Every week, millions of viewers obsess over football. According to the New York Times, over 28 million people tuned in to ESPN to watch the 2018 college championship game. CNN reports that more than 103 million viewers were glued to their screens for the 2018 Superbowl. But football is more than just television ratings. CX technology has revolutionized how fans experience the game year round.
Fantasy football drafting with CX technology
ESPN reports that fantasy football first began 55 years ago, though the past decade completely changed the way football enthusiasts experience the action. The rise of bloggers, online stats, and digitally managed teams brought a surge of popularity to the consumer sport. As recently as the past few years, artificial intelligence transformed how teams are chosen and trades and transactions happen. This year, for example, Inverse, a digital media company covering tech and science topics, partnered with Unanimous AI, a tech firm focused on using A.I. to capture swarm intelligence, to help fantasy players decide who to draft by harnessing the group mentality of a number of experts.
Their main question for this experiment: “Instead of relying on the individual opinions of experts on blogs, Twitter, and YouTube, what if those fantasy managers could harness the collective intelligence of 30 fantasy experts — journalists, stat-heads, NFL geeks — who acted as a hive mind?”
Their one collective answer gave the average fantasy team manager guidance on some of the most pressing 2018 draft questions, allowing them to better plan their teams without having to research data and predictability on their own.
— Unanimous AI (@UnanimousAI) August 28, 2018
Live streaming mobility and other perks
Long gone are the days where watching a game needed to happen in a bar or at someone’s house. Viewers now have the option to stream their games of choice on an iPad, iPhone, Xbox, PS4, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and other devices, such as a traditional desk computer. (Watching at work, anyone?)
Digital subscriptions like those from DirectTV NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL GamePass, and NFL Red Zone allow subscribers to view up to four games at once, see plays from additional camera angles, and experience the games sans commercials. In addition to live viewing, subscribers may even get access to fantasy football statistics and player trackers. These subscriptions are perfect for any viewer who cut the cable cord, or even those with cable who want to watch the games taking place outside their local area.
— Red Zone Channel (@RedZoneChannel) September 16, 2018
An NFL immersion experience in Times Square
While football fans have access to CX technology during the regular season, what happens when the Superbowl ends? Now, fans and tourists alike can visit NFL Experience Times Square for a completely immersive adventure, allowing anyone to take part in the pro-football experience. Roger Goodell, NFL league commissioner, says in a press release for the launch, “We partnered with Cirque du Soleil to create a captivating and authentic football experience that enables fans to step into the locker room and onto the field of an NFL stadium.”
Besides a 4D theater and interactive exhibits on all teams, guests can also use the equipment room to measure tackle strength and test their vertical jump. With the help of digital face-tracking technology, visitors choose their team favorites, and suddenly become a computer-generated image of their most beloved player. There are also augmented experiences such as getting Gatorade dumped on them after winning a championship game or experiencing the rain of confetti after a Superbowl win. As an added bonus, fans can eat their way through all 31 stadiums as part of the food court which overlooks Times Square.
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Changes within CX technology over the past year have influenced everything from fantasy football, to how fans view the game, to the creation of a new immersive fan experience. What new digital technologies will kickoff next?