With more than 40 million players in the US, fantasy football is one of America’s most popular social activities. However, the time it takes to research player statistics and follow football news to maintain competitive teams and participate effectively can be daunting for both diehard fans and newcomers alike. Worse, time spent on fantasy football often comes at the expense of spending time with friends and family and enjoying the game itself. In the lead up to the 2018 NFL season, we sought to create a frictionless way to make fantasy football fun again, and - by using AI and machine learning - even give users an advantage in their upcoming drafts.
To solve this problem, we brought together Google Assistant and CBS to create CBS Sports Ultimate Fantasy Football Advisor, the first-ever voice-enabled fantasy sports assistant. Ultimate Fantasy Football Advisor became a custom action on Google Assistant that combines proprietary data provided by CBS Sports and the powerful algorithms behind Google’s machine learning to give players real-time advice on building and managing fantasy football teams, as well as answering inbound queries on player statistics and projected performance. The action provides a way for Google to get more and more people into the habit of using Google Assistant to answer the questions that matter most in their lives and for both Google and CBS to deepen the engagement they have with football fans and fantasy football players.
To publicize CBS Sports Ultimate Fantasy Football Advisor, a custom demo video featuring former football stars and CBS experts Danny Kanell, Brady Quinn, and Bryant McFadden launched right before the start of draft season. The video demonstrated the type of questions users could ask Google Assistant to help them with, including “Should I draft [player]?” and “Should I trade [player] for [player]?” Promotion of Ultimate Fantasy Football Advisor continued with integrations into CBS Sports HQ (CBS’s streaming network for sports news), amplification on Facebook and Twitter, live reads on the Fantasy Football Today weekly podcast, and inclusion in CBS’s sports coverage.