Arsenal fans in for a treat with new 'pioneering' tech
Premier League club Arsenal FC is dipping its toes in the world of artificial intelligence with the launch of its first official club bot.
The technology was developed by AI chat application platform GameOn and will provide fans with personalised and "unique access" to the club, all delivered through the personality of 'Robot Pires', named after Gunners legend Robert Pires.
Available through social media messaging platforms including Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, Kik, and Telegram, the Arsenal bot will respond to fans' natural language requests for specific news, scores, stats, videos and more about the team and the games they follow.
"We're constantly looking at ways to bring fans content that makes their match day experience even more entertaining," said Tom Hines, senior content manager for Arsenal.
"Working with GameOn to craft the bot is the next step in us developing a hub for fans that houses the answers to all of their questions – that feels intuitively part of the Arsenal voice and experience.
"Fans feel a personal connection to Arsenal, and AI is more important than ever for us to give fans a personalised experience."
Arsenal is the latest to join the GameOn community, following the success of the Sky Sports' Jeff Bot and Sports Illustrated's Olympics and NFL bots.
GameOn says chatbots are experiencing a surge in pick-up with fans eager to know the latest from their favourite teams.
Arsenal fans will be able to access the latest club news, fixtures, results, videos, player stats and more. Casual supporters can stay informed with match updates and trending news deliveries, while super fans can dig deeper with minute-to-minute match commentary, match previews and post-match reports, all delivered in real-time.
Alex Beckman, founder and CEO of GameOn, said: "As the way fans engage with teams evolves, there are more exciting and dynamic ways we can craft chatbots.
"Football clubs like Arsenal face a tough challenge in that a lot of funding usually goes into the teams – as it should – however that often doesn’t leave big budgets for content.
"Chatbots are a great way for clubs to evolve their platforms for speaking to fans, and we're excited to work with Arsenal to help bring shape to the category."