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4 Potential Use Cases of AI in Sports

Discover exciting use cases for AI in sports, as well as barriers to adoption you may face, in this article by Future Platforms.

Four use cases of AI in sports and the fan experience

The AI revolution is in full swing. According to PwC data, 73% of US firms have already adopted AI in some form, with generative AI adoption in particular leading the charge. UK survey results paint a similar picture, with 52% of British companies now adopting the technology.

While concrete applications of some solutions are still to emerge, we thought we’d take some time to look at potential use cases of AI in sports. In this article, we’ll share our thoughts on the top five use cases of AI in sports, along with how they each work, and what problems lie ahead for the sector in the coming months. Read on to learn more and discover an exciting potential future for AI-enabled sports fan interaction.

Four potential use cases for AI in sports fan experiences

1. AI in sports marketing

In our recent industry survey of British sports fans showed that fans’ appetite for data and player stats is high. We found that 46% of fans interact with their favourite app just before the event starts, while 41% check in during the event. AI sports analysis tools could, therefore, help sports leaders satisfy fan curiosity and improve engagement rates well after games have ended. 

For example, intelligent cameras could help you capture unique perspectives of key game moments and give fans a totally new perspective on the action. By using computer vision models to track player movements in real time, you could pull seamless snippets of game highlights in seconds and share them online.

You could even streamline your workload even more by automating when fans see this content and enriching their experience further by positioning the never-before-seen moments as exclusive benefits for app users.

2. Enhancing customer service and interaction

AI sports analysis tools could also be used to improve customer service standards while fans buy tickets, merchandise and other amenities. Using customers’ previous purchase history, club managers can optimise stock levels, maximise seat occupancy, and more, all by using intelligent models that predict customer behaviour.

Similarly, Generative AI systems (one of the most well-known AI solutions by now) could also transform fan interactions. Branded chatbots for routine customer service problems are an obvious use case so some innovative sports leaders are taking a more novel approach. Namely, by launching new chat services featuring fans’ favourite sports personalities, like NFL legend Tom Brady as ‘Bru’, a wise-cracking commentator.

3. Streamlining the stadium experience

AI in sports needn’t be an online-only benefit, as there are plenty of applications for data science in sports stadiums, too. For example, in-app integrations have the potential to help fans find the most efficient route to their seat, no matter their preferred travel options.

Equally, data science in sports stadiums can also be applied to boost in-stadium safety and security by minimising traffic flows, improving crowd control mechanisms and generally streamlining the sports fan experience via seamless logistics strategies.

4. Improving AI tools for sports betting

AI sports analysis tools are also being actively developed by many third parties, such as gambling firms. While AI tools for sports betting may be a divisive use case for some, there are benefits worth mentioning. 

Namely, AI tools for sports betting could give customers the most favourable odds on in-game action. Given this, they have the potential to refine a deeply ingrained part of many sports fans’ habits for the better by introducing next-gen competition to the market.

The future of data science and AI in sports

AI in sports, like many other areas, is a hot topic right now and there are some issues that you should anticipate in the months ahead. 

As with any other digital software, data privacy and cybersecurity will be an ongoing challenge. This is because AI systems have immense predictive power and so, depending on the data you provide, could become targets for threat actors. Equally, AI solutions often inherit all the same biases that humans hold (for better or worse), so business leaders need to maintain strict oversight while new systems are being developed and piloted. 

In turn, governments across the world are currently drafting and implementing legislation that will shape what AI in sports looks like for years to come. Most notably, the EU’s AI Act; as the earliest (and by some predictions, strictest) piece of legislation, it has established much of the groundwork of AI in sports. In brief, AI sports analysis models must be explainable and safeguard users from the sort of biases discussed previously.

So, with more legislation and innovation to come within data science in sports, it’s more important than ever to partner with an expert digital product agency, like Future Platforms. As a full-service design and development agency, we can build intelligent apps, websites and digital touchpoints that elevate sports fan experiences. We’ve worked with plenty of big-name brands at home and abroad, so we’re very familiar with today’s fan experiences and where they’re going.

Learn more about the future place of AI in sports in our latest Whitepaper

Our latest report goes in-depth on the current and future challenges facing the sports industry.

Complete with insights from industry experts, club leaders and a whopping 1,000 British sports fans, we offer a forward-thinking vision for the future of everything from AI in sports and beyond. We also offer strategic recommendations to help club leaders adapt amid a fragmenting landscape of sports media consumption and more.

Get your free copy now.