tickets or merchandise online in the fan shop. Additionally, conversational AI allows clubs to proactively engage with users using push messages sent to those who have opted in to notifications.

Push messages are also a great channel for various referral activations. Conversational marketing is a new communication channel that offers many opportunities for sponsorship and direct communication with fans through messages, QR codes, coupons and contests.

2Mobile’s sports bot solution, powered by LivePerson’s conversational AI, allows customers to order and pay for services on a single platform.

From first interactions to relationship building and retention

These days, it’s more important than ever to engage with fans in the moments that matter to them and in the way that matters to them. Because of this, experiences and transactions become more conversational.

The responsiveness of bots is an advantage when it comes to acquiring customers through chat experiences powered by sports clubs. In a fully connected world, when interactions with sports fans have migrated to digital, meaningful interactions powered by conversational AI are shaping the fan experience and strengthening the sense of belonging to the online sports community.

For example, Mastercard created a great referral activation during a recent football final. They connected taxi services to their conversational platform and proactively offered free taxi rides to all fans who had consumed alcohol during the game. This was communicated through short messages via chat and fans were able to order a taxi using a chatbot. And finally, the cost of this taxi service was fully covered since it was sponsored by Mastercard.

This is just one of the ways conversational experiences in sports marketing can help drive greater brand visibility and improve fan engagement, with personalized and direct communication that remains responsive to fan needs. The Mastercard case has been recognized as exceptional and has won several awards for its creativity and efficiency.

Final Thoughts

Conversational commerce and conversational AI can strengthen your relationships with customers and fans, create stronger bonds and therefore have a positive impact on your brand. It can increase the level of your referral activations and therefore create new revenue streams.

Therefore, investing in conversational marketing and conversational experiences is the future of sports marketing and fan activations. Are you ready for the next level?

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