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Arsenal FC embraces tech with AI club bot

Tim Maytom

Premier League club Arsenal FC has unveiled its first official AI chat application, 'Robot Pires', created to give fans personalised and unique access to the club, and deliver information, stats, news, videos and more. The club bot was created by AI chat applicaiton specialists GameOn, who have also launched chatbots for Sky Sports, Sports Illustrated and the NFL.

Available through a wide variety of 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 and more about the team and the games they follow.

Fans will be able to access fixtures, results, videos, players stats and more, including classic goals and perspectives from a digital version of one of the Gunners' greatest players. Casual supporters can stay informed with match updates and news, while dedicated fans can dig into minute-by-minute match commentary, previews and more.

"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."

"We're delighted to be working with Arsenal," said Alex Beckman, founder and CEO of GameOn. "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."

In addition to the launch of the Robot Pires club bot, Arsenal is also adopting technology to streamline operations and better monetise its content worldwide. The club is expanding its use of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, a content supply chain platform that automates tasks, simplifies workflows and speeds up the time-to-market for content creators and distributors.

A long-time user of Ooyala's technology, Arsenal will also continue to use the firm's Online Video Platform and Digital Video Playout solutions for both live and on-demand video serivces, as well as the OoyalaLIVE live-streaming solution.

"Arsenal is one of the most famous global brands in the world's most popular sport," said Jonathan Huberman, CEO of Ooyala. "It was Arsenal's need to connect with fans aroudn the world, on every device, platform and language - and to do so easily and profitably - that drew the storied football club to our platform, which powers a vast array of clients in the media and sports sectors."

"Ooyala has been an invaluable partner for years, but the value of our relationship extends far beyond technology," said Ben Ladkin, general manager of Arsenal Media Group. "Ooyala's forward thinking has helped enable our own innovation, powering new and exciting video experiences to Arsenal fans across the world."