Communication, particularly one-on-one dialogues between fans and clubs, is getting more and more important. But our recent field trial disillusioned us quickly – only 8 out of 18 Bundesliga teams were determined to even chat with me – and solely one team used chatbots for this purpose!
Chatbots and Messenger are a main issue for everyone into online marketing, social media or even just plainly better CRM. And when it comes to sports, digital communication via Messenger plays a leading role as well.
“Clubs, leagues and sponsors can use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp this present day. Periodically occurring requests asked by fans can be answered automatically, i.e. requesting merchandise, buying tickets or joining a prize game. This way, valuable advertising space can be offered to sponsors in these one-on-one dialogues and costs can be minimized.” Evangelos Papathanassiou, Managing Partner at Mataracan
While the issue of “content distribution in sports” was discussed already in part 1 of our sports special, part 2 will focus on upfront communication between clubs and fans.
“Where do I get tickets for your next home match?”
I posed this question onto 18 Bundesliga clubs – a very comprehensible question, considering clubs want their tickets to be bought!
But my field trial produced quite a mixed picture: after all, only 8 out of 18 German national soccer league teams had their Facebook Messenger activated. Having my questions answered via Messenger was even rarer and more likely to be found along the first and least parts of the national soccer standings (6th matchday 2017).
Even those clubs with their Facebook Messenger activated could rarely satisfy my needs. While some of them did not reply to my question at all, others solely pointed out their telephone hotline or website in generated mails. But yet, there were some exceptions and my questions got answered. Particularly the soccer bottom club FC Köln (6th matchday 2017) distinguished exceptionally as the winner of customers choice. But still, improvement is needed here.
The clubs Geisbot answers questions immediately und automatically. Also, it understood my frank intake and my wish for tickets (but missed my reference to the home match I wanted tickets for). My deliberate provocations were lavished, the sports bot could use some more courage …
Alongside selling tickets and merchandise and offering news via newsletter (as discussed here), there is more to do for a chatbot in sports business.
TIPICO offers the Titan Bot on Facebook with whom you can participate in prize games. It performs well, but I don’t get the point. Especially businesses offering sport bettings should rely on the advantages of fast and real-time communication – a feature which is offered by messengers exclusively – and therefore send me up-to-date odds instead.
During the championships in 2016, the ranbot gave opportunity to get any question concerning soccer answered quick and plain. Unfortunately this bot isn’t active anymore, but a case study can be found here.
Hence, there are various reasons to field chatbots in sports: customers and users seek contact to companies, clubs, leagues and the sportsmen themselves. All these questions could not only be answered by a chatbot easily and reliable for customers, but also cheap and effortless from a business’ perspective. Most questions occur periodically and therefore are easy to answer for a chatbot – and ultimately it’s more efficient and reliable than service staff. Concurrent, making bots is far more easy than programming an app. In closing, one has to admit that there are plenty of reasons why bots make Messenger marketing more successful.
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