IBM Watson integrated with ESPN Fantasy Football League to drive deeper engagement with fans

Today, IBM in collaboration with ESPN announced Trade Assistant with IBM Watson—a new feature in the ESPN Fantasy Football iOS and Android apps to help users make informed and fair trades. Given that Fantasy Football revolves primarily around managing a virtual football team, the new Trade Assistant will utilize IBM Watson to analyze the value of a player on a roster, the cost of losing them, and the equity involved in the trade. This will allow users to make better decisions that will help their club grow and compete in the long run.

At the heart of the feature will be the natural language processing (NLP) capabilities of IBM Watson, which will help the assistant in removing potential bias and uncover new insights from unstructured data from a variety of sources. To do this, IBM Watson will comb through multiple sources including blogs, news articles, and podcasts, to extract insights on player stats and sentiments.

The motivation behind this feature is to make the Fantasy Football app more engaging and competitive. "Over the years, we have worked with IBM to uniquely integrate the brand and Watson technology to enhance the fantasy player experience and drive deeper engagement with sports fans," said Marco Forte, Senior Vice President, Disney Advertising Sales, calling the feature a new height in the relationship between ESPN Fantasy Football and IBM.

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